4:05pm PT by Kate Stanhope
'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Digs Deeper in Season 2
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt earned a surprise early season-three renewal on Sunday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour, but the forthcoming second season was still the hot topic among the show's stars and co-creator Tina Fey.
"She grapples with some pretty heavy life stuff in this season," star Ellie Kemper said about her character, who moved to New York in the first season after being locked in a bunker for most of her life.
Although season one was about the hilarity of Kimmy catching up on 15 years of pop culture and news stories, "Now she's got deeper emotional and life issues that she kind of has to really get into, and that’s more what this season is about," said Fey.
There is also a lot of "personal growth" ahead for Titus (Tituss Burgess), who Fey says will enter into a grown-up relationship this season.
"There is a one-man play that he self-produces," said Burgess. "I think that towards the end of the season there's another opportunity.
Interjected Fey: "A small-scale opportunity."
But, added Burgess, "He is far, far away from the type of fame that he thinks he's deserving of."
While Titus is entering into a new relationship, Jacqueline (Jane Krakowski), Kimmy's boss, is just getting out of one. "Jacqueline is definitely trying to come to learn what her life is now that she's no longer Mrs. Voorhees. … [She's] trying to stand on her own two feet," said Krakowski. "They've given her a wonderful opportunity to grow into a more fully formed human being this season, and I think she really does have a great understanding of what the world is about by the end of the season."
Because of her split and her subsequent lack of funds, "the employer-employee relationship is sort of muddied," Kemper said of Kimmy and Jacqueline's dynamic.
Season two of the critically acclaimed comedy is the first made entirely for Netflix. The series was originally ordered by NBC before it moved to the streamer when the writers were already deep into season-one production.
Because of that, Fey said that season two's episodes will run longer, averaging 27 minutes per episode. But even though there are no longer commercials to worry about, she and the writers still write towards "imaginary act breaks."
Despite the increased flexibility to include swearing and other more adult subject matter with Netflix, Fey said the show won't change that much tonally in season two. "We definitely have the freedom to kind of explore these ideas, but we also became aware just anecdotally after season one premiered that we have, in a lot of ways, a very young audience," she said. "And so we wanted to make sure that even if we went toward more difficult ideas and in terms of the language and what you're seeing on screen, you can still watch it with a 12- or 13-year-old girl."
Continued Fey: "The fact that we've realized that our audience is young, as a mom, I would hate to trust this show and then put on the second season and then there's just prison sex. That has its place, believe me."
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's second season premieres April 15 on Netflix.