When information broke that Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt could be getting a particular interactive episode, a religious successor to Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch, followers had been understandably puzzled. The sitcom had dropped its “closing season” many months prior and couldn’t be extra completely different than Netflix’s dour anthology in phrases of tone. However whereas Charlie Brooker’s tackle the choose-your-own-adventure format by no means fairly lived as much as its potential, Kimmy vs The Reverend proves there’s still life in the thought and that comedy would possibly nicely be its greatest path ahead.
Put merely, this episode is ready to take all of its precursor’s shortcomings and convert them into strengths. For starters, the place Bandersnatch prioritised experimentation over compelling narrative, each department in Kimmy vs the Reverend feels genuinely satisfying. The absurd humour of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is especially useful in this regard, accommodating some actually weird endings that still really feel according to the broader context of the collection.
Likewise, this interactive particular is ready to iron out different creases that didn’t fairly work the primary time round. These 10-15 second pauses in which the viewer will get to decide on an choice felt a tad awkward in Bandersnatch, whereas right here they’re simply full of one liners or visible gags. There are still early pathways that basically go nowhere, however their presence may also be justified because of some pleasurable meta humour. Impressively, many selections do have a significant affect over how issues unfold.
It took me two viewings to get to the happiest ending in Kimmy vs the Reverend, however each felt like markedly completely different experiences. It was stunning to see simply what number of unseen jokes cropped up throughout my second try, whereas the repeated traces had been sharp sufficient to not lose any of their appeal. Once more, that is one other occasion the place comedy simply feels higher suited to this format than drama, because the style is arguably much more rewatchable. In any case, most individuals revisit Buddies or The Workplace extra often than Breaking Dangerous or Recreation of Thrones.
Admittedly, the niggling feeling that you simply’ve missed out on sure jokes or storylines can still be a bit of irritating, however it by no means significantly detracts from how pleasurable the episode is. In truth, this might nicely be thought-about among the finest but, particularly for longtime followers.
If season 4 supplied a reliable, albeit not massively memorable, ending to this collection, Kimmy vs The Reverend is a rousing victory lap that sends it off in model. Ellie Kemper, Jane Krakowski, Tituss Burgess and Carol Kane are blisteringly humorous as all the time, however the episode additionally incorporates various visitor stars from the earlier 4 seasons. It’s an actual delight seeing fan favourites reappear in surprising methods, whereas a number of callbacks make this particular really feel like a real celebration of the sitcom.
Kimmy finds her (literal) prince charming in the type of new addition Daniel Radcliffe, who performs sheltered British royal Prince Frederick. Abruptly springing a model new love curiosity on followers was a daring transfer by the writers, however Radcliffe masters the zany tone of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt virtually immediately, pairing brilliantly with Kemper’s excessive power lead efficiency.
It’s outstanding that Kimmy vs The Reverend is ready to make the most effective of its format, whereas staying true to its wacky sense of humour and central ideology, which is summed up superbly by Ellie Kemper in one genuinely transferring scene. It makes a powerful argument for interactive tv being greater than only a gimmick, whereas offering a worthy finish to among the finest sitcoms of the previous decade.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs The Reverend involves Netflix on Tuesday, 12th Could – try our record of the most effective TV reveals on Netflix, or see what else is on with our TV Information