Motivational Monday: the Unbreakable (Heart of) Kimmy Schmidt

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“Have you seen  the new show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt?”

In a 3 day span I was asked this question no less than 4 times. That’s not coincidence. I had to check it out.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is exclusively from Netflix. Ellie Kemper of The Office plays the title character, Kimmy Schmidt, in a show that shouldn’t work and that no one was waiting for.

I mean that with deep respect.

In January, no one said, “I can’t wait for an online-only comedy about the survivor of a doomsday cult whose day job is the personal assistant to one of the Real Housewives of Lower Manhattan, and night job is keeping her roommate’s Broadway hopes alive, all the while learning the culture of the last 15 years.”

And yet among my friends and family it might be the most talked about show in recent memory. But why does it work? Why did I binge watch 6 episodes in an afternoon? The show does deliver on its promise of laughs (actor Tituss Burgess as his character Titus Andromeda in particular) but for a show to come so highly recommended so quickly there must be more.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt taps into something baser than laughs: it seeks and finds the human emotion of pursuit of joy through perseverance. There is little that brings joy more than the satisfaction of achievement. Jimmy Schmidt’s character serves as a mirror held up to the other characters choices in life; and, in a way, our own. You truly want these dysfunctional characters to succeed. You want Titus to sing for a living; you want Jacqueline Voorhees (Jane Krakowski) to discover herself again, and you want Lillian (Carol Kane) to eventually be paid rent.

Don’t worry about the hook of your story. Write about the heart of your characters and let that be the hook.

Oh, and check out that catchy title track:

Tell us in the comments what is motivating you this week.

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Andrew Gaudet

Asker of Questions
Andrew has worked in sales and management for more than a decade. His favorite books include Star Wars "Hier to the Empire" trilogy by Timothy Zahn, "Raw Shark Texts" by Stephen Hall, "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey, and "Paris 1919" by Margaret Macmillan. "No plan survives first contact" - paraphrased from Helmuth von Moltke.

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