I thought they wasted two really good guest stars. Ben's mom has done a lot of other stuff, she's one of the original Steppenwolf players. And Ben's dad is the goddamn tits (assuming you've seen Breaking Bad). They were handed some by-the-book material, the bickering parents trope is done and done.
I agree with what Strell said. I think this is will always be a problem when TV is done in this 22-episode per season format. I think there's something to be said for going small and staying on topic (meaning, for example, if your premise is centered around a parks and rec dept, we get episodes relating to that theme). Just about every show that's ever been feels obligated to do "something more," and they do thinking that they're adding depth. However, they're just watering it down, they're making the show seem more like all the other bullshit shows on TV, where people fall in love, people have crazy weddings, main characters have divorced parents who bicker comically without consequence beyond whatever hijinx ensue, etc.
So I know it looks like I'm picking on PNR because this is a PNR thread, but this is a problem for lots of TV. I guess it's to say that, while PNR is one of the "better" shows, what PNR is right now shows how relative our sense of good and bad is.
Back on point: It's the premise that distinguishes the show. When you stay true to that, the show will feel right. That isn't to say the relationships between the characters aren't important, but if those relationships don't honor the premise, and they're just the everyday "Different folks understanding/learning to love," then
it. This ain't Too Close for Comfort, and the guy playing Ben ain't JM J Bullock. Because if it were then I would fucking love Ben.