Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is back and better than ever
Sex and the City has sometimes been described as a Manhattan version of The Golden Girls, but Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt seems to better fit the bill. The Golden Girls was about a marginalized group of women (age 65+), and UKS season two also captures this theme well.
Each character is on the peripheral in some way. Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) is the kidnapping victim who’s had her 15 minutes of fame. Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess) is a gay, African American actor struggling to find work and purpose. Jacqueline Voorhees/Ms. White (Jane Krakowski) is a middle-age divorcee trying to find independence. Lillian (Carol Kane) is the 60-something wise-cracking landlord fighting gentrification in her neighborhood. When looking at the diverse extended cast, with both age and race, this show truly is a miracle! In an age when Maggie Gyllenhaal is being told she’s too old to be the love interest for 50-something actors and Marisa Tomei is playing Spider-Man’s Aunt May.
Tina Fey and Robert Carlock received flack last year for the way they addressed Native American culture (white Krakowski plays a Native American), and in season two, they don’t backpedal on this subject. The first episode picks up with Jacqueline living with her Native American family again, singing corn-crop songs that are actually annoying “white idiot” wedding anthems (“The Electric Slide”). And in episode three titled “Kimmy Goes to a Play,” Titus Andromedon portrays a geisha he lived in a past life and disrupts the Asian and Hindu cultures in his neighborhood (“They drew a Michael Jordan mustache on me! Why?!?”).
The show straddles the line between politically incorrect and correct in a thoughtful, good-intentioned way. Titus ends up winning over the Asian and Hindu communities with his one-man show through his stunning voice and moving portrayal of Murasaki (“What do we do now that we’re not offended?”).
Looks like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and its creators are just as strong as hell in season two as they were in season one.