Why Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is the most important show during this pandemic | by Manjiri Mazgaonkar

I decided to sample this show with an unbearably long name after I saw a meme about it. No, the irony is not lost on me and yes, my life decisions are inspired by memes.

Though a bit skeptical initially, I soon reached a point where the show’s horridly auto tuned theme song was stuck in my head and I found myself blurting out words like “Dammit’ “it’s a miracle” “Cause females are strong as hell”. The show had taken me on a trip with its quirks and undeniably odd sense of humour. This show was fresh, it was lively and yet it was a commentary on our society; a complete binge worthy package.

Courtesy – Netflix

The story revolves around Kimmy played by Ellie Kemper who was such a joy to watch in The Office. Kimmy is an almost 30 year old, who was abducted by a Reverend and has spent 15 years trapped in a bunker along with 3 other women. Though the show doesn’t directly address it but there are definitely strong suggestions of abuse that happened inside the bunker (Sounds awful, isn’t it ? )However, when they’re saved, Kimmy decides to live her life to the fullest and experience things she missed out during her time in the bunker.

Unfortunately life’s isn’t all sunshine and unicorns, Kimmy soon finds out that she cannot just forget her trauma in the bunker by ignoring it and so goes her story as she learns to live with her trauma and survive in New York.

Courtesy – Netflix

But it doesn’t just stop there, Kimmy is supported and sometimes exorted by some of the most interesting set of people in her life. These include Titus Andromedon, Kimmy’s roommate and a self proclaimed Diva, Titus can belt out any tune just give him a chance BROADWAY!! Lilian, Kimmy’s sexagenarian landlord who romanticises the past and wants nothing to do with this new world gentrification. Finally there is Jacqueline, a trophy wife who hires Kimmy to take care of her dog.

Admittedly it takes a couple of episodes to get on the wavelength of these odd characters but once you’re there the show’s really addictive.

Courtesy – Netflix

Every season introduces new information and issues and each character has their own unique pattern to resolve their unsolved businesses. In many ways the show asks you to internalise your issues and question your unhealthy coping mechanisms.

The dry humour is evident in the writing as Kimmy grapples to understand the world that she missed out for 15 year while the others have moved on.

Courtesy – Netflix

The show is wisely crafted with well placed comic elements and obscure pop culture references. All the while maintaining a clear road to recovery and growth of its central characters.

I would also want to call out the visual palette of this show, it’s remenicent of early 2000s nickelodeon, the era when Kimmy actually went missing, I suppose.

Courtesy – Netflix

One may complain about the show ending a little too soon with just 4 seasons at hand. But I rather have limited but enjoyable story than it being a drag. The show did romanticise a bit with each character getting a happy ending but after all I guess that is the road to recovery, is not a nicely wrapped end but it sure is an happy ending.

Courtesy – Netflix
Courtesy – Netflix

There’s no doubt that Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is unusual and offbeat, but it manages to teach one of the most important lessons of loving yourself and acknowledging your circumstances.

Often times when humour and personal horrors are mingled you get a toxic self depracating mess. But that’s not our Kimmy, she teaches you that surviving can be so much more than just moving on, it is freedom you’ve never experienced before.


About the Writer

Manjiri is an avid reader and a textbook introvert who prefers the company of four legged furballs over her four friends. When she isn’t squealing about animals she prefers reading fantasy fiction and watching crime documentaries. Manjiri aspires to become a meme overlord someday and rule the internet 😛

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