The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s humor ascends through Netflix

Netflix sitcom makes big laughs out of the Big Apple

Winnie Meyer, Review Editor

If you have not seen Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s birthchild, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, you share something in common with the series’ protagonist. You are living under a rock.

Unbreakable’s storyline follows the life of Kimmy Schmidt, played by Bridesmaids’ Ellie Kemper. Schmidt is one of the “Mole Women” recently rescued from 15-year underground captivity under apocalypse cult-leader Rev. Richard Wayne Gary Wayne. After her unearthing and an interview on the Today Show, Schmidt decides to remain in New York City, causing a Buddy-the-Elf-discovers-NYC-esque series of events to ensue.

Unbreakable’s characters are in a league of their own. Between the crazy cheap yet completely gullible landlady, Lillian, to peppy, angry, illegal Vietnamese immigrant Dong Wan, it is nearly impossible to find an unlikeable character. Despite brilliantly executed characters, casting was done with only a couple of big names, including Kemper, Fey and Jane Krakowski. In general, the lesser-known stars, specifically Tituss Burgess, who plays Schmidt’s flamboyant Broadway-struck roommate Titus Andromedon, steals the show repeatedly throughout the season. Burgess’ acting in particular gave Unbreakable an extra edge, and his constant Aretha Franklin covers would make Aretha proud.

Furthermore, Fey and Carlock’s comedic writing is pure gold. Throughout this series though, this gold has melded together in a majestic Greek statue: it is stunning, and viewers end episodes in joy and awe. Fey effectively proves her city wit for the second time after 30 Rock. Her daring humor coupled with blunt statements from some characters and loveable innocence from others is enough to send viewers falling out of their chairs.

Their writing shines especially through interactions that Schmidt has with people of the outside world. When she is hit on by a construction worker who “wants to be her jeans,” she smiles and happily proclaims that “[she] would like to be his hat!” Schmidt’s character’s innocence provides comedic opportunity in nearly any situation, be it her prissy trophy-wife boss Jacqueline Vorhees setting her up on a date with an 80 year-old man, or her own discovery of automatic sinks.

Filming the series on site in sketchy New York brings further perspective and authenticity to the series, as well as provides plenty of situations (mostly awkward) for Schmidt and her friends. In one episode, Schmidt and Wan explore sites from 80s and 90s movies and shows, while going on what looks like a date, but is apparently not.

In almost every series the Neflix addict finds, there is always a list of plotlines, actors and characters that can be cut. Unbreakable does not fit this mold. Nothing about Fey and Carlock’s new comedy that can be deemed inept. With its references to out-of-date entertainment as well as its protagonist’s quirky sense of humor, Unbreakable is unbeatable.

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