Through rip-snorting sarcasm, well-intentioned cynicism, and multi-layered allusions even Liz Lemon could miss, Tina Fey outdoes herself with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, making hard-hitting arguments by doing what she does best: satirizing everything from the quirks of society, newsfeed-dominating issues on the media (“a plural noun”) to pop culture and era-defining television clichés.
If I ever join a cult, best believe that my leader is Tina Fey since I am already practically part of one with an army of real-life Lemons across the globe. As it just so happens, Tina’s crew for UKS is almost entirely the same as 30 Rock’s. The Result: at times, you are 15 again and watching MTV in your room, and then suddenly you are in a world where Liz Lemon exists, KS is her new show after TGS with Tracy Jordan, and your customer service experience is defined by employees like LaDonica who doesn’t want to hear your life story.
With very few noticeable flaws and a buttload of fast-paced, clever gags–both subtle and loud but often easy to miss—, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is now a Netflix classic and can only be described as a nostalgia-inducing pop extravaganza. And come May 19, there will be 13 brand-new episodes to binge and dissect, and based on the teaser, we will also find out Titus’ answer to Beyoncé’s profound Lemonade quandary: “What’s worse? Looking jealous or crazy?”
15. Swifty Gets Roasted in “Hell”
“You know, there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women,” Titus reminds Kimmy in Season 2. As astute as the reminder, the line’s backstory is an ingenious and juicy clapback to a “borrowed” diss. At the 2013 Golden Globes where Tina congratulated her bestie’s well-deserved win by saying “I love you, and there’s a special place in hell for you,” they also masterfully took aim at Taylor Swift’s serial dating problem and warned her to “stay away from Michael J. Fox’s son.” Swift’s only response to the gag after the Globes, who often uses her platform to speak out against gender inequality reports no one EVER, was quoting Katie Couric (also Fey, again) to Vanity Fair: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”
If there were an actual page with the names of all the women in the entertainment industry who do nothing to empower their gender and advocate for equal rights, it would be far from blank, so I would like to get a petition going to pressure Tina Fey and Amy Poehler into taking on more projects? Anyone?
14. The Reverend Is a MAD Man
In Season 2, to convince her follower-at-heart former bunker buddy, Gretchen, that the only cult and belief system she needs is herself, Kimmy reminds her that the Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne was “a psycho liar who claimed he came up with the ‘I’d like to buy the world a Coke’ commercial.” Jon Hamm’s character Don Draper on Mad Men was the ad genius behind that campaign in the series finale. The reverend also calls himself Dick for the first time on the phone with Kimmy in the finale of the second season, and guess what Don Draper’s real name is? Dick Whitman. Kenneth’s insane reverend’s name on 30 Rock was ALSO Gary, by the way.
Bonus: “Hiya, Kimmy! It’s Cyndee Pokorny! We put a mad man in jail together?”
13. Unbreakable Central Perk
Despite Lisa Kudrow’s cameo, Unbreakable KS is riddled with Friends references, especially about Chandler. Some are sweet one-liners suitable for everyday life, like “Great Chandler’s ghost!” Whereas, others are used as teaching tools: “The internet sounds like Chandler.” Kimmy’s response to the revelation of Titus’ past life as a Geisha in Season 2 with “if Aisha Tyler can play a white woman on Friends, then I guess it’s okay,” even pointedly and hilariously serves as a scathing commentary on white Hollywood’s oblivion.
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