This Fall, Fox is adding a couple of new comedies to its slate. In addition to The Mindy Project, there’s Ben and Kate, which is about a pair of siblings (Nat Faxon and Dakota Johnson) who rely on each other as adults as much as they did when they were kids dealing with their parents’ messy divorce. Find out whether the sitcom is one you’ll want to be watching when it premieres.
What it’s about: Ben (Faxon) is the lovable screwup older brother of Kate (Johnson), a single mom to a young daughter, Maddie. He makes a habit of showing up to crash on their couch and then disappearing, but this time, Ben decides he wants to stick around and help Kate raise Maddie.
Where it works: The humor is silly but fun, and Faxon and Johnson are very cute and funny as brother and sister, whether they’re clashing or bonding. And they’re not the only good parts of the cast; little Maggie Elizabeth Jones (you may remember her from We Bought a Zoo), who plays Kate’s daughter, is adorable, while British comedienne Lucy Punch adds a bit of edgy humor as Kate’s sassy friend.
Where it doesn’t: There’s not much of a story to get invested in; the pilot introduces romantic plot lines for both Ben and Kate and then quickly disposes of them, so I’m not sure what an entire season would be about.
When it’s on: Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. on Fox
You might like this show if: You like the goofiness of Happy Endings and the warmth of Modern Family.
Los Angeles hasn’t produced many homegrown stars as of late, but that’s about to change. Remember Justin Timberlake-as-Sean Parker in a morning-after repartee with a witty Stanford undergrad in The Social Network? That was Dakota Johnson’s breakout film, which she explains in a soft voice, “Could be one of the most amazing experiences I ever have in my life.”
Indeed, it was a strong beginning, but the 22-year-old (who moved from Aspen to L.A. when she was 12) didn’t stop there. She has since appeared in 21 Jump Street, The Five-Year Engagement, the Sundance hit Goats, and is the current face of Japanese retailer Uniqlo and L.A.-based Oliver Peoples. This past spring, Johnson landed the lead role on FOX’s pilot “Ben and Kate,” a comedy about a single mother who works at a bar. She replaced Abby Elliott of “Saturday Night Live” for the part, which was written for a 26-year-old—a gig not even her parents (Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith) could have engineered for her.
On her very public upbringing, Johnson says, “I didn’t choose them [my parents]. It can be really difficult. I’ve managed to find some people who treat me like a normal person and give me a shot.” This summer, she’s looking for a new house in either Laurel Canyon or Silverlake and plans to retreat to Griffith and Antonio Banderas’ Aspen ranch to read, hike and watch movies…“You know, normal summer stuff.”
Source: California Style
Ben is based on the life of writer/executive producer Dana Fox’s brother, Ben. It stars Dakota Johnson as a single mother who gets an assist from her brother (The Descendants scribe Nat Faxon) who moves in with her to help raise her baby. Lucy Punch, Maggie Jones and Echo Kellum co-star in the 20th project in association with Chernin Entertainment. Fox penned the pilot and will exec produce alongside Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope. New Girl’s Jake Kasdan directed the pilot.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The Five-Year Engagement is the latest offering from the ever-expanding Jason Segel-NBC comedy crew. Segel himself co-wrote the script with director Nicholas Stoller and stars alongside Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Mindy Kaling, Kevin Hart, and Chris Parnell—a promising line-up of familiar faces. A lesser known face, however, is that of Dakota Johnson, who plays the energetic, aggressive, and generally absurd Audrey. We’re enjoying tracing Dakota’s steady career-rise; in spite of her famous family*, Dakota is moving up the acting ladder the old fashioned way; myriad small (and often unflattering) roles in increasingly bigger films. So far, Johnson’s played Justin Timberlake’s Stanford bed-buddy in The Social Network, a catty cop in 21 Jump Street, and has dipped her toes into the indie-film pool with 2012 Sundance film For Ellen with Paul Dano and Jena Malone. We called Dakota to talk about martial arts, vigorous on-screen sex, her new TV pilot, and Christopher Walken.
*Dakota’s parents are Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. Her grandmother is Hitchcock favorite Tippi Hedren.
EMMA BROWN: I saw The Five-Year Engagement last night. You seem to be popping up in a lot of films recently, how did you get involved in that one?
DAKOTA JOHNSON: The casting director called me in to read with Jason [Segel], and then a week later I got the part.
The Oliver Peoples boutique eyewear brand debuted the Lisa Eisner-directed short film at the center of its spring/summer 2012 advertising campaign during a celeb-studded cocktail party at the Chateau Marmont penthouse on April 20.
The party — a collaborative effort with Vanity Fair, Eisner and Jacqui Getty — marked the debut of Eisner’s short film “Float,” starring Dakota Johnson and Thomas McDonnell (2011’s “Prom” and the upcoming “Fun Size”) spending a good deal of time plunging into, frolicking around — and yes, floating in — a pool.
It also marked a reboot of the Oliver Peoples website, which went live Monday and where the video can currently be watched in its entirety.
On paper, “21 Jump Street” was not an enticing proposition. A reboot of a 1980s TV series with a ludicrous premise — fresh-faced cops go undercover as high school students. Produced by Neal Moritz, a man whose last attempt at an action-comedy reboot of a famous property was the dreadful “The Green Hornet.” Directed by two first-time live-action feature directors. Written by the man behind “Project X.” And starring Jonah Hill, coming off a terrible R-rated comedy flop, in “The Sitter,” and Channing Tatum, a man whose previous turns weren’t so much performed as whittled out of wood.
And yet, “21 Jump Street” was a success, opening to a hugely impressive $35 million over the weekend. And more importantly, it was also really, really good, arguably the best studio movie of this young year to date, and one of the funniest comedies in years. So what happened? What separated the film, directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and written by Michael Bacall, from the dozens of other R-rated comedies in the last few years? The film’s certainly got problems (a drawn-out ending, a weak villain), but for the most part, it works like gangbusters, and we’ve gone in depth, to examine why the film is such an unlikely triumph. Spoilers ahead.