From 30 Rock creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has been available to watch on Netflix since last week. With only 13 episodes, it begs to be binge watched.
Abducted by the Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne when she was 15 years old, Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper- The Office) from Durnsville, Indiana has had a strange life. Told that the world had ended, she and three other women were imprisoned in an underground bunker for fifteen years. The women were unexpectedly rescued by a SWAT team after the Reverend was seen behaving oddly in Walmart and a whole new world opens up for these ‘mole women,’ a nickname coined by the media after their rescue. Kimmy refuses to be a ‘victim’ and decides to start a new life on her own in New York. With a backpack full of money from the ‘mole woman fund,’ she finds a place to live. Her roommate is the rip roaringly funny Titus, played by Tituss Burgess who some will remember as D’Fwan from 30 Rock. The enthusiastically manic Kimmy gets a job looking after the son of the über rich Jacqueline Voorhees, fantastically portrayed by Jane Krakowski, another 30 Rock veteran.
Although the premise of this show may seem dark, the vivaciously funny and charming Ellie Kemper keeps the show upbeat and life affirming. Kimmy wants to run away from her identity as a ‘mole woman’ and the show thrives on the comic trials and tribulations that come with being a fish out of water in the modern world. Along with the absolutely uproarious Titus and Jacqueline and a strong supporting cast, the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has a strong comic foundation. Unlike its predecessor 30 Rock which often deconstructed common sitcom tropes, this show is a traditional sitcom but the fresh performances and laugh out loud jokes make it stand out from many of its contemporaries.
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was sold by NBC to Netflix for many reasons. One of which was the fact that comedies like this one and Parks and Recreation are not getting enough viewers on network television. Some of the more explicit jokes written for the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and censored by NBC made their way back into the show after it was bought by Netflix. It’ll be interesting to see what the second season has in store when the writers have greater comedic freedom. Hopefully the show will be even better when it’s less censored.
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is well worth a watch and it gets funnier as it gets into its stride and loosens up a bit in Season One. With extremely entertaining performances and jokes by these skilled comic actors, this show is a breath of fresh air for 30 Rock aficionados and newcomers alike.