“Everybody Knows That The Best Source Of Iron Is Human Blood…”

Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney in “The Katering Show”I can’t remember exactly how I “discovered” The Katering Show (2015-16), but since sampling the first episode of this (NSFW!) Australian cookery-show parody a week ago, I’ve been gobbling it down and loving every bite/byte! The web-series was written and directed by its stars, Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan, who drew on their own food-related proclivities/prohibitions for inspiration… specifically, McCartney was diagnosed with numerous pesky intolerances, which her real-life friend (and enthusiastic foodie) McLennan found extremely confusing/frustrating. To quote an NPR interview transcript: “I was constantly asking her, you know, so can you eat zucchinis? Can you eat – like, what kind of cheese? So you can eat parmesan but you can’t eat brie – like, what’s the deal with that? And just constantly interrogating her about her food intolerances… [And] there was a moment where I thought, I can solve these problems for you, I can teach you how to cook. And that’s kind of where the idea for the show came about.” And so, her onscreen alter-ego zealously set about developing “delicious recipes that won’t make McCartney sh*t her pants.”

 Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan in “The Katering Show”Although these recipes are hilarious to read in their written form, they never look particularly appetizing… or even edible… but that isn’t the point, of course. The point is to squeeze as many laughs as possible out of foodie culture, and cookery-show clichés… which the two Kates do with remarkable panache. They’re both fantastically funny in their own right, but also make a great double-act, with McLennan’s bubbly enthusiasm pitted against McCartney’s cynical resentment… and it’s always fun to see the tension between their characters undercutting their forced TV-smiles… though they just as often unleash their mutual scorn on various fads and social trends, snarkily sniping at everything from overpriced kitchen gadgetry to organic farmers’ markets (which apparently make McLennan “involuntarily bleed out of [her] anus”). There are also some delightfully silly visual gags scattered in amongst all the deft artisanal dialogue, involving continuity-breaking cuts, and needlessly-extended close-ups of taps running, or random man-hands poking at the ingredients. I don’t generally assign ratings in these “reviews”, but if I did then TKS would score five solid-gold rolling-pins out of five. Hell, even their promos and “apology” snippets are jam-packed with more jokes than a lot of half-hour sitcoms I could (but won’t) mention! Meanwhile, the episode (#2.2) where McLennan decides to use her own recently-birthed placenta as the base for a lasagna (or “plasagne”, as she calls it), is one of the most disgusting/disturbing things you’re ever likely to see outside of a horror movie… and the most explicit example of the darker sensibility lurking beneath the show’s shiny, orange-clad veneer. Note: It wasn’t until I read a couple other reviews that I realised the jolly logo emblazoned on their aprons incorporates a circle of human intestine… shudder…

Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan in “The Katering Show”Sadly, it looks as if the second “seasoning” (pun!) of TKS was also its last… but the good news is that McC & McL are working on a new full-length TV series for the ABC titled Get Krack!n, in which they take a Sassy Swipe™ at breakfast television. To quote the official blurb: “With no sense of on-camera technique, the Kates will shuffle through a roster of unsafe demonstrations, surly guests, underprepared experts, and the over-lit decomposition of the duo’s already rocky relationship.” Bonzer!

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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