Netflixing: The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Season 4

in tv •  2 months ago

It's always a sad day when a show runs out of ideas.

And it can have any number of causes. Sometimes, the original creators are replaced by new writers who simply don't understand the material. Sometimes, the show has been poorly planned, and the lack of foresight causes the plot to write itself into an intractable corner. And sometimes, the showrunners simply don't have the courage to challenge the status quo.

The correct paradigm shift, that shatters the original premise of the show while also feeling like the natural consequence of that premise, can inject new life into a series.

And The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, I believe, fails specifically because it is afraid to make that leap.

But let's not pass judgment quite yet, because there are a lot of details that need to be discussed.

A Scandalous Season


Before anything else, we have to address the elephant in the room: this is the last season of Kimmy Schmidt.

Or rather, it was the last season. After announcing that season 4 would wrap up the series, it was also stated that season 4 would be split into two parts. Only the first six episodes are currently on Netflix. The remaining seven will be aired later in the year, possibly under the title of "season 5".

But once those episodes are released, that is the end. And fans are understandably unhappy that the show is ending and that the final season is being artificially split up this way.

Such moves smack of desperation. But then, it's easy to see why the showrunners are desperate: they have no clue about where they are supposed to take this story. Perhaps they were not planning on the show lasting more than two seasons (proving again why it is never wise to bet against yourself).

Still, with precious few episodes left in the series, we have all the more reason to cherish the ones we are getting. So let's examine what's on offer here.

The Good Bits


Season 4 retains the greatness of previous seasons in at least one respect: the individual jokes are still snappy and often result in audible laughter.

This does, however, take attention away from the story-driven characters (Kimmy and Titus) to shine a brighter spotlight on Jacqueline and Lillian. These supporting characters don't suffer from disintegrating arcs because they really never had arcs, except for a few background events that only serve as setup for their jokes. And season 4 sets them free from all their previous plotlines, allowing their comedy to become the brightest star left in the show's twilit sky.

The jokes are not all winners, though. And, more than in previous seasons, we encounter some that are labored, cheap, or that rely too heavily on topical issues. This is not the first Tina-Fey-pioneered show to languish under topical references. (I'm sure you've read my review of 30 Rock.) But such a reliance is particularly out of place in Kimmy Schmidt, as the essential themes of the show are not supposed to be political.

That most of the jokes still land, however, proves to me that this series could recover itself, if it were in the right hands. Alas, it appears that this is not to be.

The Less-than-fortunate Direction


When it premiered, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt distinguished itself from a lot of other TV shows by being more than a comedy. It was a narrative about surviving abuse, and going on to live a happy and funny life, despite all the terrible and traumatic things a person has lived through.

This important and unifying theme began to break up in season 3, which decided instead to focus on comedy. It was a glaring omission.

And it seems like the showrunners were aware of this, because in season 4 they tried to restore the deeper themes of the show. But they did this by simply recycling the traumas that were resolved in season 1. It's Kimmy versus the Reverend again. Because he's trying to get out of prison, which undercuts Kimmy's hardwon victory at the end of the first season. It makes me wonder if the whole thing won't turn into a Batman vs. Joker scenario, with the futility of putting a villain into an asylum they can always escape. Even though the show is a comedy, it treats its subject matter with enough seriousness that I would hope it could avoid such a cheap tactic.

Season 4 mitigates these problems, somewhat, by giving Kimmy a few small victories, in helping some immigrant salon workers, and possibly also opening the possibility of Kimmy becoming a children's book author.

Which is a plot I would be super interested in.

But, once again, the scarcity of remaining episodes throws this possibility for a loop. We really don't have enough time left to see Kimmy experience all the ups and downs of becoming an author.

As for Titus, his arc for this season is...forgettable. It mostly revolves around his inability to get anything done due to his penchant for procrastination, and his primadonna ego getting in the way of real character growth again.

That One Episode


And now we have to talk about episode 3.

As if it wasn't disappointing enough that we only get six episodes in this season, one of those episodes has to be wasted doing something...experimental.

As part of the plot, Kimmy encounters a documentary about DJ Fingablast, who happens to be a huge fan of the Reverend (aka DJ Slizzard), and is being manipulated by the Reverend to help him get his guilty verdict overturned.

This would be a fine plot point on its own. But the show dedicates an entire episode to it, meaning that episode 3 IS the documentary that Kimmy Watches. This fake documentary replaces the slot that should have been filled by an actual episode of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

I know in the past that I've praised Netflix for giving shows room to innovate with episode formats, but this...this was a fiasco.

The fake documentary is not funny. They were trying to emulate the better episodes of Documentary Now, and they somehow managed to fall short of even the worst episodes of that other show. Episode 3 was painful to watch, and embodied the laziest parts of Kimmy Schmidt's recent seasons.

My Judgment


It would be a mistake to dismiss season 4 of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt outright. The show may be withered, but it has strong roots, and I hate the idea that it's going to be discarded just because the current batch of writers can't live up to the show's outstanding legacy.

Nevertheless, at its worst, season 4 is like watching a puppy get put down. Nobody wants to watch that. We'd much rather see the puppy get adopted into a loving family that understands its quirks and how to market them.

Watching this season has reminded me why I write books instead of TV shows. With a book, the author at least retains a large measure of control over the work. A book author, in most cases, cannot be forced to outsource their IP to lesser writers, for the purpose of sequels, spinoffs, etc.

But season 4 is still funny enough to merit a single viewing. I can only hope that enough views will convince the showrunners to take the risks necessary to keep the show going, even if it has to reinvent itself.

Until then, it's on Netflix for your viewing pleasure.

Previous entries in the Netflixing series:

Past Years

TV Shows

  • Trollhunters, Season 3
  • Aggretsuko
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 4
  • Trollhunters
  • Round Planet
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 3
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events, Season 2
  • Kakegurui
  • Planet Earth II
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 2
  • Revolting Rhymes
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 1
  • The Polka King
  • Little Witch Academia
  • Movies

  • The Iron Giant
  • Jaws
  • Phantom Boy
  • The Boss Baby
  • Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
  • Strictly Ballroom
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    @talanhorne,
    If a show got bad writers who can't absorb or live in the series and write next chapter, it might end up like you said! It's a shame, anyway I will try to watch this series!

    Cheers~

    Very good review of the The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in Netflix series season 04 and very good writing my dear friend.

    @talanhorne sir..
    Kimmy Schmidt does take one of its boldest narrative swings yet with Season 4, a format-breaking homage to the insane popularity of true crime narratives that lacks the breadth and depth of other parody series like “American Vandal,” but still nails down its own spin, while also using the concept to add new insight into the characters.
    Nicely done sir...smart review sir....

    Well introduction of season no four of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt movie under the Netflix series. Interesting story for myself. Thanks to summery.

    Clearly, the darkness that’s always been present in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is finally breaking through in this fourth season, even though it’s also loaded with the same hysterical one-liners and fast-paced humor of the other seasons.
    Wel done and perfect work @talanhorne sir...
    All the Best

    This season, the show jokes, over and over again, about how injustice is ingrained within every level of society. And it does it so relentlessly that even Kimmy can’t always see the sunny side. It’s funny, and terrible, because it’s true.
    Wonderful work by @talanhorne sir...
    Cheers////

    That is valuable and great post. very good Netflixing movies and good tv series .
    Great writing this blog.
    @talanhorne
    Have a wonderful day.

    A wonderful review, my friend and the season 4 of the The Unbreakable Kimmy certainly deserves our viewing as a continuation of previous seasons and it is still interesting for us! Thank you @talanhorne

    @talanhorne - Sir I didn't watch this TV Series & after reading your professional review I'll watch all 4 seasons... Sir nice you decided to review this Tv Series...

    +W+

    I found interesting your judgment because you touch key points of this show and i say that because sincerely i didn't know this show but after read your post i have a whole idea. Thanks

    Great review.... The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.... Season 4 .....I am so glad to see this review. I love Netflix movies and series.... and your blog about Netflix more inspiring me ..... thank you so much for sharing Netflix review...

    This is processional and interesting review with hopefully tv series . for sharing.
    @talanhorne

    It makes me wonder if the whole thing won't turn into a Batman vs. Joker scenario,..

    Lol I like that!
    Interesting review of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Season 4!
    It has happened sooo many times to me when I loved previous episodes and the last one was total disappointment. Based on your review it could be the case as well even though you didn’t mention disappointed, you mentioned puppy getting put down.

    Very beautiful netflix life tv post to you for thank you very much, and post a lot like and like post vote and comments and post share, I like this post a total of all see and this post to everyone can vote

    Really indestructible Kimmy Schmidt I really like this part, thanks for the good feedback about it.

    I do like to watch this kind of comedy, eventhoug the humor becomes sometimes boring and overrated, almost like tongue in cheek thing, there are always moment making you laugh. Anyway we’re well written review as always!
    Great point you made about writing ✍️!

    I wish they will read your review & will understand what they were missed in Season 4. Netflixing needs professional writers like you do.



    impressive writing & nicely made a conclusion of the review. good article. @talanhorne

    @resteemia
    reteemed & upvoted

    Great review on The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Season 4. You such an amazing writer sir.
    I appreciate your efforts.
    Valuable post.
    I didn't watch this TV Series but after reading your post, I have decided to watch this movie with my friends on Friday. ☺💚

    Thanks for sharing this post.

    Have a wonderful day! 💕

    A wonderful review ,This is very interesting article and such a amazing netflix tv series.
    thanks for sharing.

    Resteem Service

    Here's some comedy scenes included and it's known from your summery writing. Here's some big story and best way to watching. Thanks to posted @talanhorne.

    The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has some comedy looks and it increase to watch this movie to mine. TV reactions feel much better. I love to see comedy and other titles mixing movies. This one has some it.

    Excellent way to enter to the discussion. A valuable article for all Netflix TV/Movie Lovers & fans. Good job done.

    you are very good at writing articles and for quality efforts.this is interesting tv series and wonderful work

    100% like and resteem

    Watching this season has reminded me why I write books instead of TV shows. With a book, the author at least retains a large measure of control over the work. A book author, in most cases, cannot be forced to outsource their IP to lesser writers, for the purpose of sequels, spinoffs, etc.

    Excellent comparison & perfectly told us the different between script writers & authors. Valuable article & thank you.

    The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is awesome series sir thanks a lot for exploring about it and a great review from you sir.

    Well change is good but as a matter of fact sometimes the main thing just disappears in that act :(

    Congratulations @talanhorne
    Now you are in the MinnowsPower Loyalty Member List...!!!

    Exceptional writing & a wonderful review of 'The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Tv Show...!!!

    100% Upvoted by @MinnowsPower

    @talanhorne, That's excellent review of the The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in Netflix series season 04. Most interesting conversations there. But totally not prefer me. I prefer only 75% there. But I give 100 marks for your review.

    The characters of it looks really kind of amazing have to start watching this one :D

    Hello @dennisschroeder,

    Extraordinary good review of the TV series. Professional judgment has been provided at the end.

    ~@mywhale

    I think is a interesting comedy and season 4 don't looks as fun as past seasons but i think we have to try it, great post too specific and fun to read i almost feel the passion with which you write

    Hello @talanhorne
    Well said, nice review on the tv series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Season 4.i havent heard about it before, not until now
    Thank you for sharing at this hour, i appreciate. Will try searching for more series related to the show mentioned. KUDOS!!!

    This is really this tv story. best writing &good post .@talanhorne

    Resteem

    DQmUG4ZCRU5wwfb2rW8tmxav3xMiREfw89BEhjW5mNJSfZz.gif

    I was not aware of the facts but you have very nicely written about the facts and getting a in-depth insight of this series.

    waiting to see your next review @talanhorne sir. Thanks

    Awesome blog post sir as a fan of yours i always love your blog posts a lot sir.

    Amazing TV Series . Great experience @talanhorne

    For your post propagation.
    Upvote/Resteem

    😂😂 Fabulous post sir. I like to watch Netflix movies in my spare time with my little sister. This is an amazing movie. I will definitely watch this movie.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Upvoted & resteemed your post.

    İt is wonderful. You are awesome @talanhorne

    your review is always good enough to decide whether we should watch the show or not
    when you have got better options
    it is better to skip

    Yes it's saddening. If you have watched the whole series but the thrill isn't there anymore.

    And it can have any number of causes. Sometimes, the original creators are replaced by new writers who simply don't understand the material. Sometimes, the show has been poorly planned, and the lack of foresight causes the plot to write itself into an intractable corner. And sometimes, the showrunners simply don't have the courage to challenge the status quo.

    I agree. The new content creators may not understand the material.
    Anyways can you suggest a series based on college stuff and adventures.

    Thanks for the recommendations of this movie. Following them you can save your time.

    Very inspiring and very touching reasoning. Thanks!

    I'm just getting to know about this show The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. From the description you've given so far, it seems quite fascinating, the suspense, the desperation and the characters involved.
    Well done @talanhorne

    good collection really nice..nice tv show..

    Great review @talanhorne. Thanks for you I have found this nice TV series

    the show of Miss Tina Fey had been quite entertaining and moved, but with this last installment of two parts leaves much to be desired because despite showing us the adult life of Kimmy without preambles is quite good but the formula is complicated to want innovate what ends in rejection.

    you see the trouble for wanting to finish the series because it is quite abrupt the way they do it.

    A season with two parts, the joke tells itself.

    It's a fun TV with a very intriguing broadcast of hearts. 😊 Awesome!

    This is worth a lot and everyone needs to watch this and thanks a lot for your research sir.

    Superb work sir thats why i feel that you are the best,lots of love sir.

    really very interesting Netflixing movies and good tv serious.i attracted your talented movies. firsly i am knowing this show matter.its fully new idea for me.great review again..my dear friend.. @talanhorne.really your post very original and real.. your writing very powerfull and your movies very excellent.i am enjoying it.thanks to sharing for your great post..my dear friend.. @talanhorne very well done.take care yourself and best of luck of your great work.

    overall very honest review!
    i think there is lack of spark in this season
    which is quite visible from your review

    Season 4 is really so special sir thanks a lot for your suggestions.

    Great and valuble post from you sir your suggestions are priceless i love your blog posts so much sir.

    One of Netflix’s longest-running comedies, the story of a young woman (Ellie Kemper) rebuilding her life after 15 years underground as the prisoner of a cult leader has been rich with absurdity from the beginning. And as Kimmy’s world has gotten bigger, the characters who surround her have only gotten stranger over the seasons. Thanks for review.

    You are really doing great job by teaching us about netflex and its movies, i have a facility to use netflex free for a year but i have not avail it, but i think now i need to do it.

    I do not know much about the program, but after reading your post I already have an idea, there is a great story and I love watching comedies, successes!

    Most of the time disaster happen when the main creator is replaced or leaves.
    Looks like you also like animation series, if you do like animation then i would suggest you to watch "Puss in Boots".

    i haven't watched any season of this show
    will it be better to watch previous seasons as well or directly this one

    It's fun to enjoy. You write with an incredible ability. Very touching! ^_^

    love your post sir