Comparing and Contrasting the Weirdness of 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

From the outset, it was immediately clear that the Tina Fey-produced Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was going to be a pale comparison to the writer/actress/director’s untouchable masterpiece of a show, 30 Rock. And though Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is not without its extreme quirk/comic factor, it lacks the same natural absurdist hilarity that 30 Rock possesses.

Kimmy's pluckiness has nothing on Liz's jadedness
Kimmy’s pluckiness has nothing on Liz’s jadedness
With 30 Rock, the insanity of head variety TV show writer Liz Lemon’s (Fey) life is perhaps more genuine because of the fact that it was based on Fey’s own time spent as head writer for Saturday Night Live. With Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Fey has created somewhat two-dimensional characters in both Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper) and Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess), who lack the same level of depth as 30 Rock‘s leading characters, including Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin).
The weirdness of Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy's relationship alone is enough to trump the "quirkiness" of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
The weirdness of Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy’s relationship alone is enough to trump the “quirkiness” of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
One imagines we’re supposed to relate to Kimmy because of her innocent, naïve persona, made more blatant by her choosing to move to New York to re-ingratiate herself into modern life after being trapped in a bunker with a cult the past fifteen years. But it is precisely because of this that she is so unrelatable. With Liz, her foibles as a single, food and career-obsessed New Yorker is what makes her endearing and identifiable.
Too annoying to be endearingly weird
Too annoying to be endearingly weird
Moreover, the notion that Liz’s life is more grounded in realism is precisely what makes 30 Rock so much more bizarre than Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which is purely high camp as opposed to the more satirical vibe of its predecessor.
At the least, Jane Krakowski holds it down on both shows
At the least, Jane Krakowski holds it down on both shows
While Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt still has many seasons to prove itself a worthy contender against the greatness of 30 Rock (especially with Jane Krakowski playing Jenna Maroney Part Deux), it’s unlikely that it can ever hold a candle to the weirdness of 30 Rock–and it seems other similar shows can’t either.