October 10, 2008

Reviewed by Brett Weinstock

It’s always interesting to see how a television program that is successful overseas does here in the states. Though the transition is sometimes smooth, some of these shows, comedies especially, feel a little out of place. Take for example The Office– a show that was hugely successful overseas and only ran two seasons has just began its fifth season here in America. Some of our great ideas come from overseas, and sometimes we take advantage of this. Kath and Kim may be a huge hit, and the first two episodes hint at the potential of this who. For those who don’t know, this is the U.S. version of the hit Australian comedy about a hugely dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship.

Molly Shannon and Selma Blair play the mother and daughter, respectively, and they have a good-yet-strange chemistry. Blair noticeably gained a few pounds for the role, as her character is struggling through a divorce and is driven to constant junk food. Shannon is constantly exercising and attempting to impress her new fiancé. The pilot episode was pretty good, and without giving too much away, we get a real feel for the relationship of this family and their surrounding peers. Blair barges into her mother’s house after being away for awhile and expects instant affection and attention. Shannon on the other hand is very preoccupied with her own workout regime and constant smothering by her fiancé. Though funny, the episode wasn’t laugh out loud hilarious, and I was left wanting a little more.

The second episode was much funnier, and I saw the potential of this show. In this episode, Shannon finds her fiancé flirting with a woman at work, and this sends her into a rage. Instead of confronting him, she attempts to become “hip” and invests in some new jeans and bling. In her attempts to make him jealous, she ends up at a gay club, parading around like she knows what she’s doing. In all honesty, this is very funny and proved to be the best part of the first two episodes. The second episode was clearly better than the pilot, but this seems to be trend lately. It seems more and more shows are finding their footing as the season progresses.

This review needs to be basic in order to avoid any plot details, but I will tell you this- I don’t think there will be an in-between with this show. Some people may find it hilarious and want to watch each episode over and over again. Some of the exchanges between Shannon and Blair are honestly pure genius, and the club scene was one of the funniest I’ve seen in a while. On the other hand, some people may hate this program. In all seriousness, some of the jokes were a little too slapstick, and the characters seem a little too ditzy at times. Also, since the focus of the show is only on the two of them, some people may lose interest in the lack of an ensemble cast. There are supporting characters that do what is required of them, but Kath and Kim themselves deliver most of the jokes and one-liners.

Though the pilot was a little weak, I feel that second episode indicated where this show is headed. I have seen worse shows last a long time, and funnier shows fail in their infantry. Hopefully the network will run what is already shot of this show, because I think it has a solid chance of being a contender. Most sitcom fans should tune to this and enjoy- though it starts out slow, it really gets it legs moving at the beginning of the second episode. Don’t forget to watch the little scenes before the end credits.

Show Rating: B

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