Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Both Kimmy and Titus have surprisingly poignant breakthroughs in “Kimmy Learns About The Weather!,” which takes their storylines in the episode to unexpected places. Unfortunately, the revelations they have are far more compelling than some of the build-up, which borders on tedious, and there isn’t quite enough time for us to see the full weight of those revelations. The episode does end in a way that suggests we’ll be coming back to all this in the next episode, but it’s unfortunate that the best parts of “Kimmy Learns About The Weather!” are rushed, shoved in at the end with little time for the characters to live in them.

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Kimmy becomes worked up while watching the local news, where an over-the-top weatherman named Drench Thunderman warns of the incoming hurricane “Tammi with an i,” telling New Yorkers to stock up on canned goods and hole up in bunkers. His doomsday tone brings Kimmy immediately back to the bunker, where the reverend had them all convinced the world was ending. Lillian tells Kimmy she can’t believe everything she sees on the news, especially weatherpeople, who hype storms for ratings. Kimmy becomes convinced that Drench is basically a large-scale reverend, duping people into believing they need protection from the apocalypse. It’s an interesting, if surface-level, storyline about fake news, especially because zeroing in on weather forecasters in particular is both funny and real. I’m certainly all for any story that paints weather forecasters as the liars they are. Ultimately, the writers don’t seem to have anything to really say about fake news, and maybe that’s okay, especially since the show’s social commentary can be very hit or miss.

Rather, the storyline is just a fun little way to get Kimmy to a major realization about the nature of the world. Drench explains that storm patterns are very unpredictable. Some storms are bad, and some aren’t. Now, it’s not the most coherent extension for Kimmy to apply this logic to the concept of bunkers, but I’m still intrigued by where her newfound believe that not all bunkers are bad might be going. Maybe in order to move further beyond her time in the bunker, Kimmy has to take power away from it by creating a good bunker to wait out this storm in. We see her just at the beginning of this revelation, so it’s not yet clear if that’s where the writers are going with it. But the idea of Kimmy needing to create a safe space for herself ties into her overall narrative of regaining control over her life.

Titus is similarly hit with a personal revelation after a Big Pharma company steals his likeness for a new ad campaign for bladder medication. In the ads, a little purple bladder sounds exactly like Titus, down to his theatrical catchphrases and nonsensical exclamation like “foop!” Titus confronts the white dude impersonating him in the ads and learns that a recording of his audition for a drug commercial before he went on the cruise led to his voice being used for the ads. Not only that, but his audition was so messy and absurd that the executives changed the entire premise for the ad, hiring someone to follow Titus around so they could model the bladder after his narcissism. Titus realizes he’s a villain. While he blames the world and others for his lack of success, it’s clear that he’s also part of the problem. Titus has had to come to terms with his selfishness in the past, but this feels like a new layer to that introspection rather than a rehashing of that material. It’s not where it looked like the story was going, and yet it’s a natural and meaningful place for it to go.

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Lillian’s war against Big Naturals (the grocery store, not the strip club) gathers traction when she convinces the construction workers at the site to go on strike. Artie and Lillian go back and forth all episode, Artie trying to convince her he’s one of the “good guys,” not all that unlike her, and Lillian points out that even supposedly good guys make promises they can’t keep, like the unfinished Second Avenue Subway plan. Eventually, Lillian confesses that her aversion to change comes from the fact that every change in her life has been negative. Contextualizing Lillian’s anxieties about change as a specific and personal fear elevates this storyline, which has been a bit of a weak spot in this season. But here, it’s more grounded and more illustrative of who Lillian is. Titus, Kimmy, and Lillian all make realizations about themselves in this episode, giving the season some needed momentum.

Stray observations

  • “Hurricane Tammi with an i” kills me.
  • Some of the structure of this episode is a little clunky. Kimmy getting involved with Titus’ problem, for example, is very forced.
  • Titus@TurkishHackers.con
  • Titus considers his personal style to be “uptown gayby,” while the Big Pharma guys describe it as “dumpster sassy.”
  • “You’re so overboard that you make the movie Overboard seem like a lighthearted comedy instead of a messed-up story about a handyman enslaving a woman with a brain injury!”

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