LOS ANGELES, April 14 (UPI) — Craig Robinson said he chose his new show, “Killing It,” premiering Thursday on Peacock, because it stood out from other shows he’s been pitched.
“It’s weird, it’s absurd,” Robinson told UPI in a Zoom interview. “It takes these dark turns.”
Creators Luke Del Tredici and Dan Goor created “Killing It” for Robinson, with whom they worked on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” Their idea was to satirize the mythology of solo entrepreneurship as touted on shows like “Shark Tank.”
“We were really interested in the sort of almost religious fervor with which the cult of entrepreneurship and the American dream is viewed in America,” Goor said.
Foster struggles to get investors to listen to his pitch to develop a piece of swampland. To make ends meet until then, Foster enters a snake-killing contest in Florida with his Uber driver, Jillian (Claudia O’Doherty).
Del Tredici said the snakes are a metaphor for American business. They are also based on the true infestation of exotic snakes in the Florida Everglades.
History.com reports that pythons were introduced as exotic pets in the 1980. Hurricane Andrew in 1992 destroyed a breeding facility releasing Pythons into the Everglades.
The growth of pythons at an exponential rate since the ’90s inspired this part of “Killing It”‘s comedy. The show, however, films in New Orleans, La.
“They have real Biblical implications,” Del Tredici said of the snakes. “There’s something very satisfying, I think very American, about the idea of introducing these things as exotic pets that are sort of displays of wealth and then [them] getting out of control.”
Robinson and his co-stars only interact with fake snakes on the set. However, snake wranglers did help the crew film some inserts of authentic snakes.
“I got over my fear of snakes about five or six years ago when I was in Australia at an animal sanctuary,” Robinson said. “I ended up holding a snake, and I realized the snake meant no harm to me. I’ve been lied to by the Bible and Indiana Jones.”
Being on the Peacock streaming service, “Killing It” had no standards and practices restrictions on how graphically it could portray the snake killing. Foster and Jillian often get covered in snake blood.
“To be covered in fake blood a lot and getting tackled by stunt people, it did feel a little bit more like an action movie than anything else I’ve ever had to do,” O’Doherty said.
In addition to violence, “Killing It” has profanity and full frontal male nudity for the sake of comedy. Twelve-year-old Jet Miller, who plays Foster’s daughter, said the crew was responsible to shelter her from the show’s more graphic aspects.
“They hide all the naughty things on set,” Miller said. “During the premiere, my eyes were closed. And during filming, I was moved. They took me out of the room.”
While Foster tries to build a legitimate business, his friend, Isaiah (Rell Battle), has no such ethics. Isaiah always is working a scam, and it frustrates Foster to see him find more success than he does.
“I know these people who got some kind of illegal babysitting business or who might have gotten fired for taking a little bit from work at TGI Fridays,” Battle said. “I think they’re honest people who are going to do whatever they have to do to survive.”
Foster also struggles to make time for his daughter while he’s hustling his business. His ex-wife, Camille (Stephanie Nogueras), gets frustrated with Craig.
Deaf actor Nogueras speaks American Sign Language on “Killing It.” Nogueras recalled one time she had to slow down for Robinson in a scene in which Camille and Foster argue.
“As a natural instinct, a deaf person will sign much larger and much faster,” Nogueras said. “I told him, ‘Hey, this is normal for deaf folks when we’re upset.'”
All 10 episodes of “Killing It” Season 1 premiere Thursday on Peacock.