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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

Review: “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

At first, the premise of Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” sounds more suited to a drama than a comedy.

The shows begins with the titular Kimmy Schmidt [Ellie Kemper], along with three other women, being rescued from an underground bunker. The four “mole women” were kidnapped into an apocalypse cult and told the outside world was gone.

It doesn’t seem like a light-hearted beginning, but “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is somehow able to make a show about trauma into a hilarious sitcom.  

Free from the bunker, Kimmy decides to live in New York City, but she’s taking on a world that she hasn’t been in for 15 years. The show strikes the perfect balance between Kimmy’s ignorance of the modern world and her ability to adapt to it. The show gets some pretty great jokes out of Kimmy’s reactions to or misunderstandings of modern life, but it knows when to move on. Kimmy is a little behind on the times, but she’s smart and she learns quickly.  

Honestly, the best thing about “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is Kimmy herself. True to the title, she is unbreakable. Despite going through some serious trauma, Kimmy is still optimistic about life. She’s kind, eager and at times naive, but she’s also a survivor and her resilience makes her the emotional support for everyone around her.

Female characters in media are so often boiled down to just one thing. They’re feminine, or kind or tough. “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” replaces “or” with “and,” letting Kimmy be the multifaceted character she is. A lot of this is due to Kemper’s acting, as she can take both Kimmy’s sweet and darker sides in stride.

And there are some darker elements. Kimmy didn’t leave the bunker emotionally and mentally unscathed and the show also doesn’t ignore that part of her past. It adds depth to the show and takes it beyond most what most sitcoms are capable of.

The rest of the cast is also delightful, from Jacqueline [Jane Krakowski], Kimmy’s spoiled employer with an unexpected past, to Titus [Tituss Burgess], Kimmy’s roommate who is pursuing his dreams of being famous no matter what. There’s a lot of reliance on common tropes, but the characters are fun enough to make it all seem fresh.

The fast-paced dialogue and surprisingly funny throwaway jokes kept me engaged throughout the entire show. The best way to watch it is to marathon all the episodes at once, because small things from early episodes will pop back up. “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” toes the line between believeable and ridiculous and likes to play around with viewers’ expectations. All of this left me with one question: how long until season two?

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