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Tyler

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was going to be on NBC, but they dropped it, and then Netflix picked it up. It's produced by Tina Fey and stars Ellie Kemper (Erin from The Office) as a woman who moves to New York after spending the past 15 years in an underground bunker while she was in a doomsday cult.

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The season went up today. The first episode is okay, but it's saddled with a lot of exposition because the premise is complicated for a sitcom. The second episode is great, though.

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Finished the season this morning. Yes, it's that good. The comparison that comes to mind is, "30 Rock if Kenneth was the star, and a woman," although that doesn't capture all of it. It's a relentlessly upbeat, cheery show, and filled with really smart 90s references, but it's not sentimental or nostalgic, either.

 

One of my favorite things about the show is how the characters who begin as stereotypes are consistently developed into rounded characters.

Edited by Tyler

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Glad to hear you say that, Tyler. I've seen two episodes and have found it extreme and shrill in a way that seems unsustainable. Glad to hear that the characters become "rounded."

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Hmm...If you don't like it after the second episode, it might not be for you. That's where the tone and sensibility of the show gets established.

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Tyler, your Kenneth point is really observant, because Jane Krakowski basically also plays the same character.

 

There were some really good laughs in the series, which made it worth a sick-watch (my neologism for binge-watching a show while ill).

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Episode Three. I'm warming to it. But it really needs a center. Arrested Development had Michael. 30 Rock had Liz. Kimmy has, well, Kimmy, and she's much more manic and unstable than Michael and Liz.

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I was hesitantly liking it for the first few episodes, but fell off the fence firmly on the "I'm a fan" side about halfway through. I find Kimmy works as the centre because it draws attention to how unstable everyone else is in her life. She is the moral bedrock of the show; a childlike naiveté that belies the selfish jadedness that surrounds her. They play this up a lot more as the series progresses, and we see Kimmy rapidly mature, working as the catalyst in the maturation of those around her. 

 

The actual jokes still don't land all the time, but a great use of body language and facial expressions (which reminded me of The Office), especially from Ellie Kemper, keep it rolling. Loved her childish interactions with Xanthippe. Her sense of accomplishment at using middle grade insults mixed with Xanthippe's incredulous non reactions got me every time.

 

Great use of guest stars on the last few episodes. Jon Hamm steals the show (although I was hoping for Kiernan Shipka to make another appearance and have some sort of Mad Men reunion, but oh well.)

 

I'm not usually one for upbeat shows that wear optimism on their sleeve this proudly, but I find it hard to be cynical about this one. It's too darn likable.

 

 

 

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Episode Three. I'm warming to it. But it really needs a center. Arrested Development had Michael. 30 Rock had Liz. Kimmy has, well, Kimmy, and she's much more manic and unstable than Michael and Liz.

I think it really hits its stride in episodes five and six.

PIIIIIIINOOOOOT NOIR!

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Ha! I am not sure how well a second season would work, as some of the jokes started falling flat in the last two episodes. But I would be very bummed not to see Titus and Kimmy together again (guy's got an incredible voice, it was neat to see such talent on display in a mere sitcom).

 

That is, if he gets his skin tags burned off in the meantime.

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I hope they pull a second season off since this fills a void. The better network and cable comedy series have either ended or are now past their prime.

Between this and Bojack Horseman, it's looking like Netflix might be able to create a nice stable of comedy series.

Edited by Ryan H.

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We've been enjoying it--the autotuned opening song a la bad You Tube aesthetic is a winner for sure.  We're only 5 eps in, so looking forward to catching the rest of it. 

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Kimmy is a strange show, but It's easier to imagine it on network TV than Last Man on Earth.

 

The three episodes I have seen of Last Man on Earth are reprehensible.

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Gotta love a dog named Abattoir...

 

and Dean Norris is hysterical. 

Edited by mrmando

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Episode Three. I'm warming to it. But it really needs a center. Arrested Development had Michael. 30 Rock had Liz. Kimmy has, well, Kimmy, and she's much more manic and unstable than Michael and Liz.

I think it really hits its stride in episodes five and six.

 

 

Precisely. I went from mild enjoyment to enthusiastic praise around this point.

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Did you guys know you're part of the culture war?

 

I haven't seen the show, but I enjoyed reading this column, as uncomfortable as I'm sure it will make some of show's fans.

 

Ouch: Hinting that some Latinos are slow to assimilate is even meaner than suggesting black people don’t eat salad....

 

Kimmy’s black roommate claims it’s Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday whenever he’s asked for a favor; Kimmy’s boyfriend insists that “straight guys can be vegetarians!” and Jane Krakowski plays a Lakota Indian who is terrified that anyone might suspect she isn’t white. There’s a Vietnamese guy named Dong.

 

“Kimmy Schmidt” is a pot into which Carlock and Fey have thrown all of the elements of the rich, intoxicating bouillabaisse we call New York City. How do we know “Unbreakable” is a success? Aside from a 96% five-star rating on Rotten Tomatoes, humorless liberal scolds are all over it.

Edited by Christian

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Ellie Kemper is now co-hosting the Today Show, and her host persona is so much like a slightly-toned down Kimmy that I feel as if I'm in bizarro-world every time I change the channel. A charming, up-beat bizarro-world, but still...

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My wife and I are slowly working our way through this series. Episode four's Martin Short appearance had me laughing so hard I almost passed out from lack of oxygen. I still chuckle every time I think of his line delivery and his face! "That's like asking me to choose which of my kids' placentas was more DELICIOUS!" That was also the episode that revealed that Jane Krakowski's character was Sioux, which was hysterical from start to finish. I have not laughed this much in a long, long time.

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