Not long ago, most of us had never heard of Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney; now we can barely imagine Australian comedy without them.
Australian comedy without McLennan saying “I knew a boy once who had a rash on the back of his head and now he’s a raper!”? Inconceivable!
We largely covered our initial impressions of the show here, but after a second viewing… it’s still good! Watch it everyone! Enjoy the one whole week coming up where the ABC has three decent scripted Australian comedies on a Wednesday night!
Okay, having done our bit to blindly support quality Australian comedy, we can admit that while Get Krack!n is an excellent show with an extremely high hit/miss ratio jokes-wise and a firm point of view that we don’t see anywhere near often enough on our screens, it is a little uneven in a way that suggests that perhaps the Katering Show style of comedy isn’t ideal when taken to half-hour length.
Obviously, being uneven is baked into the breakfast show format – it’s made up of segments with often whiplash-inducing tonal shifts – and for the most part the show does a good job of making the segments work as individual comedy bits. But not all the segments are equally funny, and when The Katering Show was such a tightly consistent show this seems a little wobbly by comparison. They’ve stretched a ten minute web series into a 25 minute television show and done an excellent job of it, but there are still moments where the gaps show.
What makes this far less of a problem than it otherwise might be is the solid gold interaction between the Kates, playing the same characters as The Katering Show (McLennan is excitable and anxious, McCartney is somewhat less so) here and while McCartney’s “I couldn’t give a fuck” attitude is slightly more puzzling on a proper television show (on The Katering Show it made sense that she was frustrated and bored, because a friend was roping her into a weird web series; an actual television show seems like it would be so much effort to do you’d just say no from the start) it’s funny so just shut up and go with it, okay?
It’s also notable for its attitude towards society, which is a lot more up-to-the-minute than most Australian comedies – Utopia seems to have dissolved into “aren’t these modern foodstuffs crazy?” half the time, and when it wraps up it’ll be replaced with “Hurray for advertising” circa 1999 with Gruen. These are two angry morning television hosts, and you’re never going to die wondering about their opinions about the patriarchy, consumerism, and the way society infantilises and sexualises women.
(on The Katering Show this material often felt like the characters blurting out their real feelings under pressure; here, initially at least, it feels a bit more scripted. It’ll be interesting to see as the series progresses whether things gradually get more frenetic and shambolic on the show resulting in the Kates getting more manic, or whether it all resets at the start of each new episode)
Plus there’s two women of colour in the first episode, which certainly feels like a first in the 21st Century for an Australian comedy that isn’t Black Comedy (or just *a* black comedy).
Considering Australian television used to be built on a rock-solid foundation of taking the piss out of other television shows Get Krack!n‘s swipes at breakfast television, and the language of television itself, are well overdue. Flubbed lines, speaking to the wrong camera, disinterested floor crew, the dangers of boom mikes and tottering around on high heels on a set built on levels are all realistic, but thankfully not the boringly literal realism we’ve seen in a lot of recent comedies. They’re making fun of real life, not trying to recreate it and then slap some jokes on top.
And we really should have put this first: Get Krack!n features some of the most creepily catchy earworm jingles we’ve heard in a long time. We’d happily buy the soundtrack… if we didn’t already have the entire thing stuck in our heads on a permanent loop.