Kath & Kim (Australian TV series)

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For the 2008–09 U.S. version, see Kath & Kim (U.S. TV series).
Kath & Kim
Kath & Kim Intertitle.png
Kath & Kim intertitle
Genre Comedy
Created by Gina Riley
Jane Turner
Starring Jane Turner
Gina Riley
Magda Szubanski
Peter Rowsthorn
Glenn Robbins
Opening theme "The Joker" by Gina Riley
Country of origin Australia
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 32 + 1 telemovie + 1 theatrical film (List of episodes)
Production
Location(s) Melbourne, Australia
Running time Approx. 22 minutes per episode
Broadcast
Original channel ABC TV (2002–05)
Seven Network (2007)
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
Audio format Stereo
Original run 16 May 2002 – 14 October 2007
External links
Website

Kath & Kim is a character-driven Australian television situation comedy series. The series was created by, and is written by Jane Turner and Gina Riley who play the title characters: a suburban mother and daughter with a dysfunctional relationship. The series main characters consist of Kath Day-Knight, a cheerful 50-year-old woman, her self-indulgent daughter Kim Craig, Kath's boyfriend and second husband, the metrosexual Kel Knight, as well as Kim's estranged husband Brett Craig and her lonely, overweight "second best friend" Sharon Strzelecki. The series is set in the fictional suburb of Fountain Lakes in Victoria. It is primarily filmed in Patterson Lakes.[1]

The series was conceived by Turner and Riley in the early 1990s as a weekly segment of the Australian comedy series Big Girl's Blouse. The skit was then developed into a full-series. The first series of Kath & Kim premiered on ABC TV on 16 May 2002, with three further series following, while a television movie, entitled Da Kath and Kim Code, was broadcast nationally on 25 November 2005. Kath & Kim has garnered much critical acclaim since its debut, winning two Logie Awards, for "Outstanding Comedy Programme" and the "Best Television Drama Series" award at the Australian Film Institute Awards. In Australia, it has become a pop culture phenomenon, and is a success with audiences nationwide. Internationally, the series has spawned a cult fanbase, and in 2006 it was announced an American version of the series would be produced, to air on NBC.[2] Riley and Turner served as executive producers on the US version. The American version was also picked up by Seven, which debuted the program on 12 October 2008, just three days after its debut in the United States.

The fourth series of Kath & Kim began airing on the Seven Network on 19 August 2007, due to contract expiring with ABC. The first episode of series four attracted an Australian audience of 2.521 million nationally,[3] the highest rating ever for a first episode in the history of Australian television,[3] until the series premiere of Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities in 2009 with 2.58m viewers.[4]

Despite early reports of a new series to premiere on the Seven Network in 2012, the network announced that instead new introductions will be filmed to rerun old episodes. These will be titled Kath and Kim: The Souvenir Editions.[5]

A feature film based on the series, entitled Kath & Kimderella was released in Australian cinemas on 6 September 2012.[6]

Premise[edit]

The Day "townhouse" in Fountain Lakes, suburban Victoria (taken outside of filming).

Kath & Kim follows the day-to-day Australian suburban life of Kath Day-Knight (Jane Turner), her only child Kim Craig née Day (Gina Riley), Kim's husband Brett Craig (Peter Rowsthorn), Kath's love interest and eventual husband "purveyor of fine meats" Kel Knight (Glenn Robbins), and long-time family friend Sharon Strzelecki (Magda Szubanski).

The main setting is Kath's townhouse in Fountain Lakes. It is taped in a house in the waterfront street of Lagoon Place, Patterson Lakes, Victoria.[1]

The storyline of first series follows Kath's engagement and plans for her wedding to Kel. Kim frequently stays in her mother's house owing to her rocky relationship with Brett (most of which is due to her own childish, spoilt, and rude behaviour towards Brett). Sharon's always around with a helping hand and her own relationship problems. Her history with Brett is also explored.

The second series follows Kim's pregnancy and her rekindled relationship with Brett. Kath and Kel's relationship goes through some teething troubles. Kim and Brett have a baby in the final episode of the second series whom they name Epponn'knee-Raelene Kathleen Darlene Charlene Craig, shortened to Epponn'knee-Rae. Several episodes of the third series focus on Epponn'knee-Rae. The third-season finale features an adult Epponn'knee-Rae, played by Kylie Minogue.

Storylines follow the characters' day-to-day lives, and document their personal struggles and the banality of their achievements and aspirations. Kath & Kim satirises the mother-daughter relationship and the habits and values of modern suburban Australians, and emphasises the kitsch and superficial elements of contemporary society, particularly the traditional working class which has progressed to a level of affluence (or "effluence" as quoted by Kath) which previous generations had been unable to achieve.

They visit places such as the Westfield Fountain Gate (some parts filmed at Westfield Southland), the local IKEA, Target, and various local restaurants.

It also occasionally mocks Australian and international popular culture, such as popular television shows Big Brother and Australian Idol. It sometimes makes statements about Australian politics. The crass and embarrassing behaviour of the characters, and their gaudy, out-dated fashion sense are popular features of the show.

The highly developed alternative vocabulary including the mixed metaphors, hypercorrection, malapropisms and mis-pronunciations of the regular characters are much-repeated by the show's fans. These include: "Look at moy"(look at me)—used by Kath to command attention during arguments, and "It's noice, different and unusual"—used by Kath, Kim and Sharon to express approval or agreement.

History[edit]

The characters of Kath, Kim and Sharon first appeared in these sketch comedy programs:

Cast and characters[edit]

Main
Recurring
Guest

Several guest stars are well-known Australian comedy performers, some of whom previously worked with Turner or Riley. Buble and Lucas were fans of the show and asked to appear in it. Humphries declared himself a fan of the series before taking part.

Episodes[edit]

The title sequence shows the main five regular characters over a white background. In Series 3, it was amended to include Epponnee-Rae and Cujo. The five regular cast members are then credited over aerial shots of suburban houses. Szubanski is credited as "Special Guest Star," despite appearing in every episode. The theme song is "The Joker," performed by Gina Riley. A re-recording of it debuted in the telemovie opening sequence and has continued into Series 4.

Twenty-four episodes lasting approximately twenty-five minutes each across three series aired on ABC TV from 2002 to 2004. The series debuted on 15 May 2002 on the ABC Network with "Sex" and became one of the highest rated shows for ABC.[citation needed] A replacement of a full series occurred in 2005 with the telemovie Da Kath & Kim Code. The fourth series of Kath & Kim premiered on 19 August 2007 at 7:30 pm on the Seven Network with a total of eight episodes. As of late 2009, they've announced that writing has begun on Series 5.[7] In May 2010, when asked if there would be more Kath and Kim, Turner replied: "We sort of felt like it was the end two years ago. We thought, ‘We’ve done enough and the well is dry and we can’t think of any more ideas’ … We think we might just leave it for now."[8]

Season Episodes Originally aired DVD release
Season premiere Season finale Region 2 Region 4
1 8 16 May 2002 4 July 2002 20 June 2005 8 October 2002
2 8 18 September 2003 6 November 2003 27 November 2006 24 November 2003
3 8 7 October 2004 25 November 2004 TBA 30 November 2004
Telemovie 1 27 November 2005 TBA 1 December 2005
4 8 19 August 2007 14 October 2007 TBA 17 October 2007

Film[edit]

see article: Kath & Kimderella (2012)

On 9 March 2011, Turner and Riley announced plans for a movie, in which, Kath, Kim, Kel, Brett, Sharon and Epponnee would head overseas on holiday. Contracts were written to finance the film's production under the working title of The Kath & Kim Filum, with the word 'film' deliberately misspelt with the letter 'u' in typical Kath and Kim humour.[9] However, the title Kath & Kimderella was ultimately used, and the film was released in Australia on 6 September 2012.[6] It was directed by Ted Emery (director of the television series) and produced by Rick McKenna. The holiday scenes were shot in Positano, Italy and filming took a total of two weeks.[10] International release dates have yet to be announced. The film grossed in excess of $2.1 million in its first weekend on Australian movie screens.[11]

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

Kath & Kim premiered on 15 May 2002 and became one of ABC's highest rated shows. When the show premiered on the Seven Network, it became the highest rating episode in Australian television history, until the record was broken by Nine Network's Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities on 9 February 2009. The fourth series of Kath & Kim debuted with a record breaking 2.511 million viewers peaking at 2.731 million. In its second and third episodes viewers fell to 1.994 & 1.817 million respectively, however viewers then rebounded for its fourth and fifth episodes with ratings of 2.047 & 2.157 million respectively. Strong ratings continued with viewers of 2.049 and 2.066 million for the sixth and seventh episodes. The eighth episode and series finale rated 2.338 million giving the fourth series an average viewership of 2.122 million, making it the highest rating series in Australia for 2007 and the highest rating of all four series of the show.[citation needed]

Channel Seven have since started showing repeats of the show from series one onwards which had previously only aired on the ABC network. The repeats have proved quite successful, rating 1.465 and 1.530 so far, winning in a very competitive timeslot and being amongst the highest rating shows of the week.[12]

Merchandise[edit]

The enduring public interest and popularity of Kath and Kim has led to a merchandising industry. The title family and supporting characters appear on everything from t-shirts to posters. The Kath & Kim series have been released on VHS (although titles are now discontinued in the VHS format) and DVD, in box-sets and separate series editions in both Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, Latin America) as well as Region 2 (Europe). The series has also had a CD release, featuring songs from the series and recordings from Kath and Kim. In addition, there have been clothing (such as aprons, t-shirts and oven mitts). Merchandise is available to purchase online, from the Kath & Kim official website.

CD releases[edit]

Album info
Kath & Kim's Party Tape
  • Release date: 2 May 2004 [2]
  • Chart positions: #17 (Australian Albums Chart)[3]
  • Accreditation: Gold (50,000+ units sold)[4]

In 2004, Kath & Kim's Party Tape was released in Australia under the Universal record label. It features 21 tracks including the full length version of the show's title theme, "The Joker" (as sung by Gina Riley) as well as Diana Ross and Lionel Richie's "Endless Love" and Donna Summer's "MacArthur Park".

Track listing[edit]

  1. Gina Riley – "The Joker"
  2. Kath & Kim (Jane Turner and Gina Riley) – "Wine Time #1"
  3. The Tubes – "Don't Touch Me There"
  4. Bobby Hebb – "Sunny"
  5. Kath & Kim – "Wine Time #2"
  6. Diana Ross and Lionel Richie – "Endless Love"
  7. Status Quo – "Roll Over Lay Down"
  8. Kath & Kim – "Wine Time #3"
  9. The Supremes – "Rhythm of Life"
  10. Van McCoy – "The Hustle"
  11. Yvonne Elliman – "If I Can't Have You"
  12. Donna Summer – "MacArthur Park"
  13. Kath & Kim – "Wine Time #4"
  14. The Commodores – "Three Times a Lady"
  15. Sérgio Mendes and Brasil '66 – "Day Tripper"
  16. Kath & Kim – "Wine Time #5"
  17. Yvonne Fair – "It Should Have Been Me"
  18. Stephanie Mills – "Never Knew Love Like This Before"
  19. Kath & Kim – "Wine Time #6"
  20. Captain & Tennille – "Love Will Keep Us Together"
  21. Kath & Kim – "Lady Bump"

DVD releases[edit]

Single seasons[edit]

Season Episodes Discs DVD release date
Region 2 Region 4
1 8 2 United Kingdom: 20 June 2005 Australia: 8 October 2002
This release of the complete first season has a total running time of 202 minutes and contains all 8 episodes. Special features include features entitled "Being Stewpid", "Wine Time Philosophy" and "Scenes that are different, un-ewes-yewl" as well as re-living Brett And Kim's Connubials!
Season Episodes Discs DVD release date
Region 2 Region 4
2 8 2 United Kingdom: 27 November 2006 Australia: 24 November 2003
This release of the complete second season has a total running time of 215 minutes and contains all 8 episodes. Special features include features entitled "A bit of huffy puffy with Kath and Kel", "More Yumor", "More Wine Time philosophy" and "Scenes that are different, un-ewes-yewl".
Season Episodes Discs DVD release date
Region 4
3 8 2 Australia: 30 November 2004
This release of the complete third season has a total running time of 248 minutes and contains all 8 episodes. Special features includes a feature entitled "'In the Raw' with Kath & Kim" as well as goof reels, deleted scenes, a performance of "Lady Bump" at the Logies, interviews with Kath & Kim, bonus "Wine Time" material as well as Prue and Trued telling it how it is.
Season Episodes Discs DVD release date
Region 4
4 8 2 Australia: 17 October 2007

Box sets[edit]

Seasons Episodes Discs DVD release date
Region 2 Region 4
1 & 2 16 4 United Kingdom: 27 November 2006 Australia: 8 April 2004
This box set of the first and second seasons has a total running time of 431 minutes. It contains the same special features as the single season releases.
Seasons Episodes Discs DVD release date
Region 4
1–3 24 6 Australia: 7 April 2005
This box set of the first, second and third seasons has a total running time of 686 minutes. It contains the same special features as the single season releases.
Seasons Episodes Discs DVD release date
Region 4
1–4 32 8 Australia: 6 November 2008
Special box set featuring all four seasons. Called The Hornbag Collection.
Seasons Episodes Discs DVD release date
Region 4
1 & 2 16 4 Australia: 2 July 2009
Called Kath & Kim: Series 1 & 2. Total running time 417 minutes. Contains the same special features as single season releases. Released through Roadshow Entertainment. Cover artwork states that it is PAL Region 4 but the discs have All Regions printed.
Seasons Episodes Discs DVD release date
Region 4
3 & 4 16 4 Australia: 2 July 2009
Called Kath & Kim: Series 3 & 4. Total Running Time 513 minutes. Contains the same special features as single season releases. Released through Roadshow Entertainment. Cover artwork states that it is PAL Region 4 but the discs have All Regions printed.
Seasons Episodes Discs DVD release date
Region 4
1–4 32 8 Australia: 1 April 2010
Called Kath & Kim Kollection Series 1–4.

Other DVDs[edit]

Da Kath & Kim Code[edit]
Discs DVD release date
Region 4
2 Australia: 1 December 2005
Da Kath & Kim Code repackage[edit]
Discs DVD release date
Region 4
2 Australia: 1 April 2010
This release of Da Kath & Kim Code features two discs with a total running time of 164 minutes. It contains the telemovie as well as special features including an exended ending for the telemovie, behind the scenes, goofs, a feature entitled "Barry Humphries at 'The Buckingham'", deleted scenes as well as a feature entitled "Kath & Kim & Bert". The release also includes "Live in London" content which includes Kath & Kim live at the Toast Festival, wine tasting, talking to the BBC as well as having "A Current Affair".

American version[edit]

Due to the success that Kath & Kim has achieved internationally, it was remade for US audiences by NBC.[13][14] In this remake, actress Molly Shannon has taken the role of Kath Day,[15] and Selma Blair the role of Kim.[16] NBC chose Jason Ensler to direct Molly Shannon's Kath & Kim. Michelle Nader developed the series for American television, which premiered in the United States as part of the Fall schedule of 2008. The series started to shoot in California in July 2008. NBC debuted the US adaptation on 9 October 2008, while Seven started screening it to Australian viewers on 12 October 2008. After airing only two episodes, Seven dropped the sitcom from their lineup due to poor ratings, only to bring it back several weeks later as a late-night schedule stuffer. On the other hand, NBC, after averaging roughly around 5 to 7 million viewers per week, was rewarded with a full season order in October 2008.[17][18] On Tuesday, 19 May 2009, NBC announced that there would not be a second season of "Kath & Kim".

Awards[edit]

The show itself, and the cast, have been nominated several television awards in the past, including AFI Awards and Logies. In addition, Kath and Kim and Da Kath and Kim Code have won four major awards for the show itself.

Won[edit]

  • 2002: Best Actress in a Supporting or Guest Role in a Television Drama (Magda Szubanski) at the AFI Awards
  • 2002: Best Screenplay in a Television Drama at the AFI Awards
  • 2002: Best Television Drama Series at the AFI Awards
  • 2003: Most Outstanding Comedy Program at the Logies
  • 2004: Most Outstanding Comedy Program at the Logies (tied with CNNNN)
  • 2008 Most Popular Light Entertainment or Comedy Program

Nominated[edit]

  • 2002: Best Screenplay in a Television Drama at the AFI Awards
  • 2003, 2004, 2005: Most Popular Light Entertainment / Comedy Program at the Logies
  • 2003, 2004: Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Television Drama or Comedy (Glenn Robbins) at the AFI Awards
  • 2003, 2004: Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Television Drama or Comedy (Jane Turner) at the AFI Awards
  • 2003, 2004: Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Television Drama or Comedy (Gina Riley) at the AFI Awards
  • 2003, 2004: Best Comedy Series – Sitcom or Sketch
  • 2004, 2005, 2006: Most Popular Actor (Glenn Robbins) at the Logies ('04 & '05 for Kath and Kim; '06 for Da Kath and Kim Code)
  • 2004: Best Actress in a Supporting or Guest Role in a Television Drama or Comedy (Magda Szubanski) at the AFI Awards
  • 2004: Best Screenplay in Television
  • 2005: Most Popular Actress (Gina Riley) at the Logies
  • 2005: Most Popular Actress (Magda Szubanski) at the Logies
  • 2005: Most Outstanding Comedy Program at the Logies
  • 2006: Most Outstanding Miniseries / Telemovie at the Logies (for Da Kath and Kim Code)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Kath & Kim" (2002) – Filming locations
  2. ^ Look at moi, America: Kath and Kim
  3. ^ a b Seven Network (20 August 2007). "Seven – Daily Ratings Report". ebroadcast.com.au. Retrieved 20 August 2007. 
  4. ^ http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2009/02/258m-underbelly-sets-new-record.html
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ a b AAP (22 February 2012). "Opening date for Kath and Kim film". ABC. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  7. ^ http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/a170609/kath-and-kim-back-for-fifth-series.html
  8. ^ http://www.tntmagazine.com/tnt-today/archive/2010/05/02/jane-turner-interview.aspx
  9. ^ Wilson, Ashleigh (9 March 2011). "Kath & Kim in 'filum' debut". The Australian. 
  10. ^ "Kath and Kim wrap up shoot" (video). Seven News. 
  11. ^ Hardie, Giles (11 September 2011). "Kath & Kim come out on top ... despite our best efforts". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  12. ^ Seven – Daily Ratings Report
  13. ^ Kalina, Paul (22 September 2006). "Our favourite hornbags may get US makeover". The Age (Melbourne: Fairfax). Retrieved 2008-02-30.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  14. ^ "Kath and Kim go American". Courier Mail (News Limited). 13 November 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-30.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  15. ^ Molly Shannon signs for US version of Kath And KimThe Daily Telegraph, 4 Oct 2007
  16. ^ Selma Blair Completes 'Kath and Kim'Zap2it, 22 Jan 2008
  17. ^ "'Kath & Kim' gets full-season pickup" From Hollywood Reporter (31 October 2008) which was later retracted and the series ended its first year with a total of 17 episodes produced
  18. ^ Schneider, Michael (31 October 2008). "NBC gives 'Kath & Kim' full season". Variety. 

External links[edit]