Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend gives the viewers freedom to have some fun with the comedy and the absorbing lead character.
Netflix interactive film Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend will be released on the platform on May 12, 2020 — this review of the comedy film contains no spoilers.
When Black Mirror did the first-ever interactive streaming experience, it made sense. The Netflix anthology is based on choices and outcomes from its characters. With Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt no longer producing new seasons, an announcement of an interactive film felt skeptical. For something so diverse, quirky, and sensationally random, does an interactive film experience work or will it feel like a tedious undertaking?
READ: Will interactive movies shakeup cinema?
My skepticism was dead wrong — Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend is hella fun.
While Netflix’s first stab at the interactive experience led to more fatal choices, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend gives the viewers freedom to have some fun with the comedy. For instance, in the opening act, you get to choose Kimmy’s wedding dress — should she go for fun or classy? Beware, Titus is prowling around ready to pounce with an opinion.
The real story behind Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend is not the fact that Kimmy is getting married, but her willingness to unearth the truth to find more bunkers that the Reverend left behind. This really is one last battle for Kimmy to remove the Reverend’s evil past and secure freedom for more women. Each option you take provides certain story paths to reach a conclusion.
But there are certain options that bring dead ends. Rather than asking the viewer to restart a particular scene and that be the end of it, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend even make wrong turns fun, sandwiching in random scenes and letting the viewer know that they have clearly messed up. The wrong turns feel like a natural u-turn rather than game-like with the additional scenes.
And when you are finished you can start again and maneuver through the other story paths. At the end, it teases you to restart.
But if anything, it’s good to see Kimmy Schmidt again with her environmentally-induced naivety and her approach to making us smirk with her ad hoc silliness. I’m sure Netflix will revisit this character again one day.