When it was originally on: 2015-2019
Original network: Netflix
Where you can stream it now: Netflix
Had I seen it before: I’d seen the first two seasons, but lost interest in Season 3.
What IMDb says: A woman is rescued from a doomsday cult and starts life over again in New York City.
Why I picked it: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was Netflix’s first foray into the half-hour comedy world. It’s interesting to me how Netflix took cues from the premium cable world with their early dramas such as Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, but when it was time to make a comedy they went the more traditional network sitcom route, enlisting Tina Fey to help.
What I liked: The theme song is catchy AF.
I also think this one does a great job of introducing us to the other characters outside of Kimmy who will help make this show what it is. Kimmy, Titus, Lillian, and Jaqueline each get moments to be funny that tell us exactly what kind of a character they’ll be moving forward. It would’ve been so easy to focus on getting Kimmy from Point A to Point B in 24 minutes to not worry about the supporting cast, but they wisely didn’t do that. They also do a great job of showing us what kind of a character Jacqueline will be despite giving her relatively little screen time. It’s a great pilot to study for finding these quick ways of divulging character information.
I also need to give mad props to Ellie Kemper. It’s so easy for happy, perky characters to be obnoxious, especially when they’re your central protagonists. I feel like if I actually knew a character like Kimmy, I’d want to punch her in the face. But Kemper makes her charming, and turns her into someone I can root for.
What I didn’t like: It never hit me before just how odd it is that no one recognizes Kimmy. She goes on the freakin’ Today Show for crying out loud, and yet throughout the rest of the episode we don’t have a single case of “hey, aren’t you one of those Indiana mole women?” This becomes even less believable when Titus acknowledges that he actually HAD heard the news story, but yet didn’t recognize Kimmy from television.
Do I want to watch Ep. 2: There’s enough crazy characters here to keep the show entertaining and I would definitely want to watch episode 2, and I did the first time around. That being said, I have written about some of the other issues that came to fruition later in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s run, and if you’re curious about them, click here. But as far as pilots go, this one does a great job of getting me excited to see where the story will go.