top of page

SCHMIGADOON!: S2  |  AppleTV+  |  April 7, 2023

Starring:  Cecily Strong, Keegan-Michael Key, Ariana DeBose, Dove Cameron, Jaime Camil, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Ann Harada, Jane Krakowski, Aaron Tevit, Martin Short

Directed By: Robert Luketic

Having found true love in the town of Schmigadoon, season two of “Schmigadoon!” will find Josh (Keegan-Michael Key) and Melissa (Cecily Strong) in Schmicago, the reimagined world of ’60s and ’70s musicals. The second season of Apple’s broadly acclaimed comedy will include new original musical numbers from co-creator and executive producer Cinco Paul.

REVIEW BY: Darren Zakus

Schmigadoon! returns for another season of musical razzle dazzle, saying goodbye to the joyful musicals of the 1940s and 1950s and ushering in the darker musicals of the 1960s and 1970s, once again with stellar performances from the entire cast!


Schmigadoon! is made for musical lovers, with the first season being one of my favourite television series of 2021. While it took a while for it to be announced, AppleTV+ has renewed their hit musical comedy series for a second season to once again delight audiences with its comedic twist on musicals that have delighted audiences for decades. And the results are nothing short of spectacular, building on the strong foundation that the first season created with a larger cast and more extravagant musical numbers with all the heart and humour that made audiences fall in love with the series in the first place.


After finding true love at the end of the first season, Melissa and Josh returned to the real world happily together. However, their happiness is fading due to the grim reality of the world, having them reminisce about their time in Schmigadoon. Hoping to rediscover that joy they used to have, they decide to return to that joyful little town, but instead of Schmigadoon, they find themselves in Schmicago: a darker, 60s/70s inspired city full of crime, shadowy individuals and danger around every corner. Just like they couldn’t leave Schmigadoon, Melissa and Josh are stuck in Schmicago until they can find their happy ending, but they will have to do so fast before Schmicago permanently ruins their lives.


The 60s and 70s were a time of great change in musical theatre. There was a distinct movement away from the stylings of Rodgers and Hammerstein, introducing the musical genre to a seedier style of show. With smash hits like Chicago, Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and Pippin, there was an inherent darkness to these stories and their songs that is reflected in this season of Schmigadoon. At the same time, this was the time era that saw the start of some of the most prominent creators in musical history: Stephen Sondheim, Bob Fosse, and Andrew Lloyd Webber, and you can see their influences throughout the season. And while the season highlights the darker musicals of the time, there are still energetic and fun references to lighter musicals like Annie, Little Shop of Horrors, Company, and Hair to provide the season with a well rounded collection of musical influences. Every episode is overflowing with inside jokes and nods to Broadway shows that musical theatre lovers will eat up, catering to the show’s primary target audience, while having enough broad references to famous musicals that have been turned into movies for the more casual viewer to recognize and enjoy.


The result is some outstanding musical numbers, both of the larger cast dance numbers and great solos and duets to highlight the talents of the cast of Broadway stars. On the dance number front, the highlight is without a doubt the mashup ode to Sweeney Todd and Annie featuring the incredibly talented Alan Cumming and Kristen Chenoweth is wickedly fun, with Jane Krakowski’s “Razzle Dazzle” esque “Bells and Whistles” courtroom musical number as a fun runner up that highlights Krawkowsi’s talents as a musical theatre performer that more general audiences may not realize she has. Marking the standout songs for the solo or smaller group numbers is Aaron Tveit’s “Doorway to Where” which unleashes his incredible vocal range with a number that is reminiscent of Pippin’s “Corner in the Sky”; Cecily Strong, Araina DeBose and Dove Cameron’s tongue and cheek take on Company’s “You Can Drive a Person Crazy” with the jail bird inspired “Bustin’ Out”, or DeBose’s solo number that pays homage to Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s first musical “Little Shop Horrors.” Just like the first season, the songs are once again penned by Cinco Paul, ensuring that theatre lovers are destined to have countless new songs to play on loop between each new episode.


With the majority of the cast from the first season returning but in new roles, audiences are once again treated to a first rate caliber of Broadway performances. Strong once again continues to be a wonderful comedic actress while showcasing a great vocal range in the musical numbers, that combined with her energetic and splendid screen presence and chemistry with her fellow castmates, makes for an outstanding performance. Returning cast members Chenoweth, Krakowski, Tveit and Cumming continue to stun with excellent performances while taking on new roles this season, once again inspired by famous Broadway characters from the musicals of the 60s/70s, showcasing different sides to them that they did not get with their characters last season. Patrick Page and Tituss Burgress are good additions to the cast, bringing a personality type that is absent from the rest of the ensemble cast. If there was one disappointment with the cast this season, it was the lack of DeBose. It is understandable after her big Oscar win last year for West Side Story and now being heavily in demand, and while she stuns in all of her episodes, it would have been great to have more of her over the course of the season. 


Being a period piece and the high production value of AppleTV+ originals, it comes as no surprise that the show looks stunning. The sets bring to life the brooding and dark world of Schmicago, from the seedy nightclub that is based on the Kit Kat Klub from Cabaret or the dirty streets and shop of Cumming and Chenoweth’s characters inspired by the settings of Annie and Sweeney Todd. In addition, the costume design is exquisite, most notably the costumes for the nightclub sequences which feature dazzling costumes for DeBose, Dove and Strong, and every costume that Krakowski wears. Every aspect of the show is gorgeously designed to bring to life the darkness in Schmicago while capturing the elaborate set design and costumes of a real life Broadway musical, resulting in a fully immersive world for the story and performances to formulate in.

Needless to say, Schmigadoon!’s second season is another resounding hit for AppleTV+, and I for one have my fingers crossed for another season of this genius television series! From outstanding musical numbers that are guaranteed to have you tapping your toes, lots of great jokes and homages that will delight musical theatre lovers and a talented ensemble cast full of excellent performances from some of Broadway’s finest performers, Schmigadoon!’s second season’s visit to the 1960s and 1970s is a razzle dazzle spectacular that results in one of the best shows of the year so far!

RATING  5 out of 5

bottom of page