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5 Shows like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Smash Hit Hilarity

Charlotte Lucas itcherNetflix original show ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ is a sunny, optimistic yet wickedly sarcastic look at the contemporary world. Hilarity is juxtaposed with dark themes such as cults and abduction, making for a truly bizarre scenario. For other TV shows like ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ that are filled with quirky comedy, try ‘Ally McBeal’ and ‘Daria’. ~ Charlotte Lucas

It Just Works

Though the premise is suitably weird and unusual – a survivor of cult captivity rediscovers the modern world – it just works! By watching, we can view our everyday lives through Kimmy’s eyes and see how ridiculous it all is.

That’s ultimate satire. In addition to this, there are some laugh out loud moments and the protagonist is genuinely likeable. Read on for my list of series similar to ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ – you won’t regret it.


Shows Similar to ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’…

‘Ally McBeal’ (20th Century Fox Television, 1997–2002)

Culturally, this show seems to have been left behind in the nineties, but this law comedy is iconic. ‘Ally McBeal’ was far from serious, with some of the most surreal and quirky scenes in television. These included but were not limited to: recurrent hallucinations of a dancing baby, the invention of a face bra and spontaneous dance routines to Barry White.

You may not be able to picture the nineties madness, so we’re going to need some links. Here is the aforementioned dancing baby. Here is the famous Barry White dance. I know: it’s genius.

Similarity Match: 90%
Both shows are great and weird, though ‘Ally McBeal’ takes the crown for most bizarre televised moments.

‘Parks and Recreation’ (Deedle-Dee Productions, 2009-2015)

Not only is ‘Parks and Recreation’ ridiculously funny, it boasts some of America’s best comedians in its ensemble: Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt and Nick Offerman to name just a few. Amy Poehler plays protagonist Leslie Knope, a player in local politics whose eventual goal is the White House. Knope has been hailed as somewhat of a feminist hero by fans – no wonder, as she is such a strong female character.

Even if you’ve never seen the show, you’ll have heard about it as references are everywhere. ‘Treat yo self’ is one – if you’re shrugging your shoulders, you’d better click here. So is the expression ‘uteruses before duderuses’, which, to me, just sums up the charm of ‘Parks and Recreation’.

If workplace comedies are your cup of tea, read our feature on ‘Parks and Recreation’.

Similarity Match: 85%
Like ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’, ‘Parks and Recreation’ can be silly in its humour, but its political undertones do bring a sense of morality to the table.

‘Girls’ (Apatow Productions, 2012–Present)

Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow had a baby and named it ‘Girls’. They must be so proud, as it’s now airing its fifth season. The show views girls growing into young women in an unconventional way, with characters who wear their mistakes proudly. Among these mistakes are peeing in the street, accidentally smoking crack, getting kicked out of rehab and singing an inappropriate Kanye West song at a formal function. These are all in addition to countless sexual mishaps (note: never watch ‘Girls’ with your parents).

If you’ve been living under a rock and have never heard of or caught an episode of ‘Girls’, you need to go ahead and do that. Everyone has an opinion on this show, whether good or bad. If you need more convincing, read this.

Similarity Match: 80%
‘Girls’ is entirely more navel gazing and embarrassing to watch than ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ but both like to poke fun at traditional notions of femininity.

‘Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp’ (Abominable Pictures, 2015)

This satirical series hit Netflix by storm. A sequel to the cult film ‘Wet Hot American Summer’, the show’s cast includes big name comedians including Paul Rudd and Bradley Cooper. In fact, there’s no end to the famous people starring in this parody – Weird Al Yankovic, anyone?

I did not take to the show, though I know I’m in the minority. The cast is most definitely impressive but I felt that the laughs relied heavily on toilet humour and crudeness – it’s not too deep. This can, however, be a really good thing, if you want a light watch and nothing too challenging on your screen.

Similarity Match: 70%
Both series are part of a new wave of satirical comedies to binge on Netflix. However, the latter is in better taste and much more funny as a result.


If You Like ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’, You Will Like…

The following show has that same satirical spirit as we see in ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’, however, it is a cartoon, giving another dimension to its societal observations. Read on as I explain how it measures up to my other suggestions.

‘Daria’ (MTV Production Development, 1997–2002)

This spin-off of ‘Beavis and Butthead’ is an equally satirical animation. Daria is deeply sarcastic, smart and sick of suburbia, a teenage girl with a good head on her shoulders. Some viewers may completely identify with Daria – others may consider her a pessimist. In this sense, Daria is a very different kind of protagonist to Kimmy.

In a similar vein to ‘Family Guy’ or ‘The Simpsons’, ‘Daria’ is a satire of American life, along with all its expectations and traditions. It is a rejection of American culture, and an entertaining one at that.

Love your cartoons with a dark side? Can’t get enough of satire? Check out our article on ‘Daria’ here.

Daria is the antithesis of Kimmy, yet both shows are clever and funny in their observations about society.


Quirks and Gags

‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’, along with many of my recommendations, is so enjoyable because of its balance between the light and the dark. There’s lots of comedy value with some existentialism thrown in, always with a twist of the strange to baffle viewers. The same goes for the other suggestions – it always pays to try something new and different.

I hope you liked my list of TV series like ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’! Got anything to add? Let me know in the comments below.

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