Kath & Kim: Pilot (series premiere)
(S01E01) We're friends here, aren't we? So, I can be honest with you. I mean, some of you have been utterly, brutally honest with me to the point I cry into my pillow at nights. The least you can let me do is allow some truthiness spill over to you. Okay? Okay.
I went in blind to the premiere of Kath & Kim. Not blind in the sense that I didn't know who the stars were. My late 20s and early 30s were spent watching Molly Shannon on Saturday Night Live and I had knowledge of Selma Blair's work over the last few years. What I'm talking about is that I knew nothing about this NBC comedy or the Australian hit it was based on. The upside to this was that I was coming into the show like any other viewer. The downside was that I was coming into the show like any other viewer.
I probably should have come in a little more knowledgeable.
Reviewing a series premiere can be a crapshoot because it doesn't always point the way the show is going to go. This may be the case with Kath & Kim. Even though there were some funny moments in the show I found it a bit, um, annoying. To be more specific, I found Selma Blair's character of Kim to be annoying. The rest of the cast was just living in a world all of their own.
For those who may never watch the show, Kath & Kim is a mother-daughter comedy. Kath is the forty-something mother who seems to have never updated the clothes that she bought in the 1980s. Kim is her twenty-something, high-maintenance daughter. Strike that. Kim is actually her twenty-something, highest-maintenance-of-all-high-maintenance daughter. Together, they have a dysfunctional relationship that goes so quickly from hate to love to hate again that it can give you whiplash.
(Insert Note About Age Here: Interesting fact -- Shannon and Blair are only about 8 years apart in real life (1964 for Shannon as opposed to 1972 for Blair. So, it looks like age was increased on one side and decreased on the other.)
Molly Shannon fits into her role as Kath. This is due to the many times she played a role just like her during her days on Saturday Night Live. She was ditsy at times, but for the most part she seemed to have genuine heart for her daughter and her husband. You could also say that she played the straight man to her daughter. If not straight man, then at least she was the stabilizing agent to keep her daughter in check.
Kim, as said before, was annoying. And dim. And whiny...I can't forget whiny. There were some points during the show that I wanted to reach into the screen and throttle her (not that I would do that, of course) because she was just so grating. She was the typical slacker child, just a decade too late. That actually fit well into the show since her mom's fashions were a few decades behind.
Needless to say, it was a show that you needed to get used to. Once the awkwardness of the first scenes passed and the inner dialogs faded away (and I hope they stay away) the show looked to have some promise. I found the quick jumps from down-and-out fighting to compliments about each other's outfits interesting to watch and I may have chuckled at a few of them. Also, despite her annoying whines, Kim had some good one-liners, particularly with her soon-to-be ex-husband who seemed to be as light in the head as she was.
Maybe because I'm a guy I enjoyed the male characters more than I did Kath and Kim. Michael Higgins (great in Best in Show and A Mighty Wind), who played Kath's new beau Phil, and Mikey Day, who played Kim's husband Craig, were actually the opposites of Kath and Kim. It seemed that both of the female characters were strong, a bit needy, and manipulative -- especially Kim -- while the men were genuine, loving and sensitive. This is the total opposite of comedy formulas designed during the last 50 years.
I feel that Kath & Kim will be an acquired taste. Despite her humor, I see males tuning the show out because of Kim's whining. On the other hand, the show may gain an audience of older viewers who can relate to trials and tribulations of having an adult-sized child returning to the nest. As for me, I'll give the show a few more weeks to work out the kinks before I make my decision. Whether NBC keeps it on the air for that long is anyone's guess.
|Very funny. A nice change of pace for male-dominated NBC comedies.||81 (14.8%)|
|Okay. Some kinks need to be worked out before I make judgement||196 (35.9%)|
|Crap. Not even worth airing.||190 (34.8%)|
|Couldn't tell.Kim's whining caused my head to explode.||79 (14.5%)|