Like a moth to a flame I am inexorably drawn to the “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” How can you not love a series that, in episode two of the second season, works a Chuck Lorre gag into the storyline. Kimmy, after having saved the day with a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle”themed “play date” opines that “whoever wrote that theme song deserves to be a billionaire.”
Cue Schmidt walking past a giant “poster” with a picture of Lorre and emblazoned across the thing , under Lorre’s face, are the words:
“Chuck Lorre wrote that song.”
(This is not a sly wink to breaking down that invisible fourth wall, it is demolishing it with a giant sledgehammer. It is deliciously funny and informative. After all Lorre did write the theme tune to “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”)
Before that we have Kimmy forcing a man/woman into hiring her as an elf at a “year-round” Christmas store.
“I have a bomb! Now that I have your attention…”
Another gag, or in-joke, features a box full of Jeremy Piven instructional DVD’s on playing the drums, “Own the Skins” dumped into a sale bin at a charity shop. (“Learn to ROCK in Two Weeks”)
It also bears mentioning the “mannequin man” who keeps hopping into the charity shop window and the re-use of an old Charlie Chaplin gag based on clambering through a fancy chauffeur driven limousine. Such creativity and ingenuity deserves no end of comedy respect.
In the second episode of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” Jane Krakowski’s character Jacqueline White, nee Voorhees. has returned from the reservation and now is hiding her dire financial status from the facetious Deirdre Robespierre (played brilliantly by Anna Camp). Owen’s mother only got $12 million from her husband in the divorce settlement and she is desperate to keep Robespierre from finding out.
Titus (Tituss Burgess) gives a lot of his old “themed” clothing to charity, accompanied by Lillian (Carol Kane). He is horrified to find his classic outfits, which includes a Mickey Mouse costume, being picked over and on offer for five dollars.
(Kane’s highlight of the show is her coming out from the dressing room with a huge bra over her top. As Titus storms out of the shop with his clothes, she looks at the shopkeeper and haughtily announces that she came in with the item.)
Kimmy has issues with Xanthippe Voorhees (Dylan Gelula) each time she goes to the townhouse. (Another comic highlight involves these two bickering with Kimmy’s rejoinders being comically off-kilter.)
Xanthippe: You’re so weird.
Kimmy: (Grinning maniacally) “In BED.”
Later in the show, Jacqueline complains to Kimmy about her issues with Robespierre and Schmidt rounds on her friend:
“All you do is lie. About how much money you have, where you live, what monkeys do at hotels…”
The two get back on the same wavelength but only after finding common ground; Robin Hood.
Jacqueline: “Do you know who Robin Hood is? ”
Kimmy: “Uh, yeah. That Disney movie where Robin Hood’s a fox? When you were little, did you think he was handsome? And then, like, your crotch gets a headache?”
Jacqueline: “Are you kidding? That voice and how he didn’t wear pants?”
Kimmy saves the day by giving Jacqueline some sage advice which she then uses herself to best Xanthippe. By the end of the episode Ms. White has rolled over Robespierre by spending all but £500 thousand of her settlement.
Ellie Kemper kills it as the unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Her living, breathing cartoon character of a role is full of comic moments and dialogue that forces laughter out of the viewer. In terms of laughs-per-minute this series beats the average comedy offering by a mile.
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” has, as mentioned in a previous review of the Netflix series, become a new favorite. One can watch the entire 13 episode second season, part of the magic of it being run on Netflix, but that much laughter in one go may just be bad for you.
Ergo, I shall watch the episodes one at a time and review them separately.
Just to be safe.