Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (season 1)

I just finished watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the 13-episode Netflix series.

At first I found the pitch of it to be too shrill and abrasive, and the tempo too chaotic. After 16 minutes I didn't think I could watch any more. But a few days later I tried again and became hooked.

The show centers around a young woman who had been held captive in a bunker for 15 years with three other women. Their kidnapper was a crazy doomsday preacher. The series opens with them being rescued and released. After a media hoopla Kimmy decides not to  return to the Midwest, but to make a go of it in NYC. Hilarity ensues. She meets up with a wacky gay roommate, Titus, and gets a job as nanny for a deluded narcissist, Jacqueline.

The humor is very fast paced. Very Tina Fey. Off-beat and surreal. Very broad, but with an absurdity that makes it more palatable. Although there is a dark side -- the subject matter is of course disturbing -- Kimmy's resilience and perkiness is actually kind of uplifting and at moments it is almost a "feel good" comedy.

My favorite character by far is Jacqueline, brilliantly played by Jane Krakowski. She is so out of touch that she doesn't know where water comes from and when she loses her maid she gets trapped in her own dress because she doesn't know how to unzip it.

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