Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was one of Netflix’s first big sitcoms. With Tina Fey’s trademark wit and charm, Kimmy and the cast of misfits she surrounded herself with got into outrageously unrealistic and yet somehow topical situations. It was recently announced that this season would be its last, divided into two parts to qualify for award nominations for next year (and more likely due to Tina Fey’s involvement in a Mean Girls musical on Broadway). Nevertheless, it meant more Kimmy Schmidt in two different parts and that isn’t terrible news right?
The main story of season four revolves around Kimmy’s continued attempts to understand the evolving world around her as she faces the new challenges of unsafe workplace environments, toxic masculinity, and true crime documentaries. Titus, under the management of Jacqueline, finds himself booked for a number of new gigs, despite his continued disinterest in them. Meanwhile, Lillian tries to cope with the death of her boyfriend Artie when she’s forced to deal with his surviving family.
The thing about Unbreakable is it somehow tiptoes the line between the absurd and the rational and succeeds by outputting a consistently hilarious commentary on very topical issues in our modern world. From relationships, financial issues, immigration and technology, the first three seasons were tame in comparison to the topics that arose in the last year. The story no longer follows the characters in their attempts to find love while navigating the current climate of the world, but instead it shifts its focus to the latter as the themes of workplace harassment, the fascination with true crime documentaries and sexuality become the focus with them all falling into the same Me Too movement commentary.
That isn’t to say that this season is less entertaining by any means, it merely shifts focus from its constant lighthearted storylines to a call to action that focuses on the message of treating everyone with respect. This is seen through Kimmy’s season arc as she faces the struggles of workplace harassment, dealing with self-entitled men and watching a true crime documentary that tries to exonerate Reverend Wayne making him the victim of the Mole Women. While the jokes aren’t as plentiful, the few that tackle these very serious issues hit and show just how sick and twisted the humour of this series can be.
This half-season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt shifts gears from being a lighthearted and high concept satire of the modern world to focus on becoming a more serious commentary on the recent issues that have come to light with the Me Too movement. While the lack of quick fire jokes make the show feel different, the dark humour mixed with the way these unique characters tackle these social issues gives Kimmy and her story a timely turn. From its consistently creative world to its lack of avoiding serious topical themes, this season still shows signs of the charm seen in its predecessors so it’s worth the watch.
What did you think of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt? Was it a great first-half to this show’s final season? Let me know in the comments!
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