There is nothing as perfect as Ben & Kate on TV right now. Bye.
WELCOME TO EARTH BEN AND KATE! Best New Show of the Year
Way back in the late 1980s when Roseanne and Married With Children came along, a sitcom about characters who weren’t traditionally likable, who were even appalling, seemed revolutionary. A few months ago, I was watching a middling network comedy. I’ll skip saying which for the moment: it’s not one of the best or most popular, it’s not one of the worst or least. It was about terrible self-absorbed people, like just about every other sitcom on television. But what struck me was that the glib, Harvard-trained, language of high-tension comebacks and references flying past you at 1000 miles per hour, lobbed between a cast distinguished by their relative degrees of loathsomeness, has become so familiar, such a trope if you will, that you could have taken any line of this feel bad, smartypants dialoge and inserted it into any of a dozen shows on the air now without changing a syllable.
Which is what is so refreshing, even revolutionary about Ben and Kate. It is a show that manages to be actually sweet, without harking back to the saccarine days of yore. It’s characters and dialogue are as sharp as anything, without feeling the need to flaunt their own cleverness with ever line. The idea that characters can be flawed without being loathsome is almost foreign to the airwaves today. I don’t know how B and K got it by the network. You feel like you are watching a work by smart, funny people who are not driven by an axe to grind with the human race.
I first watched the pilot a couple months ago, and while I enjoyed it at first, I’ve been surprised at how much what was an unassuming, straightforward show stayed with me in comparison to some of the far flashier, more pyrotechnics laden shows I’ve seen. I watched it again this week and it was as funny and as sweet as I remembered. Both the stars are in fact stars and carry it beautifully. With so much to hatewatch on these days, so many shows handing out memes on a silver platter, it’s hard to find time to watch a nice, funny, good natured without being idiotic show.
Ben and Kate isn’t quite the only show on TV now that manages to do this. To name one, I would put Parks and Rec in this category (disclosure: I have a family connection there, but I swear I liked it before I did). The recently late great Men of a Certain Age also fell in this range, even if it was more dramedy than comedy. There are some out there, but they are becoming darn rare. But you should make a little time to remind yourself what it was to actually enjoy something for a few minutes.
Remember when I said Ben and Kate was my favorite new comedy? This articulates exactly what I was thinking and why you should watch it.
I just read the pilot and watched the actual pilot episode and I am very confident in saying that Ben & Kate is my favorite new comedy premiering on TV this fall.