Written by: Tina Fey and Robert Carlock
Starring: Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane, and Jane Krakowski
Every adorkable 30 something has been waiting for one series to come back… and sorry Zooey, it’s not your show anymore. It’s The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt! Everyone has been patiently awaiting to see what would happen to the silly and adorable Kimmy (Kemper), the fabulously ridiculous Titus (Burgess), and the vapid, yet complicated Jaqueline (Krakowski). And boy did we ever find out.
For those of you who live under a rock, or forgot the premise of Unbreakable, Kimmy was kidnapped at the age of 15 by a crazed “Reverend” who convinced Kimmy and three other women that the world had ended. This kooky Reverend, played brilliantly by John Hamm, kept the four down in a bunker for 15 years. Once the SWAT team found them, Kimmy decided that she wasn’t going to be a victim anymore and moved to NYC, the place where dreams come true. She found a new roommate and best friend, Titus Andromedon, a struggling, gay, black actor, her crusty and loopy neighbor/landlord Lillian (Kane), and her boss, Jaqueline Vorhees, a self-absorbed, rich stay at home NYC mother and wife, who we find out throughout the series (and rather comically, I might add) is of Native American Lakota heritage.
The second season took a while for me to really enjoy. I was kind of sad to say that I was actually disappointed, but luckily, each episode is only 30 minutes long, and the show is very easy to just breeze through. Unbreakable: Season 2 did not ever reach the insane hilarious heights that the original season did, BUT I actually came away with something far better: incredible character development for over the top silly characters. I seriously don’t know how Tina Fey and her team of writers do it.
I feel like the characters of Unbreakable, except for Kimmy, are like the characters in Seinfeld. Super self absorbed and completely unlikable, but hey, that’s what makes the show fun, right? caricatures. But in this season, not only do you start to love these characters and all of their flaws, but actually like them and start rooting for them. Take Titus, he finally finds love. And we see a scared man who is torn between the life that he once knew of constant solitude and snark and the bliss of being in a loving relationship. It’s something that most of us have wrestled with at least one time. Or Jaqueline, who as daft as she still is, is bound and determined to help her Native American people at whatever costs. Don’t get me wrong, these two are still quite egotistical and delightfully ridiculous, but they are more well rounded now, with something bigger on their agenda than self preservation. THAT is something that I never saw from the other characters on Fey’s old show, 30 Rock. Kenneth and Tracy never got past crazy caricatures through the seven seasons it was on the air.
But the most important character development is Kimmy, and after this, I can’t wait to see Kemper do more dramatic work. I’m serious, this girl is GOOD. I’m sure Unbreakable fans didn’t think that they could love Kemper’s character any more, but this season made her real. Honestly, I think that she’s one of the best written characters in comedy television right now. Kimmy finally decides to work on herself. You know, figure out why she gets physically violent when getting romantic or why she has such a bad aversion to velcro… normal stuff. Through this journey, she learns that it’s alright to think of yourself… you don’t always have to be thinking of others. And like that, Kimmy steps away from being a cartoon into being a real live woman. Honestly, it made me take a good long look at myself in the mirror. It’s not good to be completely narcissistic nor is it ok to be on the opposite end of the spectrum. Her self actualization completes with a confrontation with her birth mother at the end of the series. Which you’re going to have to watch who plays her mother, because it’s good. It’s REALLY good!
Like I said, this season was not as funny as the first, but I feel like it’s a very necessary watch for Kimmy fans, and heck for anyone who enjoys comedic television. This is the most insane simile I will EVER make, but I feel like this second season is like the beginning of Breaking Bad (stay with me, here). It might not have been the most satisfying batch of episodes, but it was very important to the plot and how the series would progress. That’s what we have here, a batch of episodes that were still fantastic, but building to something better… at least, I hope that’s what this season was. I think what the next season needs is another Titus original song. “Peeno Noir 2” PLEASE and thank you!