Netflix’s first original sitcom has returned for its fourth season. “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” dropped the first half of the series’ final season on May 30.
The series is part of a new test strategy by Netflix to split up the release of new seasons of Netflix originals. Instead of the usual 13 episodes that make up a season, only six were released. The rest will be available to binge in January.
The third season of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” was its weakest yet. Though it was still quite funny, the plot was not as entertaining as it had been in previous seasons. There was a lot more screen time for Xanthippe, one of my favorite characters, but Kimmy going to college just wasn’t as funny as the writers probably thought it would be.
Season 4, however, starts strong. The first half of the season is packed to the brim with jokes that are current, topical and quirky. Within just the first episode, the show comedically tackles sexual harassment in the workplace, the golden age of television and gentrification.
The season starts not long after season 3’s ending. Kimmy Schmidt is working at Giztoob as the head of HR, Jacqueline Voorhees is trying to start her agency business with Titus as her only client and Titus is still trying to win back Mikey Politano. The only major event which happens between seasons is the death of Lillian’s love interest Artie.
The plot is as unbelievable as all the seasons before it but still so hilarious. This season focuses less on developing an overall plot arc and focuses more on making each episode shine on its own.
After the success of last season’s parody of Beyonce’s “Lemonade,” the writers pushed their spoof episode even further this season. The third episode of the season, entitled “Party Monster: Scratching the Surface,” is a departure episode shot like a documentary. The episode spoofs Netflix’s successful true crime documentaries much like the series “American Vandal” did.
In the mockumentary, a minor character from last season, DJ Fingablast, searches for the DJ who inspired him to become a DJ. That DJ is DJ Slizzard, better know as Richard Wayne Gary Wayne who kept Kimmy in the bunker. The episode has a very different tone for the show, and DJ Fingablast makes for a funny character to center the episode on. Jon Hamm makes an appearance as Richard, and Bobby Moynihan (“Saturday Night Live”) plays a incel character who clashes with Kimmy later in the season.
The funniest episode of the season is “Kimmy and The Beest!” Titus is put in charge of a school musical that he of course makes all about himself. Meanwhile, Lillian and Jacqueline try to use the musical as a money-making scheme which has a hilarious outcome.
Overall, this half season is very strong. I do wish Jacqueline’s kids, Xanthippe and Buckley, had bigger parts in this season’s storyline. Though it is very short, it has a lot of highlights. The show signals that there are more antics to come, as the last episode ends with someone taking pictures of Kimmy, Titus, Lilian and Jacqueline from outside the apartment.