Sunday, October 21, 2018

REVIEW: 'Kidding' - Jeff Finally Explodes at Work After a Surprising Moment with Vivian in 'Kintsugi'

Showtime's Kidding - Episode 1.07 "Kintsugi"

Jeff goes off script and starts to speak more honestly to children on Puppet Time as Seb panics that Jeff will soon have to appear on live television for the National Tree Lighting Ceremony. Deirdre and Scott get a new visitor from Japan. The Pickles have Thanksgiving as a family.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of Showtime's Kidding.

"Kintsugi" was written by Jas Waters and directed by Minkie Spiro

Throughout this season, Kidding has been weighing the positive impact Jeff has on the lives of others with the horrifying disaster that is waiting to explode in his personal life. Seb believed that Jeff would have his complete breakdown when Vivian died. And now, that doesn't occur. Vivian has gone into remission. The last round of chemo worked. It's a miracle. Jeff is there to support her. This means their relationship isn't destined to end. Vivian survives because Jeff convinced her that she wasn't done living just yet. She still had plenty of dreams she wanted to achieve. She has scheduled her trip to Honduras to zip line through the forest and see the fish raining on the villages. She is alive because Jeff showed a personal interest in her life. And yet, she decides to break up with him after getting this news as well. She will forever be grateful for all that he has done for her. But she also associates him with this very painful and difficult time in her life. She is healthy now. But she lived in this relationship as a dying woman. She doesn't know how to be with him in the hopes that it could be years of happiness together. She still has plenty that she wants to do on her own. She has the freedom to do so because Jeff pays off all of her credit cards. He gives her that freedom. He is very generous even when the rest of the family wants to curse her out after she breaks up with him during Thanksgiving dinner. The end of their relationship also pushes Jeff past his breaking point. He completely destroys his office. It's such a brutal final sequence. It's the moment of implosion that the season has been building towards since the very beginning. Jeff has grown out of control with the show. Seb and Didi were plotting their contingency plans. They can no longer control Jeff. He is going off script which produces episodes that barely have any useable footage. He is able to push through his pain on camera and introduce Viva despite her being inspired by Vivian. She is still welcomed to the neighborhood on Pickle Time. But Jeff breaks down after all of that is over. He believes he's alone. That comes after an episode that actually celebrates this family actually acting like a family. Sure, they are weird and inappropriate. And yet, that's true to life as well. Moreover, the family is joined by the new host of the Japanese version of Pickle Time. That too is a very telling moment that proves that Jeff has a very particular view of the world and doesn't wish to accept change. In Japan, it's easy for one host to pass the legacy of this show down to someone new. It could be just as easy for Jeff. Seb would immediately embrace that casting search in the hopes of finding the next Mr. Pickles. But Jeff believes his voice can't be duplicated. He's fine with these international versions because he doesn't speak the local language. But that doesn't make any real sense. It holds no further merit than him being furious at a toy company for wanting to sell dolls of him. He is being very petty. That also forces Didi to confront her own insecurity and feeling like she only exists for other people. That's so heartbreaking to hear. But it's all building to that ridiculous punchline of how the new Pickles-san is able to feature three characters in his puppet show despite only having two hands.