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TV Recap: Catching Up On New Fall Shows

There have been many new TV shows added to our endless list of what to watch throughout the week. But comedy seems to be the genre with the most to offer. The New Normal and Ben and Kate are two new ones that have kept me at the edge of my cushion, gripping my diet coke and holding my stomach from laughter.

The New Normal:
Though the show is on its fifth episode of the season, here’s a very brief recap of what’s happened so far. Goldie Clemmons, a single mother to 9-year-old Shania, agreed to be a surrogate mother. The couple, David Murray and Bryan Collins, decided they were ready for a child and found Goldie through a service called “Expanding Families.” Since then, this not so normal family has gone through a whirl wind of adventures, ranging from getting pregnant, being comfortable in your own skin and facing the challenges that come with a new baby.
This brings us to the most recent episode, “Nanagasm.” David’s mother, Prancis, is in town, but unfortunately Prancis and Bryan don’t have the best relationship. His scarastic comment when he hears the news of Prancis’s arrival says it all, “I’m excited! I’m gonna go upstairs, change and eat a pill the size of a cake.” Eventually the two confront each other, and after the less than pleasant encounter Bryan decides to call his mother, whom he hasn’t spoken to since his parents divorced.
Meanwhile, Nana (Jane) meets a new, younger guy at the bar, adding some comic relief to the episode. After chatting for a while, Nana brings this guy home with her and realizes that she still has feeling below. After the two have some fun on the bed, the new guy informs Nana he’s not into anything serious, merely a hookup. Acting on her new sexual insticnts, Nana snags guy #2, a taller more attractive version of guy #1. Now that Nana has discovered her “Inner Goddess,” thank you 50 Shades, I’m interested to see where this story line will go.
Lastly Shania, being true to her own quirky style, decides she wants to celebrate her quinceanera a few years early. David, Bryan, Goldie, Prancis and Nana all attend the party that oddly serves Mexican food. That was the extent of the party.
Though I do love this show and everything it stands for, I was disappointed with this episode. It was boring and uneventful. A few one-liners made me crack a smile, but nothing to encourage a laugh-out-loud moment. There’s higher hope for next week!

Ben and Kate:
This show is about a brother and sister, Ben and Kate, trying to make life as good a possible. Kate is a single mother waitressing while raising her 6-year-old daughter, Maddie. Ben disappears and reappears whenever he sees fit. He’s silly, kind and super irresponsible, which is the main reason why I watch this show–he’s hilarious! The show focuses around this unique family and all of the adventures they encounter trying to live a normal life and raise Maddie to be the best she can be.
So far there has only been two episodes. The most recent one TITLE opens with Kate mad at Ben because he’s made Maddie late to school for the past week. Kate being mad at Ben seems to be a recurring theme. Ben kindly reminds Kate that this wouldn’t happen if she didn’t lie about their address–since the local school district’s drug sniffing dogs and medal detectors are less than appealing.
We learn BJ, Kate’s British mess of a friend, is still getting her life together. Her boy and party obsessed ways still consume her life, but that’s not important to this episode.
Kate’s fear of any authority figure leaves her a mumbling mess in her meeting with the principal of Maddie’s school. Yet somehow Ben and Kate get invited to the Back to School Night party.
Then a cluster of randomness happens. We learn Ben is a pushover, and Maddie takes advantage of it. For some reason, Ben teaching a group of 6-year-olds tennis will help this problem, but it backfires. So Maddie convinces Ben to teach her karate and buy her a present, a puppy. Sadly, animals aren’t covered in Kate’s lease…perfect.
Next, chaos ensues. At the Back to School Night party, Kate babbles like an idiot, and Ben invites the school board back to their house for margaritas. Only one problem, they lied about their address. To make a long mess short, Ben and Kate throw an impromptu party at Tommy’s parent’s house, a friend of Ben. When the board questions the pictures of Tommy on the wall, BJ says the photos are Tommy’s dead twin brother, who is also Kate’s ex-boyfriend. Confusing.
Just when you think the randomness is over, Ben decides to call the principal and explain that Kate lied about their address, leaving Kate to clean up the mess again. She pleads her case to principal Feeney to keep Maddie at his school. Surprise! Feeney agrees to let her stay.
Only being the second episode of the season, I can proudly say I’m impressed. Others may not agree, but the quirkiness of the characters makes the show interesting, and the one-liners and sharp humor keep me coming back week after week. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. What’s the lesson I learned from this episode? Don’t be a pushover and don’t buy a 6-year-old a dog. Oh! And don’t lie. Also, hearing the name Feeney made me miss Boy Meets World even more than I did before.

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