Laughter, bright colours and abounding quirkiness: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is the first great sitcom of the streaming era. Here’s why Netflix’ original comedy series is well worth a watch…
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015): Created by Tina Fey (30 Rock, Mean Girls); 2 seasons à 13 episodes à 30minutes; starring Ellie Kemper (The Office, They came together), Tituss Burgess (30 Rock), Jane Krakowski (30 Rock), Carol Kane (Gotham), Dylan Gelula (Chasing Life).
For fans of: Tina Fey’s humour (30 Rock, SNL, Mean Girls), fish out of water stories like Blast from the Past or Enchanted, quirky characters like on New Girl or Pushing Daisies, or coming-of-age comedies such as Clueless.
After 15 years of living in an underground bunker, 29-year old Kimmy Schmidt (Kemper) is rescued from the claws of the Indiana doomsday cult that abducted her as a teen. Determined to catch up on everything she’s missed, she decides to move to New York City where she rooms with aspiring Broadway star Titus (Burgess) and gets a job as a nanny for a rich family. The series was originally developed for Tina Fey’s home turf network NBC, but eventually sold to Netflix where it premiered in March 2015. It was very well received amomng audiences and critics alike, Scott Meslow even called it the first great sitcom of the streaming era. Here are 5 Reasons why you should start watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt…
1. It’ll make you feel optimistic about life
Even for a sitcom, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is extraordinarily upbeat and colourful: it contrasts Kimmy’s dark past, told through flashbacks that are framed in more modest colours, with her bright present, which is beaming with bright, borderline offensive, colours.
Kimmy’s unwavering optimism is reflected in her flashy wardrobe, above all her yellow cardigan from the pilot, her pink sweater, or her floral-print trousers (come to think of it, it’s not dissimilar to Chuck’s from Pushing Daisies). Bonus: in each one of her outfits, there is an echo of the nineties, for that was when she last set foot in a department store. And although it is the punchline of many a joke, her positive outlook on the world is incredibly inspiring. After all, experiencing everything for the first time, means that Kimmy, unlike most of the people around her, is still able to get excited about the most mundane things, such as dining at the restaurant from Ghostbusters, having an alcoholic drink, or wearing light-up sneakers.
2. Kimmy’s cluelessness is hilarious
Since she spent half of her life locked up underground, Kimmy has missed out on the plethora of pop-cultural phenomena generated by the new millenium, which is why her pop-cultural references are outdated. Kimmy also doesn’t understand 21st century technology and is a stranger to present-day social trends, a comedic device usually employed by time travelling plots such as in Blast from the Past (which also featured a young person growing up in a bunker), or Kate & Leopold.
3. You’re gonna adore the show’s quirky characters
Between her flamboyantly gay roommate Titus, her eccentric landlady Lilianne (Carol Kane) and her neurotic employer Jacqueline Voorhees (Jane Krakowski), Kimmy might not even be the most peculiar character this show has to offer.
4. Xan and Kimmy’s antagonistic relationship is the best
Speaking of the Voorhees family, Jacqueline’s step-daughter Xan (Dylan Gelula) is a real scene stealer: the sullen teenager takes issue with her new nanny for reasons that are never disclosed. Their exchanges are easily the funniest parts of every episode because of Kimmy’s random and nonsensical comebacks to Xan’s insults and Xan’s dumbfoudned reaction to them. Case and point:
Xan: “Hey Kimmy, 1996 called, it wants its clothes back”
Kimmy: “Hey Xan, 2090 called, you’re dead and you wasted your time on Earth”
5. It proves that there’s more to life than dating
When you’ve spent 15 years trapped in an underground bunker, you’ve got bigger things to worry about than whether a guy thinks you look fat in that dress. Thus, instead of stressing about dating, Kimmy focuses on getting a life, figuring out what her dreams are and pursuing them, and coming to terms with her traumatic and highly unusual past.
To binge or not to binge? Refrain from binging this one. You want to keep these characters around for as long as possible.
Where can I watch? It’s a Netflix original, so both seasons of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are available for streaming exclusively on Netflix.