Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has had fun with more than its fair share of satires, but in Season 4 Part 1, one of them is particularly outrageous and relatable all at the same time. Kimmy Schmidt's Sex And The City parody hilariously spoofs the classic show while also giving a glimpse into what Kimmy must think the life of a typical New York City woman is. Mild spoilers for Part 1 ahead.
During a good old fashioned all-night television marathon in Episode 2, Kimmy, Titus and Jacqueline settle on watching Gals On The Town, and it's obviously a fictional knockoff of the classic HBO comedy Sex And The City. "Four ambitious young women juggle work, love, and friendship," Kimmy says as she reads the description out loud. "Written by a rich, mean gay man. Yes please!"
"Love and friendship, having it all — or maybe just a great pair of shoes," the theme song to the show croons. "One of them has to be Asian. Can they be good at their jobs?" The "single girl" cliches of Sex And The City are felt in these lines, of course in a much more simplistic way than the original show actually uses them. (Though, it sounds like Gals On The Town is actually a little bit more diverse than the original.)
Sex And The City had its fair share of problems that plenty of fans will admit, some much worse than others. As Vulture points out, there were some pretty offensive plotlines present surrounding the women dating bisexual and black men, and the series has also been criticized by outlets like Salon for perpetuating gay stereotypes. And of course there was that dreadful movie sequel in which the friends travel to the Middle East — the film was slammed as being "anti-Muslim" and "cartoonishly offensive," according to the Atlantic. But Kimmy Schmidt doesn't go in on the show that on any of those serious angles. Gals On The Town is more of a playful parody than a scathing one, but it's not a throwaway joke, either. The show's effects on Kimmy are felt even after her marathon ends.
"If I learned anything from Gals On The Town, it's that 40 is the new flirty, and weekends are for shopping, spas, and brunch," Kimmy says as she urges Titus to get out of bed so they can take advantage of their Saturday. "To quote the Gals on the Town series finale, 'Make it a mom-mosa, 'cause I'm drinking for two,'" Titus replies. That's also a nod to Sex and the City, as that series' original run ended with the women all happily coupled up, and some starting families — this after six seasons of celebrating the single life.
The pair of them, plus C.H.E.R.Y.L., the sassy robot from Kimmy's office, hit brunch in true Sex & the City fashion. C.H.E.R.Y.L. is basically a Sex and the City character herself — definitely a Miranda — so she's the perfect addition to the scene. Throughout the whole ordeal, it's pretty obvious that Kimmy is latching to Gals On The Town for a deeper reason than its luxurious plotlines.
It's sometimes easy for viewers to forget, when swept up in Kimmy's hijinks, that she still really doesn't have any idea what the average New York City woman's life is like, and shows like Sex And The City, or its fictional counterpart, Gals On The Town, is a piece of pop culture that she relies on to teach her more.
Sure, it's not the most realistic basis for building a life. Anyone who's lived in New York for even the shortest amount of time knows that Carrie Bradshaw's massive Manhattan apartment — which she somehow afforded without roommates — was not a feasible get for a writer, even years ago, when the show took place. And while we're at it, professional women don't often have the money or the time to meet for brunch at a moment's notice, nor field phone calls in the middle of their work days to hear about their friends' latest romantic debacles.
But Kimmy was in a bunker for 15 years, and then immediately hit the streets of New York. She doesn't have the firmest grasp on modern, adult life, and though she's been there for four seasons now, she's still learning. Even for young people who didn't grow up in a bunker, Sex And The City provided a dreamy, romanticized framework for what big city life could be. Its influence on Kimmy, while silly and entertaining — is also relatable for anyone who ever looked from afar at the lives Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte, and imagined a similar reality for themselves.