TV Review: Schmigadoon

I’m a big fan of musicals of all sorts. I’ve watched them since I was young, and I still enjoy finding new ones today. So when I heard Apple TV+ had Schmigadoon, a miniseries musical riffing on other musicals, I added it to my To Watch list. It’s only 6 episodes long, and each episode is about 25 minutes, so you’re looking at about a 2.5 hour musical. Daniela and I watched it over two evenings.

A couple whose relationship is on the rocks decides to take a camping trip together to try to reignite the flame. It doesn’t go well. They get lost, and they end up in a town called Schmigadoon, peopled with tropes from a wide variety of musicals. And while the people in the town don’t recognize it when they’re doing song and dance numbers, the couple definitely does, so there’s some nice opportunities for some meta jokes along the way. And of course, the couple discovers that they can’t leave Schmigadoon until they’ve found true love.

I . . . enjoyed it? Yes. I enjoyed it. There were many genuinely funny numbers. It’s got Kristen Chenoweth, Martin Short (for all of 2 minutes). Jane Krakowski, Alan Cumming, and stars Keegan Michael-Key and Cecily Strong. It’s created by the same duo who did Despicable Me and The Secret Lives of Pets, strangely enough. Good voices, and it was entertaining to see the ways the show played on musical tropes.

That said, I’m stumped about who, exactly, I should recommend the series to. While many of the songs and content aren’t blatantly crude, they’re certainly dancing around the precipice. It’s almost like the show tries to cater to two different audiences: one that likes adult humor and material, and one that loves classic musicals. For example, there’s a Do-Re-Mi song that’s about the reproductive system of the body. There’s just no way I’m recommending that to most people I know who love Sound of Music. The Venn overlap of the people who would find that entertaining is pretty small, I imagine. There’s a running gag that the mayor of the town is in the closet, with his wife singing a song about how strange he is: “He’s a Queer One, That Man o’ Mine.”

I suppose the show’s really aimed at the Book of Mormon crowd, and thinking of it in that light, perhaps there’s a big audience out there I’m discounting. Personally, one of the things I love about most musicals is being able to share them with my family. MC started out watching this with me. She definitely didn’t finish watching it. Daniela watched it through, and she enjoyed it as well, but . . .

Overall, I gave it a 7/10, and I really have no idea which of my friends would like it. For now, it’s limited to people who like classic musicals, irreverent musicals, and who also subscribe to Apple TV+. I’ve got a pretty big hunch that’s not a lot of you, but please tell me if I’m off.

Anyone else out there already watch it?


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