After being trapped in a bunker for a decade, Kimmy finally experiences the lively world she has been missing out on for the past ten years and the lighting and direction style certainly reflect this situation throughout the entire series. In this post, I will be analyzing the cinematography and direction in the episode titled “Kimmy Goes to a Party!” (Season 1, Episode 7) of Kimmy Schmidt: Unbreakable, and more specifically how this episode provides a stark contrast to those previously in the first season.
Early on in the season, the first episodes are filled with quick, snappy cuts that make the viewers feel almost overwhelmed. This is deliberately done to make the viewer feel as Kimmy does living in the overwhelming city of New York after being locked in a bunker for 10 long, tedious years. However, after Kimmy gradually adjusts to this lifestyle episode by episode, the direction changes as cuts become longer and more problematic situations start to thicken the plot of the series. This episode is filled with suspense as Kimmy attempts to impress a guy she likes and Jacqueline Voorhees faces paranoia regarding a possible affair her husband had. Naturally, this episode is filled with some of the longest shots of the whole series as the characters must face these issues and invoke a sympathetic response in the audience toward the character’s issues (which is nearly impossible to do with the short shots that are common throughout the show).
In regards to the lighting, the show is filled in this episode, and the whole series for that matter with vibrant color as Kimmy is re-experiencing life in the lively New York City after being held captive in a lifeless, gray bunker for the previous 10 years. The costumes within this episode, like all episodes in the series, are vibrant, appealing to the visual eye of the audience. Kimmy is the perfect example of the vibrant color scheme of the show as she is always wearing some sort of clothes with highlighter pink, yellow or blue coloration. Even with the very bright lighting of a show set in New York City, the director makes it an apparent goal to make sure to go the extra mile by creating a vibrant wardrobe and including other items with playful colors to enhance the jubilant, open lighting of the episode to contribute to the warm-feeling shots of the episode.
Even with the bright lighting, this episode is not to unique from the whole series as a whole. The entire series is filled with the aforementioned color schemes and lighting in this episode. With that being said, it should be re-emphasized that the lighting in this series is wholly unique. I have never watched a show that was this visually playful and it truly contributes to the jubilant experience that the show is meant to be for the viewing audience.
Kimmy Schmidt showing her true 1996 kid style with the iconic bright yellow kids button down sweater