When I fired up the first episode of the Tina Fey produced Netflix series, I had no idea what I was in for. I knew nothing of its plot and knew next to nothing about the cast BUT I had seen the trailer and the grinning redhead that I came to know as Ellie Kemper/Kimmy Schmidt made me smile every time I caught it on TV.
So now, after watching all thirteen episodes of its first season, what do I have to say?
I think what you have here has to be one of the funniest comedies of 2015, hands down. Dead set.
Whether it be the hilarious and madcap writing, the surreal sense of humour that seems to run rampant in this world or the perfect comic timing from the cast here – Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Jane Krakowski, Carol Kane etc – Unbreakable Kimmy is a show with a sense of humour that seems to have been made for me.
The writing is sharp, with every minute of these 22-27 minute episodes packing a handful of laugh out loud jokes. It’s an oddball sense of humour but the writing also has a great deal of pop culture references to Friends, The Breakfast Club and Home Alone 2 even.
Interestingly enough, the show takes certain stereotypes and writes them into the show in a way thats heartfelt and something you might not really expect. One episode sees Burgess’ character getting treated more nicely dressed as a werewolf rather than a black man, where a mid-season story arc sees an Asian romantic interest that works against racist stereotypes. It’s refreshing and touching while managing to still be goofy and hilarious.
I cannot fault the acting on display here. Kemper steals the show and nails her delivery. From facial expressions to delivering a particular line, she is brilliant and quite charming. Krakowski is a rich socialite who gets some hilarious one liners as the posh stiff upper lip lady who gets a surprising story arc of her own, which is refreshing for a sitcom that could’ve easily played it straight and safe. Burgess’ as the aspiring broadway star and Kimmy’s roommate is more than just the gay supporting character – he’s wonderfully integrated amongst the cast, gets a few subplots that deliver on the hilarity and it helps the character is captured wonderfully.
Cameos come in the form of Tina Fey, Dean Norris and Jon Hamm and much more, all of these characters wonderfully kooky and just a blast to watch.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt could’ve been your average cringe-worthy sitcom but with writing this strong, both in character development and in the comedy of this world, it’s absolutely outrageously funny.
J’s Verdict: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆