Thursday, November 1, 2018

What I’m Watching: Kidding

Kidding: Season 1, Episode 8 “Philliam” (B+)

Flashback episodes are usually an effective tool on any show, and on this one it felt especially powerful, mainly because it brings some of the dynamics we hadn’t really seen before to the forefront and explains, in part, why Jeff acts the way he does. We know that Will is a strange kid, so precocious and independent, while Phil has just been a memory of something gone. Opening with the two sons doing a magic show that Jeff wasn’t really focused on help provide a look into the relationship between Jeff and Phil, which was filled with expectations and disappointment, plus plenty of rules like no contact sports. Jeff’s desire to go the execution of his pen pal the Wendy’s Killer was unsurprisingly met with objections from his family, but we know Jeff well enough that he wouldn’t be able to resist that final act of charity. Derrell’s explanation of how his father got to where he was and then snapped when he got a cheeseburger that wasn’t round was powerful, and provided extraordinary insight from someone who has had a very different life from the members of the Pickles family. The microphone being broken so that his last words weren’t audible felt particularly depressing, but then Jeff went and got Derrell a job working on the show, which was extremely sweet, and fitting given that he was the one who, at the end of the previous episode, discovered Jeff after his breakdown. Seeing Jill meet Peter for the first time was an interesting tidbit, and I love that Jeff, upon learning that whatever dish at the diner he ordered would be named after him, decided to get a salad rather than the franks and beans he really wanted since it was healthier.

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