Hatcha! Whoopee! “Schmigadoon!” returns for Season 2 on April 7, 2023 with a darker tone. Unlike Season 1, which was inspired by golden age musicals of the 1940s and 50s, Season 2 of the Apple TV+ comedy transports the characters to “Schmicago.” The show will still be the humorous love letter to Broadway that fans adore, but this time it will be inspired by tuners from the 60s and 70s. “Schmigadoon!” picked up a few Emmy nominations, and even a win, when it was set in a colorful campy town. Will “Schmigadoon!” perform even better at the Emmys this year thanks to a lauded ensemble that pays homage to the likes of Oscar champs “Cabaret” and “Chicago”?
Season 1 of “Schmigadoon!” earned four total Emmy nominations. These bids include Production Design for a Narrative Program (Half-Hour), Music Composition, and a Choreography nomination for Christopher Gattelli. The show won a fourth bid: Outstanding Music and Lyrics for Cinco Paul’s absurdly catchy group number “Corn Puddin.”
That recognition was great, but the series is such a detailed and affectionately made love letter to musical theater that one can’t help but think that “Schmigadoon!” deserved more. Just take Kristin Chenoweth, who delivered a tour de force with her song “Tribulation.” Inspired by the classic patter song “Trouble” from “The Music Man,” Chenoweth spat out lyrics a mile a minute as she glided through one long, continuous take. Speaking of that highly choreographed long take, how was that impressive feat not good enough for the Cinematography category? Also missing from the Emmy lineup was Trish Monaghan and her vibrant, cotton candy costumes which tied the whole scene together.
Perhaps the easiest place for “Schmigadoon!” to increase their nomination tally this year is with acting nominations. The large ensemble is chock full of awards favorites. In addition to the aforementioned Emmy and Tony winner Chenoweth, the comedy features Emmy winner Keegan-Michael Key, Emmy nominee Cecily Strong, Tony winner and Emmy nominee Alan Cumming, Oscar winner and Tony nominee Ariana DeBose, Tony winner and Emmy nominee Jane Krakowski, Tony winner Aaron Tveit, Emmy and Tony winner Martin Short, plus new additions of Emmy nominee Tituss Burgess and Tony nominee Patrick Page.
Several of these performers have an increased profile at the moment thanks to other projects. Cumming hosts the addictive reality competition series “The Traitor.” Short leads the Emmy favorite “Only Murders in the Building,” which will release a new season soon. Key stars in Hulu’s sitcom “Reboot.” And DeBose is the current reigning Queen of the internet after she “did the thing” in a viral BAFTA rap. Increased exposure is always beneficial when trying to score an elusive Emmy nomination.
“Schmigadoon!” may also be the perfect vehicle to finally bestow Krakowski with a long overdue Emmy. She picked up four nominations as the deliciously vain Jenna Maroney on the Emmy-winning sitcom “30 Rock,” but Krakowski was never able to win her own statue. Not even for the series finale where she belted out the iconic “Rural Juror” theme song. Emmy voters could have atoned for this omission by rewarding the actress for her guest role in “Schmigadoon!” Season 1, but this time she wasn’t even nominated. The Tony winner has a serious Emmy IOU.
Speaking of IOU’s, Krakowski’s frequent co-star Tituss Burgess should also have an Emmy by now. He has six Emmy nominations, five of which come from playing the insanely quotable Titus Andromedon on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” His recreation of Beyonce’s “Lemonade” and original song “Pinot Noir” are comedy gifts that have never stopped giving. Now he’s stepping into Schmicago as the season’s narrator and should not be counted out on the Emmy ballot.
It’s not just Emmy veterans who could be recognized either. An early production still showcases Dove Cameron clad in black lace, her hair in a dark bob cut. With her leg bent up on a chair in a classic Bob Fosse pose and a bowler hat lifted to the heavens, it’s clear she is channeling Liza Minnelli during the “Mein Herr” number from “Cabaret.” That film earned Minelli an Oscar so perhaps some of that good luck will rub off on Cameron.
Cinco Paul is sure to cook up some new toe-tapping songs which send-up Kander and Ebb classics. And the Emmys will undoubtedly eat it up. But it’s time for the beloved cast who delivers this heightened material to be recognized as well. To paraphrase a certain “Chicago” character: they have it coming.
PREDICT the 2023 Emmy nominees through July 12
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