• Network: FOX
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 25, 2012
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 29
  2. Negative: 2 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Sep 19, 2012
    90
    Not only is the pilot a wonderful mix of hilarious moments (pretty much any time Faxon is in the picture) and subtle sentiment, but it's one of those shows where the acumen of the off-camera talent (Fox) is impressive and clear, which gives hope for long-term success.
  2. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Oct 22, 2012
    88
    Johnson is the find of the season: She's the sunbeam that doesn't filter out dust motes. [29 Oct 2012, p.38]
  3. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Sep 21, 2012
    83
    Brush aside the hyperactivity and hard sell, and you're left with a winner.
  4. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Sep 25, 2012
    80
    [A] cleverly written show.
  5. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Sep 25, 2012
    80
    The characters, like the show, send off an ingratiatingly kooky vibe, and I look forward to getting to know them better.
  6. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Sep 24, 2012
    80
    Ben and Kate is a sweet, smart new show from Fox that may turn out to be the best new comedy of the fall season.
  7. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Sep 25, 2012
    75
    It's another welcome helping of "New Girl" adorkability.
  8. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Sep 25, 2012
    75
    The surprise lies in how sympathetic Johnson makes Kate while still imbuing her with her own streak of crazy, or how endearing Faxon makes Ben, a character who might otherwise wear out his welcome fairly quickly.
  9. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Sep 25, 2012
    75
    Ben & Kate is at its best when the siblings lovingly spar--usually about one of Ben's hair-brained schemes.
  10. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Sep 24, 2012
    75
    There's no laugh track, the humor is gently sophisticated and the main characters wounded but appealing.
  11. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Sep 24, 2012
    75
    The first episode is more of a pleasant experience that holds the promise of something better down the road.
  12. 70
    Ben and Kate is enjoyable enough if you don't mind a severe case of the cutes.
  13. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Sep 25, 2012
    70
    For now, though, there's a fair amount here to like--at least enough to warrant another family gathering in front of the TV, if not under the table.
  14. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Sep 25, 2012
    70
    Ben and Kate has great sibling chemistry, a cute kid (Maggie Elizabeth Jones as Kate's daughter, Maggie) and an appealing premise.
  15. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Sep 25, 2012
    70
    What the pilot does have is simple charm, and enough laughs to give me a gut feeling that this show can build on the setup of a brother-sister pair who, between the two of them, make approximately one functional adult.
  16. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Sep 25, 2012
    70
    Together, they [Dakota Johnson & Nat Faxon] bring a whole mess of cute.
  17. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Sep 25, 2012
    70
    Ben & Kate seems poised to be to the "20 to 30-somethings get their lives together" sub-genre what "Parks & Rec" is to workplace comedies: something willfully, wonderfully kind.
  18. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Sep 24, 2012
    70
    It's the kind of show that could well settle into a nice groove once it gets a few episodes in, especially given that all the performances are top notch, including those from Lucy Punch and Echo Kellum as friends of the title duo.
  19. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Sep 24, 2012
    70
    Ben and Kate has charm, but the brother-sister dynamic has built-in limitations.
  20. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Sep 20, 2012
    70
    The casting and direction are solid. We'll stick with it for now to see if there's growth in the character relationships, too.
  21. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Sep 25, 2012
    67
    While the premise is slight, smart casting gives Ben and Kate a comedic edge.
  22. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Sep 19, 2012
    67
    Ben and Kate can be a bit grating and certainly isn't all together great. But its small ensemble--which also includes Ben's pal, Tommy (Echo Kellum)--is clicking pretty well for starters.
  23. Reviewed by: Sean Higgins
    Oct 31, 2012
    63
    In spite of Ben and Kate's charms, its propensity for subduing the idiosyncrasies of its characters in the service of a simple emotional payoff makes it disappointing.
  24. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Sep 25, 2012
    63
    The supporting cast, Kate's British co-worker at the bar, BJ ("Do you know what BJ means in my country?") played by Lucy Punch, and Ben's best friend Tommy (Echo Kellum), are the glue that holds this bro and sister together. Or at least this show together.
  25. Reviewed by: Chris Conaton
    Sep 25, 2012
    60
    Ben and Kate has the potential to be a similar sort of low-key, hangout show [like Cougar Town and Raising Hope] that's also very funny.
  26. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Sep 14, 2012
    50
    That path [Will Ferrell/Jack Black/Zach Galifianakis school of oddballery] is fairly well trod at this point, as is the "New Girl" vibe Ben and Kate reaches for. Some funny lines still manage to peek through.
  27. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Sep 24, 2012
    40
    Ben and Kate has its moments of inspired, gonzo idiocy but mostly it's like spending a half-hour with someone you can't stand.
  28. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Sep 24, 2012
    20
    As it's set up here, the comedy part doesn't work if Ben isn't genuinely annoying, and the larger arc doesn't work if he isn't genuinely endearing.
  29. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Sep 25, 2012
    10
    Ben and Kate is sometimes shrill, sometimes belligerent and sometimes (well, a lot of times) merely stupid. It is never funny.
User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 47 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Oct 24, 2012
    10
    The cast is wonderful and the characters brilliantly written. Echo Kellum and Lucy Punch seriously bring it as the supporting best friends. The leads, the little girl and the few guest stars they've had have all been extremely memorable. I wish it was a bigger success- it is better than the big bang theory, 2 broke girls and two and a half men combined. Full Review »
  2. JBM
    Oct 15, 2012
    9
    This is a very likeable show. It has a solid home base and the comedy comes often. Unlike watching many sitcoms, I actually laughed while watching this show. I took an instant liking to the little girl and the two central characters. They employed that magic combo of quirky fun with heartwarming relatinoships that has made Modern Family a hit. Nice to see something new on TV that I actually want to see again. Full Review »
  3. Oct 28, 2012
    5
    The show feels fresh and has a likable cast. Maybe Dakota Johnson as Kate is a bit too nice, but Lucy Punch gives the show enough bite. The episodes usually start out with an idea that's funny, having the potential for good comedy. Sadly, the stories sometimes loose momentum and start stalling towards the end because the good setup isn't followed by a plot that's leading to a climactic finale. I these cases I missed some kind of punchline at the end, leaving me with a "meh" feeling. Furthermore, while the dialogues can be quite funny, the discussions between Ben and Kate about "serious" issues feel so phony, they bring a scene to a standstill. Usually Kate tries to explain why she can't or must do something because she's a mother. It's supposed to sound serious and earnest, but it's usually silly, because even mothers go to parties and have fun and they don't exercise emergency drills at home.

    Ben & Kate is a decent show and has it's share of fun, but it has some weaknesses, which can be fixed and I hope they do.
    I, for one, will watch the upcoming episodes because I have hope for this show and Lucy Punch is giving us some really funny stuff.
    And to the writers: Having Ben crying loudly in front of a bathroom mirror at the end might be funny to some people, others will call it plain weird and a little creepy.
    Full Review »