Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Molly Shannon is cast to play the Kath character in the US version of Kath and Kim and while the entire idea of an American version is more or less preposterous, at least with Shannon you know she’s got a sense of complex irony and is genuinely funny and weird.
The interesting thing about American adaptations of international shows is that they don’t ALWAYS suck but they mostly do. While it’s hard to actually repress the vomit and nausea long enough to say this, the American version of The Office was admittedly kind of funny even though the only time I ever watched it was when I was on a flight back from Venezuela on vicodin that had been washed down with cheap white wine. When you’re in that state, locked into a small chair for 6 hours, American comedic adaptations can be funny. Especially when the alternative is what? Exactly, there is no alternative in that scenario except to find things funny.
The weird part about this is the descriptions of the original all state that it’s about the dysfunctional relationship between a mother and a daughter but it’s actually not really about that at all. It’s a broad cultural satire before it’s about the characters per se. The reason Kath and Kim works is because it’s just layers and layers of dense cultural commentary that is actually heavily Australian. The mindlessly perky, cultureless, self absorbed, suburban chatterboxes are balanced out by the elitest, silver haired private school mothers so it can be a culturally relevant and essentially balanced satire on white Australian culture. The nuances are what make it worth anything at all.



Apart from the nuances it’s just scripted faux reality TV that lampoons white culture so if you wanted to replicate that in the US, you could but you’d hardly need it to be a copy of Kath and Kim. It could be anything at all.
The fact that it IS going to be Kath and Kim works on the assumption that America has to re-make everything for its own audiences partly because it likes to steal what it deems less worthy ideas from non-Americans and parade them about as being new to the flyover states who would never had had access to the originals and partly because it assumes that foreign humour won’t fly in the US.
The US version of Kath and Kim will be produced by Turner and Riley though so that, coupled with Molly Shannon’s involvement is a good sign. [source]

1 comment:

fiona peel said...

I thought Britney Spears already was the american version of Kath and Kim?
You live and you learn, huh?