Catching Up with ‘Kimmy’, Aziz, and the ‘Sunny’ Gang over Winter Break

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Just like Nutella, Jennifer Lawrence, and other things that are decidedly overrated, winter break just isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

As soon as that brief thrill from holiday decorations, home-cooked meals, and the long-awaited reunion with the family dog wears off, the month-long hiatus-from-hell follows the same sort of blueprint for us all: college friends are MIA, high school pals have to spend time with their parents, and you’re stuck home alone while your family flies to Disney without you for a week (I’m hoping that applies to someone other than just me).

After a solid and blissful three days or so of basking in the dim glow of a stocked family refrigerator (one that can hold more than just three pineapple Chobanis, two chocolate milks, and a freezer-burnt Ben & Jerry’s), you realize that your small Massachusetts suburb is the single most horrible place you could ever be trapped for a month.

Then again, as soon as you acknowledge that your hometown is known primarily for its high-security prison and the most exciting destination within a four mile radius is a newly refurbished McDonald’s where the McFlurry machine is always broken, you realize that you’ll have to get crafty in order to preserve your sanity.

Personally, I like to interpret the term “crafty” pretty loosely. I mean, the craziest thing I did over break was take the commuter rail into the city and explore the mean streets of Boston alone a few times (wild and risky and utterly spontaneous, I know). Mostly, though, I opted to hide under an expertly-crafted blanket cocoon and catch up on the movies, shows, and albums I was way too busy to bite into during a hectic fall semester. So, armed with my trusty laptop, a couple of movie tickets, and way too much time on my hands, I jumped right in.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt  is the kind of show that’s capable of making viewers chuckle in a sweet, simple “this-isn’t-the-worst-show-I’ve-ever-seen-but-it-sure-as-hell-isn’t-the-best” kind of way. Ellie Kemper channels her inner Erin from The Office with her character Kimmy Schmidt, a stereotypically clueless Midwesterner whose 15 years in captivity only adds to her naivete about the big, bad world around her. One note I took on this series says “Small-town girl tries to achieve her dreams in the big city, all the while getting by with a little help from her friends.” You probably cringed while reading that sentence, but you also now have the basic plotline of every Kimmy episode created to date.


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Master of None is just awesome, and I would praise the new gem of a television series all day if I could. It’s honest and unapologetic, without being obnoxious or brash. It’s smart, original, well-written, and Aziz Ansari deserves all of the awards—all of them.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia returned for its 11th season, and I feel like I need to express my sheer gratitude to creator Rob McElhenney for making such a great series. Maybe I’ll name my firstborn after him or something. Netflix is the devil, because I sat virtually immobile until I had caught up with the show’s previous 10 seasons. Some notes on this series include a growing tally of the number of times Danny DeVito is nude on screen, “Charlie Kelly is the best worst person ever,” and “this show is never allowed to end.”


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcfiGUxZkdM


Joy is a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence, and it’s also a common human emotion that I felt none of while watching said movie. It was clunky, awkward, and didn’t include any semblance of sexual tension between Lawrence and Bradley Cooper’s characters, which threw everyone for a loop.

Mad Max is the greatest film I never want to see again. It was completely devoid of any interesting plot point, apart from a guy attached to the back of a rig who mercilessly shreds on a guitar despite bullets and shrapnel flying every which way. The CGI was awesome, though (as it probably should be for a budget of roughly $150 million).

I justified my lack of productivity by tossing out a few key words and phrases like “work” and “necessary” and “The Heights Arts & Review Section” when confronted by my mom about why I was wasting so much time over break. I mean, an assistant arts editor needs to be well-versed in the entertainment world, she needs to be good at clicking the “Next Episode” button on Netflix without missing a beat, and she needs to rewatch all seasons of 30 Rock in preparation for Fey’s film Sisters, dammit. Now, I am.

So, in that sense, I guess it was a pretty successful break after all.

Featured Image By Warner Bros. Pictures

Hannah McLaughlin

Hannah is the social media director for The Heights. She enjoys quality comedic television, takes her Irish Breakfast tea with milk and sugar, and argues that chocolate milk should be a staple at every self-respecting eatery. For a delightful melange of film critiques and '30 Rock' references, follow her on Twitter @hjmclaughlin

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