‘Kimmy Schmidt’ Debuts Interactive Special, Tech Adds to Fun
The interactive Netflix special — “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend” — debuts today. Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) is about to marry Frederick (Daniel Radcliffe) when she learns disturbing news.
The nefarious reverend (Jon Hamm) who kept Kimmy locked in a bunker for 15 years is at it again. Ready for battle, Kimmy races cross-country to save other women. Meantime, landlord Lillian (Carole Kane) is handling her wedding plans, while agent Jacqueline (Jane Krakowski) keeps Titus (Tituss Burgess) from being fired from his action movie.
Here’s the twist, the viewers decide the fate of the characters via interactive technology on the screen. Yellow options appear, with a timer, so audiences know speed is of the essence. Variety noted: “It’s hard enough to keep track of one story that’s constantly changing; the fact the ‘Kimmy Schmidt’ team managed to do that with three interlocking ones is a feat, to say the least.”
The interactive format seems suited to the over-the-top aspect of “Kimmy Schmidt.”
The characters struggled in various ways throughout the original series, particularly Kimmy, who was scarred by her captivity. The special’s offbeat comedy vibe keeps the tone light, but we never lose sight that healing takes a lifetime.
Collider added that while all three outcomes were different, the fun factor never varied and the cast gets to stretch their respective acting muscles. Unlike its use in Netflix’s “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch,” the interactive element is entertaining rather than searing.
“Kimmy vs. The Reverend” is directed by Claire Scanlon and written by Tiny Fey, Robert Carlock, Sam Means and Meredith Scardino.