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I TALK Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

For me, watching an entire series in a day is rare, especially an American series. I have to watch so much telly doing what I do that I'm not often able to dedicate time to watching an entire series in one sitting.

However Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt only arrived on Netflix yesterday, and this morning when I woke up, I hadn't watched a single episode... fast forward six hours and I've now seen the whole lot, and already I'm craving more and deciding when to watch it again.

Netflix have a fantastic track record when it comes to original series, and they've triumphed yet again with the fantastic Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The 13-part comedy series is created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, who both brought us 30 Rock, and centres around Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper), who escapes from a doomsday cult and starts life over again in New York City, trying her hardest to shake off her "Indiana Mole Woman" label.

So what makes Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt so great? If you want the honest answer, it's everything. The characters are so strong, the performances are brilliant and the writing is effortlessly funny.

Ellie Kemper, who plays Kimmy is a fantastic comedy actress. She's completely believable and delivers the lines brilliantly. It doesn't take long for you to fall in love with Kimmy and it's for that reason that when Netflix keeps asking you "Are you still watching?" you click "Continue watching." and before you know it, you've devoured the whole lot!

It's not all about Kimmy though, I mean it is, but there's a brilliant ensemble cast who I think are worth celebrating. Kimmy ends up living in New York with Titus Andromedon, played by Tituss Burgess, who's a larger-than-life black gay singer/wannabe actor, who starts off in the series working as a robot in Times Square and as the series goes on, continues his quest for stardom. Titus is a really refreshing comedy character and is played brilliantly by Tituss Burgess who gives it all he's got. Often it's not what he says... but what he does with his face that makes me laugh.

Then there's Kimmy and Titus' landlady Lillian Kaushtupper, played by Carol Kane. She takes heroin, she deals cocaine to kids... but apart from that she's a lovely person. OK, maybe not lovely but she is a fantastic character, and a joy to watch and her relationship with Kimmy and Titus really grows as the episodes go on, culminating in a great season finale.

Kimmy realises that if she's to stay in New York, she needs to find a job, which is where Jacqueline Voorhees, played by Jane Krakowski, comes in. Jacqueline is a wealthy Manhattanite who hires Kimmy as a nanny and it's a real joy watching their relationship grow and whilst you may begin by disliking her I'm pretty sure that by the end of it you'll begin to warm to her and understand why she's the way she is.

Also, look out for some great guest cameos including Breaking Bad's Dean Norris and Tina Fey herself makes an appearance towards the end of the season.

Who would have thought that a comedy about someone who escaped from a bunker to live in New York would be so compelling? Not me, that's for sure. In fact, I wasn't too fussed about watching the series until I saw so many people on my Twitter feed raving about how good it is.

Another thing that's nice about Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are the many nods to popular culture. The opening titles for example are a nod to "Dead Giveaway" an auto-tuned version of Charles Ramsay's news interview about rescuing three women held captive in a Cleveland house for more than a decade - a very strong similarity of course to Kimmy's story in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and was no doubt strong inspiration for Tina Fey and  Robert Carlock when writing this.

There many more nods to popular culture in this, which are given an extra layer because of course Kimmy has been locked away in a bunker for several years so simple things like an iPhone or even a selfie, are completely alien to her. My favourite scene, which could have very easily been cheesy and cringe, comes late on in the series, when Titus sings Katy Perry's Firework to Kimmy, who is left questioning the song's lyrics... especially why he would compare her to a plastic bag. Like I say, it's so brilliantly done that it's believable, funny and very charming.

If this show is about anything, yes it's about Kimmy adjusting to life in New York, but for me it's more about relationships, I think Kimmy's naivity and unawareness is really endearing and helps Titus, Lillian and Jacqueline realise who they want to be. So yes it's a comedy but there are some very touching moments that places it high above most comedy produced in this country. A statement that doesn't come easy to me to write. I'm a huge fan of homegrown comedy but Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is in a different league to the current UK offering.

Not only that, but it proves that Netflix aren't messing around when it comes to original content as they continue to produce fantastic series that are loved globally by millions and millions of people. The good news is that last November, almost four months before we had even seen a single episode, it was announced that (thankfully) we will be treated to a second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The bad news? We probably have to wait a year for it. Binging on the whole series in one sitting doesn't seem like such a bright idea now!

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is available now on Netflix


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