The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Subversive or Reinforcing Oppressive Norms? (Sneak Peek)

(SPOILERS) Tina Fey’s new Netflix original, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, was definitely an interesting show to binge-watch. Kimmy’s character, kidnapped as a middle-schooler and forced into an “Apocalypse Now” cult, moves to New York City on her own. The show frequently and humorously mocks cat-calling, racial stereotypes, homophobia, xenophobia (among other things). While it was refreshing to see a female protagonist confronting a terrible abuse in a healthy, realistic, empowered way, many viewers are still left questioning the show’s politics. The show does well in one episode, making jokes that a black, gay character, Titus, is treated with more respect and friendliness dressed as a werewolf than he is when walking the streets normally. But there are also several racial jokes and subplots that happen so frequently and strangely that they no longer feel ironic – it just feels racist.

 Is the show ground-breaking or inappropriate? Tune in next week for a lengthy reflection! Share your thoughts!


2 thoughts on “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Subversive or Reinforcing Oppressive Norms? (Sneak Peek)

  1. I think that first gif – taken out of content – looks a lot worse than what actually happens. That scene goes in a really unexpected, transformative direction. When he hits his moment of self-awareness due to Kimmy’s innocent response, it’s a hilarious and well-written reversal of the cat-calling construction worker trope.

    In general, I think this show is fantastic. Kimmy is put into a position where people are telling her to her face that she is a victim, and while the other women who were in her situation are happy to take the label, Kimmy refuses to let herself be defined by her trauma. She is scarred from what she endures, but she doesn’t let it stop her from pursuing her dreams. In the end, she really is unbreakable, and she could easily become a symbol of conquering victimhood rather than allowing it to become your new identity.


  2. Pingback: PHAWKER.COM – Curated News, Gossip, Concert Reviews, Fearless Political Commentary, Interviews….Plus, the Usual Sex, Drugs and Rock n' Roll » Blog Archive » Is Tina Fey’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Racist?

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