Friday, October 3, 2008

New on NBC: "Kath and Kim"

This American adaptation of the Australian hit "Kath and Kim" has been a long anticipated sitcom from the get go. It was lovingly brought over via Ben Silverman, an Executive Producer and now head honcho at NBC Entertainment, who had such luck in bringing over format rights for the UK's "The Office" and Latin America's "Ugly Betty" while at the helm of his very own Revielle Productions. Producing US incarnations of foreign sitcoms, once a gamble, now seems to be all the rage for Silverman, who has placed his bets that America will fall for "Kath and Kim" they way they did for Jim and Pam.

If the promos are anything to go by, "Kath and Kim" looks like an amusing program, utilizing the popularity of the one camera comedy. It stars Molly Shannon (SNL)who is single mom to daughter Kim, played by Selma Blair (Legally Blonde). The casting match up is an oddity since much like the Australian version, Kath is being played by an actress who is not that much older than Kim. This in itself provides an strange surrealism to the show, much like Monty Python's cast playing women and portraying more than one character per film. Add the dysfunctional relationship, by God, you have the ingredients for comedy.

Here's the premise: Daughter Kim gets married to a guy named Craig (Mike Daly) and leaves home, much to the delight of Kath, who embraces the empty nest like it's a second life. She falls in love with a sandwich shop owner named Phil, played by the under rated, wonderful John Michael Higgins, star of many Christopher Guest films. Just when she thinks she's regained that Oprah-like "you-go-girl" independence, Kim crashes back home, claiming she's getting a divorce, and all goes haywire from there.

The promotional spots actually look funny, but that might be more of a compliment to the Marketing department. Yet,when I hear insider buzz, the reaction is more of an eye roll than cheers of delight.

"Kath and Kim" premieres Thursday October 9th at 8:30pm ET/7:30pm CT on NBC.

If anyone is curious, here is a clip from the original Australian version.

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