I've spent days trying to clear the theme song for
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
from my head, and it's not going so well.
Let's just say 3 p.m.'s catchy "It's a miracle!" is 3 a.m.'s unbreakable earworm.
But don't let that indelible song, courtesy of composer and executive producer Jeff Richmond, keep you from the still-irresistible Kimmy, whose entire 13-episode Season 2 premieres Friday on Netflix.
Created by Upper Darby's Tina Fey (who's married to Richmond) and her 30 Rock colleague Robert Carlock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt stars Ellie Kemper (The Office) as the plucky Midwest survivor of a doomsday cult who's waking up, in some ways for the first time, in the city that never sleeps.
These are the first episodes made with Netflix in mind, but don't expect many changes, beyond greater length. (Last season was originally intended for NBC, which decided the show was a better fit for the ad-free streaming service, where talking about ratings is a no-no, and where it scored seven Emmy nominations.)
Fey told reporters in January that she, Carlock, and the other writers still tend to write around imaginary act breaks.
Kimmy Schmidt remains tame next to Netflix's new Ashton Kutcher comedy, The Ranch, where the F-bombs explode regularly.
Fey said they "became aware, just anecdotally, after Season 1 premiered, that we have, in a lot of ways, a very young audience. A lot of people come up to all of us and say, 'Oh, I watch this show with my daughter.' She's 13, she's 12. And so we wanted to make sure that even if we went toward more difficult ideas, that in terms of the language and what you're seeing on screen, you could still watch it with a 12- or 13-year-old viewer."
There are hints in the six episodes Netflix made available for screening that the show may delve a little more deeply into the trauma Kimmy experienced as a captive for 15 years. But this is still the kind of comedy in which Kimmy reads a text from her former employer - the ex-Mrs. Voorhees (Jane Krakowski) - telling her to "get the duck over here," and she obediently heads to Central Park in search of waterfowl.
Thirteen-year-olds who don't roll their eyes should have their hearing checked.
Their parents, especially fans of HBO's The Jinx, may get a kick out of Fred Armisen's appearance as Robert Durst, whose past with Carol Kane's loopy landlady, Lillian Kaushtupper, provides a running joke, or enjoy the Mad Men reference they'll get only if they saw both that show's finale and Jon Hamm in Season 1 of Kimmy Schmidt.
Kimmy spent 15 years locked away from pop culture, but her writers haven't.
Krakowski, Kane, and Tituss Burgess, who plays Kimmy's roommate Titus Andromedon, all have had character upgrades. Burgess, a Broadway veteran, gets plenty of mileage out of his gorgeous high tenor as his character flirts with something approaching emotional honesty.
If I had a wish for the already-ordered Season 3, it would be that the writers give Kemper a similar break: Kimmy's charming naivete shouldn't be mistaken for stupidity.
Too many duck jokes and she'll look less like a survivor than a silly goose.