This month, EW debuted your very first look at season 2 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Netflix’s sleeper-hit comedy about an underground cult escapee readjusting to the modern world.
Now, there are even more details to share about what fans can expect from Kimmy’s sophomore adventures — or, rather, those of her roommate and partner-in-crime, Titus.
At the end of the first season, viewers were shocked when the openly gay character’s ex-wife Vonda showed up unexpectedly. Season 2 will force Titus to face his past with his secret spouse, but he may be better armed to deal with it — for one, because of the effect of Kimmy Schmidt on Titus Andromedon.
“Her optimism, her sunniness and selflessness and being considerate of other people is wearing off on Titus,” teases Tituss Burgess, who earned an Emmy nomination for the breakout role last year. “And, because of Vonda’s visit, he has to expose more of that soft core. We find Titus being more readily available to decalcify. He has to come to terms with some stuff, and you’ll find out in the first episode how and why he made the exit, and that just explains so much. There are a lot of layers to this man to peel off, because it’s not just this false sense of fabulousness. It is a protective armor, so we find him having to undo what he has worked so hard to do.”
As Titus journeys toward a better understanding of himself and how he became the guarded, grandiose figure he has since evolved into, he’ll also reckon with a new love interest who may or may not help him in that quest. Thanks to Burgess’ input, Titus’ romantic interest this season is markedly different from whom viewers might have seen the character seduce in season 1 (see: the “sexy mummy” episode). At the beginning of production on season 2, Burgess says he voiced his wish to series creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock to see a more honest type of romance for his character.
“I was slow to greet, with open arms, the type of guys that were introduced as possible love interests for Titus in season 1,” admits Burgess. “The story that I know, or that I’ve experienced — and the story of all of my peers who are in my likeness —choose a different type of man, and it is not the 28-inch-waist, six-pack-y type of guy. There is an otherness going on, something that is rooted and grounded in the everyday man, if you will, and where although the exterior may be perfectly aesthetically pleasing, it is not what the attraction is built on.”
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Thus, Titus will field a love interest in season 2 who “is exactly what I described” and “grounds Titus in a way. Not that Titus’ fabulousness and all of his eccentricities are off-putting, but this [relationship] makes it even more palatable because we see the part of him that he had been hiding.”
But oh, there will still be that very fabulousness that helped make Burgess’s character such a captivating draw when Kimmy Schmidt debuted last March. Don’t plan for a “Peeno Noir” sequel, to be sure, but do prepare for Titus’s newest venture: a one-man show.
“It’s about a past life that he insists he remembers,” says Burgess, adding that the sensitive subject matter may ruffle some feathers. “It’s very funny, and oddly touching. Given the PC social climate that we live in today, there’s so much that humans claim are a part of their human composition that other humans cannot contest … so it was lovely to go down that yellow brick road and watch, once again, how Tina and Robert so brilliantly bring up tension and juxtaposition in a way of humor. It makes you question why we’re so quick to question the authenticity of someone’s experience, even if it’s something that didn’t happen in this current life.”
Musical moments are in plentiful supply, but there’s still one wish list item fans won’t be able to cross off their lists just yet: a duet between Titus and Jacqueline, the rich divorcée played by Jane Krakowski. “Jane and I keep hinting at it to Tina and Robert,” says Burgess. “I do believe the time will come, and it will be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I actually have my if/when episode that will allow for that, that I’ve talked to them about. I think I’ve figured out a way to do what everyone wants to see the two biggest divas on the show do.”
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt returns for season 2 on Netflix this spring.