Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Give Me a Break, Kimmy Schmidt

Over the last several weeks I've worked my way through Season 1 of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the comedy written and produced by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock for Netflix. Because it was written by Tina Fey, I was eager to see this new series. 

Now, with it behind me and time to digest it all, I must say that I have mixed feelings about this show.

Upfront, let me say that: 

THERE IS NOTHING FUNNY ABOUT WOMEN BEING KIDNAPPED AND HELD IN AN UNDERGROUND BUNKER BY SOME STRANGE MAN FOR 15 YEARS! 

NOTHING!

I'm a bit appalled that such a subject was played for laughs.

BUT... the series focuses not on what happened to Kimmy and 3 other women, but Kimmy's entry back into "normal" life. Kimmy refuses to be a victim of her past and sets out to start a new life in Manhattan, seldom letting people know that she was one of the "Mole Women" from Indiana.  

Bravo for you, Kimmy!

This show is really of spoof on pretentious behavior, New York, values gone awry, and prejudices. And it does that very, very well. Kimmy is plucky but very naive, almost to the point at times of causing a gag-reflex.

Still, when you push aside what happened to Kimmy and focus on the broad comedy, it's ridiculous laugh-out-loud fun. It reminded me of the very silly but highly entertaining skits of early Saturday Night Live seasons, which is no surprise considering who wrote the script.

The cast is excellent: Carol Kane (who doesn't love her?), Titus Burgess, Jane Krakowski, and Kimmy herself played by Ellie Kemper

What really fell apart for me was the courtroom scenes when Kimmy's abductor is brought to "justice." Again, something that left a very bad taste in my mouth because of the severity of his crime and how it was played, often to the point of nausea, for laughs.

The prosecution in the case is handled by the team of Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden, played by Tina Fey and Jeffrey Minor, and is a total spoof of the bumbling of the O.J. Simpson trial, right down to making the defendant put on an ill-fitting glove (give me a break). I thought it was way over written and over played and bored me to tears, and even made me angry at times. Had the court room scenes been earlier in the series instead of at the end, I would have stopped watching the show all together.

Like I said, there are a lot of laugh-out-loud moments in this show, but I'm not sure they outweighed the groans and annoyances of everything else.

And I'm still having trouble getting over the fact that kidnapping women was played for laughs...

Ask Jaycee Dugard, Elizabeth Smart, or any of the young women from Cleveland, OH, how funny their experiences were, or their re-entry into everyday life.

At least that's my opinion, and as the saying goes, opinions are like assholes, everyone's got one.

1 comment:

Lady Jessop said...

Good review! I gotta say, the first scene of episode one of this show WAS pretty weird. I'm just a few episodes in and the jokes about brainwashing and women being in captivity do make me cringe.