Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: A Caricature of a Sitcom- Karly Morgan

TVJ2YZc7mLuINN_1_a.jpgKarly Morgan

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is awesome.

Tina Fey is the HBIC in the writing room, Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, and Jane Krakowski dominate the screen, and the story follows Kimmy Schmidt (Kemper)’s adventures in New York City. What was she doing before New York? She was kept in an underground bunker by an insane reverend-turned-cult-leader for 15 years.

I think this show is a great example of a post modern sitcom. First, it’s Netflix exclusive, so you can’t watch it via television programming. It’s only on the internet. Also, it follows Kimmy Schmidt to New York City, where she proceeds to build a network of friends that function as her family; there is certainly no traditional family structure. Kimmy lives platonically with her roommate Titus, who is fabulously, dramatically, and unapologetically gay. They are the tenants of Lilian, a wild New Yorker who is frantically in love with her crumbling neighborhood. Kimmy works for Jacqueline Voorhes, who rebelled against her Native American family in South Dakota and moved to New York to become a black-clad, manicured, iPhone wielding socialite married to a billionaire. Her step daughter Xanthippe and her troop of wealthy, misbehaved teenage friends also add to the extraordinarily non-traditional family.

What makes this show truly a sitcom at heart is the feeling. The show explores the lives, relationships, and adventures of this family of misfits in the same way that any classic black and white sitcom explores the lives of its family members. They’re different from each other, but they care about each other, and they go on some wild, touching, and hilarious adventures. It relates to the population of America today, many 20-somethings (my age group) relate to this show because we function in the same way. I don’t see my family at home as often as I’d like, just as each character in the show has a “back home” family away from New York. I left my “back home family” behind and came to college, where I assembled a rag tag team of friends that have become my family here at Wake. That concept relates to 20-somethings in 2016 in the same way that nuclear families would relate to adults in the mid/late 1900’s.

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4 Responses to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: A Caricature of a Sitcom- Karly Morgan

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I love the way you explain the relatability of Kimmy Schmidt, because I honestly found the situations and characters so caricature when I watched it that I actually didn’t find it very relatable. However, your ability to find solidarity with it is a testament to Tina Fey’s writing; taking a series of really weird circumstances and making them accessible. (Leah H)

  2. mediaphiles says:

    So I watched through Kimmy Schmidt (season 1) the day it was released on Netflix. At first I really liked it, and I categorized it the same way I categorize The Office: easy to watch. Recently I started watching through it again, and I found myself really really bored with it. None of the characters come across as relatable to me. None of them are really complex– they’re just sort of really hazy outlines of characters that make funny jokes occasionally. I’m going to try to get into season 2 and see what happens!

    -Callie Sartain

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I watched the first season of this show and sped through it, but when the second season came out, I just couldn’t get into it. I think a show like this much better suited for an online “network” than a television network. I think part of the appeal of this show is how quickly viewers can get sucked in to the quirky world and keep clicking to the next episode. -Valerie Medoff

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I also remember getting through the first season fairly quickly, but then watching the second season at a slower pace. The chemistry between the characters does emulate the qualities of a family and I love that! Though the characters are very eccentric, I feel that they are somewhat refreshing in a way. They are each dealing with their own sensitive experiences such as a crumbling marriage, trauma, and career frustration. Knowing this, their personalities may over shadow their situations, but the family aspect of this show is what truly outshines them all.

    -Shelby Halliman

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