Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt review: Too light and too silly

Over four seasons, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” walked a daunting tightrope over its traumatic origin story, using an onslaught of jokes and unceasing chipperness to keep moving forward. No matter what creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock threw at Kimmy (an impossibly elastic Ellie Kemper) — including many-a-flashback to the years of abuse she suffered in an underground bunker — her broad smile served as a balancing pole for the whole series. This show was a comedy, not a dramedy (barf) like so many of its Emmy-nominated half-hour peers, and by the time “Kimmy” reached the end of its wire-walk in January 2019, all that zany energy helped the surviving “mole woman” work through her painful past to forge a future as bright as her candy-colored clothes. The Reverend,” the latest Netflix interactive special, does little to change Kimmy’s ultimate fate, sending the now-wealthy children’s book author to rescue a newly discovered bunker of kidnapped women on the eve of her wedding weekend. Sure, seeing Kimmy take an active role in helping others heal old wounds mirrors the show’s satiric stabs at American misogyny, but this special survives on the silly flourishes provided by letting viewers choose their own adventure. It’s a diverting, often ludicrous romp through easter eggs and dead ends, relying on viewers’ devilish eagerness to throw a wrench in it obviousnarrative arc as much as it asks them to give into Kimmy’s good-natured instincts. The Reverend” takes its sweet time getting to its central conflict, as the first choice viewers have to make is between unseen versions of Kimmy’s wedding dress: fun or fancy, whichever you choose will only determine the gown you see in the final scene. From there, we meet the groom-to-be, Prince Frederick (Daniel Radcliffe) and help Kimmy decide whether to make out with him (one of the first spirited dead-ends) or put the finishing touches on wedding plans. For instance, when Kimmy and Titus (Tituss Burgess, who makes a meal out of many great gags) head out of state in search of another bunker filled with kidnapped women, you have to choose whether they wait 4,000 minutes for an Uber to pick them up from the airport or walk the 12 miles into town. The “right” choice is obvious, but if you make them wait, in spite of Kimmy’s pleas and Titus’ complaints, the scene cuts to their driver pulling up two months later next to two decomposing skeletons. But it’s not trying to be a movie, and it’s not trying to replace the ending Fey and Carlock already provided or reexamine Kimmy’s tragic past; it’s just offering a good time in a way few other TV shows can, matching its madcap creative spirit to a format that allows every joke to have a home.