Kath & Kim
What parents need to know
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.
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?
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?