Our New Favorite Earworm: ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ Theme

UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT (Image Credit: Eric Liebowitz / Netflix)

UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT (Image Credit: Eric Liebowitz / Netflix)

When you’re binge watching a show, you try to save time where you can. Orange is the New Black episodes are nearly an hour long each, thus sometimes we have to sacrifice the wonderful “You’ve Got Time” by Regina Spektor in order save a minute each episode. With 26 episodes in its two seasons, that’s nearly a half an hour you save by skipping the theme song.

Fast-forwarding through the theme song is common in binge watching. Why wait between 20 seconds to a minute to get to the actual content of the show? Binge watching is all about consuming the TV show faster, so it makes sense to skip those non-essential segments. Doctor Who’s intro has timey-wimey graphics; Parks and Recreation’s intro just shows clips of its cast; and New Girl’s intro just asks, “Who’s that girl?” They’re all cool, but not essential for viewing.

Then along came Netflix’s newest original comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

From creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt follows Kimmy, played by Ellie Kemper, who has just been rescued from a cult’s underground bunker after living there for 15 years. Because Tina Fey is a comedic god, the comedy is spectacular, and the casting is even better.

The show was flawless from the very beginning. It is probably one of the first comedies to start off as strong as it did right from the pilot. Even 30 Rock didn’t have a great pilot.

But what is quite unique in the binge watching of this show is that viewers probably aren’t skipping the theme anytime soon. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s theme song parodies The Gregory Brothers’ “Songify the News” bit, as it takes an interview with Walter Bankston (Mike Britt), the neighbor who witnessed the raid on the bunker, and auto-tunes it into its theme.

At first, it’s odd. It works well as a parody, but is a very bizarre choice for a theme song.

Then, once you’re on the third or fourth episode, you start singing along, fall in love and fist pump while chanting, “Females are strong as hell!” It’s inevitable. If you say you don’t love Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s theme song, you’re lying to yourself.

The theme song is more than catchy. It’s a great representation of the show itself.

No theme has ever been an auto-tuned newscast. A very unique, fantastic new comedy needs a unique and fantastic theme. And it has one. Just as odd and catchy as the “Bed Intruder Song,” Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s theme song will have you bopping your head along while you realize it actually has a decent beat behind it.

As mentioned earlier, the theme is a parody of the phenomenon of The Gregory Brothers’ “Songify the News,” specifically the “Bed Intruder Song.” The show itself often satirizes modern culture as Kimmy learns about selfies, cell phones, hashtags, Googling and more. The theme song subconsciously reminds us of how our pop culture has changed to the point where auto-tuned news simply exists. Imagine what it would be like for someone who had been hidden away from our culture for the past 15 years. Nearly everything we say now would seem like a foreign language.

The quote plastering nearly every motivational feminist poster now is “Females are strong as hell,” the most notable line from the theme song. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is very much an empowering feminist-esque comedy. Kimmy is an incredibly strong protagonist who, from the pilot on, doesn’t let hardships keep her down. Throughout the series, Kimmy delivers inspiring and very real monologues about the strength of women — “But I survived because that’s what women do,” she says — and the unnecessary reliance on “stupid male authority figures.” And this theme of powerful women all began in the theme song with Bankston’s line. It’s blatant. It’s beautiful. It’s everything this world needs.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s theme song is catchy as hell and empowering as hell. It’s a spectacular intro to one of the best new comedies I have ever seen.


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