TV Review: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Season 4, Part 1)
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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has returned for the first half of its fourth season, giving us six episodes instead of the usual 13. In a new move for the show, the fourth season will be made available in two parts this year rather than all in one. Whilst the show usually combines zany comedy and dealing with social issues quite well, for me, it felt like it was a little heavy-handed in this first part of Kimmy Schmidt's fourth season and rather than the comedy being zany and cute, it just felt kind of awkward. The season starts off digging heavily into the #MeToo movement, which is fair enough - it's been a massive part of the news cycle for the past year or so, and since Kimmy is a survivor of abuse, it makes sense that the show would want to tackle this. In the first episode, I thought this was handled pretty well; Kimmy is now working as head of HR at the tech start-up she got a job at in the last season finale, and when she has to fire a colleague, she acts in a typically Kimmy way, and tries to lighten the situation by dropping her trousers. This ends up with her being called out for sexual harrassment. Although the show is a little heavy handed in trying to reframe all of Kimmy's overly exuberant actions as harrassment, it is an interesting piece of character development, to have a character who has been abused have to face up to the fact that she may have unintentionally made people feel uncomfortable with her overly friendly approach. However, as we go through the season, the #MeToo conversations become increasingly heavy-handed and don't land quite as well as I would have hoped. For instance, in the fifth episode, in an elementary school production of Beauty and The Beast, Kimmy takes to the stage to talk about the problems with fairytales and consent - again fair enough, these are things that need to be talked about - but it just came across as very obtuse and not at all nuanced to me.
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