TITLE: KATH & KIM - SEASON ONE
DVD Release Date: July 7, 2009 (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 17
Running Time: 353 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: approx. 15 minutes (not counting commentaries)
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; English Subtitles
Special Features: Commentaries (10); Gag Reel; Deleted Scenes
What do you get when you have a divorced mother and her recently separated daughter together under one roof? You get the dysfunctional duo Kath & Kim, and now the entire series is available on DVD in a two disc set! The one season sitcom from NBC stars Molly Shannon as the mother, Kath, and Selma Blair as the daughter, Kim, two stuck-up suburban women that believe that the entire world revolves around them. Kath is divorced from her husband, but is dating (and hoping to marry) her new boyfriend, while Kim is recently married (yet somehow already on the brink of divorce). The men in their lives have a more down-to-earth approach towards life, yet somehow manage to put up with everything that the duo throws at them, no matter how ridiculous and demanding they may be at times. So will Kath and Kim settle down with the loves of their life, or will they get into a bunch of ridiculous and bizarre situations to empower their own egos? They'll take the latter, of course, and that is the story behind Kath & Kim!
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
In the "Pilot" episode, we Kim is having marital troubles, and comes to stay with Kath. Can they share a home without driving each other crazy? Kath worries that she may be aging a little more rapidly than she'd like to be in "Old." Money can truly bring people back together, maybe, as we learn in the episode "Money." Craig takes a firm stand against Kim and her constant demands in "Jealousy." Could Kim be a lesbian? That is what Kath is suspecting in the "Gay." In "Sacrifice," Kim decides to take a stand herself against parking tickets, by making Craig remove the wheel lock from her car when it is ticketed.
Kath and Phil want new friends that are a couple in "Friends," so who better to turn to than the mall security guard and his wife? Kim wants to be a news anchorwoman in "News." Kath and Kim enter a contest to host a dinner for Wynnona Judd in "Idols," but first, there is the little matter of an interview. Kath is shocked to find that she is still married in "Competition." The season (well, technically the series) ends with "Home," where Kath is forced to renovate her home to participate in a house parade.
The packaging for this very simple, with a standard Amaray style DVD case. The cover art has a simple picture of Kath and Kim standing on the sidewalk doing their own pose, which is also the publicity photo that seems to be most often associated with the series. Inside, we have the two discs, both of which are pink and just have the series logo on them in white. Episodes 1-8 are on Disc 1, while episodes 9-17 are on Disc 2. There are no episode booklets included anywhere on the set, but the back of the case does list which episodes can be found on which disc.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The main menu on each disc is rather simple and straightforward, with a cast photo (again, the exact same one that we see on the packaging) and options of Play All, Episode Index, Bonus Features, Setup, and Previews (Disc 1 only). There is some music playing in the background, which is from an extended version of the theme song. Selection Episode Index takes you to a menu that lists all of the episodes on the disc, as well as a Play All and Menu option. Bonus Features does exactly what it sounds like it should do--it merely lists all of the bonus features on the disc. Finally, Setup allows you to turn on the English subtitles as well as the commentary tracks (which can also be done from the Bonus Features menu). While there aren't any scene selection menus, chapters are placed throughout each episode.
Video and Audio Quality:
This is a very recent series, so it should be no surprise that the video and audio quality is basically fine on the set. I couldn't find any major issues, although that doesn't necessarily mean that everything always looked perfect by any means. The episodes are all presented in anamorphic widescreen and in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, although again, that is basically the standard for newer series. As far as the episodes themselves, they all appear to be unedited, and it also appears that the music within the episodes was not altered in any way. That is always a very positive thing for any DVD set. The runtimes for each episode vary, running from around 20 minutes up to 21 minutes and 30 seconds. Exact runtimes for each episode are as follows:
1. Pilot (21:23)
2. Respect (21:25)
3. Old (20:10)
4. Money (21:04)
5. Dating (20:07)
6. Jealousy (20:14)
7. Gay (20:19)
8. Sacrifice (20:58)
9. Friends (20:37)
10. Florida (20:56)
11. News (20:40)
12. Idols (21:15)
13. Celebrity (20:53)
14. Competition (20:58)
15. Desire (20:10)
16. Bachelorette (21:15)
17. Home (20:43)
The set has some nice special features, most of them being commentaries. In fact, 10 of the 17 episodes have commentaries, so there are quite a few to be heard on this set. That isn't to say that the commentaries are all incredibly insightful, but some of them are insightful. We do get to hear a lot about what inspired a lot of ideas that occurred within the episodes, but aside from that, it is mostly a lot of idle chit chat about what is going on in the episodes. They talk a little bit about "next season" on some of these, which as we all know now, will not be happening, but at the same time, you could almost hear their understanding that the seventeen episodes on this set would be "it." Episodes and commentators are as follows:
Pilot - Michelle Nader, Molly Shannon, and John Michael Higgins
Respect - Michelle Nader, Selma Blair, and Mikey Day
Old - Michelle Nader and Molly Shannon
Gay - Michelle Nader, Selma Blair, and Mikey Day
Sacrifice - Michelle Nader and John Michael Higgins
News - Michelle Nader and John Michael Higgins
Idols - Michelle Nader, Adam Barr, Selma Blair, and Mikey Day
Celebrity - Michelle Nader and Molly Shannon
Competition - Michelle Nader, Jim Dubensky, and Steve Gabriel
Home - Michelle Nader, Adam Barr, Selma Blair, and Mikey Day
There are also deleted scenes on the set, on both discs. These are basically just scenes that were cut from episodes due to time constraints. This runs at 1:47 on Disc 1 and at 2:13 on Disc 2. Clearly, there really isn't much to these deleted scenes. Finally, there is a Gag Reel (9:13) on Disc 1, which shows us quite a few interesting outtakes from the series. This is probably the best special feature that can be found on the set.
One thing that I can't believe is not on here, though, is just a standard sit-down interview with the stars or producer of the series. Commentaries are great, but it is also nice to have them talking without being prompted by events of an episode.
This is a decent DVD set for a series that is, well, subpar. The series has a few hilarious moments, but in all honesty, it isn't that great of a show. I really believe that the series had some potential, but it had everything going against it. First of all, it would have been a better fit on a cable network, such as Bravo, rather than NBC. NBC is at a point now where they really can't support any sitcom unless it is The Office or some clone of The Office (not that The Office is a bad show, but NBC can't really support any other sitcoms). Secondly, NBC aired the series against competition which it could not really survive against. Finally, and this is the most significant issue, the producers of the series made the series a little too tacky. I remember reading critics complain about many tacky details related to the series, even down to the wardrobe. While some of the tackiness does fit in to the whole idea of the show, it should have been balanced out somewhere else.
Still, Universal put out a quality DVD set for this series, and the series did have some fans. Those fans are certain to appreciate this set of what is essentially the complete series (despite the title of "Season One"). Kath & Kim will probably be erased from the memories of most people within a few years, only to be remembered as some "challenging level" trivia question in a TV trivia game, but for those want to remember and cherish what was the one and only season of this sitcom, this set is for you.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 2.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 06/24/09
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