Kath & Kim

 
Spoofy Australian sitcom is an acquired taste.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Mocks a dysfunctional "white trash" family; no redeeming social lesson here.

Violence

Lots of screaming between Kath and Kim.

Sex

Some skimpy/trashy outfits and innuendo.

Language

"Shut up" and Australian slang like "fat rats" is about as bad as it gets.

Consumerism

Kath and Kim like to go shopping; scenes are filmed at actual stores like Ikea and Target.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking and some smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Australian sitcom is about the relationship between a middle-aged mother and her ornery, dysfunctional adult daughter. The comedy is meant to be spoofy and broad, but producers sometimes take the mother-daughter friction a little too far. Kath and Kim argue a lot and sometimes have screaming matches -- which adults might find funny, but which could confuse or alarm younger viewers.

Parents say

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What's the story?

Popular Australian sitcom KATH & KIM offers viewers an ear- and eye-full of dysfunction as an over-the-top mother and her adult daughter attempt to live harmoniously in the same suburban neighborhood. Jane Turner plays Kath, a twice-married, middle-aged empty-nester juggling life with her husband, her neighbors, and her snotty daughter, Kim (Gina Riley). As the pair go about their lives in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Fountain Lakes, they create nightmares for those living around them, including homely family friend Sharon (Magda Szubanski) -- whom Kim constantly puts down -- and Brett (Peter Rowsthorn), Kim's browbeaten boyfriend (and, later, husband).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

While it's entertaining to watch Kath and Kim spar, their lack of education and common sense can be off-putting. In one episode, for example, Kath tells Kim (who's watching her weight) that she's using "fat-free fat" -- a play on popular diet foods, but also a way for producers to play up Kath's dimwittedness. In another scene in which Kim frays her mother's nerves, Kath responds to her neediness with "How would you like it if your daughter was a complete disappointment to you?" Ouch.

Much of the show's spoofy humor is intentionally painful and cringe-inducing, but tweens might not get that. Save this one for teens who are able to take the show with a grain of salt.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of broad, over-the-top comedy. What makes spoofs funny? Is it obvious that this series is meant to be a spoof? Do you think you have to be Australian to get all the jokes? How would it be different as an American show? Families can also talk about the importance of respecting other people's space when you live under the same roof. How can you make sure your privacy is respected while still being part of a family? Why is it important to respect others' personal space?

TV details

Cast:Gina Riley, Jane Turner, Magda Szubanski
Network:Sundance Channel
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-14

This review of Kath & Kim was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 15 years old Written byStaceytheNerd September 28, 2014
age 8+
 

Lighten Up Commonsense!

I actually remember watching this on the ABC when I was 4 or 5 years old, with my parents. Now I'm not saying that is an appropriate age but in this case, the stuff that is iffy goes WAY over kids' heads. Once you are older though, it is very clever SATIRE. I repeat - AUSTRALIANS ARE NOT ACTUALLY LIKE THIS! It is highly clever and if you can teach your kid to appreciate that, you are way on track. However, if you think your child is the type to copy everything they see on TV it could be better to let them wait until they are a bit older to see this.

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