Let me start off by saying I love comedies. It’s probably my favourite genre to binge-watch on Netflix, so I may be a little biased here. I’ve already watched ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ in its entirety upon its initial release last year, but as Season 2 is released this Friday, I thought I’d give it another watch. As a long-time fan of Tina Fey, I could barely contain my excitement when I read the synopsis for her Netflix original series.Four women trapped underground in Indiana by a crazy cult leader for over half of their lives are finally set free and our titular character moves to the big and scary New York City? Plus outlandish characters, a rainbow of colours, and a catchy opening sequence? Count me in.
The series opens with Kimmy and her “mole women” being freed after years and years spent underground, believing the outside world had come to an end. For the mole women, everything has changed, everything is new, and thus, everything is exciting. Kimmy moves to New York to experience her newfound freedom to the fullest, with a can-do, positive attitude that would warm even the coldest of hearts. Things don’t always go to plan though, as Kimmy’s naivety forces her to be swindled, become the victim of theft, and struggle to navigate this new, scary world. It doesn’t break her spirit though – them females are strong as hell!
Ellie Kemper is the shining star of ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’. Her unwavering positivity, paired with sheer naivety, plump for a character the audience truly roots for. Kemper seamlessly portrays a 90s teenager trapped inside the body of a 29 year old, whose life has just been turned upside down – the fashion choices, the throwback phrases… it’s all hilarious. The first thing Kimmy does with her freedom is eat candy for dinner, and it’s all so innocent. Tina Fey has created a strong female character who doesn’t let anything get her down. When it seems like the entire world is against her, Kimmy remains unbreakable. I guess the title makes more sense now, right?
That’s not to say there aren’t other standout performances. Jane Krakowski takes inspiration from her character on ’30 Rock’ to play a self-obsessed, upper-class snob who actually turns out to have a heart of gold, and her relationship with Kimmy is one of my favourites on the show. Equally, Tituss Burgess is utterly hilarious as flamboyant gay actor Titus Andromedon, who shows Kimmy the ropes when she first moves to New York, and continues to talk some sense into her crazy ideas.
Above all, there’s no escaping the show’s uplifting vibe. Everything from the colours, the costumes, and the comedy all aim to produce a positive outlook on what should be a horrible situation and the incredibly chirpy tone of the show is really infectious. ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ may be gimmicky at times, but there’s a lot to be said about a comedy where the characters actually care about each other and try their best. It’s reminiscent of comedies such as ‘Parks and Recreation’, where the near-perfect joke writing merges perfectly with characters you actually give a damn about. ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ goes to show that comedy doesn’t have to stem from cynicism, rather, quite the opposite. It’s highly enjoyable, and the perfect binge watch.
Creator(s): Tina Fey, Robert Carlock
Starring: Ellie Kemper, Jane Krawkowski, Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane