“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” has been one of those shows that just did not appeal, basically the short breakdown for season one did nothing for me. (Sorry but this one has to be written in more of a “blog-voice” aka first person versus third…) Plus having missed out on the whole “Tina Fey thing” meant the news that she co-created the series was less than impressive.
(I only knew of Tina from those credit card adverts and her co-hosting the Golden Globes and knew that she was a regular on SNL but, living in England during her stint, missed it.)
Fast forward to the second year of the program and late night viewing on Netflix. The second season, all of it (Ah the fun of Netflix.) began airing seconds after midnight and moments after watching the first episode of season two I had to ask myself, What the fudge did I just watch?
My new favorite show.
Season two episode one, where Vonda tells Kimmy she is dressed “like somebody from Scooby-dam-Doo (“Thank you,” Kimmy gushes.) and Titus doing the “Working at Vonda’s uncle’s mulch business line three times, had me on the floor tears spurting and laughing hysterically.
I was hooked.
Having missed the first season, no real problem thanks to the ability to “Netflix binge,” did not hurt the comedy on offer at all. The gags all work even if there is a little disconnect between backstory due to only watching the teaser trailer for season two.
Ellie Kemper is hysterical as the “cartoon character” Kimmy Schmidt. Her character does actually seem unbreakable, like a Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm on steroids, and she kills it in the comedy department by playing her “mole woman” pretty much straight (if one gives Kimmy the emotional age of about 12) letting her character and lines sell the comedy.
The show has so much to offer. Carol Kane, who looks spectacular and still has comedic acting chops for days, and Jane Krakowski, Ki Hong Lee and Tituss Burgess all bring this over the top comedy to full hilarity.
In the first episode of the second season, titled “Kimmy Goes Roller Skating,” Krakowski is brilliant as Jacqueline Voorhees who is attempting to embrace her Native American heritage. Lee does great “Kardashian” and Burgess is spot on as the multiple personality landlord and friend of Kimmy. Kemper is just perfect.
It is not just the performers in “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” that make the show an epic comedic win. It is the writing. How can you not love a series where the main character, in a moment of enthusiasm says:
“Well fudge that sugar! Fudge it to heck! Where a demon with a thousand wee-wees fudges it forever!”
There are running gags throughout, the silverfish and the Kardashians (Is there a connection here?) along with all the characters seemingly from the same gene-pool as Kane’s Lillian Kaushtupper.
A lawyer who tells his client “Sick burn” and a romantic moment at the Amtrak station that turns into a commercial (That has to be a Tina Fey touch a’la those satirical adverts from SNL.) Speaking of “Saturday Night Live” how brilliant was fellow alumnus Fred Armisen as Lillian’s ex Bobby?
The mark of any great show is that one viewing immediately leaves the viewer wanting so much more. For example, one episode of “Breaking Bad” had me immediately binge watching the entire first four seasons.
At the risk of sounding like a 1960s announcer, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is whacky, goofy fun. It feels like a comedy just aching to break into song, like a musical is skirting around the edges and dying to jump into the proceedings.
The lines move quickly, like a Howard Hawks classic (Think “His Girl Friday,” with a slightly less machine-gun delivery of dialogue but still snappy.) and are quirky, silly and darned funny.
Co-ceators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock (another SNL alumni) have struck comedy platinum with this one and Ellie Kemper is brilliant as Kimmy. Since the “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is on Netflix there is no need to ration yourself to once a week viewing. Watch it all and give yourself a treat.
While I do not normally give out “stars” for a television shows, this is an exception. I am giving a full five stars for this comedy that is chock a block (overly full) with slightly mad characters and full blown loons. (And a great soundtrack.)
Watch this one if you want to exercise your funny bone.