[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen producing a TV show, the creators need a top-notch actor in order to carry the program. Some shows, such as “The Walking Dead,” can get by with just plot, but a poor casting choice can bring a show down. This is the case for the new Netflix series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” because if star Ellie Kemper was not cast in the lead role, this dark and extremely hilarious show would not work.
Created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, Kemper stars as the title character, a woman who spent the last 15 years of her life living in a bunker as part of an apocalypse cult. She and the other members of the cult are found and try to restart their lives, with Kimmy traveling to New York to start anew. If you think about it, this is a very dark and disturbing premise for a television show, but Fey and Carlock don’t linger specifically on this topic. The show concentrates more on Kemper’s character adjusting to life on the outside and the crazy hijinks that ensue.
Kemper, who previously starred on “The Office,” has a natural charm and bubbly attitude and the show is an exhibition of her talents. You just cannot help smiling at her giddy personality and her can-do attitude translates well to Fey and Carlocks’ absurdist sensibilities of the show. Kemper is the rock of the show, but other member of the cast, including Tituss Burges as Kimmy’s roommate and Jane Krakowski as Kimmy’s employer, are equally as talented in bringing the writer’s wacky attitude to the screen.
Netflix has been a powerhouse in terms of original programming lately, but the show was originally supposed to premiere on NBC. The peacock network believed the show as a bit too quirky, believe me it is, and decided to sell the show to Netflix. It’s a shame they decided to go this route as this has to be one of the most funny and ridiculous shows that has come around in recent memory. There are some hiccups along the way, but no show is going to figure itself out right away. But the fact that it knows what it is and has Kemper as the star means that things are going to be OK. So break out of the norm and watch “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”
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