Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt- Review Season 1

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is new to Netflix.It was originally commissioned and then dropped by NBC. All I can say is NBC’s loss is Netflix’ gain… It is a funny addictive addition to their library.

This sitcom really is in a class of its own. But if you liked 30 Rock there are similarities in terms of its bold, bizarre and truly brilliant writing. It shares the same writer/creators, Tina Fey and Robert Carlock.

09-unbreakable-kimmy-schmidt-cult-bunker.w750.h560.2xThe premise of this quirky comedy is actually quite dark. The story starts after Kimmy Schmidt played by the fantastic Ellie Temper (The Office US ) is rescued from a Cult where she had been held captive in an underground bunker for the best part of 15 years. The cult leader had convinced her and three other women inside, that the world above had been destroyed. She was in the eighth grade when she was abducted. At one point later in the series she admits to her roommate “Yes, there was weird sex stuff in the bunker”. Once rescued, nothing seems to keep Kimmy Schmidt down for long! She hopes to shed her media title as one of the “Mole Women” and attempts to conceal that fact, to embark on a fresh start.

Through the classic fish-out-of-water tale we see Kimmy adapt and negotiate modern day New York and her struggle to understand the world as it is now. It is from this dark backstory, this light, hilarious comedy begins.

Titus Burgess and Ellie Kemper
Titus Burgess and Ellie Kemper

Once in the Big Apple for a TV interview she decides not to go back to Indiana. With nothing but a small rucksack containing very few belongings, Kimmy is unbreakable! She soon finds a place to live only in the way Kimmy can. She ends up sharing an apartment with a flamboyant yet insecure struggling out of work actor Tituss Andromedon beautifully judged by Titus Burgess (30 Rock). In a building owned by Lillian, the oh so strange landlady wonderfully played by Carol Kane. She finds a job as a baby sitter come PA come confidant come general ‘dogs body’ to the neurotic narcissist Jacqueline portrayed by the brilliant Jane Krakowski ( 30 Rock) in the super rich Voorhrees household. Didn’t mention the spoilt brat step daughter Xanthippe ( Dylan Gelulla ) who vows to uncover who Kimmy really is as she ‘hates’ Kimmy and ‘hates’ the upset she’s caused to the status quo. Also didn’t mention this happens in the first episode!

rs_634x1024-150107062827-634.Unbreakable-Kimmy-Schmidt-JR1-1715Her survival mechanisms in the ‘Big City’ all derive from things she learnt whilst being incarcerated. The action often flashes back to her time in the bunker, how she and the other women coped. For example her belief that you can stand any bit of suffering if you view it as a series of 10-second increments all in a row. Kimmy’s infectious positivity, brimming with irrepressible sunniness. The marvelous motley bunch who become her new found New York network of friends. That along with the amusing, if not absurd situations they find themselves in, make a show that will leave you feeling good with a smile on your face at the very least.

The characters are rich and well rounded and the writing is razor sharp witty as only Fey and Carlock would produce. The execution of this high concept comedy is exceptional with all the components for a great forward thinking show. I see why it attracted some ‘big’ actors playing cameos, I won’t say who as this will spoil it. But it is certainly testament to its caliber.

I can’t wait for the next series, as I think it will go from strength to strength continuing to push the innovative envelope. At 22 minutes an episode this really is perfect for binge watching (all of season one available now). Alternatively, it’s ideal for getting a quick ‘funny fix’. I would definitely recommend this series, as at times it induced full on belly laughs, its hilarious!

Season 2 now available on Netflix!

Take a look at the trailer for season 1: