Two new comedies are premiering on Tuesday nights to join New Girl and Raising Hope on FOX. To help create buzz about The Mindy Project and Ben and Kate, FOX has put both pilot episodes online for free. Of course, I watched both of them, and here is what I thought:
The Mindy Project
I’ve been looking forward to The Mindy Project since I first saw the trailer a couple months ago. It looked witty, entertaining and endearing. That’s exactly what it was. Mindy Kaling stars as Mindy Lahiri, an Ob/Gyn doctor, who is trying to navigate between her career and love life. The first episode begins with introducing Mindy as a smart woman who is obsessed with romantic comedies. She loves them, and when she meets Tom (guest star Bill Hader), she’s convinced that she’s living in one. Until it all ends. Mindy then has to learn to move on, find a good guy and advance with her career.
Mindy Kaling is funny. I didn’t watch her on The Office, but her tweets always give me a chuckle. If you like Kaling, you’ll like this show. While the show isn’t wholly realistic, a character like Mindy is. And she’s surrounded by a great cast. Chris Messina (who is literally everywhere these days) plays Danny, one of Mindy’s co-workers. He’s the “kind-of-an-asshole” type, and there’s definitely something simmering between Mindy and him. Ed Weeks plays another co-worker, Jeremy, and he’s more of the “sexy-with-an-accent” type. Anna Camp, Amanda Setton and Stephen Tobolowsky also star. There’s a camaraderie about the cast that just works in its favor.
The Mindy Project is definitely a show to check out this Fall. I’m really looking forward to second episode and rest of the season. The Mindy Project premieres Tuesday, September 25th at 9:30/8:30c on FOX. If you don’t want to wait until the 25th, you can watch the first episode below!
Rating: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★
Ben and Kate
Going in, I hardly knew anything about Ben and Kate, just that it was being promoted alongside The Mindy Project. I decided to give it a chance, and I wasn’t all that impressed. Ben and Kate follows siblings, played by Nat Faxon and Dakota Johnson. Ben is a kid-at-heart. He’s immature and irresponsible, but he’s still a nice guy. Kate is his younger, mature and responsible sister. She’s also a young single mom, raising five-year-old Maddie. The first episode begins with Kate coming home with a guy she’s been dating for awhile. Ben barges in, disrupting and ending the rest of the date. Kate is aggravated, and Ben is clearly oblivious. It becomes clear that Ben is going to be staying with Kate for awhile. The show will go on to tell the comedic ups-and-downs the siblings go through.
It was hard for me to be convinced by Dakota Johnson as a single mom. There was something nagging me about it, while watching the show. As for Ben, his character was just too obnoxious for me to like. Sure, he’s a nice guy, but his jokes were delivered in such an annoying way. With two miscast leads, Ben and Kate doesn’t work. However, the supporting cast did somewhat help the show from completely failing. Lucy Punch plays Kate’s co-worker/friend, and she was hilarious. I also liked Echo Kellum, who played Ben’s sidekick. Of course, Maggie Elizabeth Jones is adorable as Maddie.
If some elements were re-worked, Ben and Kate would be a much better sitcom. Unfortunately, this is what we have. I might give it a second chance, if I’m feeling generous one Tuesday night. Ben and Kate premieres Tuesday, September 25th at 8:30/7:30c on FOX. You can watch the first episode now in the video below!
Rating: 3/10 ★★★