Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy Goes On a Date!
March 11, 2015 5:06 AM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Jacqueline sets Kimmy up on a blind date. Titus can;t let Lillian know he has money.
posted by drezdn (13 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
AV Club review
posted by drezdn at 5:12 AM on March 11, 2015

I've been puzzling about Jacqueline Voorhees. This is the show that introduces the fact that she is a Native American passing as white, and I think these scenes sort of condense an issue the show wrestles with: It has a tendency to introduce characters in very stereotyped ways and then slowly dismantle the stereotype. I think the best example of this is Donna Maria, whose character works, I think, because we immediately know there is a lot more going on with her. But Jacqueline's family tends to just behave in stereotypically Indian ways and then immediately subvert them in their dialogue -- which is, admittedly, sometimes quite funny, and the actors are charming. But it feels a little bit like someone telling a racist joke and then immediately shouting JUST KIDDING, and I'm not wholly comfortable with it -- and I think we see more of this as Asian characters are introduced. Worse still, since Jacqueline's character arc is inevitably going to involve her coming to terms with her Native heritage, this means that she's increasingly going to be a white actress in redface, and you would think that this show's creators would have been savvy enough not to plant that little mine for themselves.

But where Jacqueline works is that she represents a sort of conditioned helplessness, where women end up being wholly dependent on terrible men because they think it is in their best interest, which is a nice parallel with Kimmy's unwilling dependence on Richard Wayne Gary Wayne. Jacqueline tries to set Kimmy up with one of these terrible men, and, initially, it seems all right, because he's not lucid and therefore is the first person she can talk to. But it becomes increasingly obvious he is a war criminal with a monstrous bunker story of his own, which Kimmy can't ignore, despite the fact that Jacqueline's dependency depends on ignoring terrible things; this will come up again, and Jacqueline's storyline is, in part, about the cost of that. We also see this mirrored in Xanthippe's female friends, who brag about relationships with corrupt, abusive men, as though their participating in this makes them worldly -- I think it isn't just a joke that Xan's middle name is Lannister.

By the way, the moment when Grant Belden, the old man, throws the pine cone is the moment I fell in love with this show.
posted by maxsparber at 6:08 AM on March 11, 2015 [22 favorites]

For all of its problems, it doesn't seem like Jacqueline's passing arc will involve a tragic demise. It's subverting that trope (while reinforcing others about Native peoples).
posted by tofu_crouton at 6:27 AM on March 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

"My floor is warped... All my cats are piling up in one corner."
posted by drezdn at 6:51 AM on March 11, 2015 [24 favorites]

I'm like 90% sure the place Kimmy meets Grant is the same place they used to film all of 30 Rock's "fancy resteraunt" scenes.
posted by The Whelk at 6:51 AM on March 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

I think the series hits it's stride in the next episode. It's almost there in this one, but the cast and writers really lock it in there. But this one is still:

"People come to New York and start new lives and it gets complicated."

And that's this show in a nutshell.
posted by Catblack at 7:04 AM on March 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

It's interesting how it still has the break for commercial beats - apparently they filmed 7 episodes before news came that it was going to be a commercial less Netflix series - they went back and recut the episodes, but I think you can see a real different in how they structure scenes and how long they let things go from episodes 1-7 to 8-13

Like for one thing you start to get more ongoing plots.
posted by The Whelk at 7:16 AM on March 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

♪ Close your eyes ♪
♪ Make a wish ♪
♪ And blow out the candlelight ♪

Boyz II Men. Yeah, sing it, baby, man. I miss you, homies.

♪ We're gonna celebrate ♪
♪ All through the night ♪
♪ I'll make love to you ♪
♪ When you want me to ♪

Oh, God, it's the wrong Boyz II Men song.

♪ Baby, all through the night ♪
♪ I'll make love to you ♪
♪ Like you want me to ♪
♪ And I will not let go ♪
♪ Till you tell me to ♪
posted by filthy light thief at 9:55 AM on March 11, 2015 [11 favorites]

That makes a lot of sense whelk. Which is probably why I also love the early ones more than the late ones. I prefer episodic tv to arcs, especially when it comes to sitcoms.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:13 PM on March 11, 2015

I'm just loving this series. So hilarious, and it sorta feels like getting bonus eps of 30 Rock.
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:38 PM on March 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

We forced ourselves to stop at ep 6 last night, to prolong the delight.

I believe it was this episode where Titus says something to Kimmy about her aversion to velcro? I made strange, gasping, whooping noises at the split-second timing of the tiny little moment. Just brilliant.
posted by rtha at 8:25 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

"That guy is from soccer!"
I love this show.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:07 PM on March 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

My favorite lines:
"Anyone want coffee? I'm off to an AA meeting"
"I'm worried about Abattoir."
"The monkey was a woman. Women can be anything these days."
"What kind of socks do you wear on a date?"
"He fought in some war with Germany, the guys from soccer!"
"That's a lie! It's so big he's in a wheelchair!"
"My date tried to kill me with a pinecone. "
posted by sweetmarie at 12:32 PM on March 17, 2015 [3 favorites]

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