(Hy)Lights #33: UNBREAKABLE Kimmy Schmidt

I bet most of you would have never thought that Netflix, a streaming movie/TV service that was first a DVD-by-mail service, would end up making TV series of their own. Ever since 2013, Netflix has been delivering original content on their service and most of the shows they stream has garnered popularity with examples being House of Cards, BoJack Horseman, Orange is the New Black and even the upcoming Marvel’s DAREDEVIL (P.S. 2 of those might get reviews from me in the future) and when they premiere, you can binge-watch it all as the shows all in a day or to your liking without having to wait week-after-week.

Today’s topic about that is Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a sitcom series created by Tina Fey (30 Rock, SNL) and Robert Carlock and originally the show was supposed to be a part of NBC’s line-up but they sold it to Netflix, giving the show a 2-season order before it premiered (and that’s another trend that tends to be popular nowadays. *points to AMC for that*)

The series follows 29-year old Kimmy Schmidt as she adjusts to life in New York City after her rescue from an Indiana doomsday cult. The pilot opens with her rescue from the cult’s underground bunker, where Kimmy and three other women were held by the Reverend for fifteen years.

Watching all 13 episodes of the series, the show does play on a theme of your past coming to haunt you to whatever you do since it all started with Kimmy wanting to lead a normal life for herself but all the publicity with her and the other girls being labeled The Mole Women makes it all unbearable that she doesn’t want to live that part of her life anymore and that being said, the title says it all as whatever life throws to Kimmy, she’s not going to surrender to it and she’ll prevail to it all. There’s even subplots about that with side characters Jacqueline (or Jackie Lynn as her parents call her) and Titus that recalls how they wanted to change themselves from their past lives and all of those are able to pull you in the show.

The funnier elements does come from Kimmy trying to see how everything’s changed in 15 years and yes, it does get silly and kooky along with traits that are similar to 30 Rock and the comedic tone fits the show to a tee that you would laugh along with it.

However, there are some weak elements in the show as well. First being that Kimmy has these love interest sub-plots that doesn’t do much for the show. I know that they are a part of her trying to move along in her life and maybe one of them was an ok character but the rest…..they were either bland or a douche. Titus, Lillian and Jacqueline make up for being interesting and funny side-characters with their own little B-plots in the show that got me following them and what goes on in their everyday lives and the thing is their characters can handled the wrong way like how Titus could be another black gay man stereotype, Lillian could’ve been some random throwaway character that no one gives a damn out and Jacqueline was almost the equivalent of Jenna Maroney from 30 Rock but while they have those trait, they made their characters more than just what we believe them to be. The one character I really don’t like is Xanthippe, Jacqueline’s stepdaughter as I thought her character was annoying, whiny, and mostly a bitch and while the show does explain her character in the near end, I still couldn’t give a damn about her and once her side story is done, I was relieved.

There’s no other words to describe Ellie Kemper as Kimmy…other than adorable, kooky and charmingly hilarious. Her performance is what made the show in my opinion and seeing her fresh out of The Office (U.S.), this was a role that could put her name out there. Supporting players Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane and 30 Rock alum Jane Krakowski does bring the best out of their characters, giving good comedic performances and as well as some guest stars like Amy Sedaris, Dean Norris, Nick Kroll and Richard Kind. Plus, there is a guest star I could mention but it’s a spoiler so I can’t reveal that to you but let’s just say…..you didn’t recognize them at first but you suspect he would be in the show sooner or later.

And one more thing, that theme song can’t leave my head. It’s so catchy that the song can stick to you for days.

FINAL VERDICT: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is another great addition to ever-growing catalogue of Netflix original shows and while this could’ve work on NBC, they probably wouldn’t give it that much of a chance. The show’s quirky kookiness in the plot and characters makes the show moderately enjoyable without making it seem unnecessarily ridiculous. A worthy successor of 30 Rock and something I might stick with in the long haul.

I know one thing. THIS SHOW’S ALIVE, DAMMIT!!

8/10 – Solid B.

 

And that’s my cue to sign off.

I’m MAK2.0 aka The Unbreakable Blue Hybrid, and this show is STRONG AS HELL!!

 

UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT – courtesy of UNIVERSAL TELEVISION / NETFLIX

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