Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

The Rise of Women with Mental Illness in TV Series

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, UnReal, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

With the sleeper success of ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,’ the increased focus on Kimmy Schmidt’s PTSD this season on ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,’ and Rachel Goldberg’s mental illness on ‘UnREAL,’ there seems to be a rise in depictions of mental health — in particular, women’s mental health — on television.

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‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ Is a Feminist and Comedic Triumph

This poster promises to upend How I Met Your Mother's yellow umbrella and its white, heteropatriarchal norms.

White men are background players in the world of ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ (and, of those who do appear, there’s scarcely a one who isn’t either comically inept or flat-out evil). As the lyrics of the theme song state, “White dudes hold the record for creepy crimes, but females are strong as hell, unbreakable. They alive, dammit!” The show is fundamentally about the collective trauma of growing up female in a woman-hating world.