Kath & Kim: Our Effluent Life and 20 Absurde Years feature new storylines, revamped sequences while touching on cultural significance
It’s been 20 years since Kath & Kim first premiered, introducing audiences to a mother-daughter duo who would go on to become one of Australia’s most beloved comedians.
With nostalgia at an all-time high, it was only a matter of time before the foxy cretins of Fountain Lakes were brought back for some sort of reboot, remake, or reunion.
However, fans were left disappointed on Sunday night after Channel 7’s two-part ‘birthday celebration’ failed to live up to the fever surrounding it.
Kath & Kim: Our Effluent Life promised “freshly minted scenes” – which he delivered – as well as “unseen footage”, which some fans with a beloved DVD set had most certainly seen before.
For some, it didn’t go well.
Monday Night Follow-Up Special, Kath & Kim: 20 absurd yearspromised to take “a look deep into the unexplored nooks and crannies” of the series, with “rarely seen” footage.
So how far have we gone in the world of Kath & Kim? What are the foxy morons up to now? And is the two-part special worth showing off?
Open the Tia Maria as we unbox this special together.
*And I have a word for you: front spoiler.
What are Kath, Kim and Sharon up to now?
We were promised new scenes and the special delivered on that front.
The whole gang “returned” to Fountain Lakes…which was actually just a green screen because, if you missed it, “Chateau Kath” was demolished earlier this year.
Screen production standards aside, it looks like not much time has passed because Kim Craig (Gina Riley) still lives at home with Kath day-knight (Jane Turner).
But not for long!
Kath is selling the house and plans to move into a warehouse to set up her “artist’s life drawing studio” where Kel (Glenn Robbins) is going to be his muse. Kel plans to launch an app and is still madly in love with Kath.
For someone on the verge of homelessness, Kim doesn’t seem too stressed out because she’s “catfishing” people.
Speaking of getting scammed, we learn Sharon Strzelecki (Magda Szubanski) is captain of her netball team, the Sapphires, and met someone online who loves crypto and wants her bank details: we can already see how this is going to end.
The new scenes are filled with modern slang like “slay”, “shitand “gaslighting”. Even Harry Styles is mentioned.
If you thought Trude and fresh wouldn’t get a peek, you’re wrong. The pair have since exited the household goods business and entered the “financial advisory space”.
But Trude has big plans. She’s going to buy Kath’s house and bulldoze it in a very meta turn of events.
However, in the end Sharon is “catfished, gaslit and ghosted”, making Kim and Brett “stanky rich”, so they end up buying Kath’s house and keeping it in the family.
A former prime minister, historian and comedians weighed in
Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard featured in the first part of the special where she said that, of all the characters, Kath would probably make the best Prime Minister, adding that Trude and Prue would definitely be in opposition.
Teacher Michelle Arrowa historian, explained how Kath & Kim became one of the most successful Australian comedies of all time.
Meanwhile, other actresses, such as Celia Pacquolatalked about how groundbreaking it was to see two women succeed in comedy, and how their ability to weave humor into very serious issues, like sexual harassment, was ahead of its time.
drag queen Art Simone also made an appearance, with her Kath Day-Knight look on the Drag Race: Down Under track also getting airtime.
These types of insights into how Kath & Kim shaped Australian culture were fascinating, but they were rare and distant.
There was a big dose of nostalgia with some Australian icons
Among all the old pictures there was by Kylie Minogue appearance in the series, when she played an adult Epponnée-Raelene Kathleen Darlene Charlene Craig on her wedding day.
But one of the most emotional moments of the two-part special was the behind-the-scenes footage of by Shane Warne time on the show.
The late cricketer great, who died suddenly this year aged 52, starred in the series finale and married Sharon at Luna Park.
“It’s a dream come true,” Gina Riley says looking at Warne. “For you, I mean, being able to sit with us two crafty women.”
Archive footage included Warnie demonstrating tricks like “pinball” before giving the actors some tips on their own techniques.
The special also showed Gina and Jane, as Kath and Kim, being interviewed by another late Australian icon, Bert Newton.
While the 20th anniversary special doesn’t include new cast interviews, it’s still an enjoyable walk down memory lane, where Chateau Kath remains as strong as audiences’ love for the series.