Recap 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Season 1 Because You're Alive, Dammit!
Netflix is dominating the original programming game these days, thanks to its chilly political thrillers, dark family dramas, gritty superhero shows, progressive prison dramedies, nostalgic comedies, trippy sci-fi action-ers, historical epics, and much much more. But there is nothing on the streaming service — or on all of television that matter — that can match the brightness and zaniness of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt , Season 2 of which premieres this Friday. The endlessly-quotable show created by Tina Fey burst onto the crowded TV landscape last year as its indefatigable heroine burst out of her bunker. Now, in preparation for its sophomore season, study up with your official Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 1 recap!
The first season of the hilarious sitcom starred The Office alum Ellie Kemper as the titular happy-go-lucky young woman, Broadway actor Tituss Burgess as her fabulously fierce roommate Titus Andromedon, Fey's 30 Rock co-star Jane Krakowski as wealthy Manhattanite Jacqueline Voorhees, and Oscar-nominated film actress Carol Kane as droll landlady Lillian Kaushtupper. The first batch of episodes also featured guest appearances by the likes of Tina Fey, Jon Hamm, Nick Kroll, Dean Norris, Kiernan Shipka, Martin Short, and more.
Here's what this talented cast got up to in Season 1, and where things left off in the cliffhanger-filled finale:
Females Are Strong As Hell!
The series opens when Kimmy Schmidt and three other women are freed from an underground bunker where they'd been imprisoned for 15 years by the Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne, who had convinced them all that an apocalypse had occurred in the outside world. Dubbed the "Indiana Mole Women" upon their release (and made famous by a viral video that also doubles as the show's theme song), Kimmy and her friends ventured to New York City for an appearance on the Today show — but while the rest eventually headed back to their home state, Kimmy decided to stay behind to give big city life a try.
Kimmy Takes Manhattan!
Anyone living in NYC needs three things: a job, a home, and friends. Kimmy found all three in short order, getting a babysitting job for Jacqueline's two children Buckley and Xanthippe, renting an apartment from Lillian, and bonding with roommate Titus. Throughout the season, she decides to get her GED, convinces Lillian to leave her cheating husband, reconnects with her estranged father Randy and his second daughter Kymmi, and goes through various short-lived romances (like with Charles the handsome tutor and Logan the snobby Brit) before finally confronting her feelings for Dong Nguyen — all with her characteristic smile and positive attitude.
At the end of the season, Kimmy came face to face with her past when she returned to Indiana for the trial of Richard Wayne Gary Wayne, and — after a brief setback getting accidentally locked in the bunker again — singlehandedly managed to convict the man who had held her captive for half her life!
While Kimmy was busy acclimating to life in the Big Apple, her new bff was off having plenty of misadventures of his own. In the course of 13 episodes, Titus got up to plenty of shenanigans, including staging his own version of The Lion King, auditioning for Spider-Man Too: 2 Many Spider-Men, getting a job as a werewolf at a horror-themed restaurant, taking lessons from "straight coach" Monsieur Le Loup, and — most memorably — creating his instantly iconic music video, "Peeno Noir."
After trying to capitalize on the Reverend's trial for his own fifteen minutes of fame (with disastrous results, natch), Titus was left with one doozy of a cliffhanger: the sudden appearance of his heretofore unmentioned wife, Vonda!
Although initially high-strung, Kimmy's employer slowly mellowed out as we got to know her better… Well, that's a lie, Jacqueline remained consistently high-strung, but we did get to know her better! Along the way, we visited her ghoulish plastic surgeon, attended her cult-like spin class, weathered her messy divorce, and — most shocking of all — learned about her secret Native American heritage.
After Jacqueline and Lillian took a bumpy road trip together (neither of them knew how to drive, being born-and-bred New Yorkers) to support Kimmy during the trial, Mrs. Voorhees decided it was time for her to go reconnect with her own past. So the season finale saw her heading for South Dakota to visit her parents on the reservation!
The People v. R.W.G. Wayne!
The unmentioned joke hovering over the entirety of Richard Wayne Gary Wayne's trial probably makes a lot more sense to a lot more people in retrospect, now that FX's The People v. O.J. Simpson has aired. Yes, that's Tina Fey and fellow former Saturday Night Live cast member Jerry Minor as hapless prosecutor "Marcia" and her co-counsel "Chris." Get it now?
In the end, Kimmy cracked the case for them with the help of a videotape found in the bunker that proved the Reverend knew the apocalypse hadn't actually happened. And with that, one chapter of Kimmy's life closed for good… but another is just about to open!
All 13 episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 2 will be available for streaming on Friday, April 15.
Images: Eric Liebowitz/Netflix (6)