Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy Rides A Bike!
March 23, 2015 5:15 AM - Season 1, Episode 11 - Subscribe

Kimmy joins a spin class. Titus goes to the library.
posted by drezdn (42 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Firstly, this is the episode that first reveals the ne plus ultra of the show's bad men, Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne, and it is none other than Ellie Kemper's real-life high school drama coach John Hamm. He shows some terrific comic chops in this episode, and will whenever he shows up. For a while I though Hamm was a good dramatic actor and a game comic one, up for trying just about anything, but, no, he's a first-rate comic actor.

I like that the lead-in to the Wayne storyline is this little spin class episode, because it really concentrates a point that the show has been discovering: How the show's bad men will take any amount of power, no matter how small or ridiculous, and use it as a way to dominate other people, especially people. Tristafé is the maddest version of that, and he's magnificent.

But, hoo boy, Wayne. Just to remind you of the actual stakes that are at play here, underneath all the comedy, the prosecution is Marcia Clark and Chris Darden from the OJ trial, working incognito.
posted by maxsparber at 5:50 AM on March 23, 2015 [14 favorites]


Oh, wow. I somehow missed that the prosecutors were supposed to be Clark and Darden...

I've never been able to get through more than 10 minutes of Mad Men, but I think I finally realize why John Hamm gets so much attention. He's fantastic in this episode (and the subsequent ones).
posted by schmod at 6:25 AM on March 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


"What white nonsense was that?"
posted by drezdn at 7:38 AM on March 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


Oh, wow. I somehow missed that the prosecutors were supposed to be Clark and Darden...

They don't hit that gag too often, but the glove bit is a dead giveaway.

Hamm really steals the show in the courtroom scenes -- which is very much needed, because otherwise the trial where everybody's an idiot could get old fast. But he pulls it off damn well.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:39 AM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I loved this show and am looking forward to the second season but Tina Fey really did not need to appear and the Marcia Clarke and Chris Darden thing is so tired.
posted by mlis at 7:58 AM on March 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


Hamm is fantastic. And some great lines all over the place in this episode:

"What white nonsense is this?"

"So I can see the trial without ads!"

"I prefer my students in ponytails so I can imagine them as ponies."
posted by nubs at 8:17 AM on March 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, wow. I somehow missed that the prosecutors were supposed to be Clark and Darden...

They don't hit that gag too often, but the glove bit is a dead giveaway.


"He's in jail now, so who's got four thumbs and loosened up that jelly jar?!"
posted by Navelgazer at 8:44 AM on March 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


The OJ trial was twenty years ago. I'm not sure why they thought that would be a good thing to include at all.
posted by smackfu at 8:46 AM on March 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


ALSO:

KIMMY: “Why do we keep doing this to ourselves? Replacing one stupid male authority figure with another, like Days of Our Lives replaces Roman Bradys.”
SPIN-CLASS WOMAN: "I like the first Roman."
KIMMY: "You're a moron! I'm sorry, that's just wrong!"

One of my favorite exchanges in the series, and I don't know a damn thing about Days of Our Lives.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:47 AM on March 23, 2015 [11 favorites]


The OJ trial was twenty years ago. I'm not sure why they thought that would be a good thing to include at all.

My big problem with it is that they don't act any different from the jurors or judge. Nobody else in the trial needed an excuse to be incompetent so why give the prosecutors, and only the prosecutors, a backstory?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:52 AM on March 23, 2015


Some good bits in this one, but also some clunkers (the OJ thing, Kroll on the turlet, some of the cheaper shots at Indiana). This begins the late season arc away from episodic fish out of water Kimmy-saves-everyone plots to a more ongoing story, and I think the results are mixed. In trying to tie all loose ends up the writers breeze through a bunch of situations that probably would have been better left totally hanging (spoiler alert: what is the point of the remaining Jenna--*ahem Jacqueline--subplot?). High hopes for for next season being able to blend the two strongest elements: Kimmy's messed-up resonant back story and the wacky characters and parodic situations available in NY, more seamlessly.

That said, this is probably the best visual metaphor in the series.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:58 AM on March 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


And the trial itself, with everyone from the jury to the judge to the prosecution immediately taking the accused white dude's side against the women trying to put him in jail, is extremely pointed satire.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:03 AM on March 23, 2015 [12 favorites]


I like the fact that it was OJ's prosecution team. If I were to make a show in which incompetent lawyers tried to prosecute a man who had been a monster to women, and I had to pick the very worst prosecutors I could imagine, they would still be my choice.
posted by maxsparber at 9:21 AM on March 23, 2015 [11 favorites]


spoiler alert: what is the point of the remaining Jenna--*ahem Jacqueline--subplot?

Giving Jane Krakowski something to do in the season finale?

(I am in favor of this point)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:23 AM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


For a while I though Hamm was a good dramatic actor and a game comic one, up for trying just about anything, but, no, he's a first-rate comic actor.

Absolutely - like Christopher Walken, Alec Baldwin, and Rock Hudson, it's gotten to the point where I expect him to be funny in dramatic roles.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:57 AM on March 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


The OJ trial was twenty years ago. I'm not sure why they thought that would be a good thing to include at all.

If the answer was, "Because Tina Fey thought it would be fun to play a parody of Marcia Clark," I would be OK with that. I don't know, I've always respected that kind of MST3Kish philosophy of including jokes a lot of people won't find funny, just because the people who DO find them funny will love them even more.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:01 AM on March 23, 2015 [9 favorites]


Tina Fey in a Marcia Clark wig is funny as hell to me, even with no OJ-related jokes, so I couldn't agree with The Underpants Monster's point more.

The Kimmy plot of this episode was probably my favorite of the whole season.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:30 AM on March 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


The Marcia Clark thing only seemed thrown in there because Tina Fey continues to be amused at their resemblance. Joke didn't really work, plus was super old.

Much as I was squicked by the bike guru, I was amused once Kimmy realized she'd just succumbed to another guru, and was all "what's wrong with me?"
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:42 AM on March 23, 2015


This episode makes my "Every show Jon Hamm has appeared in is part of the same universe" theory more complicated.
posted by The Whelk at 12:09 PM on March 23, 2015 [14 favorites]


Was Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne purposely aping Gregory Peck from To Kill a Mockingbird? Or do I just want to see Atticus Finch everywhere?
posted by twoporedomain at 12:54 PM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Marcia Clark reference was shorthand for "How the hell can they not convict this guy? Oh."

Jon Hamm singing "Flying Purple People Eater" made this episode for me. I have so much more respect for him as a dramatic actor when I think of all the inherent goofiness he must have to repress.
posted by bibliowench at 1:26 PM on March 23, 2015 [10 favorites]


"The good book -- The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton" is where I lost it.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:31 PM on March 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


twoporedomain: "Was Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne purposely aping Gregory Peck from To Kill a Mockingbird?"

I think that's just Jon Hamm's natural Gregory Peckitude.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:42 PM on March 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt that the trial stuff was just a little too much and drug the whole show down a bit. I was reminded a bit of how The IT Crowd, usually brilliant, lagged a bit with it's trial episode. Maybe it's just a poor setting to place comedy? Though I think in this case, they played the courtroom almost too dumb.
posted by Catblack at 6:15 PM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


The trial bits dragged for me too, but more because they actually upset me. Yeah, they made the courtroom too dumb, but it was such bitter, pointed satire, that of course we're always swayed by a handsome charismatic man, no matter what kind of monster. Of course we'll do anything to believe that violence against women is always the women's fault. It was simultaneously over the top and too real.
posted by yasaman at 7:18 PM on March 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


Come on, you can't do a TV or movie trial without at least a LITTLE homage to To Kill a Mockingbird.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:20 PM on March 23, 2015


Totally agree with you yasaman. I guess I'm too sensitive or something, but I couldn't get much humour out of it, the reality of it all (while it being ridiculous) was too frustrating for me.
posted by liquorice at 8:04 PM on March 23, 2015


My favorite quotes:
"I'm a drug lookout and a process server, this way when business is bad, business is good!"
"Kathy Ireland for Family Dollar."
"He cleans up well."
"I didnt love the last group thing you took me to."
"I believe in Gosh, and his son Jeepers."
"That was like listening to a mirror."
"What white nonsense is this?"
"June 6 2006, 6-6-6, it came to me while I was watching Sesame Street. The number of the day was 9 and I was in my gravity boots."
"What white nonsense was that?" [again!]
"Of course he spouts jibberish, he studied spirit biking in Jiberia."
"Dont fall in love with can man."
"Is that a brand new cassette tape, or the Rain Main soundtrack!?"

The Mole Women mole sauce banner ad on Titus' browser!
posted by sweetmarie at 9:27 PM on March 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


Every time I hear somebody proclaim Hamm a comic genius, I am reminded of the 30 Rock episode where he gets away with being bad at everything because he's so good looking. I just don't get it.
posted by one_bean at 9:54 PM on March 23, 2015


It's his elastic face, we never get to see it in drama but the guy can mug like a human cartoon.

this is best seen in that Russian drama /black comedy where he plays the older version of Daniel Radcliffe as a put upon rural doctor in the 30s.
posted by The Whelk at 7:47 AM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's a moment when he first rises as his own defense attorney, takes the pose of a classic southern lawman, reaches up to hook his fingers under his suspenders, and then realizes that he's not wearing any.

It is a perfect moment of physical comedy.

Soon, we seem him attempt martial arts, and it is likewise perfect.
posted by maxsparber at 8:10 AM on March 24, 2015 [17 favorites]


While the Clark/Darden thing seemingly fell flat as a joke, I thought it was a fairly effective device for helping to suspend the disbelief that the prosecution could be so staggeringly incompetent.

In this particular case, it's also somewhat notable because Clark/Darden were in the public consciousness (and famously incompetent) during the pre-bunker days. The show references the mid-90s pretty extensively, and I'm not quite sure why this particular instance of that is being called out...
posted by schmod at 9:45 AM on March 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


Plus his forehand is phenomenal, and that Gatorade and salmon dish wasn't that bad!
posted by one_bean at 8:15 PM on March 24, 2015


I had to watch this episode through the holes in the afghan I threw over my head because it made me so uncomfortable, for the reasons yasaman elucidated.
posted by coppermoss at 8:49 AM on March 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


I missed the OJ reference to the lawyers, probably because I'm too young, but combined with that I just get a sense of dread that this isn't going towards a happy place. Everyone has their own tolerances for light/dark and I think so far they've done a good job balancing that but but man was that trial scene too on the nose.
posted by Carillon at 12:55 PM on March 25, 2015


I mentioned it in the next thread, but getting through the trial scene, and then seeing the title of the next episode ("Kimmy Makes Waffles!") made me cheer on its own.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:05 PM on March 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Every time I hear somebody proclaim Hamm a comic genius, I am reminded of the 30 Rock episode where he gets away with being bad at everything because he's so good looking.

It's possible there's an element of that to it. Surprise is often an element of comedy, and it's an unexpected thing when somebody with leading-man or leading-lady looks doesn't play it straight.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:17 PM on March 25, 2015


I'm pissed that I never thought of Gibberia.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:40 AM on March 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was positively giddy when it was revealed that Jon Hamm was playing Wayne. And it was definitely a benefit to the show being on Netflix - it was a genuine surprise to me, whereas a reveal like that would have been teased and promoted like hell by a big network.
posted by lunasol at 5:57 PM on March 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


The show references the mid-90s pretty extensively,

This. I thought it was obviously of a piece with the cassette (!) soundtrack to Rain Man (!), not to mention Tristafé appearing on the cover of SPIN magazine.

Every time I hear somebody proclaim Hamm a comic genius,

Dying is easy. Comedy is hard. Same thing with Alec Baldwin, who's publicly spoken of his disappointment at never winning an Oscar, even while he is clearly one of the top comic actors of his generation. The fact that he finally embraced that essence with 30 Rock pleased me to no end.

Especially in these days of crude, broad comedians, e.g. Will Ferrell (good) or Adam Sandler (bad), I think it's worth celebrating.

Randomly, this is one of the few times I've actually liked Nick Kroll.
posted by dhartung at 1:02 AM on May 8, 2015


I just want to use this opportunity to brag on the fact that this recent full page New Yorker illustration was done by my cousin!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 1:18 AM on May 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


Randomly, this is one of the few times I've actually liked Nick Kroll.

Kroll is what I call a DDT Genius -- when he has someone standing behind him saying "Don't Do That", he is generally hilarious and value-added, but when he's allowed to do whatever goes through his brain, he is... less so.

(Other DDT Geniuses include George Lucas and Robert Heinlein.)
posted by Etrigan at 4:12 AM on May 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


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