Kath & Kim: Our Effluent Life and 20 Preposterous Years offer up new storylines, rehashed footage while touching on cultural significance

It’s been 20 years since Kath & Kim first premiered, introducing audiences to a mother-daughter duo who would go on to cement themselves as one of Australia’s most beloved comedy acts.

With nostalgia at an all-time high, it was only a matter of time before the foxy morons of Fountain Lakes were bought back for some kind of reboot, remake or reunion.

However, fans were left disappointed on Sunday night after Channel 7’s two-part “anniversary celebration” failed to live up to the fever pitch surrounding it.

Kath & Kim: Our Effluent Life promised “freshly minted scenes” — which it delivered on — as well as “never-before-seen footage”, which some fans with a well-loved DVD box-set had most definitely seen before.

For some, it did not go down well.

Monday night’s follow-up special, Kath & Kim: 20 Preposterous Yearspromised to take “a look deep inside the nooks and unexplored crannies” of the show, with “rarely-seen” footage.

So how deep into the Kath & Kim universe did we go? What are the foxy morons up to now? And is the two-part special worth putting the footy franks on for?

Crack open the Tia Maria as we unpack this special together.

*And I’ve got one word for you: spoilers ahead.

What are Kath, Kim and Sharon up to now?

We were promised new scenes and the special delivered on that front.

The whole gang “returned” to Fountain Lakes … which was really just a green screen because, if you missed it, “Chateau Kath” was demolished earlier this year.

Screen production standards aside, it appears that hardly any time has passed because Kim Craig (Gina Riley) is still living at home with Kath Day-Knight (Jane Turner).

But not for long!

Kath is selling the house and plans on moving into a warehouse to set up her “artist life drawing studio” where Kel (Glenn Robbins) is going to be her muse. Kel’s thinking of launching an app and is still madly in love with Kath.

For someone on the brink of homelessness, Kim doesn’t seem too stressed because she’s “catfishing” people.

The cast of Kath and Kim pose in front of their brick house.
A lot of green screen “magic” recreated the iconic Fountain Lakes home after it was demolished in May.(Supplied: Channel 7)

Speaking of getting scammed, we learn Sharon Strzelecki (Magda Szubanski) is the captain of her netball team, the Sapphires, and has met someone online who is super into crypto and wants her bank details: We can already see how this is going to end.

The new scenes are packed with modern slang like “slay”, “the ick” and “gaslighting”. Even Harry Styles gets a mention.

If you thought Trudeau and Prue wouldn’t get a look-in, you’re wrong. The pair have since left the homewares sector and entered the “financial advising space”.

But Trude’s got big plans. She’s going to buy Kath’s house and bulldoze it in a very meta turn of events.

However, in the end, Sharon gets “catfished, gaslit and ghosted”, making Kim and Brett “stanky rich”, so they end up buying Kath’s home and keeping it in the family.

A former prime minister, historian and comedians weighed in

Former prime minister Julia Gillard featured in the first part of the special where she said, out of all the characters, Kath would probably make the best prime minister, adding Trude and Prue would definitely be part of the opposition.

Professor Michelle Arrowa historian, spoke about how Kath & Kim had become one of the most successful Australian comedies of all time.

Meanwhile, fellow female comedians, such as Celia Pacquolaspoke about how groundbreaking it was to see two women succeeding in comedy, and how their ability to incorporate humor into very serious issues, like sexual harassment, was ahead of its time.

Drag queen Art Simone also made an appearance, with her Kath Day-Knight look on the Drag Race: Down Under runway also getting some airtime.

These kinds of insights into how Kath & Kim shaped Australian culture were fascinating, but they were few and far between.

There was a big dose of nostalgia with some Australian icons

Shane Warne on the set of Kath & Kim.
Cricketer Shane Warne on the set of Australian comedy Kath & Kim.(Instagram: Kath & Kim)

Among all the old footage was Kylie Minogue’s appearance on the show, when she played a grown-up Epponnee-Raelene Kathleen Darlene Charlene Craig on her wedding day.

But one of the most emotional moments of the two-part special was behind-the-scenes footage of Shane Warne’s time on the show.

The late cricketing great, who died suddenly this year aged 52, guest-starred in the series finale and married Sharon at Luna Park.

“This is a dream come true,” Gina Riley says, looking at Warne. “For you, I mean, getting to sit with us two foxy ladies.”

Archive footage included Warnie demonstrating tricks like “the flipper” before giving the cast some tips on their own techniques.

The special also showed Gina and Jane, as Kath and Kim, being interviewed by another late Australian icon, Bert Newton.

Despite the 20-year anniversary special not including any new interviews with the cast, it’s still an enjoyable walk down memory lane, where Chateau Kath remains standing just as strong as audiences’ love for the series.

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