The season premier of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was one of the new shows I most looked forward to watching. Originally set for NBC, the show was sold to Netflix instead and given a two season order. From the first episode, I knew I would binge watch the whole thing. Produced by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock of 30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt carries a catchy pop intro (parodying Antoine Dodson), great wardrobe design and stars Ellie Kemper (Bridesmaids) as the lead Kimmy Schmidt.
The gist of the show is about four women who lived in an underground apocalypse cult. Told that the Earth was scorched, these women stayed together in a bunker for 15 years until a SWAT team found and released them. After a horrible interview with NBC Today, one of the women, Kimmy decides to live in New York City and start life all over again! Despite having the insight of a 13 year old from the year 2000 (somebody get her a DVD of Frozen already #getKimmyupdated). She becomes roommates with a black gay actor named Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess) and finds a wealthy employer in Mrs.Voorhees (Jane Krakowski).
Set in New York City, the show is quirky, fast paced, and cheery. There are many themes to the show including; outrageous incompetence in professional workers, women who try to find their identity in the wrong places, and perseverance to over come anything, be it 15 yeras in a bunker or 15 audition rejections for Lion King.
The show has an amazingly positive message. Anyone’s who had an enduring past can relate to the show, and appreciate the momentum of someone trying to move forward with their life. Through out the season, Kimmy works hard not to let labels like “victim” and “mole women” define who she will be in her new found life. From her 6th grade come backs and her joy for all things motion detected, Kimmy’s character is adorable but the struggles are real, “I can’t tell phones from cameras”. Though she figured out clubbing pretty quickly, “Titus, dancing is about butts now!”
I really liked watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. There needs to be more shows with strong and empowering female leads and UKS did a great job of this with Kimmy’s character. However as much as I enjoyed the first season the glory of shows like UKS are built on the personality of the actors, rather than the acting itself (the actors play the exact personas they had from 30 Rock & Bridesmaids). There is no great intrigue, dimension or depth to the characters. The contemporary bubble gum style might not last well with age. The premises are a bit too obvious and straight forward. It’s a good series but I would really love to see American TV endeavor to produce more sophisticated, layered comedies with strong captivating acting. In the meanwhile I look forward what they have in store for the 2nd season. If you, like me, thought the show was trying to sell you on expensive overprice Fiji water… well you’re wrong. Turns out that’s not what Mrs.Voorhees was drinking #FriaDietWater. What the ham sandwich.