Schmigadoon! (Season 1)

“It’s like if The Walking Dead was also Glee.”

Main Cast: Keegan-Michael Key, Cecily Strong

Creator: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio

You’re going to find the plot description of AppleTV+’s Schmigadoon! ridiculous. Because it is ridiculous. But bear with me.

Schmigadoon! is the story of a couple, Josh (Keegan-Michael Key) and Melissa (Cecily Strong) who are going to a couple’s retreat to strengthen their foundering relationship. They have been together for years, but just don’t seem to be on the same wavelength.

The retreat, which turns out to be more of a backpacking challenge, is Melissa’s idea. Josh thinks their relationship is fine and is dismissive of the whole escapade. His attitude irks Melissa and what was meant to save them as a couple just leads to more arguing.

They find themselves lost in the forest and stumble upon a magical, musical town called…Schmigadoon! This is a place right out of a musical from Hollywood’s golden age. Literally. People burst into song. Josh and Melissa are scandalous as an unmarried couple. Everything is as it would be from a 1950 movie musical.

The citizens of Schmigadoon do not acknowledge that their town is unusual in any way. They, sort of, welcome the strangers seeking shelter for the night. But it turns out that Josh and Melissa can’t leave. According to a leprechaun (played by Martin Short), they can only leave when they find true love.

Well, that’s a kicker! Apparently what they have…is not that! The rest of this six-episode season follows the pair as they try to escape the living musical that is Schmigadoon! I don’t think you’ll be surprised to find that some lessons are forthcoming.

See, it’s ridiculous. Yet, somehow, it’s also a lot of fun. The town just happens to be filled with characters played by luminaries like Alan Cumming, Kristen Chenowith, and Ariana DeBose. They lend their stage presence (and vocal talents) to the extravagant silliness with great gusto.

The sets are flat and campy, the costumes right out of a small-town musical textbook, and the script and musical numbers are filled with double entendres and nods to current culture.

Key and Strong are clothed and filmed as clear outsiders. Key’s Josh hates, absolutely hates, musicals. Strong’s Melissa loves them. Once again, the couple is at odds. The longer they stay, the more they begin to resemble the residents and the more their actions affect the town.

Schmigadoon! is all about reveling in overacting, over-staging, and a simple story of two people deciding if they are in love. The terrific performances from Key and Strong give a strong foundation for the wonderful weirdness and excesses of the supporting cast. Cumming, in particular, shines as a small-town mayor with a secret.

And the musical numbers? They’re not bad! They’re not all great, but as parodies of old musicals, they’re a lot of fun. You’ll recognize influences from Oklahoma and Carousel to The Sound of Music and (obviously) Brigadoon. The singers and dancers are talented and game for the silliness.

Schmigadoon! is Comfort Content. It takes you away, in half-hour episodes, to somewhere innocent. You can laugh (especially at straight-man Key), enjoy some good singing and dancing, and root for true love.

The few bits of commentary on the modern world are cartoonish and softened. It’s like yesteryear winked and gave us permission to laugh both with it and at it. The combination of parody and homage is great fun.

I thoroughly enjoyed Schmigadoon! It is spectacularly ridiculous, it knows that, and it makes the most of every moment. There are rumors of a second season.

More AppleTV

The Morning Show ~ Ted Lasso Season 1 ~ Ted Lasso Season 2 ~ CODA

Related posts

Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Get Netflix Dates emailed free to you every week