Sunday, March 8, 2015

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Review

I was looking forward to watching the new Netflix show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ever since I saw this trailer. The show is created by Tina Fey and stars Ellie Kemper, who I loved as Erin on The Office for many years. There are 13 episodes in this first season and they go by quickly since they are only 30 minutes long. In my attempt to give this show a grade, I would give it 3.9 out of 5 stars. Since that type of grading doesn't make much sense to me, I will discuss my positive and negative thoughts about the show. Let me know in the comments if you've seen any of the show yet and what you think about it.

The premise is essentially a fish out of water; a naive girl who moves to New York City. We learn in the 1st episode that Kimmy and three other women were taken 15 years ago by a crazy reverend who told them the apocalypse had come and kept them in a bunker. They are freed by the police and Kimmy decides to venture out on her own to New York City and experience life.

First of all, the show is funny. The characters are all so fun and different from Titus, Kimmy's gay roommate who is also an aspiring actor/singer, to her paranoid landlady, and to her rich boss who is a housewife. They are all such ridiculous characters and they're what gives the show the crazy storylines. I laughed the hardest when Mrs. Voorhees receives a puppy bouquet from her husband and when Buckley beats Titus or "Ironman" with a bat while he wears a robot costume. There are also some great guest stars who play small roles, but I won't spoil those for anyone.

The theme song and opening credits are catchy and will stay in your head for days. It's so clever to take an auto-tuned police interview (which of course has been done in real life) and make it the show's theme song. I never realized what a wonderful word "unbreakable" was- it's so powerful!

The flashbacks to the bunker in each of the episodes are great. I was a little disappointed in the first episode when she was rescued right away because I didn't see enough of it to understand what it was like, but the flashbacks add more to her background in every episode. The flashbacks usually serve a purpose and give Kimmy strength when she's trying to catch up on the world, like the flashback to the rat. My favorite one is about the crank, which prompts Kimmy to tell Jacqueline that "you can stand anything for 10 seconds", and even though it was only in the 2nd episode, I remembered it when I finished the season.

Mystery. It's in the show even though it's a comedy and I liked it. The show doesn't talk about Kimmy's family until later on in the season, and the mystery of Kimmy's past was a reason that I kept watching. While the other three women reveal stories about how they got into the bunker with the reverend, we still don't really know how Kimmy got taken, which I hope will be touched on next season.

I'm about to go into my negatives, but even with the parts I didn't like as well, I was able to blow through the season quickly and I was always interested to see how things would turn out.

I was wary of this show from the beginning when I noticed how hard Kimmy smiled and how intensely chipper she was. Some people will find this annoying and probably won't be able to get past it. I didn't mind it as much. It's part of the fact that Kimmy is "unbreakable" because she still has joy in her life and bounces back from everything.

A few plot lines didn't keep going throughout the season. In the 1st episode Kimmy is hired as Buckley's babysitter, but after the first few episodes, I didn't ever see her with the boy but more as Jacqueline's personal assistant. She still works for the Voorhees family, but it's a little confusing. Also, where did Charles go after episode 5? I thought at least I would see him in the background for a while before he became part of a bigger story again. I hope they bring him back in season 2, since he is supposed to be Buckley's tutor.

I mentioned before that the characters in the show are so great because they are crazy and it's what makes them funny. Very true. But, there is a difference between wacky funny and just plain weird. The plastic surgeon in episode 4 just creeped me out, there was nothing funny about that guy. Also, the last three episodes(11-13) are the ones I disliked the most. The townspeople in the trial are too over-the-top. There's a line that Parks and Recreation rode perfectly with its people in Pawnee. The people tended to be on the dumber side, but they were all passionate citizens who had heart and so as viewers we all loved them. Where this show misstepped was when they made the people in Kimmy's hometown dumb and gullible with no other traits. It also didn't help that everyone at the trial was that way, even the lawyers. Maybe if the lawyers were competent but just didn't have evidence, I wouldn't have felt so annoyed watching the end of the show.

There you have it! I do plan to watch season 2, and if you're still not sure about the show, I recommend that you at least see episode 2, since that ended up being my favorite. What other comedies would you recommend on Netflix? Let me know!

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