Craig Robinson is funny as hell.
My interest in seeing him star in another TV show, however, was limited. There was that lousy sitcom Mr Robinson, which had him on screen as a high school music teacher. And then there was the I-wanted-to-love-it-and-tried-to-convince-myself-I-did-but never-could supernatural comedy Ghosted alongside Adam Scott.
He's not your usual TV talent and nothing really quite clicked. Sitting down to watch Killing It... I was apprehensive. There's that track record. But also there's the premise of the show, which, to be charitable, sounds more like a Funny Or Die sketch than a show.
But it's all in the execution. And, thankfully, this show really delivers.
The premise of the show is this: Robinson stars as a man who has perpetually been kicked in the teeth by life. Working as a security guard at a bank, he struggles to get a loan to buy some land he needs to start a harvesting business. Following a chance encounter with an eccentric Australian Uber driver played by Claudia O'Doherty (probably best known by audiences for the Netflix comedy Love), he gets involved in the lucrative world of state-sponsored python hunting.
To make it in America, sometimes you just need the willingness to get your hands dirty. And a hammer.
Obviously, that sounds ridiculous. And it is. But, the show is a wonderfully funny, dark, and entirely twisted comedy. It balances its silly-sounding plot with richly-developed down-trodden characters who feel authentic to what is largely the sort of confected TV show premise that can only ever exist in the most extreme of screen comedies and actually in real life.
Robinson is known for having a big personality on-screen, but like a lot of big guy comedy actors, his strength is in leaning deep into his sensitivity. Placing such a loveable guy that we're all rooting for at the centre of this beyond ridiculous show makes the whole show sing. And pairing him up with Claudia O'Doherty is a masterstroke, with both as deeply vulnerable, heart on the sleeve types.
As with all distinctive comedies, this one will either click for you or it won't. For those who do connect with its heartfelt, yet thoroughly nutso, comedic sensibilities, you're going to have a great time with Killing It.
"It's heartfelt, but nutso" - put that on the DVD jacket.
Killing It is streaming now on Peacock in the US and here in Australia, you can find it on Stan.