TV Review: Netflix’s ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ Is Unstoppable

If you’ve had doubts about the reports about the quirkiness about The Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt, let this serve as confirmation. The new series, created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, is by far the weirdest take on a sitcom in a long time. Thankfully, the bet paid off.

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt follows the 29 year old titular character, trying to adjust to currnet day life in New York City after a daring rescue from a doomsday cult’s underground bunker. Kimmy and three other women, dubbed “Mole Women,” were trapped in this bunker by a so called Reverend, who convinced them the world was coming to an end.

The opening five minutes of the pilot set the show’s irreverent tone quickly, and if you don’t get it, Kimmy Schmidt doesn’t wait around to hold your hand. The show often feels nearly overwhelming with wildness, but is anchored by the wonderful acting of Ellie Kemper. Best known for her work on The Office, Ms. Kemper delivers a performance that easily overshadows that. SHe imbues Kimmy with a wide-eyed wonder at the world around her that remains true despite the best efforts of others to ruin her day. Kimmy refuses to be a victim, choosing instead to strike out boldly, and more importantly, even risk failing if it means she learns something and grows. Broadway veteran Tituss Burgess as Kimmy’s unlikely roommate and best friend, Titus Andromedon, is hilariously campy and just as headstrong. The pair make a great comedy team, as their chemistry plays off each other smoothly.

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt boasts a truly all star roster for its cast, both core, recurring, and a rotating list of uprorious cameos. Carol Kane makes creepy funny as Lillian Kaushtupper, Kimmy and Titus’ landlady. Jane Krakowski does what she does best as a wealthy Manhattanite Jacqueline Voorhees, who takes Kimmy on as a nanny despite her obvious out of touchness.

As a sitcom, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a breath of fresh air. The show often eschews formula, hitting all the beats we’ve come to expect from the form, while maintaining an individual voice and tone. Fearlessness is a major theme of the show and it’s blasted from the screen. There’s a few weak spots that land around the season’s midpoint, but the show quickly rebounds to finish out strong. If The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s first season was this funny and charming, here’s hope for Netflix to announce a renewal very, very soon.

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