Apr 20, 2016

[TV] Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Season 2

So obviously I've been eagerly awaiting the return of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt since the first season came out since it was such a strange yet amazing comedy. There are a lot of things that you'd think shouldn't work in a comedy series but it all comes together quite well. And then you find yourself laughing non-stop at the blatant inappropriateness.

Since it's a Netflix series, we got out dose of Kimmy Schmidt all at once last Friday and despite our busy gaming schedule and our work obligations, we managed to get through the series quickly enough. With so many new Netflix shows having been released over the past month or so, it says a lot that we rushed through this series before some of the others. And it probably helps that it's obviously shorter

This second season certainly did its best to take some of the more interesting parts of the first season and celebrated them even more this time around. But at the same time, they did their best to not simply rehash the first season and still present us with something new.

Synopsis: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a Netflix comedy created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. This second season once again ran for 13 episodes and is already confirmed for a third season.

The first season wrapped up with the Indiana Mole Women managing to win their case against the Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (Jon Hamm) for locking them up in a bunker 15 years, thus finally giving them a little sense of closure. But of course there's the rest of their lives to worry about and so the show had its work cut out. And the season started quite dramatically with a glimpse of things 3 months ahead before going back to the new status quo. And that leaves us with Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) in search of a new job since Jacqueline White (Jane Krakowski) has returned to her Native American roots. But we still see manifestations of Kimmy's trauma from her life in the bunker and this season makes it part of the mission for her to finally face some of her demons.

First, characters are still the same ones we fell in love with and thus Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess) has even more musical moments in this season, Jacqueline is no longer funny because she's a ridiculously rich New Yorker but instead because she's a formerly ridiculously rich New Yorker. Lillian (Carol Kane), the landlord, got a lot more screen time this time around, mostly related to her personal war on hipsters and gentrification.

The comedy continues to push boundaries and makes you question just how "politically" correct we need to be in this strange modern times. There is a moment where Titus explores his past life as a geisha and the inevitable fallout as people protest him claiming thus. But if a black gay man can't  believe he's a reincarnated Japanese woman, then just how free are we really, right?

Kimmy is a bit more down to earth in this season and isn't quite the 100% optimist that she was the prior season. And while I do miss that a bit, on the whole it's a great thing since it does show realistic character development as Kimmy continues to deal with her rather traumatic ideal. And yet this is all in a manner that still doesn't feel too heavy or oppressive or depressing.

I do appreciate how it felt like the show invested in more subtle sight gags that sort of reward you for paying attention to the first season and even this one. A great example is how Yuko the robot seems to be present in almost every episode, even if only passing through in the background. There are also a lot of quick one-liners from various characters that remind us of actions and deeds from the past season.

The precise nature of the comedy of the show is always hard to explain accurately. but it somehow involves poking fun and racial (and maybe even gender) sensitivity, celebrating 90's culture and other zany ideas. The show strikes a brilliant balance of the irreverent and the ridiculous and leaves us laughing right down the middle.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a refreshing comedy that is a lot of fun on its own even if you can't quite compare it to other shows out there. It's a great way to relax and shake off the stress of daily life, which goes beyond your job and includes all the ridiculousness of modern media. Thus the season gets a great 4.5 pretty stickers out of a possible 5.

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