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Series / Call Me Kat

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Call Me Kat is a 2021 sitcom starring Mayim Bialik, Swoosie Kurtz, Kyla Pratt, Cheyenne Jackson and Leslie Jordan on Fox. The series is, at heart, a Trans-Atlantic remake of the British sitcom Miranda (2009) created by Miranda Hart with the the central concept changed from a joke shop to a cat café, though most of the characters and set-up remain.

Kat (Mayim Bialik) is a 39-year-old single woman unsatisfied with life and tired of her mother's constant nagging to find a man to settle down with. She decides to leave her job as a professor at the University of Louisville in her Kentucky hometown, take a leap of faith, and use the money her mother saved for her wedding to open a cat café in Louisville with her friends.

Call Me Kat includes the following tropes

  • Actor Allusion:
    • One of the cat cafe residents, an old one-eyed cat who has been around for years, is finally adopted. Owing to her disability she wears a cute little eyepatch. Fans of the surreal drama Pushing Daisies might remember Swoozie Kurtz's turn there as a dotty old aunt figure who wore a colorful, decorative eyepatch—owing to a nasty mishap with cat-box litter.
    • On the season premiere, Kat mentions not appreciating "those shows where 'fashion experts' accost people on the street and tell people how hideous they look." Then she fantasizes about being a host of Wear What You Want and accosting a woman wearing sweat clothing, interrogating her, and concluding to the woman the title advice. Mayim Bialik was one of the few celebrities made over on What Not to Wear.
    • The season two premiere features an appearance by some of the Blossom cast, with Kat being a fan of the show since a child. She asks about "the girl with the flower hat" and they say she's hosting quiz shows now.
    • The third season episode "Call Me Philliam" has Phill's mother and she wants people to call her Mama.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Kat's mother is eager for her to find a husband, even announcing she will even pay a volunteer money to marry her daughter to a room full of people as Kat attempts to wrestle the microphone from her.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: A Deconstruction. Kat is attracted to Nick, the new sandwich shop owner, while she is still dating Oscar. However, she also dislikes him as a person due to his shady business practices. She misguidedly sleeps with him after dumping Oscar, only to have him tell her that he is buying her building and raising her rent. A series of unfortunate events soon after lead her to fire Phil, and an anxious and enraged Kat takes out her frustrations on Nick, only to have a panic attack. The moral here is that you shouldn't sleep with people you don't like or respect, for it won't end well and can ruin your health/life/relationships.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Kat does this in her narration to the audience, often forgetting who she's meant to be talking to.
  • Confetti Drop: Kat throws a handful of confetti while sitting on the couch.
  • Darker and Edgier: Season two is heading down the path, what with Kat dumping Oscar on the same night he proposes after kissing Max, then having a panic attack after Nick, who she starts casually sleeping with, becomes her landlord and raises her rent, resulting her firing Phil.
  • Deconstruction Crossover: "Call Me Flatch" has the main characters from Welcome to Flatch, Kelly and Shrub, stop by and get along great with Kat at first. But, while their antics on their own show can cause a lot of problems, here they make things worse for Kat and have their irresponsible behaviors cast in a dark light. When her rent is raised by Nick, she starts renting out her apartment while she lives with her mom. As her first renters, Kelly and Shrub take advantage of her hospitality and borrow her clothes/underwear without asking. Later on, Kelly thoughtlessly leaves Kat's bathrub running. This results in both Kat's apartment and cafe being damaged by water. Instead of doing anything to help or even apologize, Kelly just blames it on Shrub and they run away.
  • Every Episode Ending: At the end of each episode, the action stops for a moment so that each actor can break character and wave to the camera. This is a practice picked up from Miranda (2009), itself a throwback to British sitcoms like Are You Being Served? and 'Allo 'Allo!.
  • Foreign Remake: Of the British series Miranda (2009).
  • Foreshadowing: Earlier in the season premiere, Sheila makes a comment about how Max suddenly discovers his feelings for Kat just when she starts dating Oscar. When Max finally gets a girlfriend, Kat herself suddenly acts all jealous.
    • Also, Kat is told by Phil that some of her customers think she is actually cheating on Oscar with Max. At the end of "Call Me Cupid", Kat impulsively kisses Max.
    • A lonely Kat tells her rival Nick that it would be nice to own the building where she lives and has her cat cafe. Later on, he tells her that he is buying the building.
  • Imaginary Enemy: Kat occasionally sees Brigitte, her mental image of Max's French ex-girlfriend, appear in front of her to say something insulting.
  • Intoxication Ensues: Phil bakes some sticky buns laced with marijuana oil for his mother's glaucoma, but then gets them mixed up with the regular buns for the café. Randi suggests that each take one from each batch to see which have pot. Phil ends up taking a pot sticky bun and acts high the rest of the day.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: While all episodes of season one have a short, generic title that represents their respective plots, all episode titles from season two onward are the form "Call Me [X]" (just like the series' own title), with the [X] being a quirky plot-related phrase or reference to pop-culture.
  • Killed By The Adaptation: When the series opens, Kat's dad has recently passed away. Miranda's dad, though he appears less frequently than her mum, is alive and well (and her parents' active sex life is part of what makes them Amazingly Embarrassing Parents to Miranda).
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Kat's cluelessly telling Nick about her housing situation leads to him buying her building.
  • Noodle Incident: Phil did something to Matthew McConaughey at the 1996 Tennessee State Fair. No details are given, but McConaughey's still furious.
    Joey Lawrence: You know, when I mentioned Phil's name? He threw his golf clubs in the lake and headbutted Ted Danson!
  • Old Maid: Shelia fears her daughter Kat is becoming this at age 39.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Kat loses Phil as a friend after she fires him. He does come back when she has a panic attack.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Phil rips Kat a new one when she fires him after her rent is raised, yelling that this is the thanks he gets for putting up with her constant bad decisions and whining over her love life.
    • Later, Kat herself starts doing this to Nick for raising her rent, but she ends up having a panic attack in the middle of it.
  • Retool: Season 2 dropped most of the fourth-wall breaking of the first season and the original. It's now limited to the occasional aside comment and lampshade hanging.
  • Vague Age: Sheila refuses to give her real age, even to Kat. Instead, she says things like "older than a seedling, but younger than the moon."
  • Wham Episode: "Call Me Cupid" has Kat kiss Max after setting him up with a girlfriend.
    • The next few episodes have her breaking up with Oscar after he proposes, and then sleeping with Nick only to learn that he plans to buy her building.
    • "Call Me Flatch" has Kat firing Phil in order to save costs, and then having a panic attack while yelling at Nick for raising her rent.
    • " Call Me Shellfish" has Kat being diagnosed with a panic disorder. It flares up again after she runs a successful fundraiser for her cafe. She then dreams of a conversation with her dead father, who tells her to start putting herself first. This leads to her deciding to close the cafe and travel to Paris.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Kat gives this to Max after he nearly ruins her relationship with Oscar in the season two premiere.
    • Phil gives this to Kat after she fires him to save money. Later, she tries to do the same with Nick, only to have a panic attack.


Cast Tribute to Leslie Jordan

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