HomeEntertainment NewsA Delightful Return To Form For The Musical Comedy Series

A Delightful Return To Form For The Musical Comedy Series

Part of the fun of this season (I’ve seen all six episodes) comes if you know enough not only about the shows being spoofed but the respective resumes of some of these actors. It’s funny enough to watch Cumming and Chenoweth bouncing off each other again, in much different roles than they had in the first season; it’s funnier still to see them grousing about orphans they have to deal with, specifically if you recall that they respectively played the incorrigible Rooster and Lily in the TV-movie version of “Annie” over 20 years ago. It’s enjoyable enough to see DeBose as the MC of a seedy nightclub a la “Cabaret” before remembering that one of Alan Cumming’s breakout roles in the United States was … playing the MC in an actual Broadway revival of “Cabaret.” And so on.

The other novel twist in this season is in flipping the script on its predecessor. The opening season put Josh and Melissa at odds because Josh was almost vehemently unfamiliar with and uninterested in the Broadway musicals being referenced, while Melissa not only recognized them but was more than happy to get involved in the musical proceedings. This time around, due to some childhood trauma, Melissa’s only vaguely aware of the shows serving as inspiration for this parable, and Josh finds himself almost instantly hooked on the more adult, darker tones evinced by nightclub dancers, thieves, and others. It’s a natural progression of where the show went (also ensuring a lack of distracting mid-show commentary about how baffling it is that characters just up and sing and dance at a moment’s notice).

If there is any potentially dicey aspect, it’s this: if you are familiar with shows like “Chicago,” “Cabaret,” and “Sweeney Todd,” you know that what makes these musicals so memorable and so effective is that they do not shy away from the darkness. “Cabaret” is full of dexterous and deft music, and seeing as it’s set in Germany in the early days of the Nazi regime, it does not attempt to spruce things up with a happy ending. “Sweeney Todd” is about a crazed ex-con who kills people and turns them into meat pies (reductive, but still accurate). These are not bright and happy shows, nor even is another of this season’s inspirations, “Hair,” whose hippie characters are turned sour by the onslaught of the Vietnam War. “Schmigadoon!” is still, at its heart, a show that loves its two lead characters and is invested enough in their happiness to not indulge too deeply in darkness. (Suffice it to say, there are no actual Nazis or human meat pies in this season.)

But these are still trifling matters in what has stealthily become one of the most delightful streaming-era shows to date. “Schmigadoon!” wears its heart on its sleeve, even when things get too dark or too groovy (there is a fair deal of hippie humor, allowing Key to play a few extra notes in Josh’s repertoire). Both Key and Strong fit back into their roles smoothly, and the cast surrounding them is only too happy to both embrace and playfully skewer Broadway-musical tropes. “Schmigadoon!” felt like an unexpected magic trick the first time around, and miraculously, the second season is just as winning.

“Schmigadoon” season 2 premieres April 5 on Apple TV+.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments

%d bloggers like this: