We take a look at Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 2 in our review of the series.
“Unbreakable… they alive, dammit, it’s a miracle” blasts the auto tuned title music of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Unbreakable might not be the best word to describe season 2 of the popular Netflix show, maybe unyielding might be better. It’s always a worry when a TV show is so well received in the first season as the second is always a make or break situation scrutinised under a very large magnifying glass. With season 3 already confirmed, we take a look at season 2 to find out how well it stands up to the first season of the show. “Ooh…Dammit!”
Originally aired in 2015, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was written by the brilliant Tina Fey (Mean Girls and so many other brilliant shows) and Robert Carlock, telling the story of Kimmy (played by Ellie Kemper), who despite being kidnapped and left in a bunker for 15 years remains upbeat as she adjusts to life in New York City on release. Season 1, brought non-stop belly laughs with hilarious one liners from her actor roommate Tituss Andromedon (played by Titus Burgess) not to mention the very funny and catchy Peeno Noir single – an ode to black penis by Tituss. With support from Jane Krakowski as Jacqueline Voorhees, who hires Kimmy as a nanny despite knowing nothing about her past life. Throw in Carol Kane as Kimmy & Tituss’ landlady Lillian Kaushtupper who keeps adding in her odd zany one liners, made the show what it is – brilliantly funny and equally balanced.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…
Season 2 begins at what appears to be Christmas scene, ruined by the arrival of Sonya (an older GED class mate) crashing through the window and demanding to know where Dong is (Kimmy’s love interest who married Sonya for a green card to stay in America) despite Kimmy not knowing where he is. The titles flashes with “3 months before…” that and episodes 1-6 show the events leading up to that point.
Now, I’m not sure if it was just me, but I found the first episode to be a little bit odd. I expected the sassy one liners I was accustomed to from Tituss, odd comments from Lillian and cringe worthy but funny outbursts from Kimmy – yet I didn’t feel I got that. It wasn’t as if the first episode was a bad one, it felt more like a setup for the series to explain, this is what is going to happen and here is how we will get there. All returning characters are back right where season 1 left off, Jacqueline is struggling to adjust to her life as a native Indian, even her family tells her to go back to New York with her real tribe. Elsewhere Kimmy is still struggling with her feelings for Dong and Tituss has a clear out of his wardrobe, coming up with the fantastically named “Shants” – shorts that are pant size in length. Maybe here the balance has shifted as the show focuses on individual characters more rather than just Kimmy and her story with them.
As I watched further episodes, Unbreakable started to get into its stride delivering the laugh out loud moments that I craved from the first season. Such as Lillian’s line after stating the pit holes being covered she could no longer go to “Take a dump when a gentleman caller is over” in them.
Character’s stories are expanded upon more in this season – Jacqueline is struggling to cope with her £12 million in her divorce as she moves into her own apartment, adjusts to life as a single parent. Tituss writes his own one man show and even gains a love interest whilst Lillian is on a never ending crusade to keep hippies from taking over her neighbourhood. Kimmy has a lot of issues to deal with stemming from the bunker and must seek the advice from psychiatrist Andrea Bayden (Played by Tina Fey) who herself has a split personality – being professional advice giving in the day and constantly drunk at night.
Season 2 is very funny, there’s no denying that. My problem with the show is that I don’t feel it has been cranked up enough – I wanted characters to be almost double of what they were, spouting one liners at every opportunity but the comedic elements are far and few between. Special guest stars are interesting (I won’t spoil who) but don’t make up for the fact that season 2 just isn’t as good as season 1.
Flashbacks to the bunker are hilarious, but again too far and few as it was something that made season one great – women being stuck in a bunker for 15 years against their will isn’t something that sounds funny but Fey was able to bring that sense of frivolity giving almost as if it would have been fun to be locked up.
One mention must go to Mimi Kanasis (played by Amy Sedaris) the divorced and desperate friend of Jacqueline who delivers a stupidly funny performance, popping up with one liners showing her level of craziness and desperation. She’s a welcome reminder to the show that it was before a crazy and stupid tale, something season 2 seemed to forget with its serious overtones in many areas.