On Tuesday, TV fan Jared Currier noticed something odd: The opening credits for The Americans and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt both use the same snippet of stock footage, a vintage clip of a tiny ginger girl happily doing the hula-hoop.
When pressed, the Gregory brothers, who created the UKS opening credits, denied any connection. Which of course means there is a connection. It’s almost certain that The Americans and Kimmy Schmidt take place in the same universe. The only question is: How are they linked? Here are our theories:
Kimmy’s parents are Russian spies.
The Americans tells the story of a pair of Soviet spies pretending to be normal American parents in the 1980s. You know who else was born in the ‘80s? Exactly. We didn’t learn much about Kimmy’s parents in UKS’s first season, other than the fact that she has a stepdad. Did her parents get divorced, thanks to the (well-documented on The Americans) pressure of being Russian spies? It’s plausible!
Kimmy’s landlord was in a violent leftist group that had ties to the Soviets.
Kimmy Schmidt heavily implies that Kimmy’s landlord, Lillian (Carol Kane), was in some sort of Weather Underground–style leftist group back in the ‘70s. (She sanded off her fingerprints!) The real-life connections between the Weathermen and the Soviets are still being disputed, but in the fictional world of Kimmy Schmidt and The Americans, who’s to say that Lillian and the Jennings didn’t have the same Russian handler? It’s possible!
Update: One fan on Tumblr has noticed another link between The Americans credits and Parenthood. This thing goes deeper than we thought.