Netflix released the first season of their new show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt today, so of course, I have already watched the whole thing. And I loved it. That is going to be pretty much a guarantee if you attach Tina Fey to a new project. Tina and fellow 30 Rock executive producer Robert Carlock bring us this new show about an unbreakable girl named Kimmy Schmidt (get it?) who moves to New York for a fresh start after being released from an underground bunker where she has been living for 15 years with her apocalypse cult sisters. Did you follow that?
Admittedly, I wasn’t immediately sold on this show after the first episode, but much like 30 Rock and every other comedy, it really finds its groove as it moves along. Ellie Kemper is utterly charming as the titular Kimmy, who is just rife with sunny optimism, 90’s pop culture knowledge, and a middle school naivete (she was kidnapped 15 years ago, remember?). The rest of the cast gets plenty time to shine with Tituss Burgess as Titus Andromedon, Kimmy’s new roommate, Carol Kane as Lillian, their eccentric landlord, and Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney, I mean, Jacqueline Voorhees, Kimmy’s rich boss who hires her as a nanny.
The best praise I can give this show, though, is that it is very similar to 30 Rock in it’s pacing and humor with the sunny optimism of Parks and Recreation. If you know me at all, you know that is high praise indeed. The jokes are rapid fire, making rewatchability high, the guest stars are high caliber (I wouldn’t dare spoil some of them for you), the pop culture references are a plenty (the Olsen twins are actually the Olsen octuplets), and there are moments so bizarre that they rival “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah” (VH3’s Joe Invisible Millionaire, anyone?). Kimmy, who responds to someone calling her a bitch with “A female dog? The thing that makes puppies?”, has the same can-do spirit as Leslie Knope. Also, at first glance she may be misjudged as weak given the whole cult thing, but really she is a strong, independent woman who doesn’t get taken down easily. Also, if you like snappy theme songs that are based on fake viral videos, then this is the show for you.
To sum it all up, I’m already eager for season 2 (the only issue I have with the Netflix model of entire seasons at once) and I recommend that you join me in the wait.