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TV Series Review

There's no excusing the rude, selfish, superficial behavior of the characters on Seinfeld, but at least they had an offbeat charm and quirky comradery. The insufferably dopey mother-daughter duo of Kath & Kim (NBC) lacks even those meager virtues and isn't helped by the sitcom's uninspired writing. When the depth of this pair's bonding involves egocentric whining suddenly interrupted by perky asides about celebrity fashion faux pas, the result is tedious—or as the ever-articulate Kim might put it, it's like, so totally, y'know ... whatever!

Spunky, fitness-conscious Kath Day (Molly Shannon) has found her dream man, Phil. She can't wait to turn Day into Knight when she takes his last name. But they run into an irritating glitch on the way to the altar. Kath's spoiled newlywed daughter, Kim (Selma Blair), moves back in after discovering that marriage might actually require that she microwave a meal now and then, or ask hubby Craig how his day went.

Consequently, mom and her "sexy beast" have no privacy when Phil spends the night, which he does frequently. Phil, a sandwich maker, names a menu item after them, saying it "tastes like the love we make." Then the randy pair is nearly arrested for performing sex acts in his car. Catty Kim lambastes Phil, rolls her eyes a lot and calls her mother "sad" for her attraction to him. Wearing disdain for the couple on her face like cheap lip gloss, this disrespectful freeloader crashes their dates simply because Kim knows they'll pay for her dinner.

Meanwhile, Craig, an obtuse electronics clerk who calls his estranged wife "dude," is heartbroken and tries everything to win back Kim, who puts herself back on the market and shops for a sexy outfit so she'll look good in her new MySpace photo. Craig seeks advice from her mother, noting, "I thought marriage was about having a best friend and a companion to go through life with." Kath replies, "Well then, you should have married a dog."

Speaking of dogs, NBC ordered an entire season of this one (based on an Australian TV series) despite unspectacular ratings and bad reviews from coast to coast. New York Post critic Linda Stasi wrote that Kath & Kim "is arguably the worst idea for an import from the Land Down Under since Vegemite." The San Francisco Chronicle's Tim Goodman called early episodes "jaw-dropping in their awfulness ... a complete wince-inducing mess."

They're right. And that scathing commentary is strictly about the show's quality, not its moral disposition. Kath & Kim is tacky and unsavory, from the crass humor and licentious behavior to its cynicism and apparent contempt for marriage.

Episodes Reviewed: Oct. 9, 23, 30, Nov. 6, 2008

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Comedy

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NBC

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Reviewer

Meredith Whitmore Bob Smithouser

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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