Call Me Kat S1E2: “Double Date”

All images used in this review are from FOXFLASH, Fox’s press release site. Call Me Kat ©2021 by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc and Fox Media LLC. They are used with their permission, as they are publicity images.

Episode summary (spoilers): Worried about her relationship status, Kat’s mother sets her up with a date with a track announcer named Brandon; but at Carter’s bar, Max tells Kat he planned a piano karaoke night with her. So she has to decide how to go to both. Randi tells her that she should hang out with Max first, and then Brandon later on the during the day. Kat and Max perform a duet together, but she has such a good time that she decides to blow over her date with Brandon to see how things end up. However, Max still has feelings for his ex and wants to go back to Europe to win her over. Trying to play it cool, although also sad, Kat decides to leave.

At the café, Kat is worried that she can’t get a date, especially since Kat blew Brandon over at the last minute. Randi tells her not to beat herself up over it too much. Kat goes to the track to visit Brandon and brings him some pastries as a way of apologizing for missing the date. Kat asks for a second chance, but Brandon says that their meet up wasn’t for the date. Brandon wanted to meet up so he could ask Kat for advice on how to start a business, and that he’s actually married. And so, Kat remains single.

While working, Randi notices that a customer named Daniel who never tips when he visits. She ends up seeing Daniel at the bar not tip Carter and confronts him. The reason for him not tipping, according to him, is because of sexual harassment and fair wages. Daniel returns to the café and brings Randi a piece of film as a gift, but refuses to tip still. He gives the money for his drinks in coins.

My thoughts: When watching the pilot on Sunday, I thought that this show would need a lot of work, but it wasn’t worth writing off right away. And I was right. So I don’t know if the pilot was made a long time ago compared to episode 2, because I thought episode 2 was a huge improvement over the pilot. I found the jokes to be actually mostly funny. And the fourth wall jokes were even toned down too. I actually appreciated that because some of the fourth wall breaks were actually funny. There were actual times I was laughing in the episode, unlike the pilot, which got bare smiles and chuckles at its best. The pilot tried way too hard to make it naturally funny, and thus it failed with most of its punchlines. It also tended to put more jokes over story. And if I learned anything from watching a lot of modern Family Guy, which puts cutaways and jokes over story, that’s how an episode fails. Jokes should accompany a story and telling a bunch of irrelevant jokes doesn’t tend to be my type of humor. When the jokes are there with the plot, they naturally build in and they tend to be better in my opinion.

My favorite part of the episode was probably Max and Kat playing a duet. They just had such a good time and the acting really felt natural on that too. It’s nice to see people who are passionate about a show so much. I can tell that Mayim Bialik really loves her show, even if most of the people who have seen it disagree. The passion in it so far is the reason why I continued to tune in. I think that Call Me Kat has a lot of potential. This second episode proves that it does. I also like how it keeps continuity in track. After seeing Max return in the pilot, Kat’s still interested in asking him out. And while Call Me Kat should be episodic in nature, their second episode is more of a continuation of the first. And I think that’s a good thing.

These more story-driven sitcoms are something that comedy could use nowadays, because it keeps viewers interested and more invested in the characters and story. Continuity and story-driven plots don’t have to just be for dramas. Look at Bojack Horseman. That started off as a normal animated comedy, but because of its heavy continuity, was able to tell a brilliant story about a celebrity who has a lot to do to change the face of himself over the course of six seasons. And by the end of its six season run in 2020, it’s been regarded by critics and audiences alike as one of the best animated shows ever made. I’m sure there are other sitcoms with a more over-arching story, but I’m just going off on what I have seen enough of.

The heart is still there with Randi telling Kat not to feel so bad about not getting a date, since she can relate to not knowing how to run a business like Kat can. And it’s a warm, and nice message as well. And even though the show still needs improvement, they are already kicking it in the heart-to-heart department, a concept that either needs to be not there or fully there, and not half-assed like Netflix’s Hoops.

While I had fun watching the main plot, the B-plot is just fine. I didn’t think it was anything special or that funny. But at the end, I did like how Daniel still refused to “tip” despite giving Randi a “gift”. Maybe he’ll be a love interest for her and that might not be so bad to see.

Also, I noticed that the “cat café” concept was yet unused again. So, I hope that future episodes tend to build that more in since that’s the premise of the series. But this episode was better for getting to know more about the cast than the pilot.

“Double Date” is a huge improvement over the pilot episode. Some of the jokes are still boring and unfunny, like the fourth wall ones; But they’re much more rare compared to the first episode. The episode is nothing truly special, as the plot has been done by other sitcoms in the past, but it manages to keep a solid structure in place and pull some clever jokes. I look forward to next week’s episode about going on vacation and hope that the show keeps making strides forward.

Overall rating: 7.5/10