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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's Best Jokes Are the Fashion Ones

Photo: Netflix

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Probably biased here at Racked dot com, fashion site, but in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's second season, the best jokes are the style-related ones. The Netflix original series by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, starring Ellie Kemper, Jane Krakowski, and Tituss Burgess, has a lot of fashion jokes. It has a lot of jokes, period. Like, so, so many jokes.

The show's world is driven by females (strong as hell), plus Titus of course, and so many topics often considered feminine are trotted out and mined for comedy. Dating older men, motherhood, shopping, being married to a men who are so rich you don't have to use that Ivy League degree. It never feels Bad For Women, though, because the show has done due diligence in season one to demonstrate that it's Here For Women. It's a safe space for the complexities and absurdities in gendered expectations and — sadly, often — realities.

This allows for jokes about growth through closet clean-out, or about Jacqueline's one true joy, getting fitted in her home by Karl Lagerfeld's minions. Or about the muted affect of high-end sales clerks. Or about Kimmy looking like she's a character on "Scooby damn 'doo," according to Titus's soon-to-be ex-wife. Or this Birkin one.

These joke start from a place of reality and, usually in a matter of seconds, drive the conceit to it's most absurd end. While Kimmy approached other topics from a slightly tired, outsider perspective (ahem, hipster that gentrify, bigger ahem, race), you can tell that the fashion jokes are bolstered by first-hand knowledge.

Usually when a show tries to indicate "this character is the fashion one," it'll use a shorthand like a fit-and-flare dress or a peplum (think Petra on Jane the Virgin or Olivia Pope on Scandal.) These are obvious symbols of fashion that can loom large in the eyes of American viewers long after the trend has left most major department stores. It's a shared language that gives the most information about the character to the most people.

But Kimmy takes the peplum and makes it the punchline. When Jacqueline is knocked out by Karl Lagerfield's goons (go with it, you know he has them) and wakes up in a peplum and ultra-wide-legged pants, she's horrified. Just the way Jacqueline, being Jacqueline, should be.

This season has Zoolander-levels (the first one) of understanding of the commercial fashion world and its myriad absurdities, and insiders as well as outsiders alike can laugh at it.