Schmigadoon Is a Love Letter to Broadway That Also Spoofs Its Blindspots

Even if you aren't a Broadway nerd, the title Schmigadoon is a reference to the Lerner-Loewe musical Brigadoon. The new Apple TV+ series overture takes the Ooooo-klahoma refrain, adapts it to a new location, and announces the show immediately as a love letter for musicals. However, those who aren't a fan of the Great White Way's schmaltz may not like that description. Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio (screenwriters of Despicable Me, The Secret Life of Pets) have created a comedy that can understand that reaction. They even added self-awareness to the show, and used Keegan-Michael Key, an in-universe musical theater skeptic, to act as audience surrogates. The new musical comedy is hard to resist, regardless of whether you are astonished by characters' spontaneous singing or if it makes your eyes roll. The show's candy-colored costumes and twee sets are reminiscent of an old-fashioned musical. Even more so than Daniel Fishs Tony-winning revival of Oklahoma in 2019, which revealed the shady underbelly Rodgers & Hammersteins original. It doesn't hide the fact that these mid-century artifacts can be problematic. It doesn't matter if it is a love letter.AdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementKey and Saturday Night Lives Cecily Strongneither are not strangers to playing the slapstick Broadwaystar Josh and Melissa. Their relationship, despite having a wonderful start, has stagnated after several years of dating. They set out on a camping trip to try and rekindle their love. However, they end up falling in love with the town of Schmigadoon. Melissa, who is a huge fan of musical theater, finds it very charming. Josh, however, has no patience for it. They must cross a bridge to be with their true love. However, when they try to leave, they are back in musical land. They are not meant to be together.AdvertisementSchmigadoon's first season was six episodes. Each episode lasted approximately 30 minutes.Although the answer to the question may be obvious, Schmigadoon's first season featured six episodes that lasted approximately 30 minutes each. The first two episodes of the season will be available on July 16th, with one episode each week thereafter. The musical world doesn't hide its intricacy the same way a grand stage does. And the way the songs are performed by a handsome ensemble with rictus smiles, mixed together with the more bitter conversations Josh and Melissa have, counterbalances some of the Golden Age productions it riffs. Our protagonists are from New York and their pastel backgrounds and well-pressed costumes don't hide the racism and misogyny that is common in these relics. (A song from the early days of the show features townsmen singing about how they spank girlfriends when they are angry with them. A character frequently hints at her dislike for interracial relationships.AdvertisementAdvertisementThe musical framing does not only provide an excuse for the cast, which includes Broadway stars like Ann Haradato, Kristin Chenoweth and Aaron Tveit to break into song, but also allows these characters to project their innermost thoughts onto the rafters. The show can be seen as a successor to shows such as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Galavant. Although the songs are cheesy they allow characters to voice their feelings, even if the topic is more serious than in some of the older productions. It is important that Key and Strong are straight in their roles. They even discuss the plots from a few musicals to help them figure out what to do next. Buy a trumpet, La The Music Man. The characters in Schmigadoon are more like the characters of Glee who are already high school caricatures and Smash who are involved with a metanarrative on the musical-theater industry. They deliver the songs with an ironic twist and only engage in songs on Melissas part in self-effacing manners (though she praises the town for its early colorblind casting).AdvertisementAdvertisementSubscribe to the Slate Culture newsletter and receive the best movies, TV, books and music delivered straight to your inbox. Signing you up was not possible due to an error Please try again. To use this form, please enable jаvascript. Email address: I would like to receive updates on Slate special offers. You agree to our Privacy Policy & Terms by signing up. Thank you for signing up! You can cancel your subscription at any time.The songsoh, the music. Many can be recognized as dead ringers of other popular numbers (the Schmigadoon versions Oklahoma and Ya Got Trouble, which are almost identical, are instantly recognizable, not to mention that Henry Higgins is still ported in nearly unchanged, as archetypes), and part the enjoyment of the show's musical performances is being able to spot the references and listening to some of Broadways greatest stars. Even for musical novices, the show explains a lot of what it is laughing at. But the true heart of the show, Josh and Melissa's relationship and the dysfunctions within, is the end. Although the series is clearly mocking musical-theater conventions and their sillyness, it's not snarky. It taps into the same winking, but ultimately sincere tone which makes classical musicals so attractive. The show seems to suggest that magic isn't just a fiction. It can also be a source of love, as well. Each episode begins with a flashback of Melissa and Josh's lives in New York. Although the colors are muted, the intimacy between them is still special. It is hard to resist Schmigadoon's total acceptance of this philosophy. It only contains six episodes and seems to close any questions about the second season. However, it is hard to resist the temptation to watch another episode. Paul and Daurio have created an musical paradise that highlights both the mundane and everyday.