Monday, March 16, 2015

That's The Breaks

I'm about halfway through the first season of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  The show was originally offered to NBC but the network declined to air it and it's now available on Netflix.  This would have been considered a sign of failure a few years ago, but today I'm not so sure.

In any case, the show isn't bad.  Certainly better than a lot of other sitcoms NBC has tried in the last few years--which have pretty much all failed--so I'm a little surprised they passed.  It's from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, who did 30 Rock, which was well-respected but never a huge hit, and maybe NBC felt the appeal was too narrow.

The concept is Kimmy, in her late 20s, was stuck in a bunker with three other women for 15 years.  They were part of a crackpot doomsday cult, and have only just been liberated.  Kimmy decides to make it on her own in New York, hiding her past.  She gets a cheap apartment and finds a job as a nanny for a wealthy socialite's family.

The actors, generally speaking, aren't going outside their comfort zone.  Ellie Kemper as Kimmy is sweet and naïve, very much like her character on The Office.  Carol Kane as her landlady is kooky, like many roles she's played.  Jane Krakowski as Kimmy's employer is shallow and vain, like her role on 30 Rock.

The reality level is pretty low, as you'd expect.  The characters are mostly caricatures--not unlike 30 Rock.  Much of the humor is about Kimmy still talking like it's the 90s, and learning about today's world.  How long can this last before she starts to figure things out?  (Looking at The Beverly Hillbillies, I'd say about 274 episodes.)

Kemper is quite good, holding the show together with her character's energy and optimism.  The stuff with her job works best. Unfortunately, that's only half the show.  The other half, with her landlady and especially the material with her gay, African-American roommate, is a lot more tired.

Still, I'm enjoying the show and will watch the whole season, and probably the next one when it's available.


Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

I'll do you a solid and not tell you what we think of it in the ColumbusGuy household.

1:42 PM, March 16, 2015  

Post a Comment

<< Home

web page hit counter