I’ve been enjoying Mayim Bialik’s show, Call Me Kat, an American series based on a British series. I got curious enough to find the British show, called Miranda, on Britbox. Miranda Hart, the star, writer and producer of Miranda also has a producing credit on Call Me Kat, along with Mayim Bialik and her old fictional boyfriend from Big Bang Theory, Jim Parsons. Entertainment seems to be a very small world in this case.
Spoiler: I like them both!
Both Miranda and Kat are single women in their mid to late 30’s who have serious crushes on their really hot male friends, who work in nearby establishments.
They both run businesses with the help of their BFF’s
They both have domineering mothers.
They both live above their shops.
They both break the fourth wall and talk to the audience.
Both shows end with a curtain call for all the actors, where they wave, dance and acknowledge the audience.
The most striking difference to me is the basic comedy style. Miranda is much more slapstick physical comedy than Kat, which is more character driven, with just a touch of the physical goofiness. Although, both characters are socially awkward and get clumsier as they get more anxious.
I’m not saying this is a bad thing but Miranda centers totally on Miranda-she’s in every scene. The other characters in Miranda don’t seem to exist outside of their interactions with her. Call Me Kat has much more development for the other characters. We see them in action without Mayim. Again, this is merely style, not good or bad. Both work brilliantly.
Miranda breaks into song when lyrics are appropriate to a situation. It’s a funny part of her quirkiness. Kat and her crush, Max, have musical conversations while playing the twin pianos at the bar where Max works.
Miranda, who’s never held a job or boyfriend very long, owns a joke shop but cedes most of the business aspects to her best friend, Stevie, played by Sarah Hadland. Kat, a former math teacher, owns a cat café cum coffee shop that she runs competently, with the help of Randi, played by Kyla Pratt, and the hilarious Leslie Jordan as Phil.
There are so many signature phrases from Miranda that Hart has actually opened a shop selling products from the show and giving the proceeds to charity. Her mother thinks everything is SUCH fun! Her friend, Tilly, takes phone calls and intones, Bear with, as she makes everyone wait for her to finish. And many times Miranda opens the show speaking directly to the audience, saying, “Hello to you.” These are just a few of the recurring phrases and words Miranda fans love. So far on Kat, really no catch phrases I can think of.
Miranda is also quite a bit bawdier than Kat. Be prepared for a lot of fart and boob jokes. They’re funny on their own but Miranda very often breaks that fourth wall again to share in the laughter and that makes it all the funnier.
It’s very easy to love both. They’re funny in very different ways and all the characters are endearing and SUCH fun. And the casts are filled with amazingly good actors:
Tom Ellis is Miranda’s crush, who’s gone on to play Lucifer, which I haven’t seen but now may have to look up
Patricia Hodge plays Penny, Miranda’s overbearing mother, to perfection.
Broadway musical theatre actor, Cheyenne Jackson, plays the crush on Call Me Kat.
Swoozie Kurtz is Kat’s widowed, over the top mom.
Sally Phillips and James Holmes in Miranda and Julian Gant and Christopher Rivas in Call Me Kat add plenty of talent to each episode.
Give them a try if you haven’t already and let me know how you like them!
Current Reads and Watches
What I’m reading now (paper): Falling by T.J. Newman
What I’m reading now (Kindle): An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris (Yes, still…)
What I’m binge watching: As We See It on Amazon Prime