Unnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnbreakable! They alive dammit! It’s a miracle! We finally have season 3 of Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s hit Netflix comedy and after an extended break and not many trailers or teasers, the full season is here to binge and it does not disappoint. After the slew of new characters and branching out stories in season 2, season 3 immediately draws all the main characters back together and shifts the focus back on them. Bringing the spotlight back on Kimmy (Ellie Kemper), Titus (Tituss Burgerss), Jacqueline (Jane Krakowski) and Lillian (Carol Kane) and while they don’t necessarily mingle as much as season one, they still are propelled forward in a non-sitcom style fashion that breaks the mould that these shows usually take.
The season opens with Titus washing up on a beach in a shimmering blue tuxedo. As he struggles to make it back to the apartment after only being away for a week, he returns with an odd yet interesting story about what happened and how he can get Mikey (Mike Carlsen) to rekindle the flame. Meanwhile Kimmy is getting ready to apply for college after graduating high school while battling off calls from Reverend Wayne Gary Wayne (John Hamm) her kidnapper from the bunker. Jacqueline is trying to keep her new in-laws from finding out her heritage and Lillian is hard trying to be elected to local council to keep the rich business men out.
These story-lines play out through the season and after Mikey is pushed to the sidelines, the focus on the four leads is a welcome return after the sidelines of season 2. After things delved deep into Kimmy’s psyche in season 2, it is good to see the series return to a lighter and more sillier tone in this season. Titus goes “lemonading” after finding Mikey playing Call Of Duty with another guy. It is a homage that may seem a bit out of date, however the authenticity of the parody and the attention to detail is so brilliantly executed, the time lapse doesn’t matter. Jacqueline’s quest to have her in-law’s accept her Native Indian heritage see’s her re-enact the pottery scene from Ghost with her husband’s grandma’s ghost. Lillian attempts to get elected for local council and stop rich yuppies from coming into their neighbourhood and increasing rent prices. It seems a little tedious until about halfway through the season when a relationship forms and this makes the storyline interesting.
The laughs are still here, there are so many jokes and one-liners crammed into every scene, I found myself still laughing from the last zinger when the next three were thrown in. This is what I really love about this show, I know that once I have simmered down after writing my review I will go back and watch it again to pick up on all the things I missed the first time around. In particular one moment when we start learning about Titus’s mishap on the cruise ship with singer Dionne Warwick (played by the hilarious Maya Rudolph) had me consistently laughing from the second it started to the end of the very long sequence. I am certain that there are many jokes I missed and I can’t wait to re-watch and get more out scenes like this.
Acting wise all of the top billed cast deliver a solid performance as expected. Some guest stars like Laura Dern as Revered Wayne Gary Wayne’s new fiancee is a welcome addition, as well as the return of Mimi played by the hilarious Amy Sedaris steals the show everytime she enters. Newcomers like Ray Liota as a disgruntled gas station attendant, Andrea Martin as Linda.P from HR has only one scene in the series but it is a memorable one. There is even a crossover with another Netflix show (no spoilers I promise!) that delivers a few moments of joy and context for a particular character’s arc.
Everything about Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season 3 is full of the positive and light tone that was delivered in the original. The focus back on the main four stars delivering as many one liners as possible with some zany and out there story-lines pays off for the writers as this is now a season to re-visit. While the underlying and darker messages are hinted at, they are not fully explored like they were in season 2 and this brings a breath of fresh air to the series as Kimmy attempts to move to the next stage of her life. My only complaint is that there was not enough episodes for me. I feel like this show could get away with having 5 or more episodes to flesh out some of the more interesting storylines like Kimmy at college and Mikey and Titus possibly attempting to get back together. There was a time when this show would deliver a perfect season and season 3 is it.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is streaming now on Netflix
Review by Alaisdair Leith