Fans of “serious Jim Carrey” (the one from movies like Eternal Sunshine, The Truman Show, and Man on the Moon), rejoice. This summer, a long-haired Carrey will come to the small screen in a new series, Kidding, his first series-regular role since In Living Color in 1994. The project reunites the actor with Eternal Sunshine director Michel Gondry, and the influence is all over the series’ first trailer.
Kidding tells the story of Jeff, a children’s television personality reminiscent of Mr. Rogers, both on and off screen. The trailer begins with Carrey hosting his program, empathetically reassuring children and puppets alike that “the stuff I like about you isn’t on the outside.” However, it seems that Jeff’s personal life begins to devolve as conflict arises between members of his family.
Gondry serves as an executive producer and is also directing several episodes. The pilot for the series was written by creator, executive producer, and showrunner Dave Holstein (WEEDS, Raising Hope). Kidding is also executive produced by Carrey, Michael Aguilar (I’m Dying Up Here), Roberto Benabib (WEEDS), Raffi Adlan (The Green Hornet), Jason Bateman (Arrested Development) and Jim Garavente (Bad Words). The series also stars Frank Lengella (Frost/Nixon), Catherine Keener (Get Out) and Judy Greer (Married).
The official synopsis for the show can be read below:
KIDDING centers on Jeff, aka Mr. Pickles (Carrey), an icon of children’s television and a beacon of kindness and wisdom to America’s impressionable young minds and the parents who grew up with him. But when this beloved personality’s family begins to implode, Jeff finds no fairytale, fable or puppet will guide him through this crisis, which advances faster than his means to cope. The result: A kind man in a cruel world faces a slow leak of sanity as hilarious as it is heartbreaking. Throughout the season, Jeff begins to push back against the limits of the well-oiled machine that is “Mr. Pickles’ Puppet Time,” and of his executive producer, Seb (Langella). Seb fears Jeff’s mental state could ruin the branding empire they’ve built, and thus begins preparing the show for a life after Jeff, while Deirdre (Keener), the head puppet maker, grapples with her own personal and professional life issues.
Kidding premieres on Showtime on Sept. 9 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.