Kath & Kim-Volume 1 (2002)
Featurette-Look At Me
Featurette-That's Ny-Ioce, That's Different, That's Un-Ewes-Yewl
Featurette-Kim & Brett's Connubials
Featurette-Team With The Theme
Featurette-Look At Me
Featurette-That's Different, That's Unusual
Featurette-Team With The Moves
|Year Of Production||2002|
|Running Time||203:15 (Case: 202)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Ted Emery|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Auto Pan & Scan Encoded||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
They're Australia’s favourite bogans. They're Kath, Kim, Kel, Brett and Sharon. They’re ny-oice, they’re different, and they’re un-ewes-yewl. They’re the bee’s knees. They all love to make mountains out of molehills, and always get up each other’s goats. Don’t laugh; they could be your neighbours!
Originally derived from a sketch on Fast Forward/Full Frontal, Kath & Kim is a comedy series about the lives of the two characters created and performed by Jane Turner and Gina Riley. With the help of Glen Robbins, Peter Rowsthorn and Magda Szubanski, eight episodes were created for the show’s first successful season. In my opinion, it is one of the greatest locally-made comedies ever created for Australian TV, miles ahead of most past efforts. It’s actually kind of scary how good the entire cast are at their respective characters. All are played to perfection by some of our finest comedic actors - the performances are what it’s all about. You’ve got Kath Day (Turner), single mum, proud of her looks, her Fountain Lakes home, and her ‘hot’ love life with Kel Knight (Robbins) - a gourmet butcher, who will do anything for his lover. Kath’s daughter Kim Day Craig (Riley) – ‘the laziest daughter in Fountain Lakes’ - thinks she’s Britney Spears and Nikky Webster rolled into one, and she’s too good for her husband Brett Craig (Rowsthorn), whose relationship with his pet Rottweiler makes Kim jealous. Then there’s Kim’s second-best friend Sharon Strezlecki (Szubanski), the accident-prone slave-friend to Kim, whose life revolves around playing netball, and being part of their family.
As far as production values go, the entire series is shot hand-held to give a realistic feel to the show. Going against almost everything taught in television school, it’s full of amateurish-looking whip pans and zooms, which are all deliberate and greatly add to the overall product. The show’s director, Ted Emery (The Micallef Program, Full Frontal, Acropolis Now, Fast Forward), perfectly complements the all-too-realistic performances from the cast, resulting in one of my favourite comedy shows for years.
Here’s a rundown of the first eight episodes, in what will be at least a 2 series show - production will commence on series two in Melbourne during April 2003.
Kim has left Brett, and is moving back in with her mother. She is suspicious that Brett may be cheating on her, so she sends out Sharon to stalk him for her. Meanwhile, Kath’s new ‘hot’ date Kel comes over to take her out for dinner, and does not meet with Kim’s approval. Kel wants to turn Day into Knight, and proposes to her.
Kath is concerned that her daughter’s reason for leaving Brett is that she may be gay. Not the case though, as Kim and Sharon decide to try speed dating, which turns out the opposite way to what Kim was expecting. This episode features a hilarious cameo from Tony Martin (skinny Kiwi comedian, not the priest from E-Street!).
It seems that Brett has been caught cheating on Kim with two sisters while he was drunk. Adding to this the fact that Kim has lost her job means that she is becoming a layabout around the house, and Kath tries her best to motivate her to do something with her life. Meanwhile, Sharon needs a fill-in player for netball, so after finding out that the sisters Brett slept with are in the opposing team, Kim decides to give it a go. All the while, Kel tries to invent the greatest sausage in the world, to commemorate the upcoming big day.
Wedding preparations are starting to take up some time, and the bridesmaid’s dresses are picked up. After Kim has given up smoking, she’s compensated with food, and has stacked on a bit of weight, so of course her dress doesn’t fit any more. The bride and groom are bickering, and so are Brett and Kim, so Sharon decides to help them out after realising she wants to become a marriage counsellor. Marg Downey (Fast Forward/Full Frontal) makes an appearance.
Kel is meeting up with another woman in private, and Kath feels he is losing interest. After being told she is looking old, she decides to go out and buy some ‘younger’ looking clothes.
Kath is struggling to find the $1,000 she needs as a down payment for her pumpkin-style coach for the wedding. Meanwhile, Kim has discovered the Internet, and in between getting chatted up in chat rooms, she realises she may have found her calling – on-line shopping. All the girls decide to throw a lingerie party to help raise funds for the wedding – Kim and Sharon will model.
Kim is busy organising a hen’s night for her mum, who is insisting Kel have a buck’s night out, despite his lack of interest. The girls go out to a nightclub, and get s***-faced on 1 cocktail each, costing $100 all up!
The biggest day of the year has arrived, but it starts off on a very sour note – the three girls on hospital beds. Flashing back to the days leading up, we see the whole gang arguing over a 5-way $55 food bill, and a cameo from two other Turner & Riley characters from Fast Forward/Full Frontal.
The transfer for Kath & Kim is excellent, and only contains one very minor flaw – a couple of quick frames of digital tape dropouts. Shot on what seems to be digital video, it looks fantastic.
Kath & Kim is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and is 16x9 enhanced
Sharpness is dead-on throughout. There’s only the occasional loss of sharpness, which is a result of deliberately dodgy camera work. Shadow detail is also perfect. There was no grain or low-level noise present during the entire running time, including special features.
Colours were perfect, with a standout being in episode seven when the girls go out to a nightclub. The lighting here shows off the colours beautifully.
As mentioned above, there was a flash of digital tape dropouts at the 6:41 mark of Episode 5 on Disc 2. This is the only fault on the entire 2 disc set.
Both discs are RSDL formatted, and the layer change on Disc 1 occurs at 21:40 of Episode 3, and is not disruptive. The layer change on the second disc was not obvious, so it must have been placed between episodes.
The audio for Kath & Kim is of high quality, and has not been enhanced by an unnecessary 5.1 mix.
The only audio track provided is an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack.
Dialogue is always intelligible, and never distorted. There were no problems with audio sync whatsoever.
The show’s music by Jerry Smith features the vocal talents of Gina Riley, hamming it up in the same fashion that made her impersonation of Kerrie-Anne Kennerly so popular.
Surround usage was non-existent, due to the 2.0 audio.
The subwoofer supported the music slightly, but there was no need for a specific .1 LFE channel.
|Surround Channel Use|
Note: All extra features are presented in 16x9 enhanced widescreen and 2.0 stereo and are of the same quality as the episodes.
This consists of video interviews with Kath and Kim, some of which were used as narration during the episodes. Disc one holds 4:08 worth, relating to episodes 1-4, and the remaining 4:47 is on disc two, relating to episodes 5-8.
Outtakes, bloopers, gag reel – whatever you want to call it. Disc one holds 7:17 worth, relating to episodes 1-4, and the remaining 12:51 are on disc two, relating to episodes 5-8. These are good outtakes, which is to be expected after seeing the show. Jane seems the most in-control of the lot, and Magda is by far the worst at keeping a straight face. I found myself smiling the whole way through, and giggling along with the girls, even if there was no reason for them cracking up in the first place. Contagious laughter.
Deleted, extended and alternate scenes. Disc one holds 5 scenes (3:07), relating to episodes 1-4, and the remaining 4 scenes (4:34) are on disc two, relating to episodes 5-8. Great addition, which I was not expecting to see on the discs at all.
At the end of each episode, Kath and Kim sit out in their backyard, and talk over a glass of wine. This is the improvisational footage for each episode.. Disc one holds 4 segments (5:46), relating to episodes 1-4, and the remaining 4 segments (4:56) are on disc two, relating to episodes 5-8.
This is the entire footage of Kim & Brett’s wedding day, which is shown in parts during episodes on disc one.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Kath & Kim is currently unavailable in Region 1, and will most likely stay that way.
Kath & Kim is one of the funniest comedies from the past few years, and is one of my favourite Australian-made comedies of all-time. If you’re a fan of Australian humour, you really have to check it out if you’ve never seen it. The performances from the entire cast are top notch, and it is very rewatchable. I can’t wait for the second series to air on the ABC next year sometime.
The video transfer is 99.99% perfect, with only one visible flaw which is only very minor.
The audio transfer is excellent in quality for a stereo 2.0 mix, and is thankfully not a remixed 5.1 soundtrack.
The extra features provided are fantastic, with plenty of outtakes and deleted footage. The lack of commentary from the cast/crew takes some points off, but what we are given is great.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-525, using Component output|
|Display||Teac 82cm 16x9. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-545|
|Speakers||5 Sony speakers; Sherwood 12" 100w Powered Subwoofer|