There are sufficient moments in “Call Me Kat” that veer near working that they turn out to be much more irritating after they don’t. Sufficient good substances to make a broadcast hit are proper there, most notably Mayim Bialik starring as Kat, her first common TV function since “The Huge Bang Principle” made her a community TV mainstay. A stable supporting solid — together with Swoosie Kurtz, Kyla Pratt and Leslie Jordan — accompanies her as she vamps for the digital camera, which turns into one other character all its personal as Kat always talks straight at it. And in one of many present’s greatest artistic selections, Darlene Hunt’s “Call Me Kat” doesn’t let Kat, a single 39 year-old Louisville lady who ditched academia to open her personal cat café, turn out to be the full spinster cliché she may have.
When her fretful mom (Kurtz) asks her if she’s not afraid of changing into “a tragic cat woman,” as an illustration, Kat simply smiles, picks up one in all her many cats, and insists that she’ll be “a rad cat woman.” It’s not a line that deserves the burst of viewers laughter it instantly will get, however it’s at the least one which makes it clear that Kat isn’t a very miserable mess simply because she’s a single 39 year-old who ditched tutorial to open her personal cat café. She genuinely, largely, likes her life.
This, sadly, is about essentially the most fascinating the present will get in its first 4 episodes. “Call Me Kat” is ostensibly based mostly on “Miranda,” a screwball comedy from British comic Miranda Hart. For its personal iteration of the present, “Call Me Kat” takes the (very) primary “Miranda” premise of “a lady in her late thirties runs a store and doesn’t have a boyfriend” and Hart’s signature fourth wall breaks in which she talked to her viewers, pulled humorous faces and shared a number of the ideas she didn’t dare converse aloud to the characters proper in entrance of her. (For these unfamiliar with “Miranda,” assume “Fleabag” with the punctuation of an enthusiastic studio viewers.) Kat’s mom, like Miranda’s, is an eccentric worrywart who simply need her to get married, already. And like Miranda, Kat pines for her good-looking pal, performed this time by Cheyenne Jackson. Their dynamic is one other level that suffers when immediately in comparison with the one which impressed it on “Miranda,” the place Hart and Tom Ellis had an instantly recognizable romantic chemistry regardless of the wacky hijinks surrounding them always. On “Call Me Kat,” Bialik and Jackson can barely maintain their pleasant banter afloat, not to mention trace at the potential for the rest past it.
Bialik is an enthusiastic lead who throws herself headfirst into the problem of taking part in Kat as a extra fulfilled individual than her logline would recommend. However she doesn’t have as agency a grip on the tone and format as Hart did, and fairly often seems like she’s doing an American impression of Hart’s very particularly British character and tone. Turning and grinning on the digital camera may be a time-honored tacky sitcom custom, however it’s additionally deceptively arduous to drag off with out seeming distractingly unnatural, as is the case with “Call Me Kat.” With no sharper central efficiency to floor it, nor cohesive sufficient directing and enhancing to sew all of it collectively, the present struggles to take care of its personal tempo and turns into extra jarring than charming.
“Call Me Kat” airs Thursdays at 9 pm on Fox.