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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Review

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Mary Rose Bernal, Community Editor

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Fans of the comedy 30 Rock will be excited to hear that Tina Fey, along with Robert Carlock, has come out with a new show: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  Available exclusively on Netflix, this sitcom recounts the life of Kimmy Schmidt (Bridesmaid’s Ellie Kemper), a young adult recently saved from her captivity in an underground apocalyptic cult in Indiana.

The episodes are about her new life as she starts over in New York, rooming with a yearning homosexual actor Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess) and working for seemingly superficial Jacqueline Voorhees (30 Rock’s Jane Krakowski) as a nanny.  While these differing components may seem like a lot to take in, viewers don’t need to worry because the plotlines of each episode are just as random.  Schmidt manages to make everyday occasions like dating men, getting her GED and exercising into exciting and hilarious events.

But sometimes Schmidt’s optimistic outlook on life serve to harm her.  For example, she shares her coping mechanisms surrounding her imprisonment in the bomb shelter with Voorhees, telling her that whenever she is in an unpleasant situation she need only repeat the words, “I’m not really here!”  The show often hints that Schmidt’s tendency to be in denial is not the best solution because her issues resurface in other outlets through which Schmidt obsesses over.

In reflection of this idea, the opening theme song for the series is a viral video in which an interviewed man’s words about the emancipated women are remixed into a catchy jingle.  This is a possible reference to a similar event that happened in 2010, when Antoine Dodson of Alabama spoke about the break-in and attempted rape of his sister only for his words to be turned into a viral video remix called “The Bed Intruder Song,” featuring the lyrics “Hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wife.” The song was viewed over 125 million times and won an award for Best Viral Original.

These comedic circumstances indicate that society tends to overlook traumatic events by commercializing or glazing over them.  However, this message is paradoxical because it comes in the form of a television show that is making fun of such traumatic events.  Is the show a satire judging society’s ways, or merely hypocritical?

Another criticism of the show is that it is rampant with racial slurs.  A woman also trapped with Schmidt is asked why she has not yet learned how to speak English after having lived with English speakers for 15 years, and Schmidt poorly tries to communicate with Voorhee’s Hispanic maid Vera.  A companion of Schmidt is a Vietnamese man named Dong, and many jokes are made about the connotation that his name has with male genitalia.  Voorhees herself is mortified about her Native American heritage and spends a large amount of money on plastic surgery to uphold her appearance as a young white woman.  Andromedon often takes advantage of his skin color to get out of doing things for his roommate and landlady.  Again, the show could be making a societal comment about white privilege  and the problems surrounding people who are different.  However, it could also be interpreted that Unbreakable is only adding to the issue.

Either way, there is no question that Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is one to push boundaries.  By criticizing and humorizing so many aspects of daily life, it forces people to think about what they are seeing and whether or not they agree with it.  It brings current issues into the spotlight as well as entertains audiences with its hysterical plotlines, and is fully deserving of its 4.2 (out of 5) rating on Netflix.

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Review