I reckon when your resume includes working on such illustrious TV shows as “The Big Bang Theory,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” and “Futurama,” you have earned the right to occasionally go off the deep end. For Eric Kaplan, the genius (let the sarcasm flow) behind a new daily talk show of sorts, “Love Me Cat,” this deep end is the Mariana Trench of broadcasting — an effort so void of redeeming quality I urge you to watch one episode. The four minutes of viewing (time you will never get back) will be humorless, pointlessly crude, and cure you of the notion that virtually anyone can make a decent webisode.
Debuting on My Damn Channel, a made-for-the-web network which features some clever, award-wining fare (“Back on Topps,” “You Suck at Photoshop”), this pathetic puppet-hosted talk show is proof that studios — ranging from top-shelf Hollywood studios to boiler room startups — need to appoint someone with taste and common sense to the key position of quality control. The first two episodes of “Cats” feature perennial second-banana Andy Richter as the guest, with the debut episode quickly plummeting to the height of bad taste with some banter about homosexuality (and some things I deem myself too classy to repeat). Episode number two opens with dialogue about the notion of a sidekick killing off his boss (Conan O’Brien in the case of Richter) and then quickly slides into the trough of banality, running on with an exchange about manly body parts. ‘Nuff said?
There are two alleged novelties “Cat” brings to the audience. For openers, this is a Kickstarter-funded program, to which I beg the donors to yell “refund, refund”. Also, there is the fact the show is hosted by a group of puppets. There is a cat who is the smarmy host, a glassy-eyed owl as his sidekick, a MST3K-ripoff called Bronzo who is the show’s “band,” and Sheepy, a dumb, burned-out audience member who nods furiously at every comment. Perhaps the show and its puppets represent some sort of veiled reference to the mass indifference and disconnected nature of modern, tech-infused life… or perhaps it’s all just stupid and the joke is on us.
While one could make the valid argument that I am not the show’s target audience, given I deem sobriety a virtue during most of my waking hours. Even though I find it difficult to believe anyone with more than half a wit would find this clever, funny, or poignant. Keep in mind, my judgment is made solely on the first two installments — things can only get better… or even worse.