View Post

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 3

Home, Review, Television, This Week Leave a Comment

And thus we return to marathon another year of adventures with Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper), indefatigably upbeat cult survivor, as she navigates life in New York City with her messed-up family of choice, gay roommate Titus Andromedon (Titus Burgess); gold-digging divorcee, Jacqueline White (30 Rock veteran Jane Krakowski); and whatever the hell you want to call Lillian (the great Carol Kane).

The narrative pattern is set now, with the action taking place in the kind of surreal parallel world creator Tina Fey workshopped in the the sitcom 30 Rock, while our heroine’s formative years in the bunker with Reverend Wayne Gary Wayne (the ever-game Jon Hmm) and the other wives take her a step beyond what we might call the “normal” level of strangeness. The basic story pattern of Kimmy endeavoring to do something normal and kind of failing successfully is all present and correct, with the focus this time on her going to college.

Meanwhile, the flamboyant Titus frets over his relationship with the sweet, working class Mikey (Mike Carlsen) and continues to fruitlessly pursue fame and glamour; Jacqueline pursues her crusade to get the Redskins football team to change their name; and Lillian campaigns to keep their DMZ of a neighbourhood as historically crappy as it’s always been. Meanwhile, the Rev wants to remarry, sending his prospective bride (Laura Dern) to get Kimmy to sign divorce papers (Dern is only one of the usual cavalcade of guest stars; Fred Armisen, Amy Sedaris, and David Cross also recur, and the rest you’re better off discovering on your own).

It is, of course, a blast. The jokes-per-minute ratio is dependably high, the cast is up for anything, and even the more jaded viewers will be occasionally caught flat-footed by some bizarre non sequitur or detail. Of course, we’re heading into the midlife of the series now, and it’s about here that longtime viewers start to wonder what the endgame might be, but as long as the journey’s as enjoyable as this, that’s a question we don’t need to ponder too hard at this stage.

 
View Post

On 13 Reasons Why and Social Responsibility

The world is abuzz with talk of the new Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. However, mental health groups are coming out to warn against the show's subject matter. Australian mental health organisation Headspace went so far as to call it “Dangerous Content”, and continued to say that the show had caused them to receive an influx of calls and emails. But this has many people confused. Many think that a program that shows the raw, emotional and visceral realities of suicide will aid in public understanding of, and outreach to, people living with depression or other mental illnesses. How can this be wrong? Lets start at the beginning...