It’s been three years since Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt made her way into TV, super-catchy song and all. With enough pop culture references to satisfy every kind of nerd, it was always a breath of fresh air. And this tragically short season 4 felt like the beginning of the end.
I didn’t even know season 4 of Kimmy was getting released last week, let alone that it’d be the last one. The fact that this was the first of a two-part goodbye caught me completely by surprise. I binge watched what I thought was the first half of the season, only to realize that was it. You could almost hear the faint echo of R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” as I stared blankly into space.
Over the course of its three-and-a-half seasons, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has been one of the funniest shows on TV. I’d say the funniest, and that’s only counting Tituss Burgess wild and pitch perfect performance. The show has the timing and presence of a great Tina Fey comedy, without depending on her physical presence.
With its cast and the people behind it, Kimmy was bound to be funny. But from its odd concept, it was impossible to know the scope of its hilarity. The premise is actually quite dark, following a woman who has been imprisoned in a bunker for 15 years. Trapped by the leader of a Doomsday Cult, she and three other “Mole Women” were told the world had ended.
While serving top-notch writing at all times, it’s also a labor of love of insanely talented actors. Ellie Kemper is amazing in the title role of doe-eyed Kimmy. While Jane Krakowski’s character is fairly problematic (and very similar to Jenna Maroney), she shines in it. Carol Kane is incredible as the kooky New Yorker who loathes gentrification above all. Guest stars include Hamilton superstars Daveed Diggs and James Monroe Iglehart, plus the surprisingly hilarious Jon Hamm.
Still, it’s Burgess who steals every scene he’s in, and TV will be drearier once his Titus Andromedon is gone. To paraphrase Dorothy Gale: I know I’ll miss you most of all, Titus.
It’s not that this was the best season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I could easily argue that the show (and, honestly, comedy TV since) never surpassed “Peeno Noir.” But it’s also true that it’s kept providing great comedy, solid character arcs and catchy phrases. Its commitment to up-to-date pop culture references is also outstanding. And it’s even delved into trauma in a complex and beautiful way.
Kimmy is only a few steps away from finishing her arc, becoming a functional adult in the big city. But I don’t know if I can go back to regular life without getting a yearly dose of Titus Andromedon. I’ll probably end up watching the second half of season 4 slowly, savoring every last moment.
The first six episodes of season 4 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are streaming on Netflix. The second half will be released in January 25, 2019.