Shared on-screen mythologies are a fun way of making the stories presented in those mediums more exciting, with a larger scale. Obviously, that mainly happens with superhero adaptations, most notably the #MCU, #DCEU and TV's #Arrowverse.
Yet this practice might have just been taken to a whole new other level thanks to the hit Netflix show, #UnbreakableKimmySchmidt. Recently, the show's co-creator, Robert Carlock sat down for an interview with Entertainment Weekly to discuss the fact that...
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Just Kickstarted A Netflix Shared Universe
During Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 3 Episode 5, Kimmy's former apocalypse believer, Gretchen, kidnaps a group of boys for her very own cult, with the intention to blow the boys and herself up. To contain the situation, the FBI reached out to Kimmy and asked her to go to the scene. Fortunately, our perky protagonist managed to calm Gretchen down.
As would be expected, Gretchen is sent to prison, specifically, Litchfield Penitentiary. Fellow #Netflix bingers will recognize the penitentiary as the setting for #OrangeIsTheNewBlack. Once Gretchen stepped into the location, she encountered Adrienne C. Moore's Black Cindy. That, my friends, effectively created Netflix's shared TV universe.
According to Robert Carlock, this isn't just a fun nod for fans. Things are meant to get bigger from here. While explaining how the crossover came to be, the creator revealed the show's creative minds were going to take advantage of any new possibility for a crossover:
"Once we went down that road with that story [...] we knew that Gretchen either had to go to jail or get blown up. We didn’t want to blow up Gretchen [...] so we knew she was going to jail [...] We thought it was funny to suggest we lived in that same world as 'Orange Is the New Black,' and of course, we’re always looking for Netflix synergies. [...] We’re gonna have [...] any opportunity we can to crossover with other Netflix shows."
Who would have thought? Kimmy Schmidt could be living in the same universe as Bloodline or Hemlock Grove. Now, the excitement doesn't stop there, because Carlock's ambitious plan is not limited to Netflix content.
The Netflix Shared Universe Could Be Bigger Than We Thought
Carlock revealed they had originally intended to have a crossover with #30Rock for Season 3 with Jack McBrayer's Kenneth Parcell walking by in the background:
"This season we actually tried to do a [30 Rock cameo], but we didn’t pull it off, and I hope some day we will. Tina and I have been joking for a while about just having Jack McBrayer just cross in the background at some point on his way to work as Kenneth, the president of NBC, in one of his 1970s suits."
Unfortunately, that didn't pan out. But that was only the first attempted step to expand the universe—let's just go ahead and call it the Netflix Shared Universe (NSU). According to Carlock, their intention is to create a world comprised of every single TV show ever created.
"At the end of the day, what we want is a unified field theory where every fictional show in the world is actually real in our universe."
Crossing over or at least have a connection with all those TV series is quite ambitious and would make the NSU impressively massive. The thing is, it would be quite a headache to pull off, as many shows often drop references to other series as being fictional pieces of entertainment. But who knows? If handled correctly, Netflix could have its very own Pixar Theory-worthy world.
That's the state of the current NSU. Given the sheer madness of this idea, you might be wondering whether the universe will ever get as big as Carlock teased in the interview. The fact that the first steps to achieve it have been taken tells us it's a definite possibility. But as any project still in its infancy, we should wait to see what happens.
Do you think Netflix is on track to create one of the biggest shared universes ever? If so, where do you think it could go? Let me know in the comments!