Ben and Kate Season 1 Review “Reunion”

If I were to put myself in the hypothetical shoes of a person who hates Ben and Kate, and was asked to provide a reason for my hatred, the most logical thing I could think of would be that it’s a show that leans too heavily on it’s own nonexistent past. “Reunion” doesn’t do much to dispel that idea; it’s full of freshly-introduced back stories and revelations of personal history. For two of the main conflicts, it expects us to be invested in long-standing grudges we’ve only just now found out about.

Of course, if you were to ask the real me, wearing my own shoes, I’d cite that as evidence of the shoes excellence. Very little time is wasted on this show. Right in the opening (well, after the bit with Keith the turkey) we get introduced to Saruch (guessing on the spelling here) with absolutely no fanfare, as if we were already supposed to know who he was. His fashion non-competition with Tommy is a nice runner for the episode, the high note being Tommy’s entrance on clearly-Maddie-inspired Heelys.

The titular class reunion is, of course, the center of the episode, with Kate being completely unenthusiastic about attending. First there’s the (admittedly hoary cliche) fact that Will won’t label their relationship, and second, her old rival Anna, who gave her the nickname “junk face” is going to be there. Their confrontation is the climax of the plot, harnessing all Kate’s nervous energy, and introducing us to Will’s overenthusiastic side. Also, Anna’s instant readiness for the sing-off was inspired, as was her amazing performance.

Meanwhile, we learn that BJ and Ben got married (Ben’s disgusting facial hair was great) for a green card, until we learn that actually, they didn’t. It’s a fun idea, and the show has done a great job mining humor out of BJ’s constant internal conflict between selfishness and being a good friend. And, anything that gets BJ to ramble on about something she was clearly unprepared for is fine by me. Her insistence that she only got half her green card was quite possibly the funniest part of the episode. If anything tops it, it’s her little grace note at the end, after revealing she did the whole thing for Kate’s sake: “The point is, I did a very nice thing.”

I look forward to Ben and Kate every week, and, you guys, its ratings have me nervous. Are you watching? IF you are, please, tell your friends. If watched and gave up, give it another try (“Reunion” is as good an episode as any), and if you don’t like it, tell me why down in the comments. I’d love to try and (kindly) convince you otherwise.