NETFLIX found an unexpected gem in season 1 of “UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT” from c0-creator Tina Fey. The show was orginally set to air on NBC but lucky for all involved moved to NETFLIX where its quirky humor was more likely to find a more accepting audience. The show continues its sometimes frenetic story telling pace, along with Tina Fey’s sharp and smart writing.
Season 2 picks up not long after where the season 1 finale left off. After successfully testifying against the cult leader that kept Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) and other women hostage in an underground bunker for fifteen years, she’s determined to put her past behind her and make up for all the time she lost. This being the strongest story thread in the new season, finds us going along on a journey with Kimmy as she must figure out who she is and learn how to deal with the demons of her past. Kemper continues to be charming in the role and I really can’t think of anyone else who could play the role.
This season also gives a bigger platform to the character of Titus, played by breakout star Tituss Burgess. As with many sitcom supporting characters that become popular, the show gives Titus bigger story, which isn’t always a good thing. In a season where all the characters are searching for the truth of who they are and what they want for there lives, Titus’ larger than life character is often to0 much in early episodes of the second season. Fortunately, with the introduction of construction worker and love interest Mikey (Mike Carlsen), Titus becomes less caricature and more human. While he’s given plenty of fun musical numbers throughout the season, nothing comes close to his season one performance of “Peeno Noir.”
This season “UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT” shares the love of developing the characters of Kimmy’s landlord Lillian (Carole Kane) and her suedo-boss Jacqueline (Jane Krakowski). Each are given very well throughout character driven story arcs that stay true to the characters to whom we were first introduced in season 1. Both are incredibly talent actresses and should be on the short list for Best Supporting Actress in comedy category come Emmy time.
This season also boasts two spectacular guest stars. Tina Fey plays a therapist with whom Kimmy becomes unusually closed, while Lisa Kudrow pops up in a surprising role. I’m not going to spoil it, so you’ll have to watch to find out! Again, both actresses should earn Guest Actress Emmy nods.
Like many sitcoms before it “UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT” addresses the theme of family, the one you’re born into and the one you create for yourself. I think of this particular group of “THE GOLDEN GIRLS” on acid. The early episodes of season 2 are a little uneven but ultimately saved by an overall story arc that leads to a very satisfying season finale. If you liked season 1, you’ll enjoy season 2. Again, I was bit frustrated early on and could have done with less Titus, but it all works out in the end. I will say that this is a show that should be binged. If I had to watch from one week to the next, I probably would have given up by episode 4. But, thankfully NETFLIX put all 13 episodes up at once that made for a quick, easy and ultimately satisfying binge.
In case you missed it, here’s Titus performing “Peeno Noir” from season 1.
With over 400 scripted series on television and countless reality shows, there really is something for every spread across broadcast, cable and digital platforms. But quantity does not equal quality. With Christmas right around the corner, here’s my list of the 5 Best Gifts TV (including digital platforms) gave us in 2015 (in no particular order).
While Niecy Nash’s face certainly isn’t new to television viewers (RENO 911, CLEAN HOUSE, THE SOUL MAN), she’s definitely having her moment in 2015, starring in two primetime series. Nash earned an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Didi Ortley on the HBO comedy GETTING ON. This was such a well deserved nomination, as Nash has incredible comedic timing and her line delivery is spot on every time. But more impressive is what she’s able to convert without uttering a word. Her face can convey empathy, disgust, annoyance and joy effortlessly. Now in its third and final season, GETTING ON is wrapping up Didi’s story but hopefully HBO will be back in business with Niecy Nash soon.
While her performance as Didi is quite and internalized, the FOX dramedy SCREAM QUEENS gives Nash the opportunity to show up and show out as Denise Hemphill, a security guard determined to catch the serial killer terrorizing a college sorority. I suspect Denise has a tie to one of the sorority girls that will be revealed during the final five episodes. Nash gives an over-the-top comedic performance that has me howling in every week. Again, her line delivery is brilliant and I can’t imagine anyone else in the role.
GETTING ON and SCREAM QUEENS gives Niecy Nash an opportunity to showcase herself as a brilliant actress. If Hollywood is smart she’ll get more high profile feature film roles as well.
SCREAM QUEENS is an anthology series so if FOX renews the series for season two, I hope Ryan Murphy has Nash on his short list of actresses to be featured in the new season. If the television academy is smart Ms. Nash will be a multiple Emmy nominee next year.
Check out Niecy Nash in GETTING ON and SCREAM QUEENS below.