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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Counterfeit Cat is an animated comedy about two best friends: a somewhat manipulative but mostly well-meaning house cat and his costume-wearing alien pal who passes for a feline himself. The two get into all kinds of bizarre adventures courtesy of one's power of persuasion and the other's sense of curiosity (and supernatural powers). Although its main intention is to entertain, the show does send some decent messages about self-confidence and friendship. Expect some mild gross-out humor but little else of concern.
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What's the story?
COUNTERFEIT CAT is the story of a rotund house cat named Max (voiced by Marc Wootton) and his best friend, Gark (Alex Kelley), an alien who wears a costume to pose as a feline and live with Max and his human, Betty (Kayvan Novak). With his undercover alien pal's powers at the ready, the possibilities are endless for mischievous Max and his big ideas, but since Gark is learning all this Earth stuff as he goes, he often leads them into real mayhem of one kind or another.
Is it any good?
Though furrier than your average buddy comedy, this story of mismatched friends is oddly enticing and never lacking in laughs. Its humor isn't exactly highbrow, but it's leagues above slapstick and holds special sentiment for viewers who notice the subtle fun it has with normal cat behavior, to which Gark aspires and Max usually falls short. Of particular enjoyment are the pals' interactions with the cliquish neighborhood cat gang and Betty's obliviousness to either the true identity of her imposter pet or the duo's antics.
Beyond basic comedy, Counterfeit Cat raises some issues that are timely discussion points for parents and their kids, especially concerning self-identity. Both Max and Gark seem to be looking for something outside of themselves, a quest that inspires many of their ill-fated adventures yet never really alters who they are. It's not a message that really jumps out of this silly sitcom, but if your kids do watch, it's a theme they can follow with your help.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the expectations of friendship in Counterfeit Cat. How far would you go to help or protect a friend? How can having friends around help us through difficult times?
Have you ever wished you could take on a new identity the way Gark does? How would doing so help you better understand another person's (or, in his case, cat's) experiences? Why is it important to respect other people's experiences?
Kids: What are your favorite characteristics you see in yourself? If you had the chance to change something, what would it be? Would you do it? What activities make you feel most comfortable in your own skin?
Find more TV shows that help kids build character.
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