,p>You know when you think something is going to be good, but then you finally watch it and it’s really, really good? Like, you thought you’d like it, but then you really, really like it. Like you thought “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” would be funny, but then it’s really, really funny. Perhaps the best (also perhaps the only) comedy about a doomsday cult, the show gives us a Pollyanna for the modern age. Kimmy Schmidt is relentlessly optimistic because she has to be after 15 years living in an underground bunker. Her sunniness is a survival tactic, but also a sign of strength.
Naturally, I’m inclined to like anything by my Fake TV Wife Tina Fey, but even if we weren’t pretend married I would love this show. It’s funny and weird and smart and weird and unexpected and weird. Yes, it’s weird, but in a really, really good way. Leave it to Tina to follow up “30 Rock” with Kimmy Schmidt. She is more Leslie Knope than Liz Lemon, with a winsomeness that comes both from weathering the world’s injustices as much as uncovering the world’s wonders.
The show has found its truly unbreakable star in Ellie Kemper, who plays Kimmy just a notch below deranged yet still makes her impossible to dislike. To not root for Kimmy is some sort of sin. And – as with any Tina (and her producing partner Robert Carlock) show – the supporting characters nearly steal the whole damn show. Tituss Burgess it Kimmy’s very gay, very aspiring actor roommate (you might remember him as D’Fawn as one of entourage on the show-within-a-show, within-a-show, within-a-show “Queen of Jordan” on “30 Rock”). Jane Krakowski is the wealthy socialite who has hired Kimmy as a nanny (you should remember her as self-obsessed actress/monster Jenna Maroney on “30 Rock). Carol Kane is Kimmy’s kooky landlord (you know who Carol Kane is, don’t even play).
I gorged myself on the first 10 episodes over the weekend but stopped and saved the final three because it’s too damn good to be over. Luckily, it has already been renewed for a second season. If Kimmy can wait 15 years to see the sunshine, I guess I can wait 365 days for some more Unbreakable.
p.s. This being a Tina show and all, there’s a decided feminist streak to the series, which extends to its unbelievably hummable theme song. I’m still singing it now because FEMALES ARE STRONG AS HELL.