Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TV Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Charming, quirky, hilarious comedy has rich characters.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 42 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Kimmy's experiences suggest that positivity and determination can triumph over any adversity, but the show takes a lighthearted tone with serious issues such as abduction and victimization to push its comedy. Racial comedy and some stereotyping. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Kimmy is the ultimate optimist, looking past the darkness of her past to a brighter future. She demonstrates integrity, perseverance, and gratitude. She also brings out the best in other people and inspires optimism in them. There's substance to every character, often belying first impressions.  

Violence
Sex

References to sexual fetishes (a man says he has sex with the costumes in his store, for instance), orgies, sluts, and MILFs. Teens discuss having sex with older men.

Language

"Bitch," "jackass," "hell," "dammit," and "damn." "F--k" is edited. Kimmy uses sound-alike words such as "fudgin'."   

Consumerism

Cultural references to '90s TV, music, and products include American Girl dolls, Moesha, and Michael Jackson

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink socially and at bars. In at least one scene, underage drinking leads one teen to get drunk and sick.  

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a Netflix comedy series from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, who previously collaborated on 30 Rock. As the story goes, the main character and three other women are rescued from an underground bunker after 15 years as captives of a cult leader who told them that the world had ended. It's a serious issue (and unapologetically reminiscent of some real-life kidnapping stories) but also serves as a lead-in for many jokes about Kimmy's naïveté and relative unworldliness as she bravely negotiates current-day New York City with nothing but a purple JanSport backpack to her name. There's some language ("bitch" and "damn"; and "f--k" is edited) and sexual content (mostly conversational, referring to fetishes, orgies, and slang such as "MILF") to watch for if your teens want to tune in, but there's also a very strong cast of women who show depth of character, self-reliance, and a lot of heart. 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byEric C. June 2, 2018

This definitely should NOT be rated as “great for families”

To me, “great for families” should mean it’s something parents and children would enjoy watching together, and this is a terrible, terrible choice for families.... Continue reading
Adult Written bykale d. May 24, 2018
This show is hilarious, but does touch on some dark subjects, such as Kimmy's abuse in the bunker. Her roommate, Titus, is a bit of a stereotypical gay guy... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bypandalover317 June 14, 2017

It's a great TV show, but it has some mature content.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a funny TV show, and it relates to real life problems. I think kids and teens are able to watch it, and there are very few parts th... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byChocolate Princess July 25, 2016

Tina Fey strikes again

It's a really funny show with great characters. The only reason I didn't say it's for younger kids is because there are a lot of suggestive jokes... Continue reading

What's the story?

UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT stars Ellie Kemper as the titular character, one of four women liberated from an underground bunker after 15 years under the thumb of doomsday cult leader Richard Wayne Gary Wayne. After making the rounds of morning news shows with her fellow survivors, Kimmy sets out to start a new life in New York City, unimpeded by her notoriety as one of the "Indiana Mole Women" and total lack of resources. In record time, she lands a job as a nanny for the entitled son and stepdaughter of narcissistic socialite Jacqueline (Jane Krakowski) and finds an apartment, complete with an eccentric landlady named Lillian (Carol Kane) and a larger-than-life gay roommate named Titus (Tituss Burgess), who's unemployed but has Broadway-size dreams. A lot has changed about the world in the 15 years Kimmy's missed, but she's not about to let that or her middle school education stand in the way of fulfilling her dreams. 

Is it any good?

Created by the 30 Rock team of Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, this is an absolutely quirky -- and positively delightful -- comedy series. Kemper nails the delivery of the youthfully naïve but inherently philosophical Kimmy, who always winds up helping those around her when she's just trying to figure things out for herself. And speaking of figuring things out, the abundance of conundrums waiting to trip up a Midwest girl who is in many ways still stuck in her middle school self yields almost as many laugh-out-loud moments in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt as does the riotous relationship between Kimmy and her upper-crust boss, played skillfully by Krakowski. Kane and Burgess' antagonistic but loving friendship also is a joy to watch.

What's really striking about this fish-out-of-water series is its unpredictability, particularly in the case of the substantial characters. They don't fit neatly into packages, as there's always some factor lying just below the surface ready to spring up and alter your impression of them. They have rich personalities and mutually rewarding relationships, and in his or her own way each illustrates the show's recurring theme of resilience and determination. As Kimmy doggedly keeps looking on the bright side of life, her cheery outlook will make you a fan.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about coping with adversity. Is Kimmy's response to her predicament believable in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt? To what does she owe her unfailingly sunny disposition? What challenges have your teens had to overcome? Are they stronger for the experience?

  • Are the female characters in this show remarkable for positive reasons? Could any be considered relatable role models? If so, why? In general, how are women cast in comedy series and movies?  

  • Teens: Have you ever felt out of place in a social setting? Is it difficult to step out of your comfort zone? What can you do to relate to people who are very different from you? How do our life experiences shape us? 

  • How do the characters in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt demonstrate integrity, perseverance, and gratitude? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Character Strengths

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