What’s on TV Sunday: ‘Kidding’ and ‘The Deuce’

What’s on TV Sunday: ‘Kidding’ and ‘The Deuce’


Jim Carrey returns to television in his first continuing TV role since the ‘90s. And “The Deuce” moves to the disco age.

What’s on TV

KIDDING 10 p.m. on Showtime. “There’s no one I can’t sit with now, after what I’ve been through, and say, ‘What’s your thing — what’s your pain?’ And what an incredible place to be as an artist.” That’s what Jim Carrey, who has been mostly on hiatus since the 2015 death of his former girlfriend, recently told The New York Times. He returns in this new series under the direction of Michel Gondry, with whom he collaborated on “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” Mr. Carrey plays Jeff Pickles, a Fred Rogers-like children’s-TV host who, at the start of the show’s premiere episode, sings the question, “Isn’t growing up funny and sweet?” Not really, it turns out; the image that follows is Mr. Carrey’s character watching footage of an armed conflict. Along with Mr. Rogers, Mr. Carrey himself, an outspoken critic of the Trump administration, has unambiguous ties to his character, “a beloved entertainer discovering that his philosophy of kindness and tolerance may not be enough to sustain him in a world that is often tragic and downright hostile,” as Dave Itzkoff wrote in The Times, adding that “it’s not a stretch to wonder how much of that might also apply to the man portraying him.”

THE DEUCE 9 p.m. on HBO. Through Earth, Wind & Fire’s undying 1978 track “September,” the trailer for the second season of David Simon and George Pelecanos’s “The Deuce” signals a time shift: goodbye, early ‘70s. Hello, peak disco. This season jumps five years from the end of the first; it follows Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Candy, a Times Square prostitute, as she begins to direct adult films, bringing the show’s praised female gaze into the story itself.

SHAMELESS 9 p.m. on Showtime. The Gallagher family returns. While William H. Macy waits to find out whether his fifth Emmy Award nomination for his role as an alcoholic father in this comedy-drama series finally brings in a win, the show’s ninth season gets underway. The eighth season’s finale concluded with Mr. Macy’s character covered in blue port-a-potty fluid — so it can really only go uphill from there.

THE MINIATURIST 9 p.m. on PBS. Adapted from a 2014 novel by Jessie Burton, this new three-part period thriller follows Nella, a newlywed 18-year-old (Anya Taylor-Joy) in 17th-century Amsterdam who moves into a household dominated by her new sister-in-law (Romola Garai). The title comes from an intricate doll house given to Nella by her new husband (Alex Hassell); the expensive status symbol begins to mirror their new life in unexpected ways. In his review of Ms. Burton’s novel for The Times, Mike Peed noted the book’s abundance of both clichés and sentimentality, but nonetheless called it “a seductive meditation on greed, power and the tortuous journey even the well heeled must endure for self-possession.”

SKY AND GROUND 10 p.m. on World Channel (check local listings). This documentary follows a Syrian-Kurdish family of refugees as they make an arduous journey from Aleppo, Syria, to Berlin.

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