Jim Carrey is set to return to television for his first regular series role since his time as a cast member on In Living Color with Showtime’s melancholic comedy Kidding. While television has demonstrated a knack for attracting big names who’re either currently unattached to or uninterested in signing on for a seven-plus picture deal for a superhero franchise (and plenty who already are), getting Carrey on board a television series (premium cable or not) seems like an unimaginable feat. That is, until you find out the series is directed by Michel Gondry, who worked with Carrey previously on the brilliantly dreamy and downcast Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
That’s a lot to live up to, and from the first trailer it sure looks as though Carrey and Gondry are heading in a similar direction. Created and written by Dave Holstein, who has written for Showtime’s 70s-set stand-up comedy drama I’m Dying Up Here (which Carrey is an executive producer of), the series sees Carrey as Jeff, aka, Mr. Pickles, a Mr. Rogers-like icon of children’s television whose innate kindness and compassion is put to the test when his family life begins to fall apart.
Along with Carrey and Gondry, Kidding boasts a terrific cast that includes Catherine Keener, Judy Greer, and Frank Langella, and while the trailer doesn’t offer much in terms of what their relationship to Jeff Pickles will be like in the series, it doesn’t really have to. With that kind of lineup and with Gondry behind the camera for all 10 episodes of the first season, additional details aren’t necessarily going to sway any potential viewer one way or the other. You’re either in or you’re out on this one.
At any rate, Kidding certainly looks to be an interesting transition back into the spotlight for Carrey after he’s more or less been out of it for the past few years. That’s changed recently as the actor and comedian has made waves with his heavily politicized art and portraits that he frequently shares on social media. Whether or not the interest many have shown toward his paintings will bring viewers to his new show or not remains to be seen, but it will be interesting to see where this next phase of Carrey’s career takes him.
All in all, Kidding seems like it will be an interesting addition to Showtime’s lineup of original programming. With Homeland set to enter its final season and Billions moving toward its fourth, the premium cabler is in need of some new blood and some high-profile talent to help sell it to the masses. While this series probably won’t appeal to the Ace Ventura crowd it looks like it’ll be right up the alley of those who still re-watch Eternal Sunshine on the regular.
Kidding premieres Sunday, September 9 on Showtime.