In a year like 2016, when I need my personal dosage of Tina Fey more than ever, what can be better than a perky, extremely original, whip-smart, and horribly funny sitcom created by her?
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is by far the most awkward and uneasy show that deals with dark issues with charm, elegance and lots of glitter and unicorns. With brilliant actors like Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, and the 30 Rock alum Jane Krakowski. Co-creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock have taken pop-culture cynicism and human ridiculousness to a whole new level, which is not just brilliant but also heart-warming.
The show produced a total of two seasons with thirteen episodes each. Both the seasons are equally funny and binge-able. Kimmy Schmidt, the main character played by Ellie Kemper, is one of the four “Mole Women” from Indiana who spent 15 years of their lives in an underground bunker being convinced by a cult leader about the arrival of an apocalypse. After being rescued, Kimmy decides to live in New York City in her very yellow sweater and pink pants while the three other women choose to make good use of the empathy provided to them for being “poor mole women” in forms of money, fame and some “mole sauce”. As ridiculous as it sounds, it only gets more original from here. Kimmy being the optimistic, unbreakable person she is, finds a roommate Tituss who's broke, fabulous and an aspiring Broadway star. She gets a job as a nanny for a rich upper-class Manhattan aristocrat - Jacqueline (Jane), a character who perfectly portrays New York City's moneyed class and their very expensive depression. Although traumatized from what the cult leader (played by the handsome Jon Hamm) did to her and the other women in the bunker, Kimmy moves on to have a cheerful yet confusing lifestyle with her awfully bright wardrobe.
Ellie Kemper does a wonderful job to bring out the genuine silliness required in Kimmy's character. The way she reacts after being introduced to technology after 15 years and the made-up words she says are absolutely hilarious. The other characters are just as funny. Kimmy's boss, Jacqueline, at first seems like a foolish, selfish, rich, white woman who goes to strange looking plastic surgeons and has an almost broken marriage. The character takes a more definitive shape as we come to know about her Native American history and becomes more likeable in season 2. There's also Dong, Kimmy's Vietnamese lover who develops a hilarious American accent in season 2 after watching several episodes of Keeping up with the Kardashians.
What's really cool about this show is that there are racially diverse characters. With most of the funniest gags and punchlines dealing with racism, this could be interpreted in a very wrong way but I think Tina Fey has done a wonderful job in portraying constructive humour. There are ridiculous pop culture references in almost every sentence. It took me a while to catch all the references but once I did, the show became much more amusing. It's absolutely remarkable how a lot of sensitive issues like trauma, manipulation, feminism, overreacting internet warriors, and racial tolerance have been presented here in the most logical, sensible and at the same time, satirical way.
To me, the biggest plus point of this show is its duration. Each episode is only 22 minutes long with an extremely catchy auto-tuned title song. So if you're up for a sitcom that's worth your time and your precious laughs, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is one to watch.
Mashiat Lamisa is often seen frowning at the sight of people who dislike poetry and tomatoes. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.