I have preferred absorbing stories to going out for as long as I can remember. Creating alliances with my mom to not, under any circumstances, approve any social outings. She, fellow homebody, always induldged this request. Instead I spent weekends and summers opting to stay in with books, movies, and TV shows. This means, in essence, I've watched a lot of TV.
One of my favorite shows is The Big Bang Theory, especially the *spoiler alert* evolution of the Sheldon - Amy dynamic. So when I heard Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik had teamed up to create a new show I was on board, no questions asked.
Being a well rounded nerd I follow many of my favorite creators on YouTube which was how I came across Mayim Bialik's response to the show's criticism before I watched the show. I was baffled and, admittedly, a little worried, ya know, in that way fans do in an overinvested type of way.
I gritted my teeth and watched Mayim’s video, armed without any ability to know which side I feel down on. Some of the critics Mayim identified were the main character, Kat, breaking the fourth wall, an homage to the show's origin 'Miranda', not enough depth (which, in a first season of a sit com?! Can we be a little reasonable?) and a few others. All of them more stylistic than substantive. Depth, in sit coms, comes in drips and drabs, that's part of the charm. It's not meant to hit us in the face with drama because it's not, well, a drama.
After an initial viewing I was relieved to find I slide comfortably on Mayim’s side; I really like this show. There’s physical comedy, the character of Kat is an endearing kind of cringe I find deeply relateable, there are people of color on the show, there’s advocacy for a woman’s right to be single, and I’ve always enjoyed shows that break the fourth wall. Also, It’s refreshing to have a main character be a woman who is in her 30s, late 30s, single, and happy. Additionally having that woman be a regular sized woman who is not obsessed with fashion or vanity. I thoroughly enjoyed the nod and not so subtle push back against Mayrim’s experience in ‘What Not to Wear’ — instead asking; are you comfortable, do you care what people think, go forth and enjoy the clothes you want. Plus bonus: She is also a cat enthusiast, with the premise being that she opened a cat café after her father died to live a more fulfilling life -- these are all things I personally love.
It reminds me the way the first few episodes of Schitt's Creek were received -- I'd ask people if they'd seen it and they'd say 'no' or 'yeah but I didn't love it' and thank God it still went on to have a beautiful run, incredible story arcs, and a chance. I hope this show will be given the same opportunity. Just like in Schitt's Creek, from episode 1 I felt the show had something special, I feel that way again, here, with this show.
It sometimes feels like audiences want a show deliver everything all at once and still be asking that same show to not be ‘too much’ .
My official verdict: give Kat a chance -- I think greatness could be brewing to make the purrrrfect show. (Give me at least one cat pun, I waited until the end and I'm a rad cat lady, putting only one in took great restraint).
Right now you can watch the first few episodes free at fox.