Dancing with the Stars Results Show (ABC, CTVTWO)
Private Practice (ABC, City)
Ben & Kate
Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 8:30 p.m. on Fox and City
A brother (Nat Faxon, an Oscar-winner for co-writing The Descendants) and sister (Dakota Johnson, daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffiths), who are kind of an odd couple, find themselves living under one roof. She needs help making ends meet and raising her five-year-old daughter. He needs help raising himself.
There’s a warmth to this show, thanks mainly to the appealing leads. It is based on creator Dana Fox’s own relationship with her oddball brother, so it seems authentic. Could it be funnier? That would be yes, but points for shooting part of the pilot at the Pasadena hotel where critics gather each winter. Plus little Maggie Elizabeth Jones is a real scene-stealer as Kate’s daughter Maggie.
Pilot grade: **1/2 (out of four). Might have liked this more if I had any siblings. There is a sweetness to it, but at the same time, the brother is such an idiot.
The Mindy Project
Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 9:30 on Fox and City
Midy Kaling from The Office plays a 30-ish woman doctor whose personal life is on life support.
While it wasn’t perfect, the pilot had moments of fantasy and bursts of originality that makes it stand out from other sitcoms this year. I love the scene tonight when tipsy Mindy rides her bike into a swimming pool and has an underwater conversation with Barbie. Look for a couple of Saturday Night Live players among the supporting cast in the pilot (although, unfortunately, they aren’t part of the series after that.) A good fit behind Fox’s New Girl.
Pilot grade: *** (out of four). One of my favourite new shows just for being a little daring and different in a very seen-it-before season.