“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” the popular Netflix comedy series co-created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock and starring Ellie Kemper, premieres the first half of its fourth season on Wednesday. However, the release date for the second half remains a mystery, as does the show’s future.
Variety and other trades previously reported that this season would be its last, while noting Netflix and producer Universal Television were discussing a possible film to wrap everything up. Whether it ties everything together with the end of Season 4 or chooses the movie option instead, one thing is clear - “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” will be missed by its ardent fans.
Ever since Kemper’s Kimmy and co-star Tituss Burgess’ Titus Andromedon graced Times Square with their presence in the 2015 Season 1 premiere, critics and audiences alike have showered the show with praise. As a result, it will be missed, even by those who have never watched an episode.
Like “Parks and Recreation” and other similar TV comedies from the last decade, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” quickly became a part of the pop cultural lexicon thanks to the internet. From highly GIF-able moments (which have been viewed 695.1 million times to date) to the ecstatically quotable Titus, whom the Washington Post calls the show’s “most meme-able character, its walking, talking glitter,” references to the unsuspecting hit sitcom about a doomsday cult member-turned-New York transplant are hard to escape.
If that’s not enough to convince the uninitiated, however, consider the series’ cast. Titus goes without saying, but Kemper’s title character, an increasingly odd yet adorable fish out of water, is hard not to love. Even during her most cringe-inducing moments, especially those that demonstrate precisely how little she knows about the modern world after 15 years living underground, Kimmy always finds a way to win back the viewers. Then again, who wouldn’t feel bad after laughing at the cult survivor after she repeatedly mistakes “hashbrown” for “hashtag”?
Equally attractive is the endless array of celebrity guest stars that Fey and Carlock have cast for numerous recurring or one-off roles. Jon Hamm as the Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne, the man who kidnapped Kimmy, Lisa Kudrow as Kimmy’s mother, Ice T as himself and more have heeded the call. And no matter how significant or otherwise these appearances have been, they always make the show that much funnier. This season Busy Philipps, Aidy Bryant, Greg Kinnear and Bobby Moynihan will do the same.
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As for the reasoning behind making Season 4 the comedy’s last, we may never know. Netflix has never released any details on its subscribers’ viewing habits or ratings. So despite a recent Market Watch report suggesting the company is paying more attention to internal ratings, the precise method is unknown. Even so, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is one of a handful of original comedies Netflix has granted a fourth season renewal to (others include “Grace and Frankie,” “Fuller House” and “The Ranch”), and this fact cannot be denied. If and when Kimmy and the gang say their final goodbyes, we’ll still have all the GIFs and gags it left behind.
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” season 4 debuts May 30.