Are you a fan of film musicals, particularly those that got here out within the Nineteen Forties and 50s? Then Schmigadoon! is the present for you. Do you hate these sorts of flicks? You then must also watch Schmigadoon!. Are you only a fan of humorous exhibits? Then Schmigadoon! is for you, too. Why do we are saying this? Learn on for extra.
Opening Shot: The opening credit mimic these of an old-timey film musical from the ’40s or ’50s. Then we see Melissa (Cecily Robust) and Josh (Keegan-Michael Key), each docs, doing their respective jobs.
The Gist: We see Josh and Melissa’s meet-cute, on the merchandising machine of the hospital the place they work. He tells her to present it a kick when a sweet bar will get caught, and when she kicks it, the whole lot within the machine spills out. A 12 months later, they’ve a romantic dinner on their anniversary. Three years after that, they’re in mattress collectively, barely speaking.
To assist their relationship, Melissa and Josh go on a pair’s mountaineering retreat. It’s not going nicely. They’re misplaced, it’s pouring rain, and Josh misplaced Melissa’s symbolic coronary heart. They hear music and see a fog-covered bridge. Once they cross it, they discover themselves in a brightly-colored city with faux timber and flat backdrops. It’s referred to as Schmigadoon.
They’re greeted within the old-timey-looking city sq. by a bunch of singers and dancers, wearing turn-of-the-Twentieth-century finery, singing the track “Schmigadoon!”, with lyrics like, “The place the boys are males and the cows are cows, and the farmers smile as they push their plows!” Melissa, who likes film musicals, is into it; she thinks it’s a present for the vacationers. Josh, however, hates musicals, and needs this nightmare to cease.
They’re greeted by Mayor Aloysius Menlove (Alan Cumming) and his spouse Florence (Ann Harada), who spent their honeymoon on the Schmigadoon Inn, up all evening — as a result of the roosters stored them awake. On the inn, the innkeeper bows to stress from Mildred Layton (Kristen Chenoweth), the Bible-thumping spouse of meek Reverend Howard Layton (Fred Amisen), and offers the single Josh and Melissa separate rooms, for the princely sum of $1.
Josh crashes straight away, so Melissa goes out for an evening stroll, to the Tunnel of Love, run by the “nogoodnik” Danny Bailey (Aaron Tveit). When he begins singing and dancing about the truth that no lady can tame him, Melissa is intrigued and weirded out unexpectedly. The subsequent morning, after they inadvertently begin the city singing about corn pudding, Melissa is postpone by their ditzy waitress Betsy (Dove Cameron), who laughs at Josh saying he slept like a log.
As they make their method out of city, they discover that on the opposite facet of the bridge is… the identical factor they only left. Swiftly a leprechaun (Martin Brief) seems and sings to them that they will solely go away once they discover real love. After they declare their love to one another, they cross the bridge and… they keep in Schmigadoon. Uh oh.
What Reveals Will It Remind You Of? Schmigadoon! is purposefully paying homage to Nineteen Forties and Fifties film musicals like Oklahoma! To match it to a different present could be to make a reference to the thinnest of threads. It looks like a non secular cousin of The Good Place, of all exhibits.
Our Take: What makes Schmigadoon! a enjoyable present to observe is the truth that it’s a love story set towards this loopy faux city with all these individuals singing. There appears to be an effort by creators Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul (Paul wrote all of the music; the episodes are directed by Barry Sonnenfeld) to not make the present a gimmick, however a present with a gimmick and some tales.
As humorous as the entire conceit of the city of Schmigadoon is, with Josh and Melissa reacting their respective methods to the singing and dancing and auctioning off of “picnic baskets” that had been made by the city’s girls, if there wasn’t a narrative there, the self-esteem would get outdated after the primary two episodes. However Daurio and Paul have put Josh and Melissa’s very existence as a pair at stake whereas they’re attempting to determine find out how to exist on this loopy place. And, on condition that the primary season is barely six episodes, that’s most likely sufficient to maintain issues with out the musical side rising stale.
Within the second episode, the 2 of them break up — whereas the city sings a track referred to as “Lovers’ Spat” — due to the real love factor. It looks like the 2 of them are going to should be aside earlier than (possibly) deciding that they’re higher collectively. Whereas they’re doing that, although, we’ll discover out extra about townspeople like Mayor Manlove (whose identify is perhaps indicative of his story) or the strict Mildred Layton, who’s arrange because the “huge dangerous” of the present.
It goes with out saying that the solid is stellar. Robust and Key have mastered comedic reactions and double-takes from their years of sketch comedy. And if you populate your city with the likes of Cumming, Chenoweth and Armisen (with Jaime Camil and Jane Krakowski displaying up in future episodes), you recognize that the city might be on stable floor each comedically and musically.
Sonnenfeld, who directed the equally bizarre Pushing Daisies amongst his many TV and movie credit, does an important job of replicating the appear and feel of the outdated film musicals, and the whole lot from the brighly-lit, faux set design to the colourful costumes to the choreography of the musical numbers is on level. As a result of its so on level, Josh and Melissa’s reactions to it are even funnier. After the primary two episodes, we had been wanting to blow via the remaining 4, and that’s not one thing we are saying fairly often.
Intercourse and Pores and skin: None. That may be sinful, in accordance with Mildred Layton.
Parting Shot: Josh and Melissa maintain fingers, cross the bridge, and discover out that they’re nonetheless in Schmigadoon. They have a look at one another and surprise what simply occurred.
Sleeper Star: We beloved Dove Cameron because the ditzy, sex-crazed, semi-teenager Betsy. Let’s hope we see a variety of her throughout this season and in different exhibits.
Most Pilot-y Line: This isn’t actually a criticism, however we thought it was fascinating that Melissa identified the “colorblind casting” of the townspeople, when it’s proper in entrance of our faces. That’s assuredly the massive distinction between these outdated motion pictures and Schmigadoon!
Our Name: STREAM IT. Not solely is Schmigadoon! hilarious, however it actually does an excellent job of creating enjoyable of — and paying tribute to — the film musicals all of us grew up watching, both on TV or on video.
Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about meals, leisure, parenting and tech, however he doesn’t child himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared within the New York Instances, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.com, Quick Firm and elsewhere.