The pilot opens in an underground bunker, where Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) is decorating a Christmas tree with her fellow bunker mates, who have been living underground as part of a doomsday survivor cult for the last 15 years. To the tune of ‘Oh, Christmas Tree’ they’re singing, “Apocalypse, apocalypse, we caused it with our dumbness.” when a SWAT team breaks in and rescues them.
The Indiana Mole women, as they’re called, are surprised to find the world actually still exists. The other mole women go their own way while Kimmy decides to stay in New York. She is so fascinated with her new found freedom she plays on swings, frees a carriage horse, and eats candy for dinner. She quickly, and sort of accidentally, finds herself a job as a nanny for Jacqueline Voorhes, who is basically a rich version of 30 Rock‘s Jenna Marony. Which is fine by me. I love Jane Krakowski.
She moves in with gay and angry Titus Andromedon (Titus Burgess, also of 30 Rock). Her bedroom is his walk-in closet, or as he calls it, “his office”. She thinks it’s fantastic because it has a window. She unpacks her stuff, which consists of like two books and a sweater. Titus wants to know the secret of why she would move to the city with a backpack full of money and nothing else. She explains she’s from Indiana and he says, “Oh, well, that explains why you’re so basic. Say no more.” Then he tricks her into giving him about 5 months worth of rent and also money for the lamp that hasn’t worked since she moved in 5 minutes before.
Titus and Kimmy go out for a night on the town. She sets her backpack down to dance in a club and someone steals it, along with the $13,000 inside. This causes her to be late to work the next morning, where Jacqueline immediately fires her because this is “strike three”, even though there was never strikes one or two. Kimmy asks if baseball has changed. Kimmy is so upset, she goes home and confesses to Titus she is one of the mole women. He tells her this city will eat her alive and to pack her shit and go home. He tells her about his failed attempts to make it in show business, including 20 auditions for The Lion King, which he stopped after he was finally told “you are not passing as a straight giraffe”. Now he dances in Times Square dressed as a robot to pass out fliers for an arcade. He gives her the rent money back and tells her to buy a bus ticket and get out before she ends up like him. She does buy a ticket, but then sees a rat at the bus station that gives her a flashback of a rat in the bunker and how she realized then the apocalypse story was a lie if rats were alive, and how the cult Reverend wasn’t going to break her then and New York wasn’t going to break her now.
She finds Titus working in Times Square and is determined that neither of them is going to give up. “We’re different. We’re the strong ones and you can’t break us.” She’s gonna get her job back and kiss a boy and Titus is going to sing at the Grammy’s with Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson. They sing together in the streets. The end.
So, I loved this and I hear it only gets better. The show was created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock and has that oddball 30 Rock humor I love so much. I’ll be honest, I was concerned about how this show would turn out. The always under appreciated 30 Rock never got the credit or notice I felt it deserved and NBC dropped this show before Netflix picked it up. But maybe it isn’t a network television show. I’m fine with it on Netflix. I’m thrilled I get to watch it all at once and that it’s already had a second season ordered.
I’m not all that familiar with Ellie Kemper, but the role of Kimmy was written specifically for her in the same way 30 Rock‘s Jack Donaghy was written specifically for Alec Baldwin, which is why both actors fit their characters so well. I’m really excited to seeing more of this show. There goes the rest of my weekend.
Kimmy – Dancing is about butts now!
Titus – Why is my doll furniture on the curb?
Lillian – Because it’s all I could carry!
Kimmy – The truth is I’m from Indiana.
Titus – Oh, okay, that explains why you’re so basic.
Kimmy – You are going to sing at the Grammy’s with Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson!
Titus – Bad examples, but yes.