On Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

March 10, 2015 4:45 PM

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On Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

“I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold,” Keats writes of his first encounter with that writer’s Homer. “Then felt I like some watcher of the skies/ When a new planet swims into his ken.” Okay. That’s not really how I felt after sucking down the first six episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in one suffocating draught. But this does play like a very special situation comedy. Created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, the energetic series, now available on Netflix, does have some of the quip-heavy energy of the same writers’ 30 Rock, but it feels altogether stranger, creepier and less easy to parse. If I must reduce it to a bite I will do so as follows: Mary Tyler Moore from the galaxy Almodóvar. Will that do?

The show works from an impressively dark premise. The titular Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) is one of a small group of women recently released from a Doomsday cult. In the breathless pilot, the ingenue decides to make her way to New York City with a mind to soak up all the cultural wash that has flowed over ...

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