“Schmigadoon!”, or “Schmicago!” as it is then branded in the opening credits, is also a return for those who made the series so charismatic. Key and Strong are the true core of the series, and their chemistry feels even more natural this second season. And it’s also about the joy of the returning supporting cast, watching performers like Cameron, Camil, Chenoweth, DeBose, and Harada take on different characters while allowing their gifts in acting, dancing, and singing to fill out the spectacle. The talent becomes a special gift with the show, and their excitement becomes infectious. And the series introduces Tituss Burgess as an omniscient narrator, a role that he seems to relish with each joke about breaking the fourth wall or moment in which he shows off how well he can sing, too.
With the help of so many triple threats, “Schmigadoon!” flourishes with its “let’s put on a show” mentality, which can lead to some great musical numbers—Jane Krakowksi, Ariana DeBose, Kristin Chenoweth, and Cecily Strong have standout performances and also get some of the funniest lyrics. However, it becomes clear which sequences were imagined with more pizazz, as some numbers are visually flat, with only inserted wide shots of excellent choreography to break up stage-locked monotony. There are some points in which the Emmy-winning series looks like it cut back on the budget, though some of its bare stagings might be part of the point.
But that’s not an overriding problem with this show, which solidifies its formula in this second season to the beat of more catchy songs by Cinco Paul (a striking chord change here, a burst of vocal harmony there). Here is a series that could run for many more Broadway mix tapes, because it honors tradition: watching “Schmigadoon!” feels just as good as when one discovers a more-than-noteworthy new musical, including a set of songs to get lost in.
All of season two was screened for review. The first two episodes of “Schmigadoon!” season two are now playing on Apple TV+.