Kath & Kim is "tedious" and "pretty much just sits there"

by Paul William Tenny

kath-kim.jpgFilm buffs should consider themselves lucky that film makers only have one putrid meme to make them suffer with, that being remakes and endless sequels which both fall under the category of painfully-void-of-creative-balls. Television has its own problems with remakes of course, but also has the added a salty layer of over seas adaptations. Some shows like The Office work, which often has more to do with the hard work of local talent than it does the imaginary "automatic premise".

Others, like Kath & Kim, ... well, not so much.

Variety's Brian Lowry wrote that the show "pretty much just sits there" once you've gotten past the premise. One has to wonder if this show would have even made NBC's schedule, had it not been brought to the network by Ben Silverman's own company, Reveille Productions.
Apparently I'm not the only person who thinks that Silverman's refusal to sever all ties with his production company while simultaneously serving as top dog for NBC Universal is evidence of what has been whispered all along, that his judgment is compromised and every failure he brings to the network personally is going to make those failures stand out even more than they would have otherwise. What's most striking to me is that the NBC-U and GE brass don't seem to give a damn either. The conflict of interests is so immediate and automatic that you have to wonder if you actually heard right when they supported him keeping an interest in both jobs.

The appearance of impropriety is beyond palpable here, it's literal and has manifested itself in the here and now, and I'm really wondering right now if you can ever truly hold confidence in any major corporation the way they are acting. The financial meltdown on Wall Street had many causes but certainly chief amongst them has been poor management by selfish CEOs and boardrooms that didn't merely fall asleep at the wheel, but cheered these guys on.

NBC has made some gains since Silverman took over and this fall was supposed to be the real indicator of how his reign will play out since last fall's slate, while being produced on his watch, was not of his making. Fine, we'll give him that freebie if you want, but that crap stops right now, beginning with this show which was brought to NBC by his production company -- one that specializes in bringing shows in from overseas -- to the network he runs, and critics are puking all over it.

Had it succeeded, he'd be benefiting from it twice, but that cuts both ways. Now he'll get the blame from two different companies in a move that looked like it was based selfserving interests rather than those of his primary employer, NBC-U.

And now of all times is not when NBC-U wants to be having that fight with the press. It's hard enough selling a bad show, but to also have to defend it as the result of poor execution and poor decision making by management when you cheered on that kind of irresponsible behavior is really going to cost them at some point.

But anyway, Rick Porter's review for Zap2it is up over here. He didn't like the original version either which isn't very comforting for NBC since the last thing you'd want to do is import a lemon. It shouldn't be a huge surprise then that he liked the American version even less than the Aussie one:

The show would have us believe that Kim is a product of our celebrity culture, which should be ripe enough territory for comedy. But as written and played by Blair, Kim seems too dense to get that the Lindsays and Britneys of the world have, at least at some point, put forth an effort to attain whatever wealth and fame they have. Simply stalking around the mall with your thong showing isn't going to cut it.

I'm all for the showing of thongs, but the man has a point. I think it'd be pretty difficult to parody American celebrity culture because it gets so outlandish in real life that it's practically a self-parody. And to be quite honest, who really thinks any of it is funny to begin with? Entertaining sure, if that kind of thing appeals to your nature, that's why tabloids thrive in our culture. But you've got to do more than just emulate it with a couple of jokes tossed in, in order to make it funny and worth watching.

Shows like this are supposed to be half-hour comedies, not a hybrid of that and whatever trash is currently delighting millions of people on E! or Access Hollywood.

These days, the Spears and Lohans of the world are far more depressing and in need of pity -- or a good stern smack on the back of the head -- than they are funny. In that respect the show would probably work better if it left our somewhat dubious culture alone and just concentrated on finding the funny in a different setup.

Porter's verdict is somewhat in line with Lowry's; the characters don't have to be heroes or even good people, but you do have to want to spend time with them every week. In that, this series failed.

Herc at AICN has a bunch of links to other previews just like these other two, and all of them are quite bad. On the other hand critics initially panned Prison Break too, and that worked out fine until the first season ended and they ruined it and I will never forgive them for it. Ever.

Oh well. Kath & Kim premiers tonight on NBC at 8:30PM EST. Check your local listings...for something else to watch.
in Television


Related posts:

Leave a comment

View more stories by visiting the archives.

Media Pundit categories