Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season 3 production still. Image: Eric Liebowitz / Netflix (via Netflix PR).
Episode 2: Lillian runs for office
Season 2 Lillian’s constant griping and moaning about gentrification was funny for about an episode, but it quickly became a tired problem and she a cantankerous bad neighbor. Which is why seeing her finally step up and do something about it in the second episode of season 3 had me immediately perking up my ears. Lillian fearlessly runs for office as a city councilwoman in an effort to combat the encroachment of “yuppies” onto her turf. Her campaign largely revolves around trying to get her single constituent, Kimmy, to vote for her (no one else in the neighborhood is registered or eligible to vote).
But the two key moments for her in the episode are when she takes over Jacqueline’s speech over providing clean water to the neighborhood with a few painfully funny references to the 2016 presidential election (cementing a friendly rivalry that will play out well the rest of the season), and the final payoff of the entire episode: when she gets voted down by the city council in about a second, and everyone moves on.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt‘s absurdity retains its humor by remaining firmly grounded, and the utter shutdown of Lillian’s plans by a bunch of other dull, methodical people on a board was an incredibly real reminder of how politics actually works. It also pushes Lillian to go even bigger for the remainder of the season. Win-win, even when you lose.