Starring The Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Bialik, Call Me Kat is a 30-minute sitcom about a single 39-year-old woman named Kat, who owns a cat themed cafe in Louisville, Ky. While the show’s tagline might say that Kat has been “disappointing her mother since 1982,” the first three episodes proved that the series itself is the real disappointment. Although the premise may sound cute, the execution was not. From Kat’s stereotypical obsessive mother, Sheila (Swoosie Kurtz), to the constant laugh tracks and absurd amount of fourth wall breaks, Call Me Kat is far from revolutionary. Plus, given that the show is based around the outdated idea of unmarried women being “cat ladies,” you can only imagine how many jarring cliches there are throughout each episode.
Call Me Kat is adapted from the British sitcom Miranda, created by and starring Miranda Hart, which ran from 2009 to 2015 on BBC. While Miranda may have been a huge hit, from the looks of it so far Call Me Kat is not destined for the same success. Part of the distinction between the shows comes from the characters of Kat and Miranda themselves. For example, while Miranda is a quirky and unique woman who stands on her own, Kat’s character is solely based on external factors such as her love life and her career. Also, she owns a joke shop instead of a cafe which is far more entertaining.
Along with Kat in the American adaptation is her friends Phil (Leslie Jordan) and Randi (Kyla Pratt), who help her manage the cafe; Randi and Phil and their love of cats seem to be the sole providers of humor in the series. The show also features Max (Cheyenne Jackson), the good-looking bartender and Kat’s crush who she has known since college and her best friend Tara (Vanessa Lachey). Finally there is Carter (Julian Grant), one of the cafe’s most frequent customers whom Kat and the other employees have gotten to know well. At most, these supporting characters provide a bit of relief from the show’s banal plot.
As a fan of Mayim Bialik, I was excited about her chance at a lead role and so badly wanted Call Me Kat to be good. Bialik’s portrayal of Kat isn’t bad, but the way Kat is written doesn’t seem to click with her comedic style. I wonder if Bialik was the right person for the part or if the show could have been salvaged with alternate casting. My conclusion is that the concept may have been well-thought out but the execution missed the mark.
With only a 4/10 rating on IMDB and a 17% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer, it appears that it is going to take a great deal to redeem this show enough for it to get renewed for a second season. Most likely Call Me Kat will be replaced with an all new sitcom next Fall, so it probably isn’t worth your time and investment.
Watch ‘Call Me Kat’ Thursdays at 9/8 Central on FOX.
By Blair Krassen @blairlyawake