The Three Best KATE & ALLIE Episodes of Season One

Welcome to the first official Sitcom Tuesday of 2022! This week, we’re finally starting our coverage on the best of Kate & Allie (1984-1989, CBS), which is currently available on DVD.

Kate & Allie stars SUSAN SAINT JAMES as Kate and JANE CURTIN as Allie. With ARI MEYERS, FREDERICK KOEHLER, and ALLISON SMITH.

There are two reasons I wanted to cover Kate & Allie here. Well, several — if you count the handful of episodes that I am eager to add to this blog’s figurative rolodex. Beyond those, I’m interested in discussing this series because of its premise and because of its character work. To the first point, if Family Ties is a most revealing example of the 1980s’ traditional family sitcom, then Kate & Allie is a most revealing example of the “modified” version of this subgenre, for, like many shows in this era, it lacks the “typical” two-parent nuclear family of the 1950s but maintains those shows’ (and their ‘80s descendants’) same gently comic energy, relatively muted characters, and affirmation of familial bonds as a fundamental moral good. In other words, tonally and narratively, Kate & Allie has a lot in common with its decade’s most dominant fare (such as Family Ties), only, like the majority in this pile, it allows itself an added, slightly higher concept “wrinkle,” for while there are two parents in the house, they’re both divorced mothers who have essentially pulled their resources together and merged their families. This is non-traditional, enabling additional plots about the conflicts of this blended arrangement, along with dramas about the ramifications of divorce on the modern child — a contemporary notion that hopes to derive empathy for this unfortunate social trend, while also being more relatable to those who have experienced it. And although an adherence to family sitcom conventions is inherently “conservative” in terms of values (just like Family Ties), dealing with an unideal social reality and celebrating a new lifestyle as a viable alternative due to necessity could also make the show seem socially progressive — a post-Lear-ian premise that, like One Day At A Time, enjoys being called groundbreaking for reckoning with the phenomenon of divorce and single-parenting, and within a genre used to a more “traditional” depiction of the nuclear family. However, if the “wrinkle” added to this domestic premise seems Lear-ian, and there are indeed a few stories throughout the run self-conscious about a social statement being imparted, Kate & Allie would rather be affiliated with the MTM brand, offering two strong, independent women making it on their own — or together — in plots that, as a whole, care more about their relationship than the Lear-ian consequences of the sociopolitical premise.

This is reflected in the title, which was originally Two Mommies — a name that evokes the unique premise and its social implications — before it was tellingly changed during development to Kate & Allie, indicating a shift in priorities to the two leads, or, at least, their relationship. This implied move to a more relationship-focused understanding of the series will be a trend we follow in this coverage — how the show, as it runs out of ways to reiterate its “modified family” “wrinkle” in story, starts attempting to supplant its initial premise with elements of the buddy comedy, in the grand tradition of Laverne & Shirley, Mary & Rhoda, and Lucy & Ethel (or, Lucy & Viv)… Well, not exactly like them, for while Kate & Allie is cognizant of an affiliation with the greats — and, tangentially, this series, the most-watched sitcom of the 1983-’84 TV season, launched an effort by CBS to directly target the female demographic, eventually existing alongside two more hits with similar themes and a shared audience appeal, Designing Women and Murphy Brown — its style is different than its predecessors. For instance, this might seem like an updated take on The Lucy Show — which was about two single moms raising their broods together under one roof, only with one divorce between the two of them and no room at all for it within weekly story (proof of the new post-Lear-ian possibilities presented to Kate & Allie) — but it’s, comedically, not at all interested in Lucille Ball’s, or Laverne & Shirley’s, primary comic concern: broad, physical humor. What’s more, it doesn’t use Kate and Allie like The Mary Tyler Moore Show deploys Mary and Rhoda. And this brings me to the second reason I wanted to cover Kate & Allie: the chance to share thoughts on this series’ character work, which is fascinating… and, well, frustrating. Let’s start right at the top: this series’ chief creative guide — the man who turned Two Mommies into Kate & Allie, and who served as director/producer for its first five seasons — is Bill Persky, whose most well-known prior credits were That Girl, another sitcom about independent femininity (but with a slapstick bent and sillier tone, along with other ideals more reflective of its era), and the series that had made all this possible: Carl Reiner’s The Dick Van Dyke Show, for which Persky was a regular co-contributor.

To wit, Persky’s pedigree — on Dick Van Dyke, specifically — gives context to Kate & Allie, for this is a show, like Reiner’s classic, that finds part of its identity from a desire to boast a more genuine mimesis than its contemporaries. To refresh your memory on Dick Van Dyke, I’ll quote myself: “[It was] committed to a greater degree of realism compared to the era’s baseline, with a strict threshold for truth that was exhibited not only in less extreme characterizations, but also in stories that had to be plausible (‘would my wife do this?’) and were typically well-connected to the regulars’ actions, behaviors, and choices — for the most part, they caused, or at least shaped, the weekly dramas. That is, creator Carl Reiner’s show was an early advocate for a more textually low-concept style, where the leads didn’t have any premise-making goals or obvious flaws, thereby rendering their conflicts accordingly small and garden variety, but with dramatic support from the emotional stakes of palpably human leads in relatable relationships and down-to-earth situations that they motivated, and with which we could identify […] Rob Petrie’s character may not have had the major imperfection of, say, Gracie Allen’s unintelligence, and he was never paired with a defining objective like, say, Lucy Ricardo’s desire to break out of the home, but Reiner proved it didn’t matter: smaller wants and less exaggerated shortcomings could also drive weekly plots and bring laughs when backed in a sustaining, believable framework by the continuity of sincere and reliable personalities. This didn’t make for a lack of definition, but something more nuanced, based on congruous and compounding details that created more realistic leads and allowed Reiner to channel the relatability of his sketch comedy origins — where humor was the engine of Reiner’s entire being, ingrained in him since his Sid Caesar days […] — through more multi-dimensional regulars who were capable of encouraging actual story, thus progressing the character-driven school of sitcommery out of the character-immersed, but less totally honest, I Love Lucy. And from this, we can see how Reiner’s Dick Van Dyke represents an evolution in the sitcom genre that would continue in the ‘70s… [with] MTM.” So, in a nutshell, Dick Van Dyke reinforced an aesthetic realism (internal standards of believability) more literally realistic for the time, and exemplified it through more human characterizations.

This evolution from Dick Van Dyke to MTM’s efforts is worth noting too, as, by the ’80s, Mary Tyler Moore had become the new foundational influence for all the best character-driven shows. I’ll try to be brief about why: MTM’s Allan Burns and Jim Brooks, even more explicitly than Carl Reiner, married their sitcom’s comic (and dramatic) fortunes to its characterizations; instead of using them to motivate external narrative set pieces — the slapstick that Reiner’s Dick Van Dyke (like Lucy) still counted as essential to its comic DNA — the Mary Tyler Moore ensemble would now more exclusively create the episodic centerpieces via their own interactions. This new purpose emboldened these leads to become both funnier, so their personas could anchor the climactic moments, and also more emotionally truthful, as more direct narrative application within an equally low-concept premise inevitably supplied them dramatic dimension, tying both the storytelling and the laughs to an even more grounding, realistic influence — their humanity. And, fortunately, this elevated humanity, a result of being so well-explored within plot (usually from gentle interpersonal conflict), kept them from becoming unrealistic, offsetting any disbelief that might also arise from the other heightened traits fueling their comedically centralized depictions and establishing a rich aesthetic realism tailored just for them. Indeed, as Mary Tyler Moore evolved the character-driven sitcom — making the whole apparatus, again, more precisely predicated on its leads — it did so while navigating, nay progressing, the genre’s trend to more literal realism (encouraging low-concept series to give more attention to character for story, in turn yielding more emotional truth). What’s more, it did all this without a significant loss in comedy. The most rewarding outgrowth of this MTM style showed up on Taxi, which broadened some of its regulars and narrative ideas in tandem with the late ‘70s’ sillier tastes, and then Cheers, which offered something akin to a self-correction, returning to a more exclusively relationship-based stance, but with characters whose comedic and dramatic capabilities had to be more accentuated within a literally realistic world where plot became even more built around them specifically — i.e., a continuation of Mary Tyler Moore‘s progression from Dick Van Dyke, which, of course, had progressed like this from I Love Lucy.

Now, with regard to literal realism, this ongoing procession of sitcoms becoming more like “real life” is largely associated with low-concept structures that require more emphasis on a set of characters and their established relationships, forcing more emotional honesty, or at least consistency. So, as a whole, it’s been a positive development. But the situation comedy, remember, is an art form because it’s seeking to use the fixed elements of a situation (mostly, characters) for comedy, and the reason Cheers, Mary Tyler Moore, Dick Van Dyke, and even Lucy, can be lauded for evolving their created rules of aesthetic realism into a more literal place is because these efforts improved the use of character, and specifically, the use of character in pursuit of, first and foremost, laughs. Remember, never in becoming more literally realistic do these shows ignore their main objective: comedy… But that’s not always the case. We’ve recently examined a show for which the same CAN’T be said — Barney Miller, which is the most realistic sitcom of the 1970s, but chooses to make realism so much of its identity that it stands at the expense of humor… As we saw, that series purposely avoided putting its characters in direct conflict because the juxtaposition would heighten their elemental, relatable personalities and cede some of the total realism that Danny Arnold decided was vital — he wanted to spare them of overly familiar story constructs that would falsify them. Accordingly, the show had to derive the bulk of its biggest hahas from the procedural part of the premise — the onslaught of wacky guests. And this made the comedy unreliable — idea-driven and largely hinged on external stimuli — meaning Barney Miller purposely made itself a less reliably funny series than most of its contemporaries, especially the ones similarly taking care with their leads but simultaneously recognizing the importance of comedy to the form, willing to budge more with literal realism in deference to this ultimately more important element… I bring all this up now because, like Barney Miller, Kate & Allie is one of the most literally realistic — if not the most literally realistic — sitcom of the early ‘80s. And, while this is a key part of its makeup that, as we’ll see, Persky’s series needs in proper projection of its identity, it too seems to be more prized by the show than hearty Dick Van Dyke-like, Mary Tyler Moore-like, Cheers-like laughs.

To put it mildly, Kate & Allie is far less funny than its superior contemporaries, for its own brand of aesthetic realism is too dependent on a literal view of the word, so much so that it’s willing to lose a lot of comedy to protect “truth.” Not only does Persky (along with his righthand man, Bob Randall, whose prior sitcom credit was on the similar but short-lived On Our Own), intentionally sidestep the MTM interest in maximizing the leading characters’ definitions for uproarious centerpiece comedy — which, even when mitigating the threat to believability by reconciling their depictions inside an internally created aesthetic consistency, does represent a concession away from total realism — he’s also not filling the Big Laugh void with the earlier solution: Reiner’s broad, often physical, drive for yuks. Essentially, this means that Kate & Allie’s leads have the gentle, constant, detail-specific definition of a, say, Rob and Laura Petrie, which makes the characters, en masse, reminiscent of Dick Van Dyke’s, but they miss the heightened comic sensibilities that allow for set pieces and narrative ideas equally as aggrandized — which would thereby provide something for these characters to work towards having to earn. As a result, these scripts don’t just forsake comedy, they — like Barney Miller — avoid creating an arrangement where the characters themselves, through their objectives, flaws, personality traits, etc., push story, for by failing to create anything majorly comedic that they must inspire — either a relational combustion (see: MTM) or a slapstick bit (see: Dick Van Dyke) — the generation of plot, and especially comic plot, ends up more divorced from the series’ otherwise realistic, precise, and commendable character work. It’s very much like Barney Miller — only, there’s no parade of guests here. Instead, story (and a lot of the humor) arises randomly from some external narrative trick that’s equally clichéd, but by being disassociated from the leads, doesn’t truly harm them or the show’s overall aesthetic (ex: Kate and the lucky rabbit’s foot), or — and this is more preferable — it comes from some other part of the show’s established situation, either its “modified family” premise, about two divorced women blending their kin into one non-traditional unit, or, at the very least, the tangentially relevant relationship between the title’s core twosome (which will become more prominent over time).

As usual, the problem with characters who can’t reliably push or inspire story is that a sitcom then almost inevitably becomes idea-driven, dependent on episodic notions that reinforce the only thing left: the premised aspect of the situation. In a low-concept series — and yes, with its basic family structure, Kate & Allie is, overall, a low-concept series — this is unideal, enabling what I just mentioned: plots that seem to come from nowhere, with little support from the leads. This show is fortunate in that it has afforded itself a higher concept “wrinkle” via its “modified family,” and this clearly becomes its most satisfying source of story, as entries dealing with it can explicitly reflect the situation. However, as always with idea-led shows, the novelty of the premise wanes, and we will see — fairly quickly, actually — that Kate & Allie runs out of ways to address its initial post-Lear-ian sociopolitical engine in plot. (I think this is partly inevitable, given that the characters are spared of direct conflict in an effort to retain the show’s strict believability requirements, and partly intentional, after the departure of original creator Sherry Coben at the end of Season Two.) So, in place of the “modified family,” this show soon comes to posit the central friendship between Kate and Allie as the most important element of the situation — a sort of proxy-premise that can hopefully ground and dictate plot… But it can’t because, just as we saw with Laverne & Shirley, relationship-based comedies only thrive when the two characters are allowed to exist in juxtaposition to each other, both in narrative conflict, and also, more simply, in a dynamic that emphasizes their similarities and differences (which creates strong characterizations). By naturally tamping down — relative to other shows — their personas, this show is not fully capable of using their relationship to drive unique comic story. Instead, it’s more of an emotional ballast — offering a tangential character affiliation to the situation in stories that need some kind of a connection. Thus, while we will eventually pray for episodes that spotlight the relationship (if not the actual premise), it’s never really a viable alternative to letting the characters individually exist in relation to each other within plots that they specifically motivate. And that means, ultimately, as with Barney Miller, literal realism is proven to be as much an albatross as an asset, yielding strengths and weaknesses.

It’s also a bit of a Catch-22, for the basic trajectory of Kate & Allie is that each season gradually moves away from all the things that initially made it unique: the “modified family” premise, the strict commitment to literal realism, and eventually, both the central relationship’s proxy-premise and the “traditional” family structure surrounding it all. That’s why, truthfully, the show declines a bit every year after the second — the only full season that utilizes all these aspects of the series’ situation regularly within episodic plot. Therefore, as the show becomes funnier each year, and this evolving sensibility slowly and reliably chips away at the literal realism established as an albatross/asset in the first two seasons — partly because of new scribes (like future Frasier staffers Anne Flett and Chuck Ranberg, who join in Season Three), and partly because the demand for story forces a broadening that invites more comically heightened scenarios (and gimmicks like guests and dream sequences) — it will feel like a loss, for the show is shedding yet another piece of itself. And it’s happening right as the series is losing other big things that made it special too. Again, that doesn’t just include the high-concept “wrinkle” in the premise, but also the core relationship, which, for a variety of reasons, ends up undermined (alongside, again, the simple family structure encasing all of Kate & Allie). Also, it goes without saying, but since the characters are never strong enough to sustain story, they’re never able to navigate this unfavorable trend by supplying worthwhile distractions; no catering business or recurring boyfriends can meaningfully obscure the obvious fact that Kate & Allie, never a hilarious series, is becoming less and less able to use the elements of its situation in pursuit of comedy. It all comes back to character, you see, for while Kate and Allie are actually solidly defined — Kate the free-spirit, liberated woman; Allie the buttoned up ex-housewife — there’s no Alex P. Keaton here: no iconic character whose personality can spark big laughs and funny stories, elevating a whole series. As such, though I believe there are a handful of beautifully written half-hour segments in the first half of the run (with Dick Van Dyke-like character work inside plots that reflect the “modified family” premise), I’m not sure I can say that Kate & Allie is ever among this era’s top-tier. It’s always a shelf (or two) lower.

Of course, that’s primarily based on this blog’s text-driven analysis, which considers the situation comedy, like Greek Drama, an art form whose biggest qualities are literary — “the play’s the thing,” or put another way, “if it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage.” But Kate & Allie deserves a lot of praise for what’s not on the page but is on the stage: its great actors. There might not be an Alex P. Keaton here, but there’s a cast that lights up the screen and furthers the show’s textual goals in performance. Not only are the kids more believable than most in the genre (particularly the two young ladies), Susan Saint James is an empathetic presence with a lot of unique, emotional intelligence, while Jane Curtin, of Saturday Night Live, is an affably neurotic type, capable of playing larger behavioral contortions (relative to this muted series’ demands) without forsaking her elemental human touch. They complement each other, and actually make plainer the differences between Kate and Allie — a lot of which are only softly addressed in the writing. That is, the performances do some heavy-lifting for the character work, elevating the material, and probably, justifying the show’s belief that the relationship could function as a proxy-premise. For, indeed, their central bond is a huge part of the series’ dramatic construction and the more it’s reinforced, the better for everyone… Okay, of the two, I admit I’m most interested in Jane Curtin, as I think her inclusion is revealing — her presence helps confirm this series’ New York sensibility. (That’s right; Kate & Allie was produced in NYC; episodes were shot at the Ed Sullivan Theater in front of an audience, and every entry boasts an on-location cold open.) Although The Cosby Show was also produced in New York, its local flavor is far less specific; Kate & Allie, in contrast, feels very New York, and Curtin embodies why, as a famous alum of the iconic variety series Saturday Night Live, which had resumed the type of East Coast sketch comedy that had ebbed for several decades as television moved West. To wit, the 1980s is the decade where we start to see SNL and other late-night programming from New York, including the talk shows, replace the earlier comedy-variety series of the ’50s/’60s as the aesthetic influence fueling the sitcom’s idea-driven resistance to its character-driven alternative.

In other words, just as variety shows of the ’50s helped create sitcoms at the counterpoint to I Love LucySNL — along with Letterman and other late-night programs from New York (even Carson’s Tonight Show, which had moved to Burbank but retained the attitudes more common of the other coast, and in the genre it helped build), all with their own notions of topical and inherently idea-led humor — began to create the figures who would bring new attitudes to the sitcom, supplying more sketch-like, idea-driven shows to counter the character-driven efforts largely descended, at this point, from MTM. For example, Garry Shandling, Jerry Seinfeld, and even Roseanne Barr are all comic forces who first gained traction in this late-night world before injecting their values into the sitcom form. Oh, sure, Curtin does not come with as forceful a push as they do — and, duh, she’s not a standup, she’s a comic actress. But her presence is implicitly associated with this fast, late-night style of humor, and, naturally, when the show does attempt bigger comedic centerpieces — like dream sequences — Curtin thrives, for she’s used to being funny in these kinds of heightened, topical, joke-based structures. Obviously, Kate & Allie never matches the rebellion that Shandling, Seinfeld, and Barr would bring, but her presence is a sign that, at a time when the sitcom was pronounced “dead,” there was new life ahead… As for Season One, this brief six-episode collection is, unsurprisingly, the best display of the premise in story. But, like early Dick Van Dyke, Persky’s quiet, detail-oriented character work takes a little time to develop. (Also, there are kinks to iron out — CBS foisted a male neighbor on them here; he has no personality and doesn’t fit into the cast’s dynamic.) So, this really can’t be considered the show’s best, even though, in terms of how scripts are reflecting the modified family sitcom of the ’80s, it is the most successful. And, heck, the novel premise — packaged with such refreshing truth — surely must have been even more exciting upon its debut. In fact, in addition to Curtin winning her first of two Emmys as Allie, the show received its only creative victory outside of her, for Persky’s direction of the show’s second entry — the best use of the premise. That’s a perfect transition to my list, where, as always, I’m looking for the segments that best deploy the elements of the series’ situation for comedy…

 

01) Episode 2: “The Very Loud Family” (Aired: 03/26/84)

Kate’s daughter Emma makes a home movie for school about their family life.

Written by David Handler & Peter Gethers | Directed by Bill Persky

As alluded above, this is my choice for Season One’s Most Valuable Episode (MVE), boasting a story that makes room for comedy while also enjoying the best utilization of the higher concept “wrinkle” in this low-concept domestic premise — the notion that these are blended families as a result of divorce. It’s a smart installment — one of the few that made me want to cover this series — moving from laughs and pathos with surprising agility, while engaging a familiar sitcom device: the “home movie.” The “home movie” is an idea-driven gimmick that tends to yield manipulative humor, messing with context to frame the characters in a highly stylized light that the show gets to determine and upon which it gets to comment. Like a sketch. Mama’s Family (which was initially one of Kate & Allie’s contemporaries in ’84, until its anti-family brand of family was weeded out of network television and forced into national syndication, where it was resurrected during 1986-’87, the year of Alf and Married… With Children, when the format was ready to be disturbed), and other funnier shows, are able to use this gimmicky premise for uproarious hahas that mock the domestic ideal of the family, but in comparison, Kate & Allie is not bold enough to (or interested in) compete(ing). And yet, simply deploying this narrative hook within the family structure encourages circumstantial yuks predicated on the idea that this life isn’t as idyllic as its usual depiction, which helps the show’s command on realism and allows it, for a moment, to pretend that it’s smarter and less conformist than the contrived narrative device of the “home movie” suggests. Meanwhile, in addition to its intelligence and increased comedy, there’s a whole heap of premise-sparked emotion as well, as the film’s “changing world of divorce” directly addresses the series’ identity with some relatable drama about how difficult it is for kids to not see their parents all the time. Oh, the series is not yet able to make this kind of Lear-ian social commentary totally specific to its characters (and it’s never great at doing so), but connecting with the premise alone is enough to give this outing’s story a supportive situational link, rendering both the comedy and the drama more substantive and earned, and with an affirmatively palpable humanity. So, again, this is the best use of the premise in story.

02) Episode 4: “The Family Business” (Aired: 04/23/84)

Kate quits her job and convinces Allie to go into the cake-making business.

Written by Bob Randall | Directed by Bill Persky

This popular excursion is something of a preview for future events in the series, as Kate quits her job and convinces Allie to go into the food-making business. But although that will eventually become a big development for the characters (one that, well, symbolizes the series’ shift away from its premise), it’s just an episodic suggestion now — used to delineate the liberated Kate from the domestic Allie (who’s never worked in her life), contrasting them in a way that strengthens their relationship and the premise. That’s why I feature this installment here, for, yes, I know fans appreciate when Jane Curtin is allowed to play a heightened comic mania that’s more laugh-seeking than the rest of the series’ output in this era, but I find it so circumstantially sparked — led by a fairly clichéd sitcom notion that, frankly, I don’t think is an accurate representation of the show’s desired storytelling (or its already projected sense of realism). If not for it claiming some genuine merit for the leads, inside a story that acknowledges the idea that this is a new version of a family, I couldn’t celebrate it.

03) Episode 5: “Dear Diary” (Aired: 04/30/84)

Kate and Allie fight when the latter finally moves her belongings into the apartment.

Written by Fred Barron, Bob Randall, and Sherry Coben | Directed by Bill Persky

Truthfully, this is a year that proportionally asks for only two highlighted episodes, but I bumped up another to reflect the fact that Season One is stronger — as a situation comedy — than so many of the years ahead. As for “Dear Diary,” it’s unique — it’s got a story that’s used to reinforce the premise, but it’s less focused on the family than the central relationship between the two women, another important aspect of the series’ makeup that will come to be posited as a proxy-premise of its own. Its plot setup is clever, as it’s largely about a clash between the two households (the “modified” wrinkle), as Allie moves her belongings into Kate’s home and there’s a bit of a turf war. But then the script takes a detour when Kate reads Allie’s diary and discovers a decades-old betrayal — another clichéd sitcom notion (common on family shows) that’s employed, strategically, to reiterate the history between the two leads: vital in fleshing out their dynamic and giving it some of its worthwhile gravitas — allowing the fight about their merging households to get a brief, and more relationship-rooted misdirect. That is, the script has them temporarily fighting about the diary as an inconsequential byproduct of the larger issue. This is very realistic, human behavior, unusual for the sitcom genre’s more simplistic storytelling, and a startlingly unique application of the premise within a conventional plot — putting Kate and Allie in rare direct conflict without threatening the show’s aesthetic, since the diary stuff is downplayed and treated for what it is: a way to get the two characters to fight about a truer premise-based problem. (Like the above, Jack Gilpin’s Roger appears.)

 

Other notable episodes that merit mention include: “Allie’s First Date,” the series’ premiere, which guest stars a pre-Frasier Kelsey Grammer and boasts this season’s jokiest (and therefore funniest) script but doesn’t truly engage with the premise, instead opting for a relationship plot that purposely undermines potential conflict between the characters in deference to literal realism, only giving us a decent look at the Allie characterization (as Kate is merely defined as more knowing in relation, but without any personal or circumstantial quirks), and “Odd Boy Out,” which follows my MVE as being the season’s best use of the premise within story but lacks a comparable comic climax, and, in fact, sort of lets down the whole half hour as a result of its deflation. Also, I might as well cite the year’s only other entry — “A Weekend To Remember,” which separates the two women to its own detriment but has a scene between Allie and her mother that provides a window into her characterization and asserts some of the show’s feminist bona fides through its generational drama.

 

*** The MVE Award for the Best Episode from Season One of Kate & Allie goes to…

“The Very Loud Family”

 

 

Come back next week for Season Two! And stay tuned tomorrow for a new Wildcard!

6 thoughts on “The Three Best KATE & ALLIE Episodes of Season One

  1. I never watched this show and didn’t have any idea it was on DVD but I will check it out after this review. Very interesting. Thanks.

  2. These two were such great actresses! This was never a hilarious series IMO but they had chemistry and were always worth watching. Thanks for covering the series and I hope you’re feeling better!

    • Hi, BB! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      It’s not one of my favorite sitcoms either, but for the reasons discussed above, I think it’s worth studying here!

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