‘Schmigadoon!’ is almost a blast from the past

Category: Television

Fans of musicals will get a kick out of the Apple+ series Schmigadoon! This is a mixture of Brigadoon, Oklahoma, Carousel, The Music Man, The Sound of Music, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, with a pinch of The Wizard of Oz, The King and I, and a few others tossed in for good measure. Simply put, this is a fun parody of the greatest movie musicals combined into a six-episode series filled with a variety of characters and situations that are bound to have viewers waiting for the next musical number.

The premise of the story is that a couple of doctors, Josh (Keegan-Michael Key), an orthopedic surgeon, and Melissa (Cecily Strong), an obstetrician, have been living together for several years but have yet to take the next step. On a couples’ therapy weekend, they go backpacking and get lost. But wait, in the distance is a little town. That place has to have Internet so they can call for help, right? Not exactly. When they cross the bridge (ala Brigadoon) they find themselves in a Technicolor musical extravaganza. And they are not on a set at MGM! Thinking the musical welcome song is something the locals do for all newcomers, they enter the town and meet some of the townsfolk, which include Mayor Menlove (Alan Cumming), his wife Florence (Ann Harada), the town’s morality leader Mildred Layton (Kristin Chenoweth), and some others.

After they settle in the hotel their experience just begins. They are basically stuck in the town until they find “true love.” There is no way out otherwise.

The mixture of characters harkens back to many characters and situations from the movie musicals of the twentieth century. This is what will put a grin on viewers’ faces. There is the local school marm (Emma Tate) who has a similar life to Marion the librarian (Shirley Jones) in The Music Man, complete with a lisping little brother, the countess (Jane Krakowski) who is like the baroness in The Sound of Music, and other characters that will stir the memories. Plus, the musical numbers fit right in and harken back (did I just write that?) to the music in the popular films. Danny Bailey (Aaron Tveit) is the same kind of character as Billy Bigelow (Gordon MacRae) in Carousel.

The story continues with the characters interactions combined with musical numbers as both Melissa and Josh search for their true love. But will they be able to find true love amongst the people of Schmigadoon?

There are plenty of sexual innuendoes and situations as well as some explicit language, so this is definitely not a show for youngsters. Adults, however, will get some chuckles and entertainment out of it. Yes, it’s farcical, and yes, it’s corny, but nevertheless there are some great musical numbers and movie fans will definitely be keeping track of how many films are combined into this one series.

With songs and dance numbers reminiscent of those from the old musicals, as well as slight hints of the original music threading through these new numbers, this is an homage to the musical films of the past. They took the traits of the characters, the sights and sounds of hit musicals, and combined them with a modern story. Ingenious. At least someone had an original idea for a change.

Schmigadoon! premieres Friday, July 16, 2021 on Apple TV+ with a new episode dropping every Friday after that until August 13. There are some questionable scenes for youngsters so this should be considered for ages 18+.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 25 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, is the entertainment correspondent for Good Day Orange County, and has her own TV show, Beyond the Red Carpet, on Village Television in Orange County. She is a longstanding member of the Los Angeles Press Club and the Television Critics Association and is accredited by the MPAA.