Ellie Kemper (left) and Jane Krakowski in 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'
Created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, this series feels a lot like 30 Rock. It has a lot of the same sensibilities. All the characters are wonderful and hilarious. The writing is witty and sharp. The direction is superb. The acting is spot on. I have fallen in love with the entire cast and everything they do and say. I fell in love by the first episode and stayed in love all the way through to the end. I even loved the opening theme song, which is stuck in my head.
Ellie Kemper stars as Kimmy Schmidt, a young girl from Indiana who is one of four women who get pulled into a cult run by a man who keeps them imprisoned in an underground bunker. She and the other three women are rescued and are labeled "mole women." After a media blitz in New York City, Kimmy is the only one of the four who decides to stay in the Big Apple and try to make a life there.
Jane Krakowski co-stars as Jacqueline Voorhees, a wealthy, vapid woman who comes to employ Kimmy in a myriad of ways. Tituss Burgess plays Titus, an aspiring Broadway star who is a talented high tenor but who works lame jobs like a costumed character in Times Square or a costumed character in a themed restaurant. Carol Kane plays Lillian, the crazy but lovable landlord who gives Kimmy a place to live. Dylan Gelula plays Xanthippe, the stepdaughter of Jacqueline who hates Kimmy and will do anything to get rid of her.
There's a wealth of guest stars who add tremendously to the show. Martin Short, Jon Hamm, Richard Kind, Dean Norris, Amy Sedaris, Nick Kroll, recent Tony Award-winner James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin) and even Tina Fey herself are like cherries on top of a very delicious sundae. Besides these stars, the show employs non-famous or relatively, unknown and rising stars in amazing fashion.
The three actresses who play the other "mole women" are fantastic. Those mole women are Cyndee, played by Sara Chase, Gretchen, played by Lauren Adams, and Donna Marie, played by Sol Miranda. Cyndee is the most well-adjusted to life after the bunker. Gretchen is the one most-wanting to return to life in the bunker, and Donna Marie is and has always been the most indifferent.
Kimmy's family are the sprinkles, if I am to continue the ice cream sundae analogy. Randy, played by Tim Blake Nelson, is Kimmy's father, a cop who has a knack for losing things. Kymmi, played by Kiernan Shipka, is Kimmy's half-sister who is tired of living in her sister's shadow.
The various love interests who rotate in and out of the women's lives are awesome as well. There's Andrew Ridings who plays Charles, the male nanny and video game-playing dude. There's Brandon Jones who plays Brandon, the secretly gay dude. There's Adam Campbell who plays Logan, the British and spoiled rich dude, and there's Ki Hong Lee who plays Dong, the Vietnamese immigrant dude. They're all funny and engaging. In the case of Dong, it might be stereotypically offensive, but still Ki Hong Lee is good.
Episode after episode just had me laughing so much. From the one-liners to the visual gags, this show just is hit after hit. Because Kimmy was imprisoned for 15 years, her only frame of reference is from the 90's. It's a conceit employed by Empire with Taraji P. Henson's character of Cookie and General Hospital with Michelle Stafford's character of Nina, but it's great when Kimmy quotes Moesha for example.
Five Stars out of Five. Rated TV-14. Running Time: 24 mins. / 13 eps. Available on Netflix Watch Instant.