Between the end of the teaching semester and a much needed two week vacation, I didn’t have a chance to keep up with Netflix’s new releases, in spite of the fact that the network unloaded new seasons of several shows I love and will be watching in the days and weeks to come. It says a lot about my love for the series that when faced with which show to start with, I chose to begin with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt over Tales by Light, Master of None, Sense8, and House of Cards. Clearly I have priorities. I really love the show, and it is one of the first things I reviewed when I began this blog more than two years ago (find here my reviews of season 1 and season 2). It’s for sure a reliable happy place for me, which has not yet been ruined like Kimmy’s was last season.
The third season of the show begins to show some growing pains – not absolutely, but definitely in regards to certain characters. I increasingly found Kimmy this season to be a bit grating, if not annoying. After all this time she should be a little less simple or impressionably, because after all this time living in New York City, her street smarts should have kicked in a bit more. Instead, having finished high school, she contemplates going to college, and yet finds herself considering less than accredited or even real institutions. She was in a bunker, she wasn’t lobotomized, for goodness sake. Also Jacqueline is struggling in her post-divorce life. Her sights are still set on redeeming herself and her Native American heritage by zeroing in on the Washington Redskins, but aside from this she doesn’t have much of a role in the new season (and a Real Housewives joke comes three years too late). Thankfully the writers have abandoned the idiotic Robert Durst storyline, giving Lillian a little more to do politically and romantically this time around.
Speaking of Robert Durst, it’s becoming very clear what the writers have consumed from a pop-culture perspective prior to penning each season because it finds its way into the narrative. If last year The Jinx was on everyone’s mind, then clearly this year it was the summer Olympics (a year late to be really topical or funny), and Beyonce’s Lemonade. [I still have absolutely no idea what the robots are all about or what they have to do with anything, the running gag is way over my head.]
The character with the most growth and complexity this season is Titus. His lines are hilarious, he is trying to better himself while also acknowledging that he will fail and is bound to make mistakes in the process. His take on Lemonade is absolutely hilarious, because pretty much anything he does is funny as hell. I always like to write down the lines that make me laugh out loud (see below), and this season it was almost exclusively Titus who made me laugh. He also ceases to be a supporting character and emerges as a main one, if not the star of this season, and I was all too willing to welcome and champion this choice.
One big issue with this show, though, is the casting. Sometimes when certain people work together repeatedly in Hollywood it’s lightning in a bottle, pure magic! Other times it’s the friends version of nepotism. This is one of those shows that abuses friendship and imposes it on its viewers. Clearly Tina Fey loves her 30 Rock cast and her coworkers on SNL, but shoving them in weird roles for no reason is not fun and definitely is nonsensical. I adore her, but Maya Rudolph as a boozy and baby corn eating Dionne Warwick made absolutely no sense. Why does Chris Parnell still have a career? And apparently Rachel Dratch playing both sides of a lesbian couple is supposed to be funny, but for the life of me I cannot understand why… (I haven’t even mentioned cameos by Fred Armisen, Judah Friedlander, Kenan Thompson, and other 30 Rock cast members I recognized but don’t know the names of.) Even great actors are not used really all that effectively. The amazing Laura Dern is miscast, and Ray Liotta is pigeonholed, and Daveed Diggs cannot act, the only guest actor that gets to have any fun is Josh Charles, who lights up the screen.
Overall I’m still very glad this show exists and it does bring laughs, but I must say that my feelings from season 2 are still holding strong. The absolute magic that season 1 showcased has been dulled – it seems like the writers and creators get in their own way a bit. Too many times there is a penchant for non sequiturs: the live action version of a Family Guy episode, and the show is worse because of it. I wish the show runners would rewatch their first season and course correct a bit more, if there is an additional season, because a lot of what works in this show still does, it just needs some fine tuning and attention, because the show can be superior, with just a little more love!
PERSONAL FAVORITE QUOTES OF SEASON 3:
- “Look, Kimmy, I’m not your enemy!” -Richard Wayne Gary Wayne
“Are too!” -Kimmy
- “You fall asleep, dream you’re french kissing Ryan Seacrest, then you wake up and it’s two rats fighting over a hard boiled egg in your mouth.” -Titus
- “I thought burpees were just baby burps, which is something I’m very ::burp:: good at!” -Titus
- “I told myself I would do anything to get this gig because I was doing it for love, and I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that!” -Titus
“Meat Loaf, man!” -Lonny
“Maybe when I’m done, thank you.” -Titus
- “Are you sure the other guy was gay?” -Kimmy
“Everybody’s gay, Kimmy, it’s the nineties!” -Titus
- “I came by your house last night after I turned down a three way with a puppet -you’re welcome- only to find you laughing with some boy like two white ladies looking at a salad!” -Titus
- If I’m gonna be white, don’t make me be Irish. That’s the worst one.” -Titus
- “D’Fwan! D’Fwhy? D’Fwhere did we go wrong?” -Titus
- “My sexual compass is all a-twirly-girly. He’s not even my type!” -Titus
- “Oh, don’t worry honey, Sean Penn isn’t real. They just made him up to scare kids.” -Lillian
- “Oh my gosh! Usually you say you didn’t eat something, but you did, like that soap I got.” -Kimmy
“It looked like a shell!” -Titus
“How does that make it more edible?” -Artie
“Shells can be pasta!” -Titus
- “Have a nice life!” -Kimmy
“You know I don’t!” -Titus
- “I’ll take you to church tonight. It’s Good Friday!” -Titus
“NICE! What’s Good Friday?” -Kimmy
“It’s the day Jesus got nailed to a cross to slowly suffocate. And also they stabbed him and made him drink vinegar and laughed at him.” -Titus
“How is that good?” -Kimmy
“I think it was meant to be sarcastic. Remember, his people were Jewish!” -Titus
- “WHITE LADY! WHITE LADY!” -Teddy Ruxpin
- “Wait! A lady reverend? Women really can be anything… except for president or late night host!” -Kimmy
- “That woman is like Domino’s Pizza: hot but terrible!” -Lillian
- “Hey! How was the big date?” -Kimmy
“Meh… After the movie he suggested walking, which would be exciting if I were a baby or a mermaid. But I’m neither.” -Titus