Molly Shannon to play foxymoron in U.S. “Kath and Kim”

Earlier this year, I was
mindlessly channel surfing when I happened on what I thought was a British
comedy on the Sundance Channel. After my Southern ears adjusted to the
accents, I realized two things. First, the show was Australian, not
British. And second, it was very, very funny. But word of a U.S. remake
of that show, Kath
and Kim,
by NBC brings
mixed feelings. First, the good news: One of my favorite funny ladies
will costar.

Molly Shannon will play Kath Day-Knight, whose
relationship with her adult daughter Kim is the heart of the show. As
Kath would say, “Noice.”

I’m less enthusiastic to
learn that Michelle
Nader
wrote the latest
script for Kath
and Kim
instead of Nancy Pimental,
who penned the original adaptation. Why? Pimental used to write for South Park; Nader for King
of Queens
. Not a
good sign. Especially given the challenge of translating such a distinctively
Australian show for U.S. viewers.

Kath and Kim is based on characters created by Jane Turner and Gina
Riley
, who write
and star in the hit show. The episodes I watched ranged in tone from
sharp satire to potty humor — and I’m sure I missed quite a few
of the cultural and political references. Adapting a series like this
for an American audience requires rethinking everything about it — like
taking Seinfeld to London. It can be done, but only
sharp writing can make it successful.

Here’s a taste of the Kath and Kim brand of humor:

Have you seen Kath and Kim? Who would make a good Kim to star
with Shannon? Readers from Oz, how much do you love this show? Do you
think a U.S. remake can work?

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