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

on

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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