Kimmy goes Back to School, like a “red-headed Rodney Dangerfield.” Our lovable Ms. Schmidt goes to Adult Highschool this episode to get her G.E.D. – or as Chris Rock put it (in his stand-up act), her “Good Enough Diploma.”
As usual, ELLIE KEMPER is incredibly funny as Kimmy. I still think she’s like the female JIM CARREY. Kemper is rubber-faced, adorably ignorant, and charmingly gullible – like Lloyd in DUMB & DUMBER.
Kemper came out of nowhere for me. I’ve seen her in smaller roles before, but nothing indicated her stratospheric comedic talent.
Ellie Kemper is a star waiting to be discovered by all, currently shining bright somewhere out of Earth’s orbit.
The concept behind this episode’s storyline reminds me of movies like DANGEROUS MINDS and STAND & DELIVER. Except in UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT the teacher doesn’t seem to care at all. Instead of teaching, he shows movies on VHS. He even treats his students with a viewing of the Charlie Sheen 80s cult classic MAJOR LEAGUE.
Kimmy befriends one of her fellow students. He introduces himself as, “Dong.” And Kimmy can’t help but chuckle. She says, “My name is Kimmy.” And Dong laughs, saying in his language “Kimmy is another word for penis”. This was a great unexpected joke. I love how the show turns stereotypes around to poke fun at the racist.
Meanwhile, back at home Titus (TITUSS BURGESS) has a hilarious flashback to the 90s.
Kimmy wants to know what highschool was like. 90s Titus has a KID N PLAY hightop haircut. The pop culture references continue with his Dwayne Wayne glasses (in his old head-shot) straight-out of A DIFFERENT WORLD. This was a great sequence from The B-Side storyline.
UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT always offers up a variety of humour, aside from the physical gags in Titus’ flashback we get some great irony. See, Titus was the best football player in school. So as per the cliche the top cheerleader wants to get with the top athlete. It’s funny how Titus complains about the cheerleader offering up her virginity to him. This is his version of how highschool sucks. What a hilarious play on conventions.
This NETFLIX video contains episodic highlights & music video footage from Titus’ song, PEENO NOIR.
The B-Side also follows Titus around New York as he films a music video for his song, “PEENO NOIR”. We see some of his ridiculous video. I’m thinking it was mocking MADONNA’s “Vogue”, especially with the lyrical stylings. Titus’ song is the B-Side highlight – that’s right, flip that 3 1/4″ vinyl.
This sequence is as over-the-top as this series gets (so far). Insanely goofy fun.
Side A… Kimmy still works as a personal assistant for JANE KRAKOWSKI’s elitist housewife. XAN, the teenage daughter, has been poking and prodding Kimmy for background information. She really wants to know her personal history – to use it against her. Xan manipulates her mother, and her friends, so she thinks she can also easily control gullible Kimmy.
However, Kimmy turns the tables on Xan. She overheard the teenager talking to her friends about her relationships and sexual escapades. The names she mentions triggers some memories for Kimmy. She calls Xan out on her lies.
Those names come from one of the few books she had down in her bunker – to read over and over for 15 years. Xan created her lies from a BABYSITTER’S CLUB book.
I love how we get conflict, story, and jokes fired in rapid succession during this scene.
Back to School… Kimmy wants to help her teacher re-discover his desire to instruct his pupils. This is a familiar genre cliché. But the events unfold in an unexpected way. Kimmy doesn’t help turn the guy’s life around. It turns out teach is trying to get fired. He’s never cared about his students.
The best joke from this storyline was when the teacher tries to avoid his responsibilities. Kimmy confronts him to do something tomorrow. He lies with an excuse, “Tomorrow is Martin Luther King’s Birthday.” Kimmy super retorts, “That’s not gonna work the fourth time.”
Every episode of UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT is purely enjoyable.
And it doesn’t lose steam in the upcoming episodes. I’ve watched the first 9 now.
I’m at the point where I don’t want to blaze through them and finish the whole season, because I’ll have no more ELLIE KEMPER to watch.
Stay tuned for the next review. Coming soon…
What do you think? Leave a comment below.