Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pilot Review: Kath & Kim

Kath & Kim (NBC)
Premiered October 9 at 8:30pm

I can't comprehend how this show went so wrong. It's based on a wildly successful Australian series, and stars two talented comediennes. Therefore, I have no explanation for how this show is so terrible. I did laugh a few times, but it's horrendously uneven. The show resolves any awkward conservation or heated argument by reverting to Kath and Kim as best friends who like to gossip with each other rather than mother and daughter. Molly Shannon is so wonderfully energetic and neurotically composed at times that it's a shame to see her character go to waste as she becomes quickly unbearable. Selma Blair, doing her best to repeat her "Cruel Intentions" performance without the heavy flirtation, is funny once in a blue moon but irreconcilably irritating for the rest of the show. I'm continually ready to get excited by John Michael Higgins' enthusiasm, recalling some show or movie he was in where he was jumping all around with glee, but I just can't place it. I suppose it says something about the show that this was what I was thinking about for most of it. It's not the worst show ever, but it's pretty damn bad (and unoriginal)!

How will it work as a series? Again, I'll point to the well-liked Australian show, though each of that series' four seasons only has eight episodes, so maybe this material can only go so far. This show is likely to become tired and cyclical within a few episodes.
How long will it last? It's nestled comfortably between NBC's hit comedies "My Name is Earl" and "The Office," and NBC has kept around the struggling but critically acclaimed "30 Rock." I think it did okay with the ratings, but its quality indicates to me that this show will be gone after one season.

Pilot grade: F

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