"Ben and Kate" kicks off with nifty, ultra-condensed life stories of siblings Ben and Kate. Kate (Dakota Johnson) is the responsible one. She had a daughter, Maddie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones), when she was really young, and has had to raise her by herself. And then there’s Ben (Nat Faxon). All we need to know is that Ben is SUPER silly - like, the “six-year-old trapped in the body of a grown man” kind of silly. This should make for some good brother-sister conflict, right?
The first time we meet the characters in the present, Kate is bringing her new man, George, back to her house after a date. But, alas, her plans are foiled when she discovers a) Ben has drifted back into town and has shown up at her house again, and b) he is now in her living room, wearing a hockey mask, having just returned from trying to steal the neighbor’s cable. Romantic, right? While Kate desperately wants Ben to get out, Ben is intent on judging his sister’s new crush on the quality of his high-five. And after an awkward, sort of limp looking high-five, Ben is certain that George isn’t right for Kate.
But first, we have to meet some more characters. At the diner where Kate works, we meet Ben’s friend Tommy (Echo Kellum), who’s completely in love with Kate (despite the fact that she wears a fanny pack every day). Next, we meet BJ (Lucy Punch), Kate’s British friend who shows up to work looking like she’s just stumbled out of a pub.
Now, let’s get the story rolling. While working behind the bar, the girls to talk sex. We learn that, to BJ’s horror, Kate hasn’t had sex in the five years since Maddie was born. But never fear – tomorrow is Date 10 for Kate and George, and Kate proclaims that she going to “have the sex.” (BJ highly doubts this, based primarily on Kate’s usage of the phrase “have the sex.")
Meanwhile, we learn that Ben’s ex-girlfriend, Darcy – with whom Ben is totally still in love – sent him a mysterious email asking him to call her. Ben’s response? Stalking Darcy’s house. To his dismay, he spots Darcy wearing a wedding dress!
Ben enlists Kate to help him stop Darcy's wedding. That night, in some sort of banquet hall that’s set up for a wedding – how the heck did they get access to this banquet hall that’s set up for a wedding?! No, seriously, people, how did they get here? Where are they? – Kate coaches Ben on what he should say to Darcy when he crashes her wedding.
The next day, it’s time for Kate’s big date! While having pre-sexytime drinks with George at the diner where she works - is there no other restaurant in this town? - Kate accidentally butt dials Ben. And when Kate gets up to go to the bathroom, Ben overhears George talking on the phone with somebody who sounds an AWFUL lot like a girlfriend. Uh oh! Our hero, Ben, is now faced with a choice: win back Darcy, or rescue Kate.
For Ben, the choice is clear: rescue Kate. He races to the diner and calls out George, who admits to Kate that he is, indeed, seeing somebody else. (Maybe Ben was right about George’s lame high-fiving skills.)
But wait! There’s still time for the crew to stop Darcy’s marriage because doesn’t every good comedy end with the entire cast attending a wedding of some kind? Ben finds Darcy, and is so nervous that he totally fails at professing his love to her. In the end, it doesn’t matter; he was too late. Darcy was married an hour ago. Her new husband appears, and it’s totally awkward. But at least he gives good high fives.
In the end, Kate asks Ben to move in with her permanently to help take care of Maddie. Of course he says yes because otherwise we wouldn’t have a show. And then the entire cast jumps into a pool together outside the banquet hall where Darcy got married, and it’s really cute. Stay tuned.
Lines of the Night
Here are some of the best lines from Episode 1:
"You look like a Korean lady golfer." - Ben, on Kate's fanny pack
"You've been talking smart people into doing dumb things your entire life. You got this." - Kate, encouraging Ben before he crashes Darcy's wedding
"Stay away from my sister, okay? Before you find out what six years of Krav Maga feels like…Well, like, a year and a half, plus like four years on and off. I took some time off, I was traveling and stuff." - Ben, to George