The 5 Best Musical Numbers from Schmigadoon!’s Take on Schmicago

TV Lists Schmigadoon!
The 5 Best Musical Numbers from Schmigadoon!’s Take on Schmicago

Schmigadoon!’s first season, which premiered over two years ago on Apple TV+, was admittedly just okay. But its second season, which takes place in the city of Schmicago and pulls from musicals of the ’60s and ’70s, has been phenomenal. In the aftermath of the first season, Melissa (Cecily Strong) and Josh (Keegan-Michael Key) sought out Schmigadoon once more when they began to become unhappy in their repetitive lives, only to instead stumble upon Schmicago, with much seedier characters and different lessons to learn. Throughout the season, Melissa and Josh attempt to achieve true happiness for all the interesting people around them, each of which are familiar faces from Schmigadoon, but ultimately end up meddling in places they shouldn’t have. 

While the series’ plot and characters instantly felt more fleshed out and intriguing from the very first episode of this new season, we know why we’re all really tuning in to Schmigadoon! week after week: the musical numbers. Schmicago allowed for Schmigadoon! to pull from more recognizable musicals like Jesus Christ Superstar, Cabaret, and, of course, Chicago, alongside many others, and it seemed like each episode featured more musical moments than the last. In addition to being a genuine delight each and every week, Schmigadoon! upped the ante in every way this season, and delivered in spades on its promise of ‘70s and ‘80s musicals told through a lovingly comedic lens. 

Though it’s a nigh-impossible task, we have ranked the best musical moments from Schmicago, starting with number five. But first, a few honorable mentions to Ariana Debose’s “Over and Done,” “Everybody’s Gotta Get Naked,” and the closing song “Happy Beginning.” 

5. “Something Real,” performed by Dove Cameron and Aaron Tveit (Season 2, Episode 4)

If you weren’t already convinced from her performances in the Descendants movies, or from her viral pop stardom, Dove Cameron offers even more proof that she is a superstar to watch in this duet with Broadway’s beloved Aaron Tveit. Her role as Schmicago’s Jenny gave Cameron so much more to sink her teeth into than Season 1, and this number is the cherry on top of her already compelling performance. Even if their romance is fast-paced (they met that same morning—but this is a musical, after all), the emotions feel grounded and real, and are perfectly highlighted by the beautiful blend of Cameron and Tveit’s voices. 

4. “Bells and Whistles,” performed by Jane Krakowski (Season 2, Episode 3)

Jane Krakowski established herself as a scene-stealer during the first season of Schmigadoon!, when her singular number in a seemingly self-driving car became one of the highlights of the season. In Schmicago, Krakowski is a lady-lawyer named Bobby, and her larger role within the series allows for multiple stand-out numbers, but none more so than Episode 3’s “Bells and Whistles.” It is absolutely hilarious that Bobby can simply put on a performance and win whatever case she pleases, as she’s able to completely exonerate Josh for first degree murder in less than four minutes. Though, I also don’t blame the jury for coming to that conclusion, as this performance is jaw-dropping. Bobby’s fast-paced explanation of Josh’s innocence is just as impressive as her splits, and the catchy tune is guaranteed to be stuck in your head for days. 

3. “Good Enough to Eat,” performed by Kristen Chenoweth and Alan Cumming (Season 2, Episode 4)

Whoever thought it would be a good idea to create a mash-up of Annie and Sweeny Todd deserves a raise. After running out of meat at his butcher shop, Dooley (Cumming) approaches his new lover Miss Codwell (Chenoweth) with a proposal: he takes a few orphans off her hands, and he solves his meat-shortage problem. The resulting number is a hilariously disturbing sequence where Dooley and Miss Codwell agree to fatten up the orphans and eventually make them, well, good enough to eat. The blend of Sweeny Todd’s morbid nature and a “Hard Knock Life”-esque instrumental makes this number stand out as one of the very best of the season.

2. “Maybe It’s My Turn Now,” performed by Cecily Strong (Season 2, Episode 5)

While the production of this song may be one of the more simple musical moments of the season, the impact of this performance is larger than life, and is a true highlight of the season (as well as the series at large). Melissa finally being able to express her feelings about her place in the world and her insecurities is satisfying, especially when her performance on the stage actively allows her to step outside of the bounds she put herself within. Strong’s vocal and emotional performance is incredible, elevated by jazzy instrumentals and a sparkle in her eye in the stage lights. When Josh is the only one to immediately clap at the end of this number, it’s an outrage for the audience and a sign that maybe it isn’t her turn to Melissa herself, but the standing ovation she receives at the end is more than deserved, and a major step forward for her character within the series.

1. “Famous As Hell,” performed by the Schmigadoon! Cast (Season 2, Episode 5)

“Famous As Hell,” the penultimate song from the penultimate episode of Schmigadoon!’s Schmicago run, has everything. Grounded by Tituss Burgess’ Narrator—a scene stealer in every sense of the word, and an integral addition to the series—and performed by almost the entire ensemble cast, “Famous As Hell” sees Melissa and Josh getting comfortable in Schmicago, but their meddlings are finally about to catch up to them. This tribute to Jesus Christ Superstar is such a fun number, and the call-backs to various songs from the rest of the season allow this song to tee-up the events of the rest of the episode as well as the finale. It cannot be overstated how delightful it is to watch Burgess in this role in particular, especially when delivering lines like “Yes, it is another damn rhetorical question!” with the kind of severity and camp it deserves. It’s a joy to watch as all the pieces fall into place, and to an extremely catchy tune to boot. 

Anna Govert is an entertainment writer based in middle-of-nowhere Indiana. For any and all thoughts about TV, film, and the wonderful insanity of Riverdale, you can follow her @annagovert.

For all the latest TV news, reviews, lists and features, follow @Paste_TV.

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