Schmigadoon! season 2 episode 1 recap: Welcome to Schmicago

Schmigadoon! season 2 premieres April 5, 2023 on Apple TV+.
Schmigadoon! season 2 premieres April 5, 2023 on Apple TV+. /

Last season, Josh and Melissa were trapped in the magical, musical land of Schmigadoon! until they were able to find true love. With them leaving Schmigadoon! at the end of the season, the second season picks up immediately after and montages us through the next two years of their life.

The couple gets married, gets a new house, and starts trying to have a baby. Everything is looking up, but as the montage continues, the monotony of life starts to take over.

The repetition of the mundane begins to be the dominating focus, until the bad seems to push out the good entirely. Then Josh suggests that they return to Schmigadoon!, where everything was happy.

Schmigadoon! season 2, episode 1 recap – Back to Schmigadoon…

Melissa agrees (immediately) and they head back to the woods to try and find Schmigadoon!. Unfortunately, their quest seemingly ends in failure.

As they head home they get a flat tire in front of a new musical land called Schmicago. While Schmigadoon! was a world set in the golden age of musicals, Schmicago is the next era.

It’s a darker, seedier musical world with sex and murder. Josh convinces Melissa to try out the new town, suggesting that any musical world is better than our real one.

The couple meets Jenny Banks, a performer at the local night club who invites them to watch her perform that night.

Schmigadoon! season 2, episode 1 recap – A night at the Kit Kat…I mean Kratt Club

At the nightclub, Josh and Melissa watch a performance that tries very hard to be lewd and shocking with mixed success. But when Josh goes to the bathroom, he stumbles into a dressing room and finds the body of a dead showgirl.

He is quickly accused of the murder. Josh and Melissa decide that they’ve had enough of this second magical town and hurry back to the car before Josh can be arrested.

But before they can get the car to start, the magical leprechaun reappears. While the leprechaun was a little out of place in Schmigadoon!, in Schmicago he sticks out like an even bigger sore thumb.

Plus he’s the only character to have made it from one musical land to the other. He sings a cryptic song, saying that Josh and Melissa are trapped in Schmicago until they can discover a happy ending.

And just like the previous magical musical land, they are once again stuck. Only this time, Josh is accused of murder and is taken to jail as the episode comes to an end.

Schmigadoon! season 2, episode 1 recap – It’s good to be back…

It can be a fine line between making a loving tribute to something and a parody making fun of that same thing. Schmigadoon! is doing backflips along that line like a tightrope and pulling it off magnificently.

It would be easy to think that Schmigadoon! as a concept, is something that really only works once. But the new town with a new vibe is a fantastic way to let the series expand.

Just like last season, musical fans will have to keep a pause button close by to try and catch all the references that are crammed into each song. Pippin, Cabaret, and obviously Chicago are all referenced in the first episode, with clear indications that references to Sweeny Todd and Hair are going to be coming along later in the series.

One of the best ideas that the new season is doing, is recasting all of the Schmigadoon! actors as new characters. This would be a nice enough way to bring back everyone when their old Schmigadoon! characters clearly wouldn’t work in the new setting.

But the fact that Josh and Melissa can tell that the hotel manager used to be the mayor’s wife, and Jenny used to be the farmer’s daughter, keeps reminding us that these two characters are just as much aware of the absurdity of musicals as we are. They even argue about which character is now who, the same way you would when somebody looks familiar on a show, but you can’t quite place them.

Like the first season, this one is about speaking aloud the traditionally unspoken rules of musicals. So figuring out a new set of unspoken rules, with this new era being played with, is a fantastic way to let the show move forward.

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What did you think of Schmigadoon! season 2 episode 1? Leave your answers in the comments below!

You can stream both seasons of Schmigadoon! on Apple TV+.