Picks and Pans Review: Kath & Kim

updated 10/13/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/13/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

NBC, Oct. 9, 8:30 p.m. ET

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COMEDY
Kath & Kim is one of the best sitcoms of the past 10 years—funny, fresh, with a cartoon vitality. My only wish is that I wasn't referring to the original Australian series (which aired here on the Sundance Channel). This disheartening American remake follows the basic recipe, but it's just one more cake left out in the rain.

Molly Shannon and Selma Blair star as a supremely tacky, stunningly unintelligent mother and daughter. Shannon is Kath, a wide-eyed, hip-swinging fortysomething divorcée whose husband-to-be (John Michael Higgins) owns a sandwich shop. Blair is her most lamentable offspring, Kim, a sullen, drawling grump who perks up when relating celebrity gossip. Shannon is a great comedian, but Kath never seems fired up with the unblinkered nuttiness that drove her old Saturday Night Live characters. And Blair makes Kim almost too believably awful: she's a room-emptier. These are talented ladies, and maybe the show will click. Until then, good luck.

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