Peacock’s ‘Killing It’ Series Review: Craig Robinson Leads ‘Killing It’ and Hopes for a ‘Office’ Reunion

In Peacock's Killing It, habitual scammer Isaiah (Rell Battle) summarizes his worldview in the season finale. Based on what we have seen in the episode, Isaiah may not be entirely incorrect:

In its ten half-hour episodes, the show explores a wide range of American gimmickry—from the personal to the institutional to the legal to the radically criminal. As Craig tries to counter, “There's nothing but snakes down,” he resolutely declares: “Ain't nothing but snakes” (Craig Robinson).

Nevertheless, Killing It (created by Brooklyn Nine-Luke Nine's Del Tredici and Dan Goor) makes an admirable argument for choosing to be nice anyway — to watch out for one another when we can, even if it won't fix everything in the long term. After all, the world is full of snakes.

Since the plot of Killing It revolves around Craig's quest to win the Florida State government's snake-hunting contest, there are several pretty literal references. It's not the job he'd hoped for.

Killing It Season 1
Killing It Season 1

During the second episode, he loses his career and home; he's barely making ends meet at the beginning of the series. According to him, only by killing enough snakes and investing the $20,000 in his million-dollar plan would he be able to get out of this hole.

With his nail gun and an Uber driver (Claudia O'Doherty, Love), he grudgingly sets off for the Everglades with his little funds. Killing It takes viewers on a journey that is equal parts criminal drama and buddy comedy while delivering a pointed indictment of capitalism.

Craig and Jillian quickly find themselves entangled in a web of criminal intrigue that begins with a fire and quickly spirals out of hand. A private insurance company's investigator is the most tenacious in the case, even though the firm would prefer not to pay out a claim.

when they aren't getting tripped up by beginner snake-hunting blunders like Craig's in episode two when the snake mistakenly nails itself to his hand.

Killing It Season 1
Killing It Season 1

They do, however, develop an unexpectedly deep bond with one another. The odd-couple chemistry between Jillian and Craig makes for a fun ride, despite the film's lack of laugh-out-loud moments.

With his natural appeal, Robinson can play Craig as the steady and respectable straight guy without losing the audience's attention to the more bizarre and crazy individuals that populate his world.

Although she starts as a total lunatic, Jillian gradually shows more nuanced, tender, and occasionally tragic sides as the season progress. She's an exuberant chatterbox who thinks losing her father at 16 was a perfect age. O'Doherty provides some of the season's most heartfelt and lighthearted moments.

When they first meet, the two have a common interest in the American ideal. On Killing It, it's also what binds the cast together; from the first episode onwards, every character explicitly discusses the concept.

Killing It Season 1
Killing It Season 1

The belief that their hard effort would be rewarded with wealth drives those at the bottom, like Craig, Jillian, Brock (Scott MacArthur), and Corby (Wyatt Walter). This is a rationalization for those at the top, like motivational speaker Rodney LaMonca (Tim Heidecker)—often off of true believers like Craig, who pays out hundreds to attend Rodney's “Dominine” conference, so named because its attendees do more than dominate

That dream is exposed from beginning to end in this show. Killing It is acutely attuned to the interminable indignities of American inequity. The fact that affluent clients like Sloane (D'Arcy Carden) treat Jillian like a pet and consider her dating life as a game because she does half a dozen gigs at once isn't the only problem. She's so poor that she lives out of the mobile billboard she drives behind her Uber.

In addition to earning millions of dollars by pushing others to work more, Rodney fetishizes labor to the point that he claims he would have preferred to have grown up in a factory. While working with colleagues, he informs them that he is “envious” of the hard work ethic that the students are acquiring. Choosing which pillow to fuck was the only thing on my mind when I was that age.

These personal injustices are magnified in the show's context: Episodes are set at a polling place, including one that lasts for more than an hour. Killing Its narrative takes place in the distant past, lends the series an air of antiquity at times.

Killing It Season 1
Killing It Season 1

As insightful as its criticism is, it's also treading familiar terrain, having appeared in everything from Squid Game to Maid in the past year alone… The series isn't stating anything new about capitalism, even if it does so with better nuance or passion.

Of course, themes of poverty and social injustice often recur in popular culture for a reason. These concepts are still relevant because society hasn't progressed enough to make them obsolete.

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Killing Regardless of how much Craig wants to think otherwise, it recognizes that hard effort alone isn't going to save him, and it doesn't propose any structural remedies that will.

Instead of focusing on the gloomy reality, the program finds heart and comedy in the underdogs battling their way through, who find it in themselves to care about each other in a world that doesn't care about them—and deliver some pretty amusing jokes along the way.

Bradley Statler
Bradley Statler
As a Voracious Reader, Bradley Statler Appreciates the Outdoors and Being in Touch With the Natural World. A Voracious Traveler, He's Visited a Wide Variety of Far-flung Destinations. From Celebrities and Technology to Modern Relationships, He Discusses Them All on His Website, Michigansportszone.com. Bradley Statler Believes That His Life Experiences Have Improved His Empathy for Others and That His Art Reflects That.

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