The Kathy & Mo Show: The Dark Side (1995)

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The Kathy & Mo Show: The Dark Side is a no-holds barred frank and funny look at religion, gay rights and feminism.


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Cast overview:
Kathy Najimy
Mo Gaffney


The Kathy & Mo Show: The Dark Side is a no-holds barred frank and funny look at religion, gay rights and feminism.

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Lives up to title
28 January 2012 | by See all my reviews

After some time apart, and success in a variety of genres, Kathy and Mo returned for another special, this one made up of old material which didn't fit Parallel Lives.

The Dark Side doesn't have the feel which made Lives more entertaining and more approachable. This is more like digging into the back catalog of an artist after first getting their greatest hits.

The first third to half of this delves heavily into Catholicism and lapses from Catholicism, which may or may not interest you depending on how much you know about the subject. Another piece is a long spotlight on the friendship between two teenage girls and their love for West Side Story. This is a cute idea but seems a little long.

As in their first special, the strongest moments are the dramatic sections. Probably the one you may remember most from this is a haunting segment where Mo Gaffney plays a woman protesting at an abortion clinic, dealing with her own mixed views, until gunshots ring out. This is chillingly done, brilliantly acted by Gaffney, something she wrote after hearing about a shooting at a clinic.

Kathy and Mo bring back their little old Jewish lady characters, and once again, they are mostly tolerable when Kathy is on her own and talking about the life of her character. The partner of her beloved nephew is now dying of AIDS, and Kathy movingly speaks of trying to care for him and how she does not want to hear from people who "understand," because no one does. In many ways this is the most dated part of the special, but is still important to see, especially since many now seem to think AIDS is not a big deal or you can just take some pills.

A fantastic character piece involves Kathy as a singer at a gay club, wrestling with whether to stay or to try for her big break. Mo plays the gay bartender, full of wisecracks, but privately concerned about whether or not he has HIV.

More character work involves Mo and Kathy as sisters who have lost their beloved grandmother. This is commendable but is slightly marred by having Kathy play two of the sisters, which confuses the scene.

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