We suppose it's possible not to like Kimmy Schmidt, the titular character of the new Netflix series from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, but you'd have to have a heart of stone – or that of an NBC exec. Originally scheduled as a mid-season replacement series, NBC dropped the show and sold it to Netflix, where the adventures of former kidnapping victim Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) and her aspiring actor roommate Titus (Tituss Burgess) have garnered nearly universal acclaim since the show debuted on March 6.
Fans of 30 Rock will recognize a lot in the absurd plots, multiple guest stars, liberal use of werewolf makeup and flourishes of fluent German that pop up throughout Kimmy Schmidt. 30 Rock alum Jane Krakowski even plays a major role as Jacqueline Voorhees, Kimmy's 1-percenter boss.
But Kimmy is no Liz Lemon. In the pilot, Kimmy is rescued from a 15-year stint in the underground bunker of doomsday preacher Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (played by Kemper's I-shit-you-not former high school drama teacher, Jon Hamm), along with three other women. Where Liz Lemon might just say "blerg, nerds," and go eat some Sabor de Soledad, Kimmy Schmidt refuses to let her life be summed up by the fact that "the worst thing that ever happened to [her] happened in [her] front yard," and heads to NYC to live a "normal life," armed with nothing but an infectiously sunny disposition and a middle-school education.
Kemper absolutely kills it, effectively portraying Kimmy as inexperienced but not dumb, someone whose life was taken from her, but who doesn't view herself as a victim. After spending 15 years trapped underground, she is sensitive to the metaphorical traps that she sees her new friends caught in, whether that takes the form of Titus' abandonment of his dream of being a Broadway star because of a lack of self-confidence, Jacqueline's imprisonment in an ivory tower of wealth and prestige or teenager Xanthippe Voorhees' (Dylan Gelula) enslavement to trying to be cool.
With a binge-begging pacing that flows one episode right into the other, don't be surprised if you try out Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and end up finishing the first season in a matter of hours. A second season has already been ordered, but a release date hasn't been announced. In the meantime, just watch the show again to catch all the jokes you missed because you were laughing the first time.
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