and victimhood in various ways but usually just, as Max Dosser
notes in the first chapter of this volume, in “a very special episode”
on the topic that is plopped into a series a series with little to no
context. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has opened up the space to
explore what it means to be a survivor of violence over multiple
seasons while striking a delicate balance that prioritizes humor
without trivializing the situation. Characters like Kimmy in the
mass media give women viewers a story they can relate to and
admire while combating violence in their own lives, and the series
provides a powerful message of hope through storylines
representing life as still good and worth living after trauma.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a show for the survivor,
though others can also relate. Other series seem to want those that
have not experienced violence to have a means to do so, but
Unbreakable presents a story that lets survivors of violence see
themselves as whole, productive, and able to move on, even with
a dark past. This version of storytelling is not often one that is
portrayed on television, and almost never as a main storyline in a
series, but Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt portrays healing as attainable
and possible, and with so many people who have experienced
some variation of the Kimmy’s pain, it is nice that television has
created a narrative celebrating resilience to inspire those viewers
with humor and honesty.
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