Having followed the series of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt since it first appeared on Netflix in 2015, I can say I’m a big fan. Each new season has meant a guaranteed dose of sunshine, despite the show’s at-first-glance traumatic set-up. Now that the final episodes have premiered, I’ll be taking a look back at TV’s most optimistic character as they say goodbye.
The show was created for the purpose of showcasing Ellie Kemper, who plays the eponymous character. It took form, Tina Fey stated, when her and fellow creator Robert Carlock noticed Kemper’s air of innocence but also strength. The premise of the show is as follows: Kimmy Schmidt was kidnapped as a pre-teen and held hostage in an underground bunker for fifteen years, as part of a one-man end-of-the-world cult, none of which sounds like a recipe for fun viewing.
In my eyes, the show has been successful in its purpose of proving Kemper to be a formidable talent
That’s exactly what Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is. It takes a dark, life-changing situation and presents a character who is excited for whatever comes her way next. Full of Fey’s trademark absurdist humour, in addition to the self-absorbed yet resiliently likeable characters, the show fizzes by making fun of celebrities and pop culture. The main character herself lights up the screen with her bubbly enthusiasm. As the series has progressed it focuses less on her naivete and more on the sheer will of her determination. In my eyes, the show has been successful in its purpose of proving Kemper to be a formidable talent.
This also rings true for her co-stars. Titus, played by the brilliant Tituss Burgess, is a force to be reckoned with (even if the reality he lives in has not caught on just yet). Lillian, played by the gorgeous Carol Kane, provides most of the show’s gross-out gags. Yet, I can’t help but aspire to be her one day. Finally, Jane Krakowski’s Jacqueline has probably developed the most out of all the characters in the show. She continues to soar in her independence, and it’s hard not to revel in Krakowski’s magnetism.
I found this season the most comforting, it shows that life does not always go to plan yet the characters work hard to find the silver linings and keep pushing forward
The first season was a delight, gifting the world memorable moments like Titus’ performance of ‘Pinot Noir’. Season two has the strongest finale, with seminal changes taking place for the main character. The third season had the greatest success overall displaying the most progress for each of the characters. It also affirmed Titus as a TV icon with his tribute to Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’, my favourite and most rewatched episode of the show. I found this season the most comforting, it shows that life does not always go to plan yet the characters work hard to find the silver linings and keep pushing forward. Season four perhaps has suffered from the spacing between the release of episodes, with the first half of the season having premiered on Netflix in May of last year. This was a first, and last, for the show as before the entire season would be made available on Netflix.
Ultimately, I’ll be sad to see the show go. It’s joyful in its irreverence, and yet each season tends to end with poignancy. I have no doubt that the show has established its creators and stars for future career successes to come. If you haven’t already experienced the technicolour wackiness that is Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, I’d recommend it as an antidote for these cold and grey winter months.