Honestly, “The Unbreakable Kimmy Scmidt,” produced by Tina Fey, is a lot better than I thought it would be. Two episodes into this Netflix original series and I have already laughed way more than I should have.
Cast for the role of Kimmy Schmidt is Missouri-native Ellie Kemper, who is well known for her role as Kelly Hannon in the Emmy-nominated television series “The Office.”
As usual, the following will contain spoilers. Stop reading here if you haven’t yet gotten around to starting this series but still want to. You’ve been warned.
For starters, what I find most interesting about the series is the premise. At first I thought it was going to be a weird documentary about the actor who plays Schmidt going around talking to people in New York and making friends as she goes. Thankfully, I was completely wrong.
The show actually follows the 29-year-old Schmidt, who until recently spent her entire life since she was 12 in a fallout bunker with three other women, thinking the world had ended. In reality, she had unknowingly joined a cult and was being held against her will.
As the first episode begins, the audience gets a peek at what everyday life was like for the four women, a.k.a. the Indian mole women, in the bunker. For the most part, they seemed content living a vaguely Amish lifestyle, never really questioning the man who is called Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (true story) about what has happened to the world above and why he is the only who can enter and exit the bunker freely.
Soon after the women are liberated by a swat team and brought out into the world for the first time in years. Oddly enough, Schmidt is all sunshine and rainbows at this point. The group then makes their appearance on the “Today” show to share their story. Afterwards, Schmidt decides to take her chances and start a new life in Manhattan.
Somehow, Schmidt is able to find a landlady willing to take her in and in doing so, she gains a sassy gay roommate named Titus whose dream is to perform on Broadway. At first, it looks like it isn’t going to work out between them, but Titus manages to develop a conscience by the end of the first episode.
With no money (she managed to get $11,000 stolen in one night), Schmidt is in desperate need of a job. She manages to find one at the home of a rich Manhattan family as a nanny, after mistaking trophy-wife Jacqueline Voorhees for being captive in her own home during her face peel.
The series has serious binge-watching potential. It is actually pretty funny given Schmidt’s backstory. She has the mentality of a teenager, and sometimes it’s like watching something you find on Nick at Nite. At the same time, she is technically a rape survivor.
The show doesn’t actually take sexual violence as a serious part of the show, and it’s possible to watch without actually noticing that it’s there. At most, it is only referenced in subtle jokes about how she managed to make it through life without any worries. The way she manages to take everything in stride is actually pretty admirable.
In the first episode, Titus tells Schmidt to go home to Indiana; he’s trying to protect her.
“Protect me from what?” she said. “The worst thing that ever happened to me happened in my own front yard.”
Empowering and funny, “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” gets 8.5/10.