‘Kimmy Schmidt’ revisits old theme

Posted April 28, 2015


I watched the first episode of Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” because my friends recommended it to me due to my known obsession with New York City and all movies and television dramas that take place there.

But this isn’t your typical girl-in-the-city (probably a starving artist) like HBO’s “Girls,” though it may seem so superficially.

This is about Kimmy Schmidt. She was held hostage, along with three other women, by a reverend who told them the world had ended.

She’s been kept hostage in a bunk since the 8th grade – yep, similar to that real Cleveland hostage case a few years ago. They find her, fly her to New York City for a talk show (starring Matt Lauer – yay!) and she decides to stay to create a new life for herself.

Sounds typical, but Kimmy Schmidt, played by Ellie Kemper, is striving to reinvent herself in New York City – not as a Broadway star, not as a director, nor an actress, but as a “normal” human being.

It’s fun. It’s quirky. From the exaggerated characters to the light-hearted music, it’s a feel-good show.

Kimmy’s smile and giddiness about New York City and starting over is contagious.

It’s entertaining just to watch Kemper play this role. Kimmy is a loveable character.
And I have to know what happens to her!

The quality of the show is great. It’s high-definition and the colors used – at least for this first episode – are bright. This is unusual for a series taking place in NYC, but the creators have managed to do it.

The whole 25-minute show –- from costume to plot to soundtrack to characters – is light-hearted. When the show was over, I was in a good mood. Kind of the way Fox’s “Glee” left me during those first few seasons.

The plot is over-the-top, with Kimmy’s gay roommate, played by Tituss Burgess, breaking out in song mid-conversation and the raspy-voiced, definitely cigarette-smoking New York landlord, Lillian, played by Carol Kane.

Sometimes things are funny, but you don’t laugh out loud. I was laughing out loud. And this doesn’t usually happen with the first episode of a series for me.

The characters make the show and the show is produced by Tina Fey (think “30 Rock”), so you know the humor will play on stereotypes and satire.

If you can make fun of yourself, you’ll enjoy this series.

It sure makes fun of me and my girlfriends. Matt Lauer, in response to Kimmy explaining she got trapped in the bunk because the man wanted to show her his bunnies and she “didn’t want to be rude,” says he’s “always amazed at what women will do to not be rude.”

This series is most probably a chick flick, though it’s hard to tell from just the first episode. But if I had to guess, it’s a yes.

I’m excited to continue the series. I heard it gets even kookier as it goes on.

  • “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” on Netflix
  • Release date: March 6, 2015
  • Category: Comedy
  • Created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock
  • Starring Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane, and more.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.5 out of 10