Craig Robinson is Killing It in this second season of the genial sit-com which casts him as a humble saw palmetto berry farmer who goes through one impossible hoop after another in the hope of saving his farm. Robinson is probably best known as the personable stock-room manager from The Office and the Pontiac Bandit in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but with time and space to stretch his comedic legs, makes an ideal centre for a funny, very much ‘of the moment’ look at the practical impossibilities of living outside the elite in today’s fake-it-till-you-make-it America.
Robinson plays Craig Foster, who is getting his new mobile office delivered in the opening scene; the structure gets accidentally dropped on its side and functions as a continual running joke throughout the series as characters deftly enter and exit through the windows and the door in the roof. Foster and Jillian Glopp (Claudia O’Doherty) just want to make bank and harvest some much needed cash from their berry crop, but all sorts of interruptions get in the way, including SNL’s Beck Bennett as an officious government helper who provides nothing of the sort, plus their hard-scrabble neighbours the Boones who want Foster to employ them so that they can all claim free heath-care. Foster is continually between a rock and a hard place in terms of navigating various handicaps, leading to shark-wrestling, illegal diet supplements, pregnancy surrogates and all kind of other increasingly unlikely cash-cows which inevitably blow up in his face.
Robinson is ideally cast here; he’s got an everyman quality that makes it easy to get behind his ventures. What’s even more impressive is that Killing It feels very much 2023 in its depiction of a venal, get rich quick society in which reality is secondary to short-term social media success. Whether its selling a car or observing health regulations, Killing It really kills it when it comes to satirising the nature of modern entrepreneurship, and audiences should find plenty to laugh at as well as the comforting feeling that our own lives are understood.
Foster’s brother Isaiah (Rell Battle) makes an agreeable foil for Foster’s why-me? Routine, but O’Doherty’s resourceful Jillian is the MVP amongst the support, anything but the shrinking violet that she seems, Jillian kicks ass and takes names in heroic fashion when adversity comes. Killing It’s second season should consolidate a loyal fan-base from the original show; there’s plenty of mileage in satirising today’s warping of American values, and Robinson and co absolutely kill it from the get-go.