"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" is unlike any other comedy on TV -- and that's exactly why it's not on TV. The new Netflix series from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock is sharp, funny and insanely charming.
The series follows former "mole woman" Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper), who moves to New York after spending 15 years in an underground apocalypse bunker (she was kidnapped out of her yard in her early teens). Of course, a move to the Big Apple isn't complete without finding an eclectic roomie (Tituss Burgess), landing your first job big-girl job working for a crazy Manhattanite mother (Jane Krakowski), and going to your first club ("dancing is about butts now").
So you should probably cancel your weekend plans and binge-watch all 13 episodes of "Kimmy Schmidt" when they hit Netflix tonight. You'll thank us later. We promise.
It's cute AF and extremely quotable.Netflix
Beyond its inherent whimsy, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" has a lot of heart. You'll be rooting for this merry band of misfits by the end of episode three, and don't be surprised if you start saying "hashbrown no filter" on the reg.
Ellie Kemper is a delight.Netflix
Nobody plays wide-eyed naiveté quite like Kemper, and as the titular, plucky heroine, she completely nails her first leading role. When Kemper smiles, we smile, and that's a wonderful thing.
Tituss Burgess steals the show.Netflix
Tituss Burgess gives us so much life as Kimmy's flamboyant roommate Titus Andromedon (stage name, natch). The Broadway veteran really gets to showcase his incredible talents as an aspiring, but mostly failing, musical-theater actor, and it's impossible not to root for him as he goes after his Broadway dreams with encouragement from Kimmy. Plus, just try not to LOL when he debuts his original song "Pinot Noir." (No, it's not about wine.)
It's dark and sunny at the same time.Netflix
"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" may share some of "30 Rock"'s D.N.A., but it's hardly the workplace satire Fey and co. crafted for NBC. Instead, "Kimmy Schmidt" is grounded in something much darker: trauma. After spending 15 years in the bunker, Kimmy isn't just an out-of-touch 29-year-old, she's a victim. And while it's easy to laugh at Kimmy's ineptitude for millennial slang, her ubiquitous cheeriness is also a front for her own darkness. She has nightmares, bites her roommates fingernails, and is terrified of velcro. Still, Kimmy's gung-ho spirit prevails about the pain.
The opening theme is freakin' fantastic.Netflix
You guys, it's just the best and if we had a clip, we'd play it for you. But just imagine an "Auto-Tune The News"-type intro with hella catchy lyrics. Oh, and it was composed by Fey's husband Jeff Richmond.
The pop culture references are on point.Netflix
Fey and Carlock undoubtedly have their fingers on the pulse of pop culture, and much of "Kimmy Schmidt"'s humor stems from Kimmy coming to terms with 21st century pop culture and technology. She learns how to take her first selfie (camera up, chin down), how to Google, and gets her first cell phone, all while quoting "Billy Madison" and "The Breakfast Club." (Also, when asked "Are you into molly?" she responds "She’s my favorite American Girl doll!") We'd also bet she has a roll of Lisa Frank stickers hidden somewhere under her bed.
It celebrates strong, independent women.Netflix
Yes, Kemper's optimistic, resilient Kimmy is very different than sardonic, feminist heroine Liz Lemon, but both are unconventional female characters struggling to blaze their own trails in a male-dominated world, and frankly, we need more independent women like them on TV and Netflix.
Welcome to New York, Kimmy Schmidt. It's a hell of a place to live, but it's a little brighter with you in it.