Nothing can hold down ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’

Tribune News Service

Joel Frambes
Copy Editor

Tina Fey reintroduced herself to the forefront of television comedy with the release of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” on March 6. Netflix picked up the show after it was dropped from NBC’s mid-season lineup.

With the help of fellow “30 Rock” executive producer Robert Carlock, Fey resurrected the spirit and cast of her former show in her latest marriage of feminism and fun.

Ellie Kemper stars in the show as the titular character – a small town girl who makes her way to the big city via the most unusual of circumstances. Along with three other women, Kimmy was abducted by the Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne, the leader of a doomsday cult. After searching for 15 years, a police SWAT team rescued the Indiana Mole Women from an underground bunker.

The show focuses on Kimmy’s return to normal life, but for someone who hasn’t experienced contemporary life since she was in eighth grade, the culture shock is overwhelming at first. However, Kimmy has a never-say-die attitude – a trait cultivated in the bunker that allows her to take all challenges head-on, one small step at a time.

In her first few days transitioning to this new epigeous world, Kimmy starts a life in New York City, unlike her fellow prisoners who stay in Durnsville. She quickly finds a shabby apartment and quirky roommate, Titus Andromedon, played by Tituss Burgess, and a job as a nanny and indentured servant for one of the richest women in the city, Jacquelin Voorhees, played by Jane Krakowski.

The challenges Kimmy encounters are not unique to her, except for maybe her inability to abandon the pop culture of the late ‘90s. She struggles to accept that she is well into adulthood when she celebrates her 30th birthday, her love life is as complex as the modern technology enveloping her and she hits the books to complete her education after her subterranean isolation.

Despite her indomitable spirit, Kimmy struggles to repress the greatest trauma in her life. The Mole Women are always in the media, and Titus can’t go more than two sentences without trying to start gossip about life in the bunker. This becomes the central conflict of the show as it builds up to the trial of her kidnapper, Reverend Wayne.

The show never fails to make light of Kimmy’s trials and tribulations, and thanks to the pick up by Netflix, even more jokes are included in the show with the looser time constraints for episodes.

The cast of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” gives the show remarkable fluidity and diversity with character interactions. This chemistry stems from the long list of actors borrowed from “30 Rock,” but it is not exclusive to this ensemble. Kemper and Carol Kane fit in perfectly with Burgess and Krakowski. Even Fey and Jon Hamm make cameo appearances to add their talent and humor to the already gut-busting performance.

Already renewed for a second season, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is an instant success. The truly unbreakable thing about Kimmy Schmidt is the way to watch the half-hour episodes thanks to the ability to binge watch on Netflix.


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