Showtime’s Kidding with Jim Carrey: Everyone has a breaking point
20 November 2018
Significant drama and comedy help make sense of a complicated, often heart-breaking world. It shows life with its countless interconnections, contradictions, twists and turns—a cutaway image of an unfolding social process. The new Showtime series Kidding demonstrates how effectively the medium of television can depict a number of people—old, young, wealthy, healthy, unhealthy, famous, ordinary and more—doing the best they can in turbulent circumstances.
At the center of Kidding stands an internationally beloved puppeteer and children’s show host, the Fred Rogers-inspired Jeff Piccirillo (Jim Carrey), or “Jeff Pickles” as he is known, who is struggling to navigate the loss of his son and to maintain the success of his children’s television program, Mr. Pickles’ Puppet Time. Everyone adores Mr. Pickles. Throughout Kidding we learn that Mr. Pickles’ inspirational, funny, confidence-building and tolerance-pushing puppeteering has inspired drug addicts to get clean, and car thieves to remorsefully return his PT Cruiser (though one wheel doesn’t match).
At every encounter the public expresses gratitude and admiration for the man who “is in their living room alone with their kids.” Late night television host Conan O’Brien, who has Pickles as a guest, along with the rough-and-tumble Danny Trejo, appears out of touch with the audience, even his own cameramen, as they join in singing the theme song of Mr. Pickles’ Puppet Time, “You can feel … anything at all, anything at all is fine; it’s you who’s doing the feeling, and that makes it okay …” From the outset the viewer is drawn to Pickles, wants to follow him and cheer him on.