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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Friday, June 21, 2024

'Unbreakable / They're alive dammit / It’s a miracle'

This week, I binge-watched “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (2015-present). First of all, can I say, this is such a good show! Tina Fey and Robert Carlock created the sitcom, which stars Ellie Kemper, who you probably know as Erin on "The Office" (2005-2013). Unfortunately, the first season, which premiered on Netflix on March 6, is only 13 episodes; the good news, however, is that "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" is definitely coming back for a second round.

Kemper plays the eponymous Kimmy, who is rescued after 15 years in a cult. She and three other women had been kidnapped and forced to live in an underground bunker. I’ve always had a weird fascination with cults and kidnappings, like the real-life case of Elizabeth Smart, so this show is perfect for me because of this focus. I know -- I’m weird. Anyway, Kimmy decides that, after years underground, the one thing she wants to do is move to New York City, where she can also spend her life living underground via the subway system.

Kimmy really is “unbreakable” -- absolutely nothing gets her down. Watching her go through life with unparalleled enthusiasm and optimism in spite of all that life throws at her is inspiring. I know she’s a television character, but I wanted to be more like her with every episode. It was also hysterical to watch her try to adjust to life without trying to get by on sympathy from people who feel bad for her. I mean, it seems difficult enough to try to make a name for yourself in New York City as a young woman, but way harder if the last time you were in public was in middle school. One of my favorite lines in the show is when the stepdaughter of Kimmy’s boss (Dylan Gelula) confronts her, saying, “I googled you,” and Kimmy replies, “What? I didn’t feel it,” unaware that googling is not actually something you can feel.

Part of what makes this show so good for binge-watching is that you can really get addicted to the characters and their relationships to one another, which are established quickly in the first few episodes. This includes Kimmy’s troubled boss (Jane Krakowski), her insanely quirky landlord (Carol Kane), and even her love interest (Ki Hong Lee). The first few episodes really take time to establish relationships and create funny moments. This pacing is important because it lets the audience come to understand Kimmy and her very real struggle for acceptance and knowledge as she comes of age in New York.

Meanwhile, the whole time we’re watching it, every viewer is thinking about what will happen to the reverend (Jon Hamm) that kidnapped Kimmy and wondering if he will receive appropriate justice. The season culminates in his trial, and it is up to Kimmy to testify in court. I personally was incredibly invested in the case throughout the entire season ending, figuratively sitting on the edge of my seat (lying in bed). I won’t give away any spoilers, but I’m just saying it was nice to be able to watch all the episodes together so I didn’t have to wait in suspense too long.

Stay tuned for next week’s binge and remember: I’m still taking show recommendations -- and also food. Especially food.

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