Saturday, April 30, 2016

REVIEW: 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' - Kimmy Tries to Help Andrea with Her Drinking Problem in 'Kimmy Sees a Sunset!'

Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - Episode 2.12 "Kimmy Sees a Sunset!"

Kimmy helps Andrea with her problems. Jacqueline dates a pro bono lawyer for his money. Titus and Mikey talk about moving in together.

Kimmy has been making a lot of progress on herself and her issues with Andrea over the last few episodes. It's because she accepted that she needed help from therapy that she has had so many great breakthroughs. It's a difficult process. There is no right or easy way to handle trauma and the healing process. Because of Andrea, Kimmy has realized that she has more issues than just the time she spent in the bunker. She has an obsessive need to help other people because of her own abandonment issues with her mother. Not a lot is actually known about Kimmy's mom - except that she's addicted to roller coasters. And yet, her presence has shaped Kimmy into the person she is today. She is doomed to repeat the same patterns until she addresses these issues head on.

Kimmy's therapy is compromised throughout "Kimmy Sees a Sunset!" because of Andrea's own problems with drinking. Tina Fey has been such a fantastic addition to the season. Andrea has been a really fun and distinctive character. But she has also helped Kimmy dig deeper into her psyche and come to accept the problems she has in her life. She has been such a meaningful character to Kimmy's character arc this season. It's because of Andrea that Kimmy is growing as a person and embracing emotions that she repressed from her time in the bunker. And yet, Andrea's own drinking problem has defined this story as well. It has been so amusing to see the differences between Andrea at day and at night. They play as two completely different characters. It has been easy to see things that way. However, she is still just one person who is dealing with her own stuff by getting drunk every night. It's something that has helped Kimmy's therapy in the past. But now, it's hindering it because Kimmy becomes obsessed with helping Andrea.

All of this starts because Night Andrea is no longer coming out solely at night. Andrea is drunk during Kimmy's latest therapy session during the day. It shows that there are much darker things at play here with Andrea. She no longer has control of her own problem. That is compromising all of the hard work she has done for her career. Sure, drunk Andrea still knows all of the therapy terms that can help her seem put together to her patients - including Kimmy. But underneath that is a woman turning to alcohol instead of coping with her own issues. Kimmy wants to help. That's simply in her nature. She takes responsibility for Andrea's problem getting so bad. When she started therapy, it was under the assumption that they would both help each other with their issues. Kimmy has made a lot of progress but Andrea has not. So, Kimmy wants to do whatever it takes in order to fix that problem for Andrea.

And yet, Kimmy doesn't need to take on Andrea's problem as something she needs to help. She does throughout this episode. It's quite funny and amusing to see Kimmy try to get to the root of the problem while Andrea deflects at every turn. Her heart is in the right place. But this isn't her problem to fix. She can't help Andrea until she is willing to accept that help. Andrea needs to come to that realization on her own. There is nothing more that Kimmy needs to do. She tries desperately to keep Andrea from drinking by forcing her to spend time watching a sunset together. But even that isn't enough because Kimmy doesn't know the extent of Andrea's problem. It's really bad. And ultimately Kimmy has to leave Andrea alone on the rooftop during the Nae Nae. Kimmy fixates on Andrea's problems because of her own abandonment issues. And yet, she doesn't need to. Kimmy needs to work on herself in order to brake this pattern of looking out for others' needs before her own. It's cliche but it's exactly what Kimmy needs to do right now. She needs to find her mother and confront her for all the damage she has caused in her life.

This episode also explores what love actually means. Lilian provides the important definition of love is putting someone else's needs before one's own. Kimmy is incapable of doing that in a genuine way because of the issues she still has. So now, she's determined to fix that. But with Titus and Jacqueline, it's a completely different story. It's great that Jacqueline returns here after being absent in the past three episodes. She still hasn't made a lot of progress with her pursuit of Russ, a lawyer for the disenfranchised who isn't the most pleasant person alive. It's weird how she is just brought back into things with no big explanation for why she was gone. That ultimately means her story is rushed throughout this episode. That's a shame considering how great her character arc has been this year. She's once again pursuing a man in order to afford her trophy wife lifestyle. She's right back to where she started. And yet, she finds herself conflicted once she realizes she has put his health ahead of her own selfish desires. It's a funny moment when she realizes what she has done by bringing him back to her apartment. But again, it's weird that the show is playing this as love when it's had very little screen time to develop.

Meanwhile, Titus and Mikey's relationship has been so important to this season. It's been the big priority in Titus' life. His only professional accomplishment from this season was his one man show - which Kimmy pointed out recently that he only did once. And now, Titus is questioning if performing is still something he even wants to continue to pursue. He is happy with Mikey right now. He is in love. That's why he chooses to care for Mikey when he's sick even though he should be planning for an audition. He jeopardizes his career in order to look after Mikey. That's a huge moment in their relationship. It shows Titus just how serious his feelings for Mikey really are. It could be scary and uncertain that Mikey wants to move in right now. It's certainly a surprise that he wants to move into Titus' apartment - instead of Titus moving into Mikey's, which has to be better than Lilian's tugboat. But it's still something Titus needs to take seriously because of his love for Mikey. And Mikey gets a chance to prove to Titus how much he loves him as well. Titus books the role but is shocked to learn it's for a cruise ship and he'll need to leave for four months. He's not sure if he should take it but Mikey encourages him to take this opportunity because it could open many more to him in the future. It's a sweet and selfless moment that shows that these two guys are so fantastic as a couple.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Kimmy Sees a Sunset!" was written by Azie Dungey & Dan Rubin and directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller.
  • When Jacqueline pops back into Kimmy's life, it provides a very brief 30 Rock reunion between Tina Fey and Jane Krakowski. It's pretty great too - largely because of Jacqueline's "Who is that? Is she prettier than me?"
  • And yet, it's weird that Jacqueline and Kimmy don't know what the other is up to. Jacqueline was constantly messaging Kimmy earlier this season. Plus, Kimmy is still driving around in Jacqueline's car.
  • Titus doesn't want to become like Norman Gordon, an older gentleman still going on addictions after 50 years and has had barely any speaking roles in the industry. His death forces Titus to deal with his own ambitions. But his funeral shows just how much of an impression Norman made in this world - complete with an appearance by Ice-T giving the eulogy.
  • It's amusing that the New York morgue just decides to dump any body into the river if no one cares about the person. Plus, there's a new Law & Order spinoff called Drifter Incineration Squad that stars Liev Schreiber playing twins.
  • Kimmy: "I've heard of a alcohol bash. It's suppose to be a real sausage fest. Don't know if that's up your alley." Andrea: "It's gonna be."
  • Andrea: "One time, to get white wine, I listened to BJ Novak give a free book reading."
  • Titus on the length of the cruise: "That's like three Judd Apatow movies!"
  • Kimmy after Mikey finds her mother online: "Well, that was easy.... Why'd it take them so long to find me?!?!"

As noted in previous reviews from this series, every episodic review was written without having seen any succeeding episodes. Similarly, it would be much appreciated if in the comments, the conversation would only revolve around the show up to this point in its run.