TV & FILM
brian-mcgee - September 4, 2018
Coming off a summer where Mr. Rogers was at the center of one of the most buzzed-about documentaries in years, it seems appropriate that Jim Carrey would return to television in a sly takeoff on the concept of a children's entertainer with Kidding. Carrey's Mr. Pickles is a long-running children's television icon, though he isn't quite the paragon of virtue Fred Rogers was. However, as Pickles' personal life begins to take a nosedive, so too does the quality of the programming he's producing, putting him and the audience in some rather uncomfortable predicaments.
Film geeks are gaga over the re-teaming of Carrey and his Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry. While the whole thing may seem like another Charlie Kaufman joint—especially thanks to the participation of Being John Malkovich's Catherine Keener and Adaptation's Judy Greer—it's actually the brain child of Dave Holstein. Holstein cut his teeth as a writer and producer for two other Showtime series: Weeds and I'm Dying Up Here. He produced the latter alongside Carrey, which likely led to their collaboration here.
This also marks Jim Carrey's first starring role on a television series since his days on In Living Color, another novelty for fans of the comedian. Word of warning to Eternal Sunshine fans here for Carrey and Gondry, this isn't that film. This is much closer in spirit to something like Curb Your Enthusiasm meets Death to Smoochy. Dark, uncomfortable comedy with lots of time to just bask in the awkwardness. It's not going to be everyone's cup of tea, for sure, but I'll be tuning in when Kidding debuts on Showtime on Sunday September 9.