Bob’s been working a number of evening shifts lately, so I try to stay up past midnight to welcome him home. It’s also a self-serving move, since many times if I fall asleep, I have trouble getting back to sleep once he wakes me. Reading would definitely put me to sleep, so naturally, this is when Netflix comes in handy – I’m a serial, binge watcher. I’m all caught up on House of Cards, and believe me I didn’t see that end coming. Now I was ready for something new. And this new Tina Fey number delivered, ear worm and all. http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/03/unbreakable-kimmy-schmidt-theme-song
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is like cotton candy in your mouth; it’s sweetly cloying and gone in a New York minute. The episodes are short and were originally developed to fill a half hour TV slot. The idea is some women are kidnapped by a crazy, end-of-days preacher and kept in a bunker for 15 years; but we start with their ascension into sunlight, prairie women garb and all; oh, and that song. Leave it to Fey to make this funny. Because Kimmy was in 8th grade when she was taken, her world is stuck in the 80s. With Manhattan as a backdrop, and filmed in vivid, sunlight-soaked primary colors, she finds work as a nanny (sort of) and a Black/Gay room mate. It’s as if Sleeping Beauty woke up to Hammer time.
Kimmy’s vision of the good life has exactly that vibe: she wants to enjoy what she’s missed out on. Roaming around New York, she binges on candy, like a crazed toddler. She buys sparkly sneakers. Peppy and curious to the point of naïveté, she acts as if she’d learned about life from sitcoms—she gets into a love triangle, she goes back to school, she’s eager for every party. But there’s also something tense and over-chipper about Kimmy’s zest, an artificial quality that even the cartoonish characters around her can sense is “off.” Yes, there was “weird sex stuff” in the bunker, she blurts out to her roommate. She has an unexplained Velcro phobia. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/03/30/candy-girl
I’m reminded once again about the nature/nurture question. Think about Elizabeth Smart, how she managed to overcome nine months of unbearable”…boredom, hunger and rape.” Also at the hands of a would-be “prophet.” What might break some, actually forges a stronger identity in others. Because at the heart of Kimmy’s pop/yet/dark dramedy, lurking on the margin, is sexual violence and religious fruit cakes.
Let it be known, in my small way, I’d like to continue to fly over Indiana. “Religious freedom” to my mind means don’t layer your religious beliefs into our public policy. Keep them hidden, in a bunker maybe.