The title character in “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” has a whole new job in season 4 — but she’s still as eccentric and charming as ever.
“You can expect more nonsense,” says Robert Carlock, who co-created the Netflix sitcom with Tina Fey.
This next — and last — season will be split in two, with the first batch of six episodes dropping on Wednesday, and the rest being released at a later date. The show centers on Kimmy Schmidt, played by Ellie Kemper, who is getting used to life in New York City after spending 15 years being held captive by a doomsday cult.
“I think the first three seasons were about Kimmy getting her feet under her, coming to grips with the fact that she’ll never quite escape her past and accepting that and making that part of herself in a practical day-to-day sense like having a place to live and a job,” Carlock tells the Daily News. “This season is very much about where she’s trying to be a grown-up and succeeding and failing in equal measure.”
More specifically, her cluelessness from being kidnapped in eighth grade and removed from society comes into play, says Kemper, who’s racked up two Emmy nominations for the role.
“Kimmy works in human resources and she has no technological knowledge,” Kemper tells the Daily News. “From the get-go she messes up — in a Kimmy way, which is naive and unknowing.”
Kemper, 38, is known for appearing in shows like NBC’s “The Office” and films like “Bridesmaids” (2011) and “21 Jump Street” (2012).
Other key cast members in “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” include Kimmy’s melodramatic struggling actor roommate Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess); their landlady Lillian Kaushtupper (Carol Kane); and socialite Jacqueline (Jane Krakowski), who hires Kimmy as a nanny.
Kemper admits to feeling sad about the show ending after this season, but says she’s curious about how it’ll wrap up. There are two things she appreciates most about her sunny character.
“I love her outfits because she is so girlish in her personality and her wardrobe choices,” Kemper says. “That and her relentless optimism.
“Also, the writing on our show is so brilliant,” she adds. “I think it’s the funniest show on television.”
Carlock says that he and Fey are also ok with the critically acclaimed series coming to an end after this season, since they’d always envisioned it lasting four to six seasons.
Carlock, who’s written for shows like “Friends” and Fey’s “30 Rock,” first starting working with Fey while he was writing for “Saturday Night Live.”
“She’s the best,” he gushes. “She can do anything. It’s fun to sometimes lose track of the fact of, ‘Why isn’t Tina in at 7 in the morning for a call?’ ‘Oh, she’s doing a shampoo commercial. She’s famous!’ It’s fun to try and get her to do things that famous people should just not have to do.”
Besides being an executive producer on “Kimmy,” Fey, 48, also wrote the book for the musical version of “Mean Girls,” which opened on Broadway last month and has a dozen Tony nods. She’s also raising two daughters with her composer/producer husband Jeff Richmond.
“I think there are like six of her,” Carlock jokes. “I don’t quite get it either. She is someone, if I can get her on the phone for half an hour, I can do a day’s work because of her feedback and instinct…I’ve just never worked with anyone like her.”
Kemper also says she’s in awe of Fey.
“She’s the hardest working person and tenacious,” Kemper says.
“30 Rock,” which aired between 2006 and 2013, got some attention for its jokes about Bill Cosby in the months leading up to him being found guilty last month of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, and amid dozens of other similar accusations.
“It was common knowledge that Bill Cosby drugged women,” Carlock explains of the jokes being in the sitcom he co-executive produced long before most of the public had heard about the allegations. “We didn’t know the extent of it, but on ’30 Rock,’ we did jokes about it. People had accused him of it in the ’90s and we believed them.”
Carlock and Fey are currently working on another sitcom for NBC, but he’s not sharing any details.