Netflix series balances dark comedy, social commentary


If you enjoy comedy shows, you should give this series a chance. 

Are you looking to watch a new show that features lovable characters, an amusing plot and witty jokes? If so, “30 Rock” executive producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock have a new Netflix original series that would be perfect for you.

“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” follows Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper) after she escapes from being held in an underground bunker by a reverend named Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (Jon Hamm). Kimmy and three other women stay in the bunker for 15 years, where the reverend attempts to brainwash them into thinking that there is a nuclear apocalypse outside the bunker.

After living underground for 15 years, the women are finally rescued and become sensationalized by the media as the “Indiana mole women.” Realizing that she wants to be more than just a victim, Kimmy remains in New York City after being on “The Today Show.” The series details Schmidt’s transition into the real world and the people she meets in the Big Apple.

Each character is unique and interesting, and has their own backstory that the show touches on. Unlike “Orange is the New Black,” the show does not dedicate an entire episode to a character, but instead keeps the viewer interested with minor clues or flashbacks for each character. For instance, Kimmy’s boss Jacqueline Voorhees (Jane Krakowski) has multiple flashbacks about her home and her Native American heritage.

The show also touches on different social issues, but never in a negative perspective. For example, in one episode Schmidt gets catcalled by a construction worker. However, Kimmy, who was kidnapped into the doomsday cult before she was able to pass high school and largely lacks knowledge of most social cues, does not understand the situation and continues congenially talking with the man. In turn, the man eventually realizes that he treats women poorly and feels shamed by what he expresses has his own masculine insecurities. He even returns in the same episode and asks out Kimmy’s roommate, Titus (Tituss Burgess).

If you enjoy comedy shows, you should give this series a chance. At first glance, the show seems ridiculously stupid, corny and mildly annoying.

But if you get past this false first impression, the show is actually hilarious. Once you get through the first few episodes, you’ll be hooked and will fall in love with this comedy. If you accept the show for what it is — cheesy, happy and lovable — you’ll be rooting for Kimmy and singing the theme song all day long.