Kimmy Schmidt vs. the Reverend Is What Interactive TV Was Made For

Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) and Titus (Titus Burgess) go for a trike ride in Kimmy vs. the Reverend … unless you tell them to do something else.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch was Netflix’s first high-profile foray into the world of interactive storytelling, but while it was notable for its format, it wasn’t all that much fun to watch. The various narrative paths laid out in this tale about a video-game developer attempting to adapt a choose-your-own-adventure novel inevitably led to bleak conclusions. The approach brought some novelty to the streaming experience, but not much joy.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend, the new interactive movie spun off from the Tina Fey/Robert Carlock series, does the opposite. It brings nothing but joy. While traditional choose-your-own-adventure stories are plot-driven, Kimmy vs. the Reverend is plot-driven in theory but joke-driven in reality. The point of clicking on different choices — Should Kimmy wear the “fun dress” or the “fancy dress” to her forthcoming wedding? Should Titus and Kimmy take an Uber from a remote location in West Virginia or walk to their next destination? — isn’t to skip to the next, unexpected twist, but to discover more wonderfully silly jokes. In the TV comedy world, writers routinely write alts, or alternate lines, in an effort to find the funniest version of a scene. As an interactive experience, Kimmy vs. the Reverend is basically an alt delivery machine.

Fans of the series, which officially ended its episodic run in 2019, can expect
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