Comedy is at its best when it channels a specific cultural structure and pulls it apart. For Peacock Original Killing It, that’s capitalism, and in Season 2, it keeps on punching. A comedy about class, capitalism, and a quest for the American Dream, Killing It Season 2 doesn’t delineate between vicious criminals in a Florida crime ring and corporate America…well, it does. One has healthcare. Created by Luke Del Tredici and Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Dan Goor, the series stars Craig Robinson, Claudia O’Doherty, Rell Battle, Scott MacArthur, Stephanie Nogueras, Timothy Simons, Dot-Marie Jones, Wyatt Walter, Melanie Field, Joe Massingill, and Katie Kershaw.
In the series, Craig Robinson is Craig Foster, a father looking to provide for his young daughter. To get to the American Dream quicker, he partners with the eccentric Jillian (Claudia O’Doherty) to hunt snakes. Killing It Season 2 starts with Craig giving an interview, with his financial dreams finally realized by reaching the top of the pyramid. How did he reach it? Well, with a palmetto berry farm.
Last season, Craig and Jillian survived a hurricane, won the Florida Python Challenge, and Craig sold out his brother Isaiah along the way. For Killing It Season 2, Craig and Jillian open up a palmetto berry farm to sell them to pharmaceutical companies and make a fortune. But after a number of events, like their new office being delivered upside down and a stolen car, they’re completely back to square one and extremely broke. In dire straights, they reach out to the Boone Family Gang, and the absurdist Florida Man problems ensue.
With fungus snails, gangsters in need of healthcare, strip clubs, chops shops, and more, this season uses each episode to showcase how much the group will go through in order to make money. And when Isaiah returns, everything gets even more satirical and cartoonish with great success, never losing the commentary in the comedy. Does Killing It Season 2 have some of the stupidest jokes around? Yes, and it’s better for it.
Killing It Season 2 is able to keep focus as a scathing critique of the reality of the pursuit of the American Dream, and it is also able to carry hilarious multiepisode bits and twists that keep the humor front and center. In all of the laughter, though, we don’t lose the complex exploration of life in the working class nor the hypocrites it makes of us all.
The series’ comedy has been very focused on shock and awe. Still, at the same time, in Killing It Season 2, the writers have been able to keep it more balanced against important character relationships and dynamic moral conundrums that pay off big time.
As the protagonists, the viewer wants to root for Craig and Jillian, but as Criag’s focus becomes more tunneled and the ease with which he screws over people who trust him increases, it gets harder. Put against each other in the season’s finale, the audience has to reckon with who the hero is. Is Craig the hero because he secures money and succeeds? Or is he the villain for cutting someone out completely from compensation? Jillian interrogates Craig for us, putting the “dog-eat-dog world” front and center.
Surprisingly, though, Killing It Season 2 winds up being fantastic because Craig isn’t the one necessarily on trial; “the system” is. Craig’s willingness to leave a new employee high and dry is something that’s instilled by him by the design of success that pushes you to cut out the competition and bask in the reward. And in all of his charisma and fatherly qualities, we’re supposed to be alarmed by this.
In the same way, as Jillian points out, if we were to watch an actual dog eat another dog. We should be scared by what capitalism does to people and angry that that is the metric for success. We want Craig to keep custody of Maya instead of his ex-wife and make enough money to give her a good life, but do we want him to do whatever he deems necessary? That’s our task as viewers.
My review may be about the moral anti-capitalist tale told in Killing It Season 2 but don’t be fooled. The series is also effortlessly funny, with enough takes on entrepreneurs to make it easier to explore. Critical can be funny, and you don’t have to sacrifice a scathing tone for laughs when the series of unexpected visitors brings big Florida Man energy in every episode. Case in point, Jillian has a John Wick-style fight scene with a steering wheel while on hold with the insurance company while trying to get her car back from a chop shop. What more do you want?
Killing It Season 2 is streaming now, exclusively on Peacock.
Killing It Season 2
My review may be about the moral anti-capitalist tale told in Killing It Season 2 but don’t be fooled. The series is also effortlessly funny, with enough takes on entrepreneurs to make it easier to explore. Critical can be funny, and you don’t have to sacrifice a scathing tone for laughs when the series of unexpected visitors brings big Florida Man energy in every episode.