TV: ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ and Ellie Kemper’s Time with the Emmys Has Come


The first season of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” made strides for its depiction of post-trauma life, allowing its protagonist to be the symbol of hope, positivity and, yes, even laughter. The second season of the Netflix show reunites viewers with the contagiously affable Kimmy (Ellie Kemper), a young woman who restarts her life in New York City after being captured by a dooms-day obsessed reverend (a charismatically mansplaining Jon Hamm) and his underground cult. Apart from demonstrating (and songifying) that females are strong as hell, creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock bring a little realism to Kimmy this season, albeit still maintaining its lighthearted tone, allowing scenes between her and a therapist (an inebriated and wise cracking Fey) as a means to channel some anger. And if Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” taught us anything, it’s that women sometimes get angry – and that’s totally okay. Unfortunately, this year’s Emmy’s might give “Kimmy” fans a reason to get angry if it goes home empty-handed again.

Last year, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” nabbed seven nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series. It also garnered four acting nominations for Hamm, Fey, Jane Krakowski and Tituss Burgess, but egregiously excluded Kemper from Outstanding Actress, despite getting a nomination in the casting department. That’s most likely due to who was nominated last year. Lisa Kudrow (“The Comeback”), Edie Falco (“Nurse Jackie”) and Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation”) all had shows that were ending – or in Kudrow’s case, who also makes a guest appearance on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” this season, had a TV role that couldn’t not get nominated. But with those three slots open now, Kemper is due her nomination this year.

It’ll be nice to see Kemper get her due, but, unfortunately, that might be the only victory the series will get at the Emmy’s. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who won last year, is high competition, along with newcomer Rachel Bloom for her breakout role in the CW’s hit-show “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” So it’s highly unlikely for Kemper to win and probably safe to say the same goes for the other actors, as well, even though Fred Armisen killed it as Robert Durst (see what I did there?) Fey seems like the only likely actor with a shot, playing Andrea, a high-functioning alcoholic who waxes words of wisdom between burps as Kimmy’s therapist. Her character this season is far more layered compared to last season where she played Marcia Clark (yes, that Marcia Clark) during the reverend’s trial. The Emmy’s do love Fey, she’s been nominated nearly 40 times for various categories and several projects including “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live.” We’ll have to see if they love her again this year. When it comes to the biggest award – comedy series – it’ll likely lose out to reigning champion “Veep” or past winners like “Transparent” and “Modern Family.” There’s also competition from newcomers like “Master of None” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” to worry about. So in all likelihood don’t bet on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” this year.

Possible nominations in the comedy series category

  • Outstanding Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Actress – Ellie Kemper
  • Outstanding Actor – Tituss Burgess
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress – Jane Krakowski
  • Outstanding Guest Actress – Tina Fey
  • Outstanding Guest Actress – Lisa Kudrow
  • Outstanding Casting

Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times,, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.