By Howard Crane
Published November 3, 2018
Filed under TV
Jim Carey is back with a TV series on Showtime which breaks the monotony of 2018 television. A middle-aged TV icon struggles with life falling apart, but this isn’t your average crisis narrative.
Watch Kidding from the beginning here on Showtime.
When I get bored and flick through IMDb for the latest movies and television, I’m always looking for an experience like “Kidding.” A show that transcends the steel rail cultural narrative most TV and Hollywood seems impossibly fixed upon with formulaic, rehashed, and predictable characters and scenarios. It seems no matter how novel something starts out, it falls back upon the same old ideas within the psychic prison of our culture. Not “Kidding.”
Jim Carey plays a middle-aged man who has lived his whole life as a children’s TV personality and puppeteer, along with his sister and father. Due to a traumatic event, his family and marriage are fractured along with his psyche and relationship with his son.
If my opinion is enough to assure you, please stop reading and go watch. Otherwise I’m going to spoil the pleasant surprise that this show truly is.
Everything appears to be a falling apart around Jeff (Carey) and he just barely hangs on. Yet unlike most shows where our protagonist’s reactions are muted as things get worse, and everything gets glossed at the end of each episode with some sappy air-head philosophy, Carey’s character fights back at times, responds intelligent sometimes, and often does nothing but embrace the chaos. He reacts like a normal Human Being, but with a sharper philosophical edge.
The show will be remembered along with gems like Being There and Fearless (1993) for its enlightening philosophical lessons without coming across as preachy.
It’s also really funny, yet doesn’t feel like it needs to crack a joke every 10 seconds. It’s like the 1990s weren’t done yet and sent us a brand new TV show through a wormhole.