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‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’: four reasons to watch

Fans of ‘30 Rock’, rejoice! Tina Fey’s new sitcom, ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’, is finally landing on Netflix. We watched the first four episodes and have four reasons why you should too

By Ben Williams
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unbreakable kimmy schmidt press 2015
© Eric Liebowitz courtesy of Netflix

unbreakable kimmy schmidt press 2015
© Eric Liebowitz courtesy of Netflix

Advertising
unbreakable kimmy schmidt press 2015
© Eric Liebowitz courtesy of Netflix

unbreakable kimmy schmidt press 2015
© Eric Liebowitz courtesy of Netflix

Advertising
unbreakable kimmy schmidt press 2015
© Eric Liebowitz courtesy of Netflix

unbreakable kimmy schmidt press 2015
© Eric Liebowitz courtesy of Netflix

Advertising
unbreakable kimmy schmidt press 2015
© Eric Liebowitz courtesy of Netflix

unbreakable kimmy schmidt press 2015
© Eric Liebowitz courtesy of Netflix

1. It’s full of heart

‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ is a straightforward fish-out-of-water story, but it’s proper feelgood fun. After being rescued from an underground bunker, where she’s been living as part of a doomsday cult for 15 years, the eternally optimistic Kimmy Schmidt (played by the US ‘Office’s Ellie Kemper) decides to embrace the world she had thought had been destroyed. So she moves to – where else? – the Big Apple. Soon she’s getting up to speed on what’s changed, particularly smartphones, selfies and Siri. Cheesy? A little. Soppy? In parts. But whenever the tone starts to turn too sentimental, it’s always punctured by a daft joke.

2. Speaking of jokes, it’s jam-packed with them

Anyone who fell in love with ‘30 Rock’ for its densely packed scripts – where an onslaught of sharp-witted gags hits you square in the face every few seconds – won’t be disappointed. ‘Kimmy Schmidt’ has that same breezy style, gag-heavy dialogue and silly pop-culture jabs. Kimmy’s ultra-camp new roommate Titus, a wannabe Broadway star, gets into plenty of daffy situations on his quest to hit the big time. But the biggest laughs come from Kimmy’s wealthy boss…

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3. Jane Krakowski is a scene-stealer

Fans of ‘30 Rock’ will have already predicted this, but here’s the confirmation: Jane Krakowski – who plays diva Jenna Maroney in ‘30 Rock’ – is the funniest thing about ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’. She plays snobbish, stay-at-home mother Jacqueline Voorhees who hires the wide-eyed Kimmy as a nanny. She blurts out wonderfully pompous lines and has a stupidly funny backstory, which begins to be revealed in a series of flashbacks in episode three. Jacqueline isn’t too far removed from Jenna – in fact, she’s almost the same part – but when a character’s this funny, who’s complaining?

4. Even the theme music’s funny

What happens when a news story breaks in this social media age? It gets chopped up, remixed and autotuned into a YouTube song, of course. That’s exactly what happens to the local news footage of the bunker rescue in ‘Kimmy Schmidt’s opening episode. That viral hit then becomes the music for each episode’s opening titles, and it’s been replaying in my head for days. Would I download it from iTunes? Most probably. Would it drive me insane if I had to listen to it on repeat? Definitely.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ is available on Netflix from Fri Mar 6.

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