I wouldn’t call 30 Rock one of the greatest television comedies ever like many would. It had its moments (including a great final season), but it wasn’t like I was especially missing the show in the couple of years since it signed off from the air. So I was quite surprised to not only like Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s newest comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but also come to think of it as the best thing that Netflix (which is where the show airs) has so far offered. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has the same zany comedic energy that 30 Rock and is very much a spiritual successor to that show. It also feels like the show hit the ground running, which 30 Rock didn’t quite do as well. With the potential of this show and the resources of Netflix there is no telling how good Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt can ultimately be.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt follows Kimmy Schmidt (the charming Ellie Kemper) as she moves to New York City in order to escape her past, in which she was held captive by an insane preacher (played wonderfully through a surprise celebrity cameo). She tries to endure city life with her roommate and aspiring Broadway actor Titus (a funny and well-utilized Tituss Burgess) and her insane employer (Jane Krakowski).
If you loved 30 Rock, you will love this show. It’s as simple as that. The insanely cartoony characters, the witty pop culture references, the high paced use of jokes. It’s hard not to think that this show takes place in the same universe as Fey and Carlock’s previous comedy. I ultimately think, though, that this show starts off quite a bit better. The celebrity cameos are much better utilized on this show. Appearances from Martin Short, Tina Fey and others feel like they are playing actual characters rather than playing themselves. It also helps that this show has a handle on its supporting characters from the get go. Titus and Jane Krakowski’s charcter Jacqueline are used just the right amount to make you care about them while never allowing them to seem annoying. It also helps that Ellie Kemper’s Kimmy is more than a good enough replacement for Liz Lemon. She will never be as memorable of a character as Liz Lemon was but it’s only because the character trades in Tina Fey’s quirkiness in for Ellie Kemper’s charm.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is another great comedy to add to a TV season that is already filled with them.