Keeping Up With the Kattarshians is a reality-type Icelandic TV show showing a 24-hour live feed of a group of shelter kittens available for adoption. A little 2-level house has been built for the group so they can be seen playing, eating, sleeping and pooping. Fans often refer to it by its acronym KUWK. The show has proven to be a big hit. This is mostly because after the 2008 fiscal crisis in Iceland, all its TV stations went bankrupt and there was nothing to watch for some time. That "nothing" included government broadcasts of reruns of American shows Cop Rock and My Mother the Car. Shown back-to-back-to-back, the programs caused ugly rioting throughout the small nation.
The title is, of course, based on the US reality show Keeping Up With the Cardassians, a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine spinoff favored by people who like their Frankenstein monsters literate and Armenian. The concept came to producer Dottie Dashdóttir and a group of her friends during a heavy drinking session. A pilot was made using ill-behaved and overdressed penguins, miming and repeating dialogue from the Cardassians series. However, the vocal synchronization and acting were not up to standards and the budget did not allow for CGI effects at the time. In audience pre-tests, it was found that penguins did not project enough evil and stopped action too often in order to gobble down a sardine or two.
One day, a pack of feral cats snuck into the studio while the camera was left out and running while the crew attended their daily morning planning conference at the local pub. Dashdóttir watched the tape of the animals playing and immediately changed the show concept. However, this was largely because the ferals had destroyed the sets and eaten all the penguins.
The first group of kittens were named Duinhir, Rúmil, Mauhúr, Windfola and Uggbüt. Icelanders quickly picked out personal favorites, though some of those folks were starving for unaffordable meat and were just picking out the fattest-looking one. Windfola was a favorite of the town of Fjaröaborg while Duinhir was beloved by the residents of Árbyggör. This caused friction between the two resulting in Viking-style raids on each other. This conflict was calmly resolved in traditional Icelandic style when a volcanic eruption wiped out both towns.
A drinking game involving the show became quite popular. With a supply of several cases of Egils Sterkur beer on hand, viewers would chug beers as fast as possible whenever Rúmil would flick her tail. There was and still is no signal in the game to stop drinking.
After several months, all kittens were adopted after the new owners agreed not to eat the kittens or chop them up for fish bait. Mauhúr would later join the boy band One Direction. Uggbüt would go on to be radicalized by his owners and joined Al Qaeda, becoming a fashion consultant for the organization. The others became normal cats, and today just lie around and sleep.
A second group of kittens was then brought in to continue the show. These were named Thor, Bjöggi, Jónni, Siggi and Geir, all alpha males. While popular for a time, their constant fighting over possession of cat toys wearied viewers. Once, when let outside for play, handlers caught up to them to find the kittens had gotten into several local banks and had eaten all the money and securities held inside. Head cat wrangler Jackson Galacsson was fired as a result. When this happened on two more occasions, the group of animals were retired from the show with several going abroad to probably continue their swath of destruction.
Keeping Up With the Kattarshians returned to its earlier popularity with five heavily sedated kittens: Snorri, Groggi, Slakka, Floppi and Immobilö. As the animals slept most of the time anyway, no one noticed anything different from the original cast. This has been the formula for the programs to date. When a kitten becomes ill, a stuffed toy is substituted.
There have been several guest appearances of celebrities dressed as furries and electronically inserted into the playhouse. These have included Björk, adopted and now trying to void the adoption, and the two major members of GusGus.
The show was an immediate hit from its first appearance. 97% of all TV sets in the country were tuned in to Keeping Up With the Kattarshians. 63% of all sets were tuned in 24 hours a day. This was not only because it was the only show available, but that 89% of Iceland’s population was out of work due to the fiscal collapse of 2008. Closer analysis showed that of the total viewers, 52% were cat lovers, 35% thought KUWK was a cooking show that never showed recipes, with intellectuals taking it to be some sort of wry social commentary.
The show has been made available for streaming throughout the world by internet providers so they can charge users extra for high bandwidth use. Not only are cat lovers automatically sucked in, but 10-microseconds-long images of Hypno Toad are flashed every ten minutes to keep viewers coming back.
As a result, Rotten Tomatoes has rated the show at a 147% ‘fresh” rating. Metacritic has given it a score of 132 out of 100 with 88,932 reviews. DeadRogerEbert.com has refused to review the program for fear of offending dog owners. KUWK has won an Emmy for "Most small cats used in a 24-hour period". It is thought that all results have been skewed by crazy cat ladies™ who usually buy one TV set for each cat acquired. Thus it is thought at least some of the reviewers and voters are cats.
Instead of buying a new and unaffordable big screen TV, Icelanders have been putting up black frames around a fish tank with kittens inside. Some have copied the TV show’s house exactly while others have put a small ceramic castle inside and filled the tank with water. It turned out that viewers had got tired of watching the same channel all the time. Some even trained parrots to do commercial breaks in front of the TV.
Unfortunately, some people were unaware that animals need to be fed, and just kept replacing dead kittens with new ones. This caused a severe kitten shortage throughout Iceland and enterprising smugglers brought in other animals that they told their customers were kittens. While people in Florida were happier to see fewer alligators, the toothy “long-tailed kittens” escaping from Icelandic homes were becoming a problem. Reykjavík sewers are now teeming with 5 meter-long specimens. Grues have become very irritated at the intrusion and have protested to the Althing.
Baby skunks with stripes painted black were briefly popular until Icelanders caught on when a Pepe le Pew cartoon appeared on YouTubeIsland. Small armadillos were passed off as Egyptian Sphinx cats. The famous Icelandic ponies were having their ears and tails trimmed and passed off as kittens for a short time. When that ploy failed, they were painted bright colors and presented as My Big Little Ponies. Those are now exported to the US and Canada to unsuspecting bronies.
As a result of binge-watching Keeping Up With the Kattarshians, Icelanders were introduced to kitten huffing. It is estimated that 12% of the population are now kitten huffing addicts. The only thing keeping the number from going higher is that due to the demand for kittens, people will wait for a huffer to get loaded and then run in and steal the kitten.
Huldufólk, native elves who live in rocks, have become jealous not only of all the attention given over to kittens, but that the kittens have been given a furnished house without lifting a paw to build it or pay for its upkeep. The elves also want their own 24-hour TV program. While they are intensely private and usually do not appear to humans, their hippie stoner spokesperson José Ramiro Guillermosson has asked that the show instead feature a group of volcanic rocks with sheep grazing nearby. When an unbeliever reporter asked what would happen if the TV station did not comply, he was turned into a newt.
- ↑ This prompted a lawsuit by another existing KUWK, the Klu Klux Klan Underground White Knetwork, which shows white supremacists playing, eating and pooping on the Fox Channel.
- ↑ This was fueled by hardcore narcoleptic fans since the little cats sleep most of the time.
- ↑ typically, 2-3 weeks long
- ↑ called "Jenners" in the series it was based on
- ↑ okay, "clowder", you persnickety know-it-all
- ↑ either named for actor Will Feral or for singer/songwriter Pherrall; experts differ
- ↑ as is their sworn duty
- ↑ 0.07% of the population, double that of the US
- ↑ All hail Hypno Toad! Plus does anyone else feel like having a Coke and some popcorn?
- ↑ supposedly part of the US, but one has to wonder
- ↑ Icelandic Parliament/Funkadelic
- ↑ although thought by some to be recently-arrived Travelocity elves whose airline tickets were screwed up
- ↑ But he got better.