Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (UKS from now on) seems to be a love-it-or-meh sort of phenomenon. People either adore it (like myself) or they just think it’s silly and not worth the watch. I mean sure, UKS is no Parks & Recreation, but it is just so unique!
It is one of the most nonsensical American series out there today, and yet it still manages to have a lot of heart and show character and story development. As a quick recap, UKS follows the life of Kimmy after being freed from a crazy cult leader who locked her up in a bunker for 15 years. With that premise, it could have gone REALLY dark, and yet under Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, it makes for light and whimsical TV.
I can’t recommend this series enough. It’s weird and endearing, clever and entertaining. The amount of hidden jabs and cultural references is through the roof. The “Lemonade” episode in particular is a hilarious take on Beyoncé’s album that only UKS could make. It’s only 13 short episodes, very binge-worthy.
In Season 3, we find Kimmy still struggling with the aftermath of her bunker life and figuring out what to do with her life. Titus remains the king (queen?) of the non-sense, but is also on his own path of development that leads to surprisingly mature moments. Lillian has had a sweet story line this season, letting her be way more than just the crazy landlord. Jaqueline is perhaps the one that has evolved the most since season 1, and continues to do so this season. As you can tell, this season is obviously focused on the characters evolving and improving themselves, taking tropes and flipping them over.
(SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT)
One such example is what goes on between Russ and Jaqueline after he gets “smooshed” by a car. While he is in the hospital, Jaqueline embarks on a war against his family over the changing of the Redskins name and does a lot on her own, including baking and well… sex with his deceased grandmother, Ghost-style. Then, suddenly Russ turns into a super hot guy after the reconstructive surgery. Here is where I thought oh, no! they are going to ruin this. And then, well… they didn’t. Russ increasingly became someone completely different and narcissistic, and the new and improved Jaqueline just didn’t want that person anymore because it was not the man she married.
Or Kimmy going to Columbia. Now, I like it how they dealt with this one. Instead of making Kimmy suddenly a book genius even though she did not have the formal education or portraying her as “stupid”, they managed to go a third, rather original route. While Kimmy is not really an academic person, she has SO many other amazing qualities. What I liked about how they handled her stint in college is that university life does not fit with everyone, and that is ok. Not because that person is stupid, by any means, but because the particular structure of academia can be challenging to some people, the same as being an electrician or a plumber can be challenging to a whole bunch of people too. I come from a heavy academia background, but an academic degree should not be a measure of one’s intelligence. What the series did is show exactly that: it is not because university is not for you that you are any less than anyone else. There are many equally valid paths and you have to choose what is right for YOU, there are many types of intelligence out there.