Celebrated as one of the best shows of 2022, Peacock Original series “Killing It” follows one person’s hilarious pursuit of the American dream.
Season 1, which debuted in April 2022, introduced Craig Robinson’s character, Craig Foster, a man with big dreams but an empty wallet. At the start, which takes place around the 2016 presidential election, the strait-laced protagonist appears to be on stable ground with a job as a security guard, a car, an apartment and his heavily memorized elevator pitch for a million-dollar dream of owning a saw palmetto farm. But by the end of Episode 2, things quickly, and comically, go from bad to worse when he loses everything.
As a means to an end, Craig enters a snake hunting contest sponsored by the state of Florida to win a $20,000 prize in his quest to kick-start his dream. “We all need money, so to watch somebody go through what Craig Foster has to go through to try to achieve money can be pretty funny,” Robinson says.
Helping Craig is Jillian Glopp (Claudia O’Doherty), his literal partner in crime. Jillian, who has more modest dreams, first meets Craig as his driver from a ride-hailing app and lives out of her car while juggling half a dozen jobs — whatever to make ends meet. “Craig’s dream is to be extremely wealthy, whereas Jillian pretty much just wants to survive,” O’Doherty says.
Together, Craig and Jillian go through a wild variety of misadventures in their attempts to reach their goals. “What this show is really questioning is: How far will a person go in order to achieve their dreams?” says Dan Goor, the show’s co-creator and executive producer.
“We wanted to make a show where money really matters,” Goor shares. “We have always found that higher stakes lead to more comedy in addition to more drama.”
Billed as a sitcom about class, capitalism and overcoming corporate America, “Killing It” explores the obsession that is achieving entrepreneurship and wealth. With Craig, the seriousness of chasing that dream is juxtaposed with his acts of desperation to get rich quickly.
Describing how the pursuit of money leads to comedic moments in the show, executive producer and showrunner Luke Del Tredici explains: “When you’re writing comedy, you need your characters to start acting a little crazy and irrationally. The desperation and the need for money allows characters to act outside of themselves and gets you into great funny, broad situations.”
With Jillian, the show speaks about the current financial situations of many workers. However, audiences observe that Jillian is not good at the jobs she gets (she doesn’t get Craig to his important business pitch upon their first meeting). Also, her lies regularly get her into trouble and cause her heartache. O’Doherty delivers some of the most bittersweet moments of the season.
In this satire of American life, Robinson and O’Doherty have great chemistry and are a joy to watch. Craig and Jillian “form this bond, and he just sees how genuine a person she is even though she comes up very unlucky a lot of the times,” Robinson says. Fans can’t help but root for both of them.
About the American dream, Del Tredici says it’s “the idea that you work hard, and things will work out for you,” adding that, “Season 1 was all about testing Craig with that. We just threw so much stuff at him, so many obstacles and so many failures. The question for him was: Could he keep pushing through all of that? And did he think that, eventually, if he just kept doing the right thing over and over again, would things work out?”
Getting to know the supporting characters through their own interesting journeys is another thrill of Season 1. Rell Battle plays Craig’s younger brother, who uses his criminally creative mind to assist Craig when needed, while also managing to muck up each of Craig’s attempts at the American dream. Meanwhile, Scott MacArthur and Wyatt Walter are father-son duo Brock and Corby, respectively, who are rival snake hunters and aspiring influencers. Rounding out the supporting cast are Stephanie Nogueras starring as Craig’s ex-wife, Camille, and the mother of his preteen daughter, Vanessa, portrayed by Jet Miller. In addition, John Early, D’Arcy Carden and Tim Heidecker make notable guest appearances.
“This cast is stacked with incredible performers. All of them are not only really funny but have been able to really ground their characters in a deep humanity that has just blown me away,” Del Tredici says.
Each of the characters are striving to achieve their dreams, through whatever means that might take. In a world that does not care about them, these characters care about each other and are bonded by the same obsession of achieving success and prosperity. Despite the inequalities all around, the little guys continue to try and try again to make it big.
All eight episodes of “Killing It” Season 2 premiere on Aug. 17. Season 1 is available to stream on Peacock.
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