Are you ready to get Schmitfaced?
Last Friday, Netflix’s big premiere was season three of House of Cards. This week, it’s Tina Fey’s new comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which stars Ellie Kemper in the title role.
The show is about a woman “who escapes a doomsday cult and decides to reclaim her life and start over in New York City. Armed with just a backpack, light-up sneakers, and a couple of way-past-due library books, Kimmy’s ready to take on a world she didn’t even think existed anymore.” All episodes of its first season are now available to stream.
— Kimmy Schmidt (@TheKimmySchmidt) March 6, 2015
And if your looking for something to do this weekend, staying in and watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt seems to be a decent option as early reviews are positive.
The New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley says “the series leavens wacky absurdity with acid wit and is very funny.”
Tina Fey, who created “30 Rock,” and Robert Carlock, its showrunner, apply that show’s alchemy to this one, and it works. Almost every scene has both whimsy and something darker, at once daftly effervescent and snidely cynical. And as on “30 Rock,” many of its jokes are New York-specific. At one point, Ellie, who has problems with sleepwalking, tries to strangle her roommate, Titus (Tituss Burgess). Titus indignantly tells her, “This isn’t the Chinatown bus — you can’t just choke someone who’s sleeping.”
The A.V. Club’s Joshua Alston says it’s “not only a winning comedy; it exemplifies what a Netflix sitcom should be.”
The show hinges on its lead actress, and Kemper is revelatory as Kimmy, a role that caters perfectly to the actor’s strengths. Kimmy is sensitive and guileless, but with a sturdy backbone and moxie to spare, a balance Kemper perfected while starring in The Office as Erin Hannon, a character with a similar silhouette. Kimmy could easily overwhelm an audience the same way she overwhelms those around her with manic joy, but she never feels like too much of a good thing. That’s a result of Kemper’s savvy performance as well as the scripts she’s working with, which allow Kimmy moments of loneliness and doubt even she remains a beacon of positivity.
LA Weekly’s Inkoo Kang says the show is like 30 Rock, “but darker.”
In her first starring role, the goofy and gawky Kemper thrives in a part written for her open face and joyful bewilderment. Kimmy Schmidt hasn’t yet figured out who she is, let alone where she belongs in this terrifying world, but I’m delighted Netflix has already given Fey and Carlock a second season for this brave new girl to figure herself out.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodman says that each of the first episodes “gets better as it goes.”
The gleefully absurd and spot-on comedic fingerprints of Tina Fey and fellow 30 Rock writer Robert Carlock are all over the wonderful new Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. In this case, it’s a DNA bonanza, as yet another strong sitcom is unleashed into the world — much the way the title character was unleashed from an underground bunker in Indiana, having been there for the past 15 years after being kidnapped by a religious fanatic and indoctrinated into his cult…
Though Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt joins other strong freshman comedies like Fresh Off the Boat and The Last Man on Earth, I have a feeling the show will be something even better next season, when it’s a wholly Netflix entity and Fey and Carlock can discover what that kind of creative freedom allows them.
Will you be watching?