Reviews, Screen, TV

Get Krack!n review: ABC finds a genuinely gut-busting comedy

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It’s a rare TV series that causes me to burst out in spontaneous laughter alone in my apartment, but the new show from Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney had just that effect in each of the five episodes I previewed for this review.

Get Krack!n, a satire on morning and lifestyle TV, features some of the funniest writing I’ve seen on TV for years and is an exciting new step from two of our most exciting comedic talents. The Kates demonstrated their extraordinary ability to unpack the ludicrous, hypocritical and hysterical hype surrounding food trends on their breakout cooking webseries The Katering Showand they apply the same critical lens and laser-sharp satirical skill in Get Krack!n.

But the world of this new show is significantly extended and expanded. While The Katering Show episodes ran somewhere between seven and 12 minutes, Get Krack!n is made up of eight 30-minute episodes, to premiere on ABC TV.

The pair return to the same fictionalised versions of themselves honed in The Katering Show — McCartney with her snide, straight-talking deadpan, and McLennan with her overt enthusiasm and desperate attempts to make a wildly successful program — as they struggle to throw together a morning news and lifestyle show.

But unlike most successful formats, Get Krack!n has been given a 3am slot — “an hour usually reserved for pissing with your eyes closed” — and only a bare bones, and barely experienced, production crew.

“We’re going to show you how to do stuff, make stuff, buy stuff, ingest stuff, avoid stuff, and best of all, fear stuff.”

There are plenty of recognisable tropes from morning TV, including a “Street View” window (although it looks out onto an alley at 3am, so the sights aren’t always entirely wholesome), a Kash Kock giving away thousands of dollars to lucky viewers, and a beautiful weather girl who’s objectified by the hosts (played by Adam Briggs). Every time a guest starts a segment by chirpily saying “Hi girls!”, McCartney reminds that they’re in fact 37-year-old women.

Problems pop up very quickly in the first episode, from difficulties with the set, to technical glitches, to guests who threaten to derail the program.

The Kates take aim at the way lifestyle TV, with its seemingly breezy presentational style, places extraordinary pressure on women in a socially dictatorial fashion. In the first episode, they announce to their audience: “We’re going to show you how to do stuff, make stuff, buy stuff, ingest stuff, avoid stuff, and best of all, fear stuff.”

They take a “sassy swipe” at infomercials, lifestyle trends (de-cluttering proves to be an extraordinarily stressful experience), and the supposed medical experts who get a showing on lifestyle TV. Did you know that turmeric can cure literally every human ailment?

The biggest question hanging over the series is whether or not the shtick of The Katering Show can sustain a full half hour episode.

They also manage to satirise recent headline-grabbing news/lifestyle TV segments, including Katy Perry’s Sunrise appearance, Sonia Kruger’s comments supporting a ban on Muslim immigration, Nine host Amber Sherlock’s demand that a journalist “Go and grab a jacket!“, and Karl Stefanovic’s apology for making transphobic jokes on the Today show.

The biggest question hanging over the series is whether or not the shtick of The Katering Show can sustain a full half hour episode. I’m not entirely convinced that it does; it’s essentially still a format and comedic style built for short webseries. Although each episode has a satisfying arc and the various guests add some comedic variety, it can feel a little like a sketch drawn out to a full series.

But looking for strong narrative development or richness seems churlish when there are more laughs per episode of Get Krack!n than most contemporary comedies could hope for across a whole season. The gags reach laugh-out-loud, cringe inducing, and sometimes gut-busting levels of funny.

The precision with which the Kates are able to deconstruct and demolish social anxieties and prejudices is astonishing and consistently funny. On top of that, their dynamic as a double act is spot-on, and despite their mocking segments about “relatable” couch chats, they remain two of the most “relatable” personalities on TV.

Their concerns and failures range from the domestic to the global, and are the concerns and failures of millions of Australians — particularly women. The only difference is, they’re far funnier than most of us could ever hope to be.

[box]Get Krack!n premieres on ABC TV and iview Wednesday, August 30 at 9.30pm[/box]

29 responses to “Get Krack!n review: ABC finds a genuinely gut-busting comedy

  1. Get Kackling you mean! This show should come with complimentary ear-protection. I’d rather listen to Jimmy Giggle, much more restful!

  2. I seriously hope this is funny. I have been so disappointed with recent Oz TV comedy. The Family Law, Rosehaven, Meet the Habibs, Ronny Chieng, etc were seriously lacking in the laughs department.

    1. Yup, another disappointment. It must be because I am a grumpy old bugger. I just don’t get modern comedy. Is Get Krack!n an ironic hipster thing designed for young people?

  3. Well, it’s at least providing the service of being able to tell which TV reviewers to completely ignore in future. Their satire/parody is too over the top too many times. Ribald outbreaks of honesty in comments or asides need to either be subtle enough to be realistic that they could actually go to air (ever seen Posh Nosh, the cleverer, funnier show than the Kate’s first iView project); or the show has to live in a absurd universe of its own (The Young Ones, perhaps). These comedians don’t know how to do either.

    I keep getting the feeling they could be funny as comedy actors – just as find Kitty Flanagan pretty hilarious in Utopia – but this shtick they are doing is awful.

  4. I sat there with my jaw stuck upon at the sheer high school level badness of this thing. Although the tumeric segment was so OTT and cringeworthy it was like something out of kindergarten.

    After the breezy sophistication of Utopia THIS was just an embarrasment. The idea of a breakfast TV satire is good – but done appallingly here, and all so predictably PC, and seriously NOT FUNNY. BAD BEYOND BELIEF.

    Fun to watch as train wreck television though. ONCE.

    1. Bingo – the only reason I watched it for the whole excruciating 30 minutes was to see if somehow I was missing the basic joke. I absolutely love satire, usually, but “Kath and Kim” this most definitely is not.

      Who on earth made the decision to put this nonsense to air? The acting is absolutely appalling and the comedy about as non-existent as the shoestring budget.

  5. This is the best debut of a series I can remember. I’m talking word-wide.
    These girls have got it and if you don’t get it, then don’t watch it.
    Well done to all concerned.
    Fame awaits you.
    ***** (That’s five stars)
    p.s. I’m from Preston

  6. “The Norman Gunston” show in the 1970s was the first to send up the current mores of the entertainment and club industry by sending up contemporary night time variety shows and club style entertainment. Then there is “Ali G” and “Borat” in the 1990s. Today, these ladies in the tradition of “Ada and Elsie” of the 1940s and “Norman Gunston” take the ‘mickey’ out of today’s cultural fare on commercial free to air television advertorial-style programs with their snake oil merchants of wellness which are not evidence-based medicine.

    Anthony of Belfield

  7. In what universe is this funny? Preceded by Mad as Hell and Utopia, both shows that actually invoke real laughter. I lasted about 10 minutes.

  8. I think this show would be very funny and a great send up of morning TV but do we really need all the smut. I am no wowser but good comedy does not need crude referrals to body parts etc, so over it. These girls are good and do not need to make themselves look like a pair of absolute low class bogans, it’s embarrassing!

  9. Disappointed…………….. absolutely awful……………. still waiting for a laugh but great for learning how to swear…. really ABC ?

    saying Katy Perry over n over n over n over .Kept watching waiting for some improvement but just gets worse.

    Kate is correct .. this is a shit show…so Kates……………. suck it suck it suck it…….. bloody frightful……………..

  10. I love this show. Besides the laughs there is such smart commentary tucked away behind the craziness. And I love reading the disapproving comments of the people who didn’t like it. It’s like you’re part of the show, it’s great, well done you!

  11. I found it a bit over the top and tedious. Yes, I suppose it was meant to be OTP, but just too long. I didn’t like the overt crudeness either

  12. It’s so refreshing to see show which nails the bullshit that is “regular morning shows”.
    The unprofessionalism, the banality, which masquerades as informative or entertaining is mercilessly mocked by these two (clever) clowns.
    At times I was mildly shocked (but laughingly so) and found myself laughing loudly at most of the segments.
    Well done, girls. (sorry….women of 37)

    ps I’m a white dinosaur male too

  13. I have watched 4 episodes of this show and find it an insult to my intelligence. I keep watching to fathom how much my taxes are being wasted on this garbage.

    How many times to we have to hear the C Bomb.!!

  14. This is a punish. The same joke over again. A great concept, poor execution. Just imagine Working Dog had produced this

  15. I think it’s great. Pushing the boundaries in a funny and thought provoking way. The one I just watched that started off with dancing twats then switched to faux disaster took it up a notch, all the time tantalisingly teetering on the edge of bad taste but not falling in…
    And the more I see that Danoz woman flailing on the floor the funnier it gets.
    Crazed nutty shit. Keep it coming!

  16. Absolutely the most biting satire on Australian TV. Cringeworthy in the tradition of The Office, they show real courage in their devastating depictions of today’s first world problems, while sneaking in hilarious bits like the worm puppet in episode 4 – MacCartney’s comment about it is classic, and so Australian.
    Please give them a go,
    PS: to be fair, Sammy J’s satire is up there too.

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