If I were to write a logline for Call Me Kat, it would be:
A single woman pushing 40 loses her father and so quits her unfulfilling job as a math professor to open a cat-themed café, where she shows society how to live a happy yet unconventional life.
This show is recorded in front of a live studio audience with multiple cameras and a laugh track.
The big idea of this show, based on the British sitcom Miranda, is that there is no road map on how to live life. You create it for yourself as you go. Life doesn’t have to look a certain way or check off some arbitrary societally-specified boxes for the sake of external validation.
When Kat’s father died, she re-evaluated her life and opted to start living it in a way that would make others and herself happy. She opened up her own cat café so it would be a welcoming place where people could have fun and be themselves. Many patrons often compliment her by telling her how the various calming, nostalgia-filled aspects of the café have helped them heal in a meaningful way. As you watch, you too will feel more inspired to make your life your own.
Kat – The protagonist and owner of Kat’s Cat Café – a cat café.
Kat is a delight. She is fun, quirky, and likes herself. She starts off each cold open talking directly to the camera as though she is catching up with an old friend about her life. She continues breaking the 4th wall throughout every episode with brief soliloquies to involve the viewer by sharing her personal insights and opinions. It gives the show a vlog vibe.
If Kat were to drop her pizza face-down after not having eaten all day, she’d be the kind of person to laugh about it. She is the physical embodiment of perpetual optimism.
Kat is desperately afraid of rejection, including judgment from the audience about her actions. She lies when she’s nervous if it will help her relate better to others. She would rather lie than tell the truth if there’s even an inkling that it could hurt someone’s feelings, but it means she inevitably makes each of those situations worse for all involved.
Kat doesn’t take life, her relationships, or herself too seriously. She may be socially anxious, but she’s not shy, and she has a pretty big personality.
She has never been in a romantic relationship longer than 3 months.
Her relationship with her employees is equal. They often hang out outside of work.
She drinks coffee from a Moka pot. This is an important detail, as this method of brewing requires minimal involvement yet yields a coffee almost as strong as an espresso. This shows that she puts more time and effort into others’ coffee needs than she does her own even though she has full access to high-quality espresso and coffee machines in her café.
Sheila – Kat’s mother.
Sheila is overly concerned with social appearances and takes her daughter’s single status as a personal offense. She used to be in beauty pageants herself. The disconnect in their relatability tests their bond often. Despite this strained relationship, they have their silly moments of breaking out into song and dance. Sheila really just wants the best for Kat as she doesn’t want her daughter to end up alone and lonely. Kat just wants to be accepted by her mother. Sheila is pessimistic, nosy, and has a concerning lack of boundaries.
Carter – The main bartender and owner of The Middle C – a piano bar.
Carter just got divorced – he spent too much time at work. We only ever see him there.
Max – A bartender at The Middle C plus Kat’s long-time friend from college and crush.
Max has no judgment for his friend Kat. He accepts her as she is and is a very “do it with no questions asked” kind of person. He will deceive others if it means helping Kat.
Randi – An employee at Kat’s Cat Café.
Randi doesn’t like to play around, except when it comes to dating. She will not go out of her way for others. She will only do what is expected of her, and you cannot count on her for help involving tasks like picking you up from the airport or helping you build a table.
Phil – An employee at Kat’s Cat Café.
Phil is an old soul who enjoys slow-living. He’d rather take a night in tending to his garden or baking cinnamon buns than drinking beer while watching sports. He is frequently seen as still hung-up on his ex, Marty, who left him for a younger man. He has 7 brothers and sisters plus some ducks. His mom, unfortunately, has glaucoma.
Other characters featured in the first half of season 1 include Tara (Kat’s tired married childhood friend with 3 kids), Wyatt (a recurring customer at Kat’s Cat Cafe), Daniel (a recurring customer at Kat’s Cat Cafe who dated Randi and refused to tip on moral grounds), and Brigitte (Max’s ex-girlfriend who would appear as a fantasy for Kat whenever she felt embarrassed or insecure).
The pacing is good, steady, and not too slow yet not too rapid-fire. Sometimes key scenes are not depicted to skip over any messy drama, which doesn’t lead to the smoothest scene transitions. The A plot always centers on Kat whereas the B plot follows either her employees or the bar. The title card is short and sweet as it shows photos of each cast member with a different cat.
The humor style is pun-filled and slapstick. It centers a lot on cat-themed wordplay and misconstrued sexual innuendos. It also heavily relies on one of Kat’s flaws – her clumsiness – to accentuate her carefree messy spirit as she knocks things over, props and people alike. There are also fairly frequent call-backs to the same jokes made earlier in the same episodes. Flashbacks embellish any told stories to add some flair. There are a couple of swears thrown in, likely intended for adults. The plot of every episode in this half-hour episodic Fox show isn’t overly complex. This is a relatable, light-hearted, feel-good comedy show. Kat will often say one thing and immediately flip to do the other for comedic effect. At the end of the tag, all of the actors break character and wave to an applauding audience. This show is playful, hopeful, and helpful.