Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead – Documentary

Another suggestion and another review. This documentary was perfect for what I was using it for, background noise. A few days ago I was trying to work on a project for a play I am in, and instead of sitting in the silence, I decided to put this on in the background. While what I said in the second sentence might sound harsh, I think I may have been bored even more by the end of the film had I paid attention the entire time.

The documentary is about a man named Joe Cross who is an overweight man with a lot of health concerns in his life. He has some immune disorder where his body will break out in rashes because the body thinks it is under attack. The example he uses is that when someone gets bit by a mosquito, their skin will swell in that spot, and it is a reaction by the body to help prevent toxins from bite to spread further. For him, his body has this reaction to random touches or scratches.

Anyway, Joe Cross decides to improve his health by going on a juice cleanse where he will fast for sixty days and the only thing he will consume are fruit and vegetable juices. However, he will only be using his own personal juicer, because the fruits and vegetables won’t be as processed or sugary as supermarket juices. Along his journey, he comes across a man named Phil Staples, who is a large truck driver who weighs over 400 pounds. Phil has the same condition as Joe, and he wants to lose weight to get healthier and happier. The first half is primarily focused on Joe losing weight and the second half is more focused on Phil.

One of the (few) good points brought up from the film is that losing weight and trying to be healthier is something that is determined by each individual person. While making his way across America, Joe comes across numerous people that he tells his story to. He’ll ask these people questions about their health and if they would do something like the cleanse or if they are concerned about their weight, and most people he runs into are apathetic and either don’t care about their weight or find themselves too lazy to do anything about it.

Although I wasn’t paying full attention to the movie, I don’t recall the documentary using a lot of statistics or scientific data. I think there might have been some moments here and there, but largely it was focused on this juice cleanse and while it apparently helped alleviate some symptoms and helps people lose weight, the film doesn’t discuss any potentially negative side effects. None of the “professionals” (as far as I remember) discuss much about the fruit cleanse. They will talk about food and the general health of people, but I don’t recall them discussing much of what Joe or Phil are doing.

The movie did focus, minutely, on the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables, but the movie used it to compare to the price of prescription drugs some of the people were on to treat their different illnesses. Over the past year I have seen several documentaries that have touched on health and food, and there is one big issue that Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead missed out on, a lot of unhealthy food can be bought in bulk for cheaper. A lot of whole food or organic stores will provide healthy options, but usually it comes at a higher cost. Bringing up how pricey medication can get was a good idea, but the movie didn’t show all sides of the issue they it should have.

I give this documentary a 4 out of 10. While it was nice to see a healthier alternative for people to lose weight, the movie (as other reviewers have said) seemed more like a two hour long infomercial than it did a documentary. The format of the movie was also a little odd. I understand everything happened chronologically, but the movie seemed like two different segments, because Joe has finished his fasting halfway through the movie and the second half was focused on Phil. It made the documentary seem divided. The biggest fault, in my opinion, was the fact that it really didn’t include many facts. While eating fresh fruits and vegetables can be healthy, it didn’t really tell the viewer on ways to maintain healthy eating habits. A better title would have been Long, Boring, and Nearly Educational.


Garfunkel and Oats – TV Series

This is another suggestion from one of my friends of something to watch. Garfunkel and Oats is a short, eight episode comedy show on Netflix. The series is based on the lives of two 30 somethings, Riki Lindhome (Garfunkel) and Kate Micucci (Oats) and the misadventures they go on together. Each twenty minute episode usually involves them partaking in some sort of shenanigans and an original song by the two comedy singers tends to accompany some theme of that episode.

My general feeling of the show: meh. Don’t get me wrong, the two actresses are pretty good in their roles and I thought their songs were usually catchy and funny. However, the overall feeling I had from the series was that it relied too heavily on “awkward” comedy. As an incredibly awkward person myself, I did enjoy them showing characters embracing their quirkiness, but it was a little too much sometimes. There were a few times where I was cringing instead of laughing because I understood the pain of their awkward encounters.

One of my favorite episodes was the third episode where the duo decide that they are not going to talk to their blind dates and see if the men catch on. Oblivious to the situation, both their dates request a second date where they continue to give them the silent treatment, with (seemingly) continued success for both of them. I liked the episode a lot, because both Riki and Kate focused more on facial/physical expressions and both were hilarious at emoting their discomfort on their respective dates without the usual awkward dialogue.

I didn’t realize until the sixth episode that I had seen some of their music videos before. I knew that the overall premise was that the two characters were YouTube comedians that became successful with their songs, but until a few videos were spliced into a montage in that episode, I hadn’t realized I had seen them before (and that they were actually famous because of their music). Their music videos on the show definitely tended to be the highlight of each episode. Something about the camp and cleverness of the little skits tended to outshine the rest of the episode.

I didn’t like how the show ended. The final song was one of my favorites of the season, but it didn’t really feel like their was much of a pay off at the end of the last episode. Usually, you watch a show and get emotionally invested in the characters, by the end the people will either reach their goal or don’t, and then the audience has a positive or negative reaction to the outcome. The conflict in the last episode was fully wrapped up by the end, but I didn’t really have much of a response to what happened. I felt like they could have expanded on having a better story arc for the entire season. Other characters are introduced, with very few of them reoccurring, and this doesn’t allow Riki and Kate to show much development as characters, because the two of them were already well established as friends and they don’t have much conflict between themselves.

I would give the show a five out of ten. Each episode tended to have a joke here or there that stood out and made me chuckle, but I wasn’t constantly laughing and nothing really stuck in my brain as a funny joke that I’d like to share with other people. Both women are incredibly talented, and they are great in other things I’ve seen them in, but I just didn’t enjoy this show as much as I had hoped. I think if I had been a bigger fan of their comedy before watching the show, I would’ve enjoyed the series more. I’d recommend this show to someone looking for a quick show to watch and/or to people who enjoys quirky songs and awkward humor.

Why I Do What I Do

Warning: A LOT of rambling.

First off, this isn’t my typical type of review. Usually, I will talk about something I’ve seen lately, but I decided to make a personal post instead. I’ve had people from several different countries reading this, and plenty of Americans too, but not a lot of you probably know me. Even those who do know me, might not know some of what I’m about to say. So, here you go.

Currently I am working on a production of Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead at a community theatre in town. If someone would have told me two years after I graduated I would still be at home, living in this small town (granted, it is the third largest in the state, but it still seems small to me) I probably would’ve told them off and said I would be somewhere else doing “bigger and better things”. However, as I’ve been working on this play, it has given me a lot of time to reflect back on my life up until this point.

The title for this post is “Why I Do What I Do” and it is tied into the play I am working on, so I guess I’ll start there. Dog Sees God focuses on a combination of different elements from fear, rejection, love, loss, bullying and identity (among many other topics). The character I am is a teenage version of Schroeder from the Peanuts in this unlicensed parody of the comic strip. He’s an upperclassmen who has faced years of bullying due to being molested by his father several years before the beginning of the play. I am fortunate enough to have never gone through an experience like that, but the bullying is something that resonated deeply with me.

At some point when I was a child, I honestly don’t know when or why, I started getting picked on and bullied. Maybe due to being so naive when I was younger, I never realized the hurtful intent of the people that I was around. One instance I recall from when I was in elementary school was that I was playing with some other kids and they asked if I was gay, and my response was “of course I am! I’m having fun!”. When I was younger, I didn’t realize gay was a term also used to describe homosexual, nor did I realize it was meant to be an insult in that situation. As I started growing up, I slowly began to understand more of the intentions behind the things people said to me, and as the bullying continued, I began to catch on to it more and more. I was lucky enough to have it mostly just be verbal, but the few times it was physical, the harm was never anything too serious.

A lot of the time what I see in fictionalized bullying, more often than not, is that the person being bullied tends to be more isolated or reserved with no friends. This wasn’t really my case growing up (note: I am not trying to discredit anyone who has been bullied in real life and didn’t have any friends, I am just speaking from my experience). I always had a tight knit group of friends. Some were also bullied like I was, but other friends were more popular. One of my biggest issues was that transitioning between each school, I lost a good chunk of my friends but the bullies tended to follow me.

For me, everything changed once I started doing theatre in high school. When I was a freshman, I signed up to be in the drama club, but for some reason I never went. Forward two years, and when they were looking for people to work in the haunted house, I was recruited by a few friends, and from that point on I decided to stick with the club. I had tried a few other clubs over my high school career, but nothing kept me motivated like drama club.

Over the course of my junior year, I ended up discovering a lot about who I was, and I went from being bullied to having a lot of friends and even a bunch of underclassmen who looked up to me. By the end of the year, I had made such an impact that I was even nominated for president (I ended up as treasurer, which was a pain, but that is another story). Surrounding myself with people who cared about me helped so much.

That year made me realize two things: I want to be there for people who need it and being creative is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Do I like everyone that I meet? Hell no. However, I try not to limit myself to the first impression of someone. I have found a lot of friends, especially in college, where we got off on the wrong foot or I felt annoyed by them, but when we actually sat down and got to know each other, I realized how amazing of a person they were. I discovered that the hand that was held out for me when I joined drama club in high school, is the exact same thing everyone else needs every now and then. Sure, some people can make friends with anyone. I’ve been told I am that type of person, but as you can tell from reading this, that wasn’t always the case. I just understand that everyone needs a friend and I am willing to be that friend. Even if we end up losing touch or rarely see each other, I made a lot of strong connections with people over the years that won’t ever completely fade away. Have I met people that I have lost as friends or people that don’t like me/can’t stand me? You betcha. However, that’s life.

The other rewarding thing about theatre was that it gave me an outlet to discover who I was, but it also allowed me to be creative. Trust me, as a child I would come up with some of the most imaginative ideas, and I am grateful that I never lost that. I’ve certainly reigned it in over the years, but that flame of creativity has never completely blown out.

I act. I design. I write. I draw. Am I the best at any of these things? Probably not. Do I care? Absolutely not. I do what I do because I find it fun and it makes me happy. My acting has made leaps and bounds since Claudius’s man-at-arms role in high school (fun fact: Hamlet is the first show I was ever in and I’ve worked on three different productions of it). I’ve even made significant strides since college. I’ve learned to be more grounded and I’ve been working on slowing down my rate.

I started writing this blog because I wanted a way to keep myself writing. I have a folder dedicated to all of my deceased ideas and projects that I gave up on. I love to write but can never keep a story going, so to help prevent me from getting rusty with my writing, I decided to maintain a blog I would edit a few times during the week. Little did I realize, this project would also help me to continue writing a book that I’ve been working on for a few months. I hope to have it finished by years end.

The reason I wrote all of this is because I’ve noticed a lot of people being down on themselves lately. Personally, I think I have made a tremendous journey the twenty something years I have been alive. I continue to grow and discover more of who I am and what I want. I didn’t write this as a need for an apology or sympathy for the rough patches I’ve been through. I just want to show everyone, tough things (including many things I didn’t add about my life) do happen and it may feel like the pain and suffering will never end, but always remember you are not alone. To anyone who reads through all of this, know that if you ever need someone to talk to, I am here for you. Old friend, new friend, someone really close or a complete stranger, it doesn’t matter. When you look back on your life (now or decades later) you will see how far you have come. All the good things and all the bad things have helped shape you into the person you are, and never forget how strong that person is. We define ourselves, nothing or no one else.

Boy Meets Girl – Movie

Warning: There is nudity in the film.

This is another movie that one of my friends have recommended I watch to review for my blog. I had a set order that I was going to watch all of the shows and documentaries in, but since I haven’t reviewed a movie in a while, I decided to go ahead and watch this film.

The title, Boy Meets Girl, makes it seem like the movie would be about your typical boy meeting your typical girl on a “chance” encounter and though outside forces try keeping them apart, love conquers all, and the two of them end up together and live happily every after. This movie is not quite that type of story. The main character of the film is Ricky (Michelle Hendley), a small town transgender young woman (I believe she is in her early 20’s) that is trying to get into a New York school for design. While awaiting a letter that will tell her if she was accepted or not, she tries figuring out whether she wants to date a man or woman and a love story ensues. By the end of the film the viewer will find out whether she found love and if her hopes and dreams will become a reality for her.

Naturally, one of the main topics the movie focuses on is the fact she is a transgender woman trying to figure herself out. While coming out/discovery stories can be nice in LGBTQ films and literature, it was refreshing that this movie did not focus only on that. Ricky discovered and knew her identity well before the start of the film, and this movie picked up where a lot of films kind of end off. In general, it seemed like the film broke out of the mold of many LGBTQ tropes and allowed for her transgender identity to be a part of her and not her whole identity. It’s nice films like this or shows like Orange is the New Black are having LGBTQ characters actually have dimension and not just have them as gimmick.

However, while it may have broken away from some stereotypes, the film ended up falling into your typical romantic comedy formula, just with LGBTQ twists to it. Too many movies get into the whole idea of being in love with someone and being too scared to admit those feelings but after things get too bottled up, they explode and then somehow everything gets resolved by the end of the film. For the most part, that is exactly what happened here. Fluid sexuality was more prevalent in this film, but it didn’t change much of the core love story ideas.

This then leads me into the writing and acting in the film. There were several moments in the film that stand out as having good messages to the audience. At one point Ricky and her best friends Robby (Michael Welch) discuss sexuality and what it means if she slept with someone, would it make that person straight, gay, or bisexual. He feels like there are defined lines to what people are, but she feels like people are just human and should love without labels. Despite some moments like this, the rest of the writing was just a little too cheesy and expected. The actors did an admirable job with the script, but several places were a little clunky and made the acting fall a little flat. That being said, I definitely think Michelle Hendley was the standout performer in the movie. Her “I don’t care what you think” type of attitude was refreshing and despite having that harder exterior to her, she also showed multiple vulnerable sides throughout the film and her nude scene, though unexpected and kind of out of nowhere, is definitely a good moment for transgender representation. People should not be ashamed by their body, regardless of gender identity.

Overall, I would give this film a seven out of ten. I was debating giving it both a higher and lower score. I think it is great for a transgender woman to be playing a transgender character and I liked the fact that while her identity was important, it was not necessarily the main focus of the film. Instead, the main focus was on a love story that has been seen quite a bit in the past (albeit with LGBTQ tones) and plot and conflict elements that were too easily discovered/resolved. My biggest issue would be, without providing any spoilers, is that if you ever want to hide something on a computer (or someplace else) do not label it with something important and have it be one of only two icons on the desktop. Just saying.

King of Kong – Fistful of Quarters – Documentary

This documentary was filmed prior to and released in 2007. The documentary is about two men, Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell, and a feud (of sorts) that arose between the two men who both held high scores on the 80’s arcade version of Donkey Kong. Billy Mitchell was the originally nationally recognized record holder for the highest score (back in the 80’s), up until the 2000’s when Steve Wiebe scored a higher score on his home arcade game and began receiving recognition for being the best player. From here the documentary dives into people discrediting Wiebe’s high score for alleged tampering of his game board and his attempts to reach a new high score in an official setting.

I will give King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters a 5 of 10, because I felt like the movie was less entertaining and more thought provoking. While I do like playing video games, I am not an avid player (especially not to the caliber of the people who are in the film), but I think people who are not “gamers” can still enjoy this film. Watching a movie, I like to be moved or come away feeling affected in someway, but I never felt an emotional connection to the documentary.

One of the things I appreciated the most is that the founder of the video game record company Twin Galaxies, Walter Day, brought up the fact that this rivalry is just as heated as any sports team rivalry. Personally, I feel like most competitions outside of sports are not recognized as much as they should be. I am not into sports, but I understand why other people like it and have an appreciation for it, even if I don’t. I wish people shared that type of mentality with things like this, because while it may not mean a lot to them, it means a lot to the people that are part of the competition.

The way that Billy Mitchell is portrayed reminded me of a conversation I had the other day with a few friends about people staying stagnant or evolving. Billy seems like the type of person who achieved a level of greatness early on in his life, and he was able to uphold that for nearly two decades, but never really grew much as a person after that initial success. The documentary shows he a successful businessman, but it still seems like the success he has in his business is rooted in the accomplishment he made with the video game. Instead of letting the high score define a moment in his life, he let that moment define him. Which raises the question: how many people in his position would do the same thing? If someone became a great success or famous overnight, how long would they let that single thing define who they are as an individual?

One of the issues that arises in the film is that Steve submitted a high score with a video tape, but it was dismissed because reviewers from Twin Galaxies (an official video game record keeping company) felt that his machine was not up to standard and may have been tampered with, but when Billy submitted a video tape with a high score, despite having unaccounted score jumps visible in the video, Billy’s high score was credited as the new high score and Steve’s was not. According to the Wikipedia page, this was recognized and an apologize was issued to Steve Wiebe, but it shows that the Twin Galaxies institution was flawed at the time. People were obsessed with Billy Mitchell to the point they allowed certain discrepancies to pass, partially because of who he was. I think this reflects heavily on a lot of different institutions that might not recognize the full effort or talent of certain people in favor of presenting someone else more recognizable or relatable. Instead of giving credit or a chance to a person deserving of it, they would prefer to stick with what people they are more comfortable with (the whole “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mentality). Whether it was dues to more consideration or the documentary coming out, it seems like the company has mended their policies and is taking a more impartial stance than it used to.

Overall, it was not my favorite film I have watched lately. I watched the entire thing because I wanted to see whether Steve would accomplish his goal of having the highest score or not. I feel like parts could have been cut out to make it shorter, certain segments seemed unnecessary, but it still had some entertainment value. As stated earlier, this film made me think and reflect more than it entertained me. You win some, you lose some.

The Slap

A few days ago I asked friends on Facebook to recommend things for me to watch to review on here, and if the rest of the list is like the television show I just watched, I am going to be excited for what I’ll be viewing the next couple of weeks. My friend Lynnette was one of the first to suggest something and she recommended The Slap, a miniseries that aired on NBC earlier this year. The show is an American version of the Australian show of the same name that was produced back in 2011 and both are based off the same book, also titled The Slap, which was written in 2008. The show is divided into eight episodes and follows eight different individuals connected through the main event that happened in the first episode.

The show begins with a man by the name of Hector. He is about to turn 40 and his entire family is invited to his house, along with friends of the family, the baby sitter, and her best friend. While at the party, everyone starts drinking and having a good time, and all of the young kids gather to play baseball. When an unruly child, Hugo, gets upset after striking out, he begins swinging a bat erratically and doesn’t want his turn to be over. Harry comes over to take the bat away “to protect his son (Rocco)”, who is also playing. After Harry takes the bat from Hugo, Hugo kicks him several times in the shin and Harry slaps the boy in the face. Everyone gets into a frenzy because of what happens and the next seven episodes revolve around the aftermath of the slap.

Personally, I loved the set up of the show. While the primarily plot focuses on all of the characters dealing with the repercussions of the slap, each episode delves into the lives of the eight different characters featured in their respective episodes. Nearly everyone has some type of demon and inner turmoil that they are dealing with, and it is interesting to see how much those elements tie into the main plot of the show and what extraneous things influence the psyches of the characters. On top of that, the pending possibility of a trial, brings to light a lot of dark things.

Two of my favorite episodes were “Anouk” and “Ritchie”. The episode “Anouk” features the character trying to figure out her relationships with her lover and her mother. Both individuals in her life are somewhat opposite of one another, because her lover seems somewhat more clingy and idealistic, whereas her mother seems more aloof and rational. In the short episode all of the characters go on a journey to discover what they mean to one another, and when Anouk discovers why her mother has been distant (even more so than usual), the revelation and subsequent scene between her mother and her is emotional and provides great dimension to the show. Although it doesn’t focus heavily on the slap issue (because she is only a friend of the family), it still is one of the best of the eight. Another great episode is the exciting conclusion of the series with the final episode, “Ritchie”. This episode does not focus as heavily on the character it is named after, but a great deal of information is provided about him, and while some of the news did not come as a surprise (the way he portrayed the character and the way his character was written was predictable), other stuff was still startling to learn. Without spoiling the ending or any surprises, the element I loved was that it showed how people can become so obsessed with a certain objective that they will stop at nothing to achieve victory, and they do not care who they have to hurt to reach it.

Not all of the episodes were quite as enticing as these two episodes. While every episode did successfully move along the story line revolving around the slap, there were a few that fell short in making the audience discover more about the character focused on that episode. Both “Manolis” and “Aisha” fell into this category. Those two episodes had touching moments, and the latter continued on elements from the “Hector” episode, but neither quite encompassed the life and tribulations of their respective characters as much as the other episodes. With a story, not every character is meant to be sympathetic or relatable, but compared to the lives discussed in the six other episodes, these two stuck out as episodes more concerned on pushing the slap story arc further along.

Another issue that I, and other critics noticed, was how stereotypical each of the characters were. Plenty of storytelling elements have been copied, revamped, or innovated over the years, because the same stories are bound to be repeated again, but the series did not seem to try escaping stereotypes. If you can think of a stereotype of a character, it is more than likely featured on this show. Angry, masculine male: check. Infidelity: check. Wild child seeking attention in all of the wrong places: check. Matriarch of the family not liking her son’s wife: check. Not having read the story the show is based on, I am not certain whether this was a flaw of the source material or the screen adaptation, but luckily most of the performers in the show brought life to each of the characters that they play and didn’t leave them to be one dimensional.

Who doesn’t love a good ensemble show? It is quite easy to accomplish when each of the episodes is focused on a different character, but part of the greatness of the ensemble of this show arose from none of the characters outshining anyone else. On some shows there are actors or actresses that demand the screen and draw all of the focus, but most of the people on this show were at the same consistent level as one another. A few characters may have been a bit dimmer and not as highlighted as the others, but they still were close to the same caliber as the others. As well, I love seeing individuals showing their versatility, and that is one of the reasons I love Zachary Quinto on this show.  He has gone from villain to gay best friend to serial killer to a baby crazed father, and now takes on a brutish, overly masculine father. He flows easily into all of these different roles that he plays. When it comes to the acting/characters of the youngest families members, I was not huge on how little the children were focused on. It makes sense that Hugo, the teens and the adults are the primary focus, but the rest of the children on the show could have provided another side of the story by how the incident affected them. Of course, their lack of perspective could represent how it did not really affect them as much as it did for the adults.

It is interesting to see how much each different individual was affected by the situation, but it also shows how obsessed and how ridiculous that obsession is. I think The Slap is a quick watch that is a lot more emotional than it appears it would be for an eight episode run time. Despite using too many stereotypes, the show does make a great comment on society and how selfish people can be in pursuit of proving that their say is better than others. I give this show an 8 out of 10, one for each episode (just kidding, I just thought the show was that good and the eight is a happy coincidence). Underneath the selfishness and stereotypes, the great performances of the actors does draw the viewer in and will keep them entertained until the very end.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Over the past couple of years Netflix has come out with a slew of new television shows that have quickly become favorites of the streaming website’s fans. House of Cards came out earlier this year, entering its third season, but newcomer Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt seems to have stolen the spotlight and drawn in quite a fan base. Originally slated to be a sitcom on NBC, it worked out better for the series to stream on Netflix, because I don’t think that it would have reached as many people had it been on that station.

The premise of the show deals with the “mole women” being discovered after having been trapped in a bunker by a mentally unstable preacher. Having thought the world ended fifteen years prior, the women are taken to New York after rescue to appear on the Today Show. When the interview ends, three of the women choose to return to Indiana, but the other woman, Kimmy Schmidt, decides to stay in New York to find her own life and go on her own path. While that sounds like it could be the premise of a drama, it actually is an incredibly ridiculous (mostly in a good way) television show.

If you love Tiny Fey, you are going to love this show. The comedy ranges from slapstick type of comedy to social/political issue jokes, and there is bound to be something in the show that will make the viewer laugh. It definitely is the type of show worth watching a second time through to pick up on all of the small details that might have been missed. One of my favorite, smaller details that people might not have picked up on was Titus and his Broadway nemesis (Coriolanus) are both names of Shakespearean tragedy characters. It are subtle jokes like these that give it more humor than your typical TGIF sitcom.

One of the standout characters from the show, and I believe most people would agree, definitely is Titus Andromedon (played by Tituss Burgess). A Broadway obsessed actor that wants to make his big break, will stop at practically nothing to make himself famous. Under his goofy, self-absorbed exterior, he does have a big heart and believes in the betterment of Kimmy’s life. Two words to sum up his fantastic impact on the show: Pinot Noir. If you do not like this song, I suggest you get a sense of humor.

While Titus is hilarious, it does seem like nearly every single character on the show has a larger than life personality, which definitely helps draw in laughs, but with nearly every character being ridiculous, it at times can be a little hard to associate with the outlandish behavior some of them exhibit. Yes, it is comedy show not based in realism, but I still like when a show has some roots in reality because as I mentioned, it makes the characters more relatable and exciting to watch. Hence, one of my favorite characters was Charles, a tutor to the family that Kimmy is a nanny for. He’s only in a handful of episodes in the beginning of the series, and unless I missed a conversation about him leaving, he just disappears from the show and isn’t really referenced later in the season. Compared to Kimmy’s eccentric and excited passion for life, his stoic and reserved nature helped provide a nice contrast.

As the show reaches the end of the season, it seems like all of the escapades reach higher and higher levels of absurdity, but it still maintains the light air that has become associated with Kimmy Schmidt and the people in her life. No matter what happens, it seems like everyone tries to keep a positive outlook. I mean the show is called “Unbreakable” Kimmy Schmidt for a reason. However, without providing any spoilers of the ending, it did seem like the show kind of ended on a less than optimistic note. I think the idea for the cliff hanger is great, but at the same time it just seemed odd compared to the happy nature of the rest of the series.

I give this show an 8 out of 10. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes to laugh. There are plenty of jokes that tackle different styles of comedy and you are bound to find something to laugh at. Underneath all of the comedy is a somewhat heartwarming story about someone learning to fit in. Other than a teenager (acting like teenagers do), none of the other characters really make fun of her for her quirky, essentially childlike, disposition of the world. I am excited to see what shenanigans unfold next season.