Apple’s ‘Schmigadoon!’ Is a TV Musical for Everyone Who Misses Broadway


Schmigadoon!, the new musical-comedy mini-series from Apple TV+ (now streaming), is for people who have done the following: Attended a sing-along showing of Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, in costume. Started sentences like, “We all know I should have been Annie in eighth grade…” Sighed, gazed up at the stars, and thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun if people sang their feelings?” Schmigadoon! is also for a second group: The poor unfortunate souls who have fallen in love with people from the first group.

For some of us, the art of musical theater brings on a kind of psychic euphoria—to see the curtain rise is to reach out and touch the face of God. And for others, musicals constitute a form of legal torture.

At the heart of Shmigadoon! is this type of an interfaith couple—Melissa (Cecily Strong) is a woman who loves musicals, and Josh (Keegan-Michael Key) is a man who ridicules his partner for liking musicals. They’re New York doctors whose relationship has deteriorated—he’s withholding, she’s pushy. When they look at each other, they no longer hear bells.

Six minutes into the pilot, our heroes have stumbled upon a group of rosy-cheeked townspeople performing a spontaneous musical number. They’ve landed in Schmigadoon! “Where the men are men, and the cows are cows.” Josh and Melissa are stuck in a 1940s-era Broadway musical, and the rules are clear as a soprano’s high-C: “Within its borders ye are bound until at last true love ye found.” Other body-swap/time-travel/stuck-in-a-magical-realm stories linger too long on setup and exposition. Not in Schmigadoon! We came to see Aaron Tveit in high-water pants, singing and accompanying himself on tambourine, and like any good musical, Schmigadoon! is determined to give the audience what we want.

Musicals have a habit of helping people get carried away—soon, Josh is donning suspenders and skipping through the town square, and Melissa is doling out gynecological advice through song. They both find themselves singing lovers duets with local Schmigadoon-ians. Will they ever repair their relationship? Will they learn lessons more complex than the wisdom that Josh shares with a precocious town boy? That is—“Relationships are not like playing the kazoo. They take work.” Will they be ostracized by the town’s spectacularly named militant conservative group, Mothers Against The Future?


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