the walking writer

Over the weekend, I came down with an unpleasant cold that included some really awesome congestion. I felt so sick on Saturday that I couldn’t even find the strength to play video games. The only thing I could do was watch television while I desperately clung to a pile of Kleenexes. Fortunately, I came across “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” while I was browsing Netflix. Despite feeling horrible, I was soon laughing and thoroughly enjoying the show.

"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"

It’s the circle of life!

The Story

“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” features a pretty basic storyline: due to a kidnapping and being trapped in a bunker for 15 years, a girl with little knowledge of the current world decides to find a new life in New York City. From her clothes to the way she talks, Kimmy is definitely stuck in the 90s. Her efforts to survive in an unfamiliar world without losing her exuberance is what makes the show so charming and funny.

My criticisms of the show are few and far between, however, I did feel that the last handful of episodes weren’t quite as good as the previous episodes. I think that the New York City episodes were far more entertaining and compelling. I had incorrectly assumed that a trial had already occurred and that we wouldn’t see any of the infamous Reverend. When you stop and think about it, the show has a very dark premise. Going back to Indiana for the trial reminded me of that, making the silliness of the trial a bit harder to swallow. The trial did setup some very interesting cliffhangers for the next season, however.

The Cast and Characters

Before watching the show, I wasn’t at all familiar with the starring actress, Ellie Kemper. She plays Kimmy incredibly well, pulling off a role that would be challenging for other actresses. There are times when the character is just a tad close to becoming annoying, but Kemper manages to keep Kimmy believable and endearing. I’m also not too familiar with most of the other cast, but the majority are very watchable and funny. The only character I found a bit annoying is Randy, who was just too stupid to really be all that funny.

The Intro Song

The show’s theme song is one of my favorite parts of the series. It’s easily one of the best theme songs for a show that I’ve ever heard. It’s catchy and hilarious.

The Moment that Hooked Me

Although I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode, I didn’t really fall in love until a particular moment during the second episode. Titus remembers a time that he tried to stage his own production of The Lion King while using an orange tabby as a Simba replacement. That was the moment that cemented my love for the show, perhaps because I have done the same thing with my own cat!

Watch It!

“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is definitely worth your time, especially if you like fish out of water stories and smart humor. The show made my illness a lot more bearable, giving evidence to the old saying that laughter really is the best medicine for whatever ails you. I can’t wait for the second season!

I enjoy skimming the “geek” section on Pinterest; there’s no shortage of fun “Doctor Who” images and other goodies. However, based on the general content I see in that area, I think I have a few unpopular opinions on the show:

I don’t like Amy.

I think Amy started out fine as a character. But the “girl who waited” theme started to get old quickly. I never really believed how powerful the supposed relationship between the Doctor and Amy was. For the record, I think Karen Gillan is a great actress, I think she just wasn’t handed an interesting role.

The relationship between the Doctor and River Song bores me.

I just don’t get the amazing sense of love that I’m supposed to pick up from these two. I think part it may just be that I’m honestly not that fond of Matt Smith; I think the chemistry was more obvious between with Ten and River Song. I was just glad when that story was over.

I like Clara.

I think Clara gets an unfair amount of dislike because she was the next companion after Amy. Is Clara my favorite companion of all time? No, my favorite companion is Donna Noble. But I think she has the potential to be interesting, if her character gets some storylines of her own in the future.

Note: This review was originally posted on my other (now closed) blog.  I’ve decided to post some of those old entries over here.

Korean dramas are one of my favorite things to watch on Netflix. Most of the ones I’ve watched are only a season or two long, so you know ahead of time how much time you’ll need to invest to complete the series. To date, my favorite series is “My Girlfriend is a Gumiho.” The show is currently available on both DVD and Netflix instant streaming and is an entertaining and funny series about a gumiho, a mystical creature from Korean folklore.

The Story

My Girlfriend is a Gumiho Screenshot

Miho and Dae-woong have a chat about cows.

The series opens with our lead, Cha Dae-woong (Lee Seung Gi), trying to escape his clingy girlfriend, Miho (Shin Min Ah). Through their discussion, we learned that Miho is a gumiho, a mythical nine-tailed fox from ancient legends. The series then jumps back to Dae-woong’s life before he met the pleasant and happy Miho. After a string of disasters, Dae-woong ends up at a temple where Miho is trapped inside of a painting. Miho has been waiting to leave for 500 years and finally gets her chance with a little bit of trickery. After Dae-woong frees her, Miho begins to follow him and must quickly learn how to adapt to the human world.

Miho and Dae-woong’s relationship grows, although it’s hardly without obstacles. Some of the other minor characters provide a few challenges, including the snotty Eun Hae In (Park Soo Jin) and the enigmatic Park Dong Ju (No Min-woo). In addition, Dae-woong must balance his dreams of becoming an action star and maintain harmony in the home of his grandfather and aunt.

Initial Impression

After not having watched a Korean drama for years, I was eager to try a new one. The title of “My Girlfriend is a Gumiho” drew me in initially, but I didn’t read anything beyond the summary before starting the show. For me, this show didn’t require a few episodes to draw me in; during the initial scene of Miho causing young men to fall over as they watch her run by, I was hooked. The humor and the charm of those first scenes only improved from there.

The Main Characters

My Girlfriend is a Gumiho Screenshot

Miho and Dae-woong meet in the forest.

It’s true that the fish out of water plotline isn’t very new. However, I think the show gave a fresh spin on it due to Miho just being so likable. It’s fun to watch her experience new things, from eating meat to going on a real date. From the beginning, I was less sure of Cha Dae-woong. He starts off the series acting rather selfish and hurtful to those around him. Some of his early interactions with Miho were less than positive, though somewhat understandable. Over time, his character certainly grows and becomes more likeable.

Other Characters

“My Girlfriend is a Gumiho” does feature a few other characters, but several of their characters get very limited screen time. Dae-woong’s friends are charming, but unfortunately we don’t get to see that much of them beyond their influence on escalating some of the drama. The main subplot of the series occurs between a movie director and Dae-woong’s aunt. The movie director has a bit of an obsession with the real world actor, Chow Yun Fat. The budding romance between the director and Dae-woong’s aunt has a tendency to reach absurd levels, but it’s enjoyable and often provides the only happy moments during some of the main story’s more sad plots.

The Music

The show relies on a solid collection of a few musical tracks. Fortunately, you won’t hear these songs enough that you get sick of them. A couple of the minor characters even have their own songs that match their personalities quite well. Park Dong Ju, for example, has ownership of the emotional “Trap.” Unfortunately, the only soundtrack I’ve located online is missing the best of the show’s songs, including the beautiful “Fox Rain.” This song isn’t Miho’s and Dae-woong’s “official” song, but it’s the most memorable song in the entire show. Months after finishing the show, I still listen to it regularly!

Parting Thoughts

This show may not seem like your cup of tea if you don’t think you’re into happy and overly sweet shows. I watched this show with my husband, and he enjoyed it just as much as I did. Rest assured, there is plenty of drama and a full serving of humor in each episode. I think even a young audience could enjoy the show. As for me, I look forward to rewatching it again sometime soon.

My Girlfriend is a Gumiho Screenshot

Dae-woong sees Miho’s true self for the first time.

You Should Watch “My Girlfriend is a Gumiho” If:

– You’ve never seen a Korean drama before. “Gumiho” is an excellent introduction to the genre and will likely encourage you to seek more shows like it.
– You prefer a romance that focuses on characters who grow to genuinely like each other instead of arguing all the time.
– You’re not a big fan of ensemble shows with endless lists of characters. You don’t mind a few subplots, but you’d still prefer to focus on the overall story of the show.
– You’re not afraid to weep a little here and there while you watch a TV show.

« Previous Page