Kath & Kim is a remake of an Australian series. I’ve not seen the original, and would not choose to judge it. The remake is about is about an upbeat mother and her downbeat twenty-something-small daughter, each of them self-centered and shallow as a kiddie pool. They live a reasonably upper-middle class life with no visible source of support (neither is shown as having a job), and spend most of their time emoting heavily, with the most severe of emotion always interrupted by some reference to being charmed by some piece of merchandise.
If I had to compare this to any other show, I’d say it was like a drugless version of Absolutely Fabulous… minus one important component. To me, AbFab worked (to the degree that it did, I was not one of the hardcore AbFans) because of Saffron (the daughter); the humor came largely from commiserating with her having these women basically forced upon her by life. That was the character that I could identify with, the person through whose lenses I viewed the lead. However, the supporting characters on Kath & Kim are young Kim’s dim new-and-maybe-soon-to-be-ex husband and Kath’s glib suitor, both of whom chose to put themselves in with these people, and thus any pain that they feel is their own fault.
The four actors all do a fine job of inhabiting their characters, but Kath & Kim feels more like something designed to handle five minutes of time on Saturday Night Live on a handful of episodes throughout the season; these are not characters built for stories, and the 22 minutes of the pilot satiates any desire I have to see them.
(If you wish to experience that 22 minutes, you can actually view it for free, right now, almost a week before it airs, here on Amazon.)