Much of the discussion around the Netflix Original Series The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has had to do with its depictions of race–positive or negative, satire or reinforcement of stereotypes, etc. But that’s not the use of color Todd VanDerWerff discusses in his new video essay for Vox. Instead, he takes a look at the expressive use of color by the show’s art designers and cinematographers.
At the baseline, VanDerWerff shows a pretty straight-forward dichotomy: oppressive people and places, like the apathetic teacher or the bunker, are shown in bland neutrals; empowering or freeing people and places get bright, lively, jewel-toned colors. The effect is an interesting mix of the gem-colored hues of Pushing Daisies and the bland cityscape and courtrooms of Law and Order.