TV REVIEW: UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT – SEASON 3

kimmy season 3.jpgA woman is rescued from a doomsday cult and starts life over again in New York City.

Creators: Robert Carlock, Tina Fey
Stars: Ellie Kemper, Jane Krakowski, Tituss Burgess

Review by Mary Cox

Tina Fey’s award-winning Netflix Original series is back with a brand new season. The dialog is just as tight and consistent as it has been in the past, and Kimmy’s life is just as kooky and her friends are just as goofy as they were before, but that’s kind of the problem: Kimmy Schmidt isn’t bringing anything new to the table, and what it is serving up isn’t that appetizing.

Titus, who normally acts as a supporting character in the series, has some moments in this season where you initially think he’s going to be forced to grow as a person and to make hard choices. After fleeing from his cruise ship job, he returns to New York where he makes a difficult decision about his relationship with Mikey. However, Titus’ mission to be more responsible with his relationships is absolutely ruined by his actions at the end of the episode “Kimmy Bites an Onion.”

Titus’ plot arc encapsulates my major beef with Season 3 of Kimmy Schmidt: nobody grows, nothing changes, and at the end of the day, nothing that happens this season really matters. It feels like the writers are hesitant to encourage growth or development with these characters, because there’s this ongoing futility of Kimmy’s actions that overshadows the entire season.

Kimmy’s struggle to seek higher education is pointless, as an obnoxious Hand of God moment at the very end of the last episode gives Kimmy a plum position at a tech firm. It’s unsatisfying because Kimmy has done absolutely nothing to earn this position. Jaqueline’s plot to rename the Washington Redskins resolves much too early in the season, and the fallout after Russ is accepted back into his family is profoundly unsatisfying.

While this series has previously addressed social issues, this season puts more effort into making a platform where bigger topics can be discussed. However, the way these topics are discussed is sometimes a little questionable. Lillian’s fight to represent East Dogmouth comes off as weirdly pro-gentrification in it’s framing and delivery. Xanthippe’s Columbia adventures seem to defend the idea that privilege is something that we should be entitled to abuse, and that the idea of sexual consent is laughable. Fey’s depiction of Millennial feminists is drastically out-of-touch at best, and actually insulting at worst.

Also, this season tends to sweep Kimmy’s emotional issues under the rug in favor of highlighting the shenanigans of her sidekicks. Kimmy Schmidt has the unique position of being a show that prominently features a female character who is a survivor of serious trauma and abuse. In Season 2, the series explored Kimmy’s PTSD in a way that felt honest and real, but Season 3 puts Kimmy’s trauma in the backseat and barely even acknowledges her past.

Ultimately, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is still an entertaining series, but there’s some love lost in this new season. Hopefully Fey can pull things around by the premiere of Season 4.

******

“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”

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Happy Birthday: Tina Fey

tinafey.jpgHappy Birthday actor Tina Fey

Born: Elizabeth Stamatina Fey
May 18, 1970 in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, USA

Married: Jeff Richmond (3 June 2001 – present) (2 children)

Read reviews of the best of the actor:

Mean GirlsMean Girls
2004
dir. by Mark Waters
starring
Lindsay Lohan
Fey
Rachel McAdams

Date Night Movie PosterDate Night
dir. Shawn Levy
Stars
Steve Carell
Fey

Baby Moma
2008
Directed by Michael McCullers
Starring
Fey
Amy Poehler
THE INVENTION OF LYING Movie PosterThe Invention of Lying
2009
dir. Ricky Gervais
Matthew Robinson
Starring
Jennifer Garner

MEGAMINDMEGAMIND
dir. Tom McGrath
Stars:
Will Ferrell
Jonah Hill

MOVIE POSTERADMISSION
2013
dir. Paul Weitz
Stars:
Tina Fey
Paul Rudd

MOVIE POSTERMAN OF THE YEAR
2006
dir. Barry Levinson
Stars:
Robin Williams
Laura Linney

MOVIE POSTERMUPPETS MOST WANTED
2014
dir. James Bobin

Stars:
Tina Fey
Ricky Gervais

Movie Review: WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT (USA 2016) ***

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

whiskeytangofoxtrotbaWHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT (USA 2016) ***
Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa

Starring: Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, Alfred Molina

Review by Gilber Seah

WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT is the military communications term for WTF which stands for….what everyone is familiar with. The title sounds more appropriate than the lengthy title of the memoir called The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan written by Kim Baker about her own experiences as an overseas reporter.

The film charts Baker’s life story while reporting in various cities in Afghanistan. She leaves boyfriend Chris (Josh Charles) to fend for himself as she leaves for an initial 3 months. She befriend the only other female journalist on arrival, Tanya (Margot Robbie). As Baker learns the ropes and gets her reporting done, she learns much about the state of Afghanistan, though these tend to be feminine biased. She falls for a fellow reporter, Scotsman Iain (Martin Freeman). She learns a few painful life lessons as well. All this seriousness is however, conveyed through in a humorous manner.

The film is directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa who did an ok job also with I LOVE YOU, PHILLIP MORRIS.

An outright flaw is the film’s preachiness on women’s issues. One can understand where this is coming from as the film is produced and performed by Tina Fey based on a female’s novel. But one would have expected the all male scriptwriter and directing trio to at least moderate some of the material. The romance overshadows what is going on to the point that the film almost turns out into another annoying Hollywood romantic comedy. The lady saves her lover at all costs with her ingenuity? It is really hard to take in as fact what she did in the film to save Iain. Also, the film praises many feminist issues like the right of afghan women to gossip and socialize at the well, their right to ensure foreigners cover their heads and not hold hands (two scenes has the Fey character admonished for those two ‘sins’) and the women’s roles are much strongly written than the males. The men exist to service the purpose of the female characters. There is the alpha male security of Baker, a hunky no-brain ready to have sex with her at her command. Her main love interest Iain is always there to beckon her ever wish and woos her to no end. And at the social gatherings, the men never have anything important to say. The chief male, General Hollanek is depicted as an egoistic goat who succumbs to Baker’s plans while the Afghan chief of the Interior Ali Massoud Sadiq (Alfred Molina) does more of the same.

The female audience may be delighted however at the Afghan war being looked at from a different perspective. Also, the war with all its horrors is depicted as just that, though doused with quite the bit of humour. One can always be reminded that this is an SNL film – if such a thing exists – produced by Lorne Michaels (SNL) and Fey.

In one segment of the film, Baker is asked the reason she went to Afghanistan. Her answer that she realized that day in and day out she has moved backwards in life as metaphorically observed in her stationary bike that moved backwards after constant use and that she should move forward, one can only wish that the directors’ reason for making this movie also could have achieved this same goal. WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT could have been better, but as the title implies WTF, it leads nowhere. WTF?

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

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