The story of a kidnapped eight-grader escaping a cult after 15 years should not be a comedy, yet Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt fits the comedy genre perfectly. Tina Fey and Robert Carlock teamed up again after the successful run of seven seasons and 138 episodes of 30 Rock to pen Unbreakable.
Originally the series was passed over by NBC as the network seems to have axed their prime-time comedy line-up. Only two shows after the end of Parks and Recreation will remain for the winter season, Undatable and One Big Happy.
Unbreakable stars The Office’s Ellie Kemper in the titular role Kimmy Schmidt. The show begins with the rescue of Kimmy and three other girls from a cult preacher keeping them in an underground bunker. Of course the “mole women” quickly go viral. An interview with a witness gets the “Auto-tune the news” treatment (which becomes the addictive, catchy theme song). After a segment with Matt Lauer, Kimmy decides to remain in New York and actually start her life.
Kemper is joined by Jane Krakowski (30 Rock) and Titus Burgess (also 30 Rock) as her boss and roommate respectively. Comedy legend Carol Kane also stars as Kimmy and Titus’s landlady. Krakowski plays a similar character to 30 Rock’s Jenna, except with her character in Unbreakable, Jaqueline Voorhees, the writers have added depth that 30 Rock took seasons to reach. The atmosphere is similar too due to the return of Fey’s husband Jeff Richmond and his jazzy score.
Some questions I have are, why did NBC pass on the project? It is filled with NBC stars and has been highly praised by critics. Was the darkness of the premise too much for more mainstream audiences, although the fact from the Neilson ratings report it was found that 40 percent of homes had access to subscription based services like Netlfix so it may be the new mainstream. NBC’s loss is Netflix’s gain as Unbreakable turned out to be just as good as the later seasons of 30 Rock.