After scoring his second consecutive nomination for “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” can Comedy Supporting Actor contender Tituss Burgess win the Emmy Award with his episode submission “Kimmy Gives Up”? He stars as Kimmy’s flamboyantly gay roommate Titus Andromedon on the Netflix comedy, a struggling New York singer and actor whose ego is matched only by his overwhelming self-doubt.
As Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) struggles to complete her GED, Titus takes Lillian (Carol Kane) on a tour of musical theater’s greatest forgotten shows, including an all-black version of “Oklahoma” titled “Alabama,” and “Gangly Orphan Jeff,” which had the misfortune to open six days after “Annie.” Lillian thinks Titus can’t stop singing because he’s so happy about how well things are going for him lately in his career and his relationship with Mikey (Mike Carlsen), which freaks him out.
Titus later admits his fear that it could all go away at any minute, and Lillian assures him that although happiness is indeed fleeting, he should still enjoy it while it lasts. Can Burgess win for this episode? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons:
With its many original musical numbers, this episode gives Burgess the opportunity to show off the singing skills he honed in such Broadway shows as “Jersey Boys” and “The Little Mermaid,” where he originated the role of Sebastian. Better yet, there’s emotional context to the singing, since it’s based on how Titus feels about his relationship.
This season saw a lot of real growth for Titus, especially in his relationship with Mikey, proving him to be more than just a goofy sidekick. Will voters reward his range with a statuette?
Burgess is funny in this episode, reminding voters that the word “comedy” is indeed a major part of this category.
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” has had a rough go at the Emmys, with its overall haul down to just four bids from last year’s seven. It’s also failed yet again to factor into the writing and directing races, a real surprise given its pedigree of creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock (“30 Rock”). Could this work against Burgess?
Emmy voters love repeats, and last year’s victor Tony Hale (“Veep”) is in the hunt for his third prize in this category, as is Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”).
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