Get ready to crack open a bottle of Pinot Noir, because we’ve got the lowdown on what’s coming up in Season 2 of the wildly clever Netflix Comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. From creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock (30 Rock), the series stars Ellie Kemper as the title character, a determinedly optimistic young woman adjusting to life in New York City after 15 years trapped in a cult leader’s bunker.
While at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt stars Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess and Jane Krakowski, and creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock spoke with the press about creating the show and teased what’s ahead for the dauntless title character and her menagerie of peculiar cohorts. Find out what we learned below.
Where are they at on Season 2? The writers’ room started in May, they’re currenty still writing, and production begins on August 17th.
- For those who don’t pay attention to the nitty gritty of pilot pickups and network scheduling, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was originally created for NBC before moving homes to Netflix. However, audiences shouldn’t expect any major shift toward unrated content in Season 2. Carlock said that the tone feels set and Fey agreed, “I wouldn’t expect any cursing or nudity.”
- Fey also mentioned how many people have commented that they love watching the show with their children, and she “would hate to ruin that in Season 2.”
- They are taking advantage of the famous Netflix freedom in terms of playing with time and structure, and they never have to worry about offending an advertiser.
- Netflix also provides them the opportunity to move away from the strict “21:15” episode length of network comedies. Netflix encourages them to expand on the standard length, and Fey and Carlock agreed it’s a fun idea. While they don’t want to let the episodes get slow and bloated, they’re happy to be rid of the burden that came with trying to carve episodes down to such a specific running time. The episodes for the first season averaged a little over 23 minutes.
Just because Kimmy and her fellow Mole Women won the case against Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne don’t expect her to suddenly be free from the burden of her past. Fey explained, “She would love to believe that’s entirely put behind her now, but new obstacles may present themselves before she can go on and live a fully realized life.” Fey continued, “She’s in a big hurry to get everything she wanted out of those out of the missing years of her life and hitting some speed bumps along the way.”
- Carlock said a specific challenge in writing the second season is to “not let Kimmy stop being Kimmy…She has to keep that strength and optimism and the fun of that naivete.” In Season 2 we’ll see her, “Continuing to open up to the world. Moral relativism is a new idea for her.”
- And what of Kimmy’s sweet boyfriend Dong, who she lost to a greencard marriage at the end of the first season? It’s worth noting that the actor, Ki Hong Lee, has been pretty busy with the Maze Runner franchise, so just as an educated guess, I wouldn’t expect to see him in every episode, but Fey did confirm he’ll return and that “Dong is not fully out of her life.”
So, how exactly did the brilliant “Peeno Noir” bit develop? Carlock said they always knew they wanted Titus to sing, and in fact they had to restrain themselves on how much he ended up singing. They had the idea that Titus would use the internet for self-promotion, a series writer, Sam Means, came up with the “Pinot Noir” double entendre, and then they just needed Tituss’ unique magic to pull it off.
- Yes, people give Tituss a lot of free wine. “I have been drunk since the show aired,” joked Buress. And people don’t ask him to sing it that often, but they do sing it at him a whole lot. “I just get randomly sung at on the streets. So it’s pretty lovely.”
- How does Kimmy Schmidt creatively fulfill Fey and Carlock in a way that 30 Rock didn’t? Carlock explained that there’s a lot more room for the characters to grow, “As big as the premise may be, these people are having experiences that are closer to real life.” Fey pointed out that the characters on 30 Rock was very privileged and “it’s nice to see a little bit of otherness.”
- Netflix is notoriously tight-lipped about their viewership numbers (indeed, prior to the panel, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos declined once again to reveal any numbers to the press), and that mum policy applies to their creators as well. Fey said she doesn’t know how many people have tuned into Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but has heard anecdotally that there are a lot of viewers. “I feel like a lot of people are watching,” she joked.
All 13 episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt‘s Emmy-nominated first season are currently streaming on Netflix. The Season 2 premiere date is yet to be announced.