Monday, November 24, 2014

Unbreakable

There's a lot to pick apart about this news item concerning a new television series.

First off, this piece is about a comedy series called Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, about a young girl who escapes a doomsday cult. Here's what you need to know:
  • It was created by Tina Fey
  • It stars Erin the secretary from The Office
  • It is going to Netflix. 
Okay, maybe that's not a mix for instant comedy gold, but those ingredients have all been used before with excellent results, so the outlook is hopeful.

Setting aside the talent pool (it also includes Carol Kane and some other solid character actors), the real news, I guess, is the move to Netflix after NBC had it. (It's telling that NBC let it go because it didn't fit in their "drama-heavy" schedule, which is not normally a good thing; having a decent mix of all sorts of programming is ideal. It's particularly notable since NBC's bread-and-butter has always been comedies; a who's who of the best comedies of the last 30 years is overwhelmingly from the peacock network.) Netflix isn't perfect, but it's becoming an increasingly legitimate avenue for content. Setting aside the unusual format (all episodes of a season drop at once), it also gives new series a chance to breathe. Had Unbreakable had its debut on network TV, there's a pretty good chance that if it didn't find an audience in, like, three episodes, it was as good as dead. Via Netflix, they're guaranteed to have a specific number of shows in the bag.

Still, there's a chance that Unbreakable won't click. It does seem pretty gimmicky, and I'm not sure exactly how much humor they can wring out of that premise. Some of the cast are from things I don't care for, and sometimes throwing a bunch of good talent together ends up just being an unfocused mess. Still, it's an ambitious and promising projects, so we shall see.

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