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‘Schmigadoon!’ Season 2 Is a Dark Musical Lover’s Dream

5/5 Fosse dance breaks

Josh and Melissa standing in front of a sign in Schmigadoon season 2

Schmigadoon! has become that kind of show that I dreamt of as a young theatre kid. With original music tied to the songs and shows we’ve loved in the past, the series takes us through Melissa (Cecily Strong) and Josh’s (Keegan-Michael Key) relationship woes. Starting when the two were not on the best of terms as a couple, the first season brought us to the Golden Age of musicals—or, as many refer to them, the classics. They’re fine shows and the music is classic for a reason but they’re not my favorite era of musicals.

But season 2? That’s where we’re getting into the good stuff. When Melissa and Josh need to go back to Schmigadoon after struggling to have a baby and needing the guidance that Schmigadoon brought them in the first place, we’re met with a different city entirely. Called “Schmicago,” it instantly sets an eery tone of the music that Stephen Schwartz brought us with Pippin mixed with the addictiveness of Bob Fosse, Kander, and Ebb’s Chicago.

Now, I did not know what was going to happen when I started season 2. I, like Josh and Melissa, figured it’d be more of the same musicals. But I was lucky in that I was very wrong. It’s not that I hate classic musicals; I just think that musicals have evolved to be more productive works of art and constantly revisiting the “Golden age” does nothing but highlight musicals that are outdated. So, hearing the songs inspired by Sweeney Todd and Cabaret, even with a bit of A Chorus Line in there, really does make this season amazing.

God I love a dark and twisted musical

Keegan-Michael Key and Cecily Strong as Josh and Melissa hanging out in Schmicago
(Apple TV+)

What I love so much about this season of Schmigadoon! versus the first season is simply that there is more to work with in the context of musicals from the ’70s! Pippin and Chicago may have a similar vibe to their music, but the subject matter of each show is wildly different, not to mention bringing together Miss Hannigan and Mrs. Lovett into the same role. It’s just a masterclass in how you can mold musicals to your storytelling when you need to, and it makes for an incredibly strong season for Schmigadoon!

And yes, I do think that this is one of those shows that is simply better if you’re a fan of musicals. Particularly this era. But it’s also just a great show in general, and watching how all the storylines come together this time around keeps you on the edge of your seat.

The series does constantly have that feel to it that if this were the end, it’d be okay. But after finishing season 2, I just hope that we’ll have more of Schmigadoon! and get to see how the show tackles each new era of musicals that lies before them—especially the rock musical era, bcause if that’s how I get Aaron Tveit singing Spring Awakening-esque songs, so be it!

(featured image: Apple TV+)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.