There’s a quiet layer of seriousness in the latest season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The show’s shtick is to highlight the way Kimmy Schmidt views the world — often naïvely and rarely with a second a glance.

Kimmy Schmidt breaks things this season, and it’s probably because she’s a woman. The show tackles feminism, women with power, and women with no power.

Ellie Kemper stars in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. Courtesy Netflix.

The show’s lighthearted vibe carries tirelessly throughout the entire season, although it ends in a rather aloof and unsatisfying manner. The desire for a sense of completion in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, however, is a lofty goal as the show centers itself on quick one-liners and fast-paced pop-culture references.

A compliment to the show is that it does not try to be anything it is not; there is no shortage of unrealistic situation which aptly contributes to the appeal of the show’s surrealism and Kimmy Schmidt’s zest for life. Ellie Kemper continues to bring extremely high levels of excitement and enthusiasm to the title character, well-complimented by performances from Jane Krakowski and Tituss Burgess.

One highlight of the season, which happens early on in episode 2, is the beginning of Titus’ drama with his Season 2 boyfriend Mikey. Their relationship is the central story-line in Titus’ imagined Lemonade re-enactment, which is as hilarious as it sounds. Moments like these help shape the show’s comedic tone, but it is clear storytelling is not the show’s strongest suit, as the show struggles to distribute enough time between four central character arcs: Kimmy, Titus, Lillian, and Jacqueline.

While these characters could have been considered secondary and supplementary previously, their prominence was established this season with very individualistic story-lines. While their features were appreciated, their story-lines took away from Kimmy’s story-line which contributed to a rather lackluster effect across the board and what felt like forced moments between characters when they took scenes together.

Feminism is somewhat of a linking factor between all the characters. It is highlighted across different social situations as femininity faces detriments in seemingly innocuous and sometimes outlandish situations. By unflinchingly tackling gender roles, social imbalance, racism, and a myriad of other sensitive topics, Unbreakable works with its characters and vibrant settings to create compelling mirrors and spotlights to bring forth these issues in a stimulating way.

Against the backdrop of Kimmy Schmidt somehow making it into Columbia University on a whim, Jacqueline taking the helm of her boyfriend-turned-fiancé-turned-husband’s role in his family, and Titus figuring out how to move forward in his life and make money, the show serves as a colourful attempt at diversity and humour in troubled times. There are moments that are questionable and perhaps in bad taste, but the show always toes the line between satire and inappropriate humour — an expectation of Tina Fey’s brainchild.

As a Netflix original, the show is as bingeable as ever regardless of any shortcomings. The most interesting part of the show is probably finding the easter eggs and references to other pop culture favourites.

 

Better than: Santa Clarita Diet

Not as good as: F.R.I.E.N.D.S

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