My mom loves Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. She just celebrated her 58th birthday and only likes Glee, Criminal Minds, Bones, and White Collar, but watched all of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt with me. We started with season one a few months back and she was desperate for a second season. After trying to explain numerous times how Netflix original series release an entire season on one day, we set time aside to watch a few episodes at a time together.
She loves it so much. The slapstick, the goofiness, the singing. She likes it for how simple it is, which is part of the show’s genius. I, on the other hand, like it for… Well, read the title of this post.
Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s show is unbelievable clever and stuffed with hilarious jokes that are so quick and so often that they’re easy to miss. The show isn’t afraid to simply be funny. A few reviews said there wasn’t much substance because there aren’t really over-arcing plots like we’ve grown accustomed to in today’s comedies. While the other two best comedies – Veep and Silicon Valley – rely on a serialized element, this show has consistent bottle episodes that stand alone as compartmentalized nuggets of amusement.
Like Veep, Unbreakable relies on over the top comedy that viewers have to take in with a grain of salt. It hits us with one-liners of absurdity and puip culture references that may go over some heads, but those aren’t the people who this show targets. The show is near the top of the television mountain because it takes the absurdity of what 30 Rock did so well, and magnifies it.
It doesn’t hurt that the cast is *insert a-ok finger emoji*. Ellie Kemper is jovial in every single scene. From screaming “fudge” or dressing like an elf to more poignant episodes where she struggles with some sort of PTSD. Recently, the actress appeared on Alec Baldwin’s podcast where he said that Kemper could easily do drama because the best comedians are always secretly dramatic souls. Look at Steve Carrell or the late Robin Williams.
Aside from the lead, Tituss Burgess is pure joy as Titus Andromedon. He follows in the great footsteps of the goofy secondary characters of television history – Norm Peterson, Barney Stinson, Sue Sylvester – to be catapulted into the brightest of spotlights. Carol Kane and Jane Krakowski may seem underutilized, but in all fairness, they don’t need to be the main course of any episode. They’re season on top of a slow roasted pork loin.
(SPOILERS) I really need to highlight Tina Fey’s role as Kimmy’s therapist. It’s great to see one of the modern greats back on television. I know she’s a writer first, but her abilities on screen are nothing to be scoffed at. (/SPOILERS)
Guest stars also added a lot this season. David Cross, Bill Eichner Kenan Thompson, and Zosia Mamet are some of the stars used to varying degrees. The show isn’t afraid to include a comic star in a split second gag or use them in a short reoccurring role. It all leads up to (ugh, SPOILERS again) Lisa Kudrow coming in as Kimmy’s mom. The comic’s ability to steal a scene is barely noticeable because she may have met her kooky match in Kemper. These two need to be in more together. (/SPOILERS).
Everything in this season is too something. That’s what makes it so worthy to be considered one of the best comedies out right now. Not one of those “real life and dramatic” comedies. But a true, hilarious comedy.