Unbreakable, they alive damn it, Kimmy Schmidt fans rejoice, after four seasons and 51 episodes, Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) is back on Netflix this Tuesday May 12th in her very own interactive special. It’s like a TV version of one of those choose your own adventure books you probably read as a kid. So get your remote control button pushing finger at the ready because you have just a few seconds to make your selection and decide what you want to happen next. Be warned though your choices could have dire consequences…or help save the day.
It’s three days before Kimmy’s wedding to twelfth in line to the British throne, Prince Frederick (Daniel Radcliffe). We join Kimmy at her wedding dress fitting along with her closest pals, Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess), who’s doing some major wedding cake sampling while he should be hitting the gym, following the Mark Wahlberg routine to prepare for an action movie, while his agent Jacqueline White (Jane Krakowski) tries on a her candy-bejewelled bridesmaid dress and Lillian Kaushtupper (Carol Kane) is double fisting the free champagne. Just to make us feel included in the wedding preparations, our first decision is helping to pick out what kind of dress we think Kimmy should wear.
As you might expect things don’t go according to plan, and as you might’ve gathered from the title, Kimmy gets pulled back into the world of her former captor, the Reverend (Jon Hamm, who has some memorable moments reprising his role from the series), forcing her leave New York City just before her wedding day.
There’s more infectiously effervescent work from Ellie Kemper as the eternal optimist with a singular take on life, Kimmy Schmidt (if you haven’t seen the series, think what The Golden Girls’ Rose would’ve been like in her thirties, if she’d been locked in a bunker for 15 years). Kemper has previously been nominated for two Emmys for the role, while her co-star Tituss Burgess has been nominated for four Emmys for playing Kimmy’s roommate, actor on the rise Titus Andromedon. Burgess steals the show here not just with his hilarious delivery and some of the best lines, but in one version of events we get to hear a stunning cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird (if you get the option to skip it, don’t, it’s worth sticking with the entire performance). Speaking of musical numbers, there’s a brief but really fun Mary Poppins moment involving the always hilarious Carol Kane as Lillian, which you’ll see depending on the choices you make.
Along with some great cameos, the major guest star is Radcliffe who has long been proving his comedy chops. Here he’s all deadpan brilliance as Frederick; a great match for Kimmy, the prince is suitably quirky and clueless, and although he didn’t grow up in an actual bunker he’s lived a very sheltered life with few school friends to invite to his wedding aside from Kim Jong-un. Cue the North Korean themed karaoke bar for the bachelor party.
If you enjoyed the series, this is one helluva road trip you don’t want to miss, with that signature left-field humour, the random robot and talking backpack all present. The slightly whacky interactive format proves a good fit for the show, and there are enough choices throughout to rewatch the whole thing as soon as you’ve finished to try out the alternative options. In fact, the second time around I found the interactive element a lot more fun.
Can Jacqueline save her acting client’s career? Will Lillian sing the only English song at the North Korean karaoke bar? When will Titus get to eat? Will Kimmy get to her wedding on time? It’s up to you.
By James Kleinmann
Netflix’s Interactive Special Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend will launch on Netflix on Tuesday May 12th 2020.