It doesn’t look like we’re in Schmigadoon anymore… Season 2 of the Apple TV+ musical comedy show Schmigadoon! will take its audience from the Golden Age of the ’40s and ’50s and transition them into the dark, murderous musicals of the ’60s and ’70s! Think: Cabaret, Hair, Sweeney Todd and, of course, Chicago, as our favorites Josh (Keegan Michael Key) and Melissa (Cecily Strong) stumble upon the land of Schmicago while looking for their beloved Schmigadoon.
When season 1 of the uplifting series was released, the world was in the midst of the global pandemic, Broadway was shut down and the show gave musical Lovers and beyond a peak back into the world they missed so much. Now, as we continue to creep back to our new normal, the show sings to a different, but still important, tune with season 2. “I think now the show has gained hopefully a bit of an audience and people loved the first season, and now we’re getting to expand the world, right? I think the world of the second season is much bigger, and the show is just a more ambitious, broader show,” Aaron Tveit, who stars this season as Topher, told HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE interview. “Hopefully people that maybe aren’t necessarily ‘only’ theater fans will be able to go a little more on the ride this time around because it’s such a darker, grittier kind of story. So, I think it a oddly has a wider appeal this time around.”
Dove Cameron, whose Jenny pulls from Sally Bowles in Cabaret, echoed her co-stars’ sentiments and praised the show’s creator, Cinco Paul. “I also think that the brilliant thing, and Aaron has mentioned this previously about musicals being this sort of ‘Trojan horse; for emotional lessons that we all need to learn… you just don’t even realize you’re getting the emotional download until the end of it,” the singer told HL. “Cinco does that so brilliantly over the course of a like a six episode arc. And by the end of it, even as somebody who was reading the scripts, I’m sobbing. I’m feeling complete. I’ve been taken on a journey. I think that’s what is so special and what I think we’ve been lucky enough to really take part in our careers quite a lot, are these larger than life characters in these larger than life worlds dealing with very human problems.”
She continued, “As an audience, it allows us to escape into their world and forget who we are. But then, by the end, of it, it brings us back to ourselves and we’re kind of recalibrated. I think that Cinco has done a really good job of that this time around, and I think that’s always needed and relevant.”
Dove went on to compare her roles of Jenny Banks this season to her Betsy McDonough from season 1, and found some interesting parallels, as well as differences, when looking back. “My character from season one was this very sexist projection of the commentary of what a woman should be at the time that these musicals were being written. But, it’s interesting because she was so aware of what she was doing to these men, which is also the narrative written by men about women at that time. It was like she knows what she’s doing, she’s a vixen, and I’m a good man from a good home. I think it’s interesting because that was a huge commentary on women’s worth and their ‘pureness,’” she recalled.
Looking ahead to Jenny Banks, Dove admitted the role is still a ‘commentary’ on how women were portrayed during the ’60s and ’70s, but there’s some clear differences to call into question. “The character of Sally Bowles was so groundbreaking and this incredibly flawed woman, but also a woman who was in charge of her own sexuality, a woman who was deeply, deeply flawed and traumatized, but at the same time, there’s actually a reversal of awareness,” she theorized. “Sally Bowles is deceptively not self-aware, like she’s wanting so much from the world around her and trying to use everything that she has to get it, but she is so childlike in her efforts. I think that that’s an interesting switch that those characters went through. I wonder if that’s a commentary on how we view women throughout the times, the decades.”
The first two episodes of Schmigadoon! season 2 drop on Apple TV+ on April 5th.
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