Netflix’s first original comedy has come to an end. “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” which stars Ellie Kemper as the titular character, dropped its final six episodes Jan. 25. The first half of the series’ final season premiered May 30, 2018.
Season 4 started out really strong with Kimmy landing her first real job as the head of human resources at Giztoob, a mysterious tech company started by a young man she met at Harvard University. Jacqueline (Jane Krakowski) is starting to get her talent agency up and running. Titus (Tituss Burgess) is trying to build his celebrity profile to impress Mikey (Mike Carlsen), while Lillian (Carol Kane) is up to her usual antics.
The last six episodes of the show are equally as strong as the first set. It remains a full throttle chuckle-fest. The show introduces some new characters, including a recurring guest role from Zachary Quinto.
The first episode explores the most successful mole woman, Donna Maria Nunez, and her relationship with Kimmy. The episode shines a light on unintentional racism and how deeply trauma can affect people. This sounds dramatic and depressing, but this show is written and filmed with such an oddball tone that it remains hilarious.
That has always been this show’s strongest asset. Throughout the series, Kimmy and her friends have faced hard situations that cover timely themes in a boisterously comedic setting. In these last six episodes, the characters are faced with situations on gender equality, internet privacy, sexual harassment and gentrification.
The writers keep the situations so outlandish and bizarre; while the message still carries through, the characters remain in a comical atmosphere. The writers also pay very close attention to their work by adding lots of details that either serve a small comedic purpose or are deep callbacks to the show’s past seasons. Literally every line in the show seems to have a joke hiding in it.
The one misstep in the final season is the episode “Sliding Van Doors.” An ambitious “what would have happened if…” episode is clever, but overstays its welcome by nearly doubling an episode’s normal run time.
The season ends in a place that politely wraps up the story in a way that will assuage fans. It doesn’t go too far and it doesn’t leave you wondering too much about where the characters will end up in the future. The only issue is that the ending doesn’t feel very momentus due to the half season being so short. You feel like you’ve barely begun by the time the show has ended for good.
As “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” wraps, it seems necessary to applaud the impeccable performances from the main cast over the course of this series. Kemper gave her all as Kimmy Schmidt from the very beginning; she saw the quirky character through to the end. She played her deeply traumatized character with a lightness and heartiness that made the sugar coating of her situation somewhat believable. Burgess brought an energy and charisma to his character, Titus Andromedon. Not only did he allow the character to live up to that name, Titus remained likeable despite his deeply self-centered tendencies.
Carol Kane breathed a heartwarming glow into her curmudgeon landlord character Lillian Kaushtupper. Jane Krakowski played Native American turned caucasian gold digger turned divorcee turned talent agent, Jacqueline Voorhees (later Jacqueline White) with a biting confidence that rooted her character, even when she was falling apart.
Overall, the cast did an amazing job of running with the insanity of the script. They had to be fully committed to making this show work at all, and it seems they never hesitated a beat. The main cast, along with all the iconic guest stars (Jon Hamm, Tina Fey, Kenan Thompson, Daveed Diggs, Anna Camp, among others), made this wacky show function as a touching sitcom with non-stop laughs. Kimmy Schmidt will indeed be missed.