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Ben and Kate Review: "Girl Problems" (Episode 1.12)

January 16, 2013  |  4:07pm
<i>Ben and Kate</i> Review: "Girl Problems" (Episode 1.12)

In “Girl Problems,” it’s great to see that Tommy can have eyes for someone other than Kate, even though it would be adorable if by series’ end, the two got together. But other than seeing Tommy in a new relationship, we rarely see him or learn anything about his new girlfriend, which is a shame since the other four characters have worthy storylines—leaving Tommy in the cold the second week in a row.

We haven’t seen Tommy’s new romantic interest, Lila (played by Brittany Snow), since before Christmas, but in “Girl Problems,” we learn that she and Tommy are dating—and that’s about it. Little is known about this couple except that Tommy wants to keep Kate away from Lila. In an awkward attempt to become friends with Lila, Kate lets it slip that Tommy has been in love with her for a decade.

Now that I think of it, this might be the least amount of screen time that Ben and Kate have spent together, as Ben is still working on getting Rail Mall, Sky Mall for trains, on the right track (sorry). Ben needs a CEO for his business if he wants to get a loan from the bank, which he finds in Vera, who is a member of the country club Ben works at. She uses Ben for sex, before putting some great spins on his idea, making it much more plausible, and then agrees to be his CEO.

“Girl Problems” has some great comedy from Kate and BJ, putting Kate at her most awkward and BJ her weirdest. For example, BJ lets us know that she has a memory that lasts about five weeks. She can’t even remember her mom’s name, even though that just happened last week. BJ also hints at a life outside these friends, where she has a dog that no one has seen and has an incredible amount of business savvy.

It’s a shame that we don’t see that level of growth with Tommy, who seems to have nothing to do unless the Fox siblings interact with him. It’s a shame that for two weeks in a row, we’ve learned great things about BJ, while Tommy has just sort of only made cameo appearances. One can only assume that the show will more than make up for this as we delve more into the relationship between him and Lila.

Much like Will, Lila is a great addition to the Ben and Kate cast, able to integrate herself into this community and seem like a believable addition to this cast’s world. Will and Lila both have the ability to appear and feel like they could easily become part of the core cast, even though it’s more than likely that a few episodes down the line, they’ll be gone, only remembered by passing comments.

However Vera doesn’t necessarily feel like she will stick. We’ve already seen that she will deceive Ben, so it almost seems like that will happen again to end her story line. It would be great for one of Ben’s ideas to really take off and validate his problems of the past, but it’s hard to believe that Rail Mall has much of a life, much like Vera.

As great as it is to see the stories of Ben, Kate and BJ growing, it’s a shame that Tommy hasn’t changed much since the beginning of the series. Yes, he has a new girlfriend, but that doesn’t really show any growth to his character, which is a shame considering how much of a blank slate he is and how much opportunity there is there. Surely we’ll learn more about Tommy through this new relationship, as he hopefully splits off and has his own stories—much like BJ has done—but for right now, there’s not much more to Tommy than helping out in the Fox family adventures.

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