Satire’s secret ingredients
This very funny and oddly sophisticated cooking program satire, written by and starring Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan, makes its primetime debut after great success on ABC’s iView. What they do is send up — they call it “taking a sassy swipe” — not just the ubiquitous cooking show but the very notion of what’s sometimes called “forgettable television” … programming designed to be forgotten at virtually the very moment of its original viewing. And they delightfully play it in the knowledge that it’s planned for immediate consumption and assumed to possess no lasting impact.
There’s physical humour, cross-talk repartee performed at a furious pace, slapstick, droll throwaways and cultural commentary in this fast moving, modestly produced series so well directed by Cameron Ford.
In the first episode food intolerant McCartney and intolerable foodie McLennan try to negotiate The Katering Show the unreasonably high expectations of their fans and new network alike by creating an on-trend pop-up ramen bar (“a pop-up is like usual restaurants, only cooler because they don’t have a toilet”) that also caters to myriad food restrictions, “intolerances, beliefs and abandonment issues”. And then their collective anxieties bring on the stress-induced breakdown. The end sequence is hysterical.
It’s a great double act. Brunette McCartney, tall and angular, is nerve-racked at having to perform, anxious and disdainful of kitchen show conventions, her deadpan expression priceless. McLennan’s comedy is more forced but equally funny, her despair at the life choices she’s made eventually eroding all pretence at professionalism. I love them and can’t get enough of the Kates. Wednesday, 9.10pm, ABC.
Intolerable foodie Kate McLennan and food intolerant Kate McCartney in