UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT (2015) – A FEEL GOOD COMEDY WORTH BINGEING ON

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or UKS for the sake of typing here, is an American web television sitcom that airs on Netflix and is created by Tina Fey and Robert Karlock. The comedy focuses on the journey of a 29 year old woman called Kimmy Schmidt (played by Ellie Kemper), who was one of four women rescued from a doomsday cult in the fictional town of Durnsville, Indiana, led by Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (played by Jon Hamm) for 15 years. After her rescue she moves to New York City, to rebuild her life and be seen as something other than a victim. The five seasons cover her journey and the fascinating friends she meets during her stay in the city.

The opening title of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

An excellent sitcom though more so due to its supporting character of Titus Andromedon (played by a fantastic Titus Burgess) who is truly the breakout character of the show. Though the show is titled Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the entire backbone for laughs on the show falls on Titus who is by far one of the most original and entertaining characters created for a sitcom. He is in the category of Sheldon Cooper and Barney Stinson who ended up being the main driver for comedy among ensemble casts. Ellie Kemper who plays the lead character becomes more of a supporting cast member for the audience to witness the glory of Titus Andromedon. A show which tries to portray women as “unbreakable” based on the trials of the four women who were held in an underground bunker, also manages to portray the women as moronic rather than strong and smart. Ellie Kemper who also played Erin Hannon on The Office, is energetic and fast-paced as Kimmy Schmidt but she also manages to show Kimmy as a complete idiot, babbling nonsense at times. However, the other supporting characters led by Titus Andromedon save this show from being pseudo-feminist “woke” tv show.

Pictured: (l-r) Jane Krakowski as Jacqueline White, Ellie Kemper as Kimmy Schmidt, Tituss Burgess as Titus Andromedon, Carol Kane as Lillian Kaushtupper

The first main supporting character we are introduced to after Kimmy is a street-smart landlady named Lillian Kaushtupper (portrayed by Carol Kane). Titus Andromedon is shown as a tenant living in the same basement apartment as Kimmy and becomes her roommate. Kimmy finds a job as a nanny for a melancholic socialite Jacqueline Voorhees (Jane Krakowski). The entire show involves these characters as they try to find success alongside Kimmy in different areas and the situations they encounter.

Lillian is an entertaining character who if you ignore her dead-pan delivery, is full of hilarious comments and accidentally shot her black husband and has a criminal past which is revealed as the show progresses. She is staunchly opposed to gentrification of her neighborhood or basically any form of technology or progress. She however has a good heart and treats both Kimmy and Titus as her kids.

Jacqueline Voorhees is a rich socialite who is a gold-digger and married a rich man who ignores her. She is actually a Lakota Native American who is passing for white. Though initially shown to be arrogant, snobby and out-of-touch with reality, as the show progresses, she becomes more caring and reconnects with her family and her heritage. She has a step-daughter who is well-developed as a character and becomes a sort of friend to Kimmy after hating Kimmy initially. Jacqueline also has a son who like most of the other straight male characters on this show, remains an after-thought and under-developed as a character. Apparently it is the USP of a “woke” feminist television show to under-develop straight male characters in favour of others. But having being created by Tina Fey, it seems typical.

Next up is Kimmy Schmidt herself, as we save Titus for last – basically the best for last. Kimmy Schmidt, is characterized by unflagging optimism and extreme naivety, a trait continued from her role in The Office but enhanced to extremes in this version. Kimmy Schmidt’s bubbly optimism however is contagious and compared to our increasing bleak world, it offers a source of comfort for those of us binge watching this show.

Now coming to the main reason to watch this show – Titus Andromedon. As a flamboyantly gay, aspiring actor and singer, he is Kimmy’s roommate. Amazingly melodramatic and self-absorbed, Titus’s songs, his antics and quips make you binge watch this show. A scene with Titus Andromedon guarantees hilarity. There are several scenes of Titus that would be hall of fame material, making it hard to choose one. A video montage with some of his best lines are shown in the following video.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is worth bingeing on Netflix. Though the show finished its run in 2019, it is one of those ever-green entertaining shows you can watch anytime. The plot is weak as the goal of showing “women as unbreakable” basically becomes if you are dumb as soup, then you are unbreakable. But if you are looking for a feel-good comedy to binge on during this incredibly bleak and depressing year, then choose Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. If Titus Andromedon can’t make you laugh, then probably nothing can.

JAY’S VERDICT

Watch for Titus Burgess as Titus Andromedon – an excellent comedy which will help you survive quarantine

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