Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has explored the cult world while showing the effects it leaves behind. When Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) and the others were rescued from the bunker, they had to learn how to live their life from “mole women” to normal women.
In the episode “Sliding Van Doors,” we see the alternate universe of how different the characters become when certain events do not transpire. Titus (Tituss Burgess) joins the Church of Cosmetology where Gretchen, who lived with Kimmy in the bunker in the real timeline, is the leader. He misses his Lion King audition but is determined to make it in Hollywood. He never comes out as a gay because he believes it would the very thing to hold him back from success.
Showrunner Robert Carlock said, “In a larger sense, blind belief systems whether it’s in oneself or in an extreme version of religion have never been the solutions to our characters’ problems. Cosmetology is certainly one of those and, hey, it works. Titus becomes a really successful actor.”
Kemper’s Kimmy character is a spoiled rich girl in the alternate universe who never got kidnapped. “Kimmy’s arc and journey throughout the whole series has been that she’s trying to make the world a better place and she really has to come to terms with the fact that she can’t control her outside circumstances and other people’s choices,” Kemper says. “She can only control her own decision to be a good person. I think in that episode, it’s almost as though she didn’t have that realization; she didn’t understand that the power rests with her to make decisions that are good for her, that could improve the world.”
This episode sheds light on some truly disturbing revelations in our world. The show continues to tell the stories of topics that get swept under the rug. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is one of the few shows that are successful with its portrayal and expectations of characters and reactions.