Musical comedy delights with a trip to Schmicago

Back in the summer of 2021, Apple TV+ delivered a musical comedy that captured my heart. Cecily Strong and Keegan Michael-Key were a couple in need of a jump start who wandered into the magical world of Schmigadoon, a place where musicals come alive. At first trapped, the experience was an object lesson that prepared them to move forward back in the real world.

The six-episode musical had delightful production values and original songs, buoyed by some great performances, particularly from the leads. Schmigadoon!, from creators Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio was one of the most under-appreciated series of that year. It landed in my Top 10 and I’ve waited to see what we’d get next.

That answer comes April 5, as the second season debuts on Apple TV+. It’s another six-episode adventure, with the first two episodes dropping April 5 and subsequent episodes dropping weekly throughout April. For those who’ve waited eagerly to see how and when the series would return, rest easy, it’s still great.

That’s not to say it’s exactly the same. Where would the fun be in that? If the first season was about an epic love story, the second season poses the question, what comes after the happy ending?

We pick up where we left off, with Josh (Key) and Melissa (Strong) back at home. They get their happy ending, but during a montage to start the season we see that after your happy ending you have to find a way to be happy in your lives. Looking for a spark to pull them out of their rut, they decide to return to Schmigadoon.

They find the bridge and cross it only to find a new narrator (Tituss Burgess) and a new location—Schmicago. That’s right, we’re getting a whole new generation of musicals, and a whole new set of challenges for Josh and Melissa. Can they overcome it?

If you know how musicals work, you know they will. But it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. And this journey, while different and at times darker, is still a lot of fun. That’s thanks to the creativity of the performances and the writing.

The musical influences this time come from another era of shows, including Chicago, Cabaret, Sweeney Todd and Hair. You can see those influences in the style, costume choices, narrative and in the overall arc of the music. There are some fantastic musical numbers and some great beats of humor.

Burgess is the main new addition to the cast, and he’s stellar as the narrator. In addition to Strong and Key, most of the supporting players return for season two, including Alan Cuming, Dove Cameron, Aaron Tveit, Jamie Camil, Kristen Chenoweth, Ann Harada and Jane Krakowski. All are playing new roles and excel in this new story.

I also enjoyed that this season gives more of a showcase to the musical talents of our leads, Strong and Key. It was a fun romp, one that featured an engaging story and a number of beautifully crafted musical numbers. I am thrilled the series is back, delivering another excellent season that I’m sure will again be in my Top 10. If you haven’t seen it, check out season one and dive into season two. You’ll be glad you did!

Schmigagoon! Season 2 debuts on April 5 on Apple TV+. I’ve seen all six episodes.

Season Grade: B+

Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.


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