It’s a thin line between suck and blow

Commercials for Kath and Kim before it even aired made me instinctively want to hate it. I’m a better person than that though1 and I decided to give it a chance. In fact, I’m still giving the show a chance.

It presents a strange challenge, though. I should enjoy this show more than I do. I adore John Michael Higgins, respect Selma Blair, am eagerly looking forward to Mikey Day’s career and, for now at least, continue to let Molly Shannon live. I’m not alone in this regard either. Witness a lukewarm defense of the show from better bloggers than I.

One reason I’m not quite sure what to make of it is that, despite it being a remake of an Australian sitcom, it’s still somewhat unique. Particularly, in that there is no straight man. Every character is as clueless as the next. Some might be bigger assholes or more insane, but there is no Greek chorus or Puck character to point out everyone else’s foibles. Even the other “lowbrow” NBC Thursday night offering, My Name Is Earl, has the Crab Man serving as a relief against the stupidity of the other residents of Camden.

Which just makes clear the dangers inherent in mocking the lowest common denominator, namely that you run the risk of becoming the thing you hate. The closest analogue I can think of is actually a cartoon.

King of the Hill has been pulling it off for twelve years now. What made that show so fascinating to watch as it matured was seeing them find the balance between affectionately boring and scathingly unwatchable. As much as I want to punch Hank Hill in the mouth for half the sad, close-minded, stereotypically American things he says, I admire and frankly want to hug him for the other half.

If Kath and Kim, speaking solely for the American version, can straddle that faint line, then maybe they’ll have eleven more seasons to look forward to.

You can bemoan the lack of originality and ambition inherent in importing all our sitcoms from overseas all you like, but the fact remains, Kath and Kim is the only show this season responsible for me doing an honest to god spit take, juvenile or not:

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  1. What? []

52% of you, listen up!

Women of Earth, put down those lattes this instant!

Men of Earth, the next time you see a woman drinking a macchiato, slap it out of her hands. She’ll thank you for it later.

Drinking excessive amounts of coffee has been found to SHRINK YOUR BREASTS.

Further proof that Starbucks™ is an unbridled force for evil, no longer merely content with world domination, but bursting with schemes to curb human breeding habits thus keeping the population at a manageable low.

Sophia looks on with admiration at Jayne’s resolve.

Hey You! Yeah You!

(via videogum)

There is something disarmingly charming about this. Why does it seem so familiar though?

Oh, right.

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Watch closely or you’ll miss a baby faced Louis C.K.

I still think in the vast pantheon of misguided-teenagers-so-overwhelmed-with-excitement-by-the-newfound-freedom-provided-by-their-freshly-printed drivers-licenses-that-they-are-compelled-to-commit-in-deed-and-to-film-an-odd-and-obnoxious-but-mostly-harmless-prank videos, this is the most fascinating and truly enlightening about the human condition.

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Point taken, Universe

Alright, alright, maybe it is time I start working out some more.

‘Ello, ‘ello, ‘ello!

I have an unabashed, unmitigated mancrush on this here chap.

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Life is not exactly fair, innit? We get a guy who hangs upside down for 60 hours1 and is sucked up into the stratosphere,2 basically a malevolent, time traveling demon. While the Brits get a real life Dumbledore.

This has simply renewed my conviction to, one day soon, grace the shores of Albion.

Well, maybe I spoke too hastily. The U.S. is, after all, home to these fellows:

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But then again,

What’s exactly halfway between Great Britain and America?

Heads up hosers!

  1. Except for his hourly bathroom breaks. []
  2. Except he just kind of impotently hangs a few feet off the ground. []

Come with me if you want to be mildly entertained

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