Review: ‘Schmigadoon!’ is hilarious, fun, and clearly made by people who love musicals

Here’s a true fact: I grew up watching musicals. I spent a lot of time at my grandmothers house when I was a kid and she had lots of them on VHS. It is my heartfelt belief that she loved them, but it was probably also that they were super long and could keep us distracted for hours at a time. Anyway, the point is that I have seen a lot of the classic musicals and my appreciation for the musical continues to this day.

So it is easy to see why I really like AppleTV+’s new series Schmigadoon!, which features two modern day characters dropped into the middle of a classic 1940s musical.

Melissa and Josh (Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key) are doctors who meet, fall in love, and over the years, settle into a relationship that is fine. It’s not terrible, but it’s not exciting. Whilst on a retreat to try to re-invigorate their connection, they end up caught in the rain while on a lovers hike and take refuge in a small town which turns out to be Schmigadoon.

The twist: they can’t leave until they’ve found true love, and as they discover almost right away, they can’t leave with each other. Oh, and the whole town is in a 1940s musical.

Both Strong and Key are having a good time, her as the romantic who buys into the concept almost immediately and him as the sceptic who thinks things are fine and just wants to get back to his life and have great chemistry with each other. Where the show really shines, though, is in the supporting cast, made up of Broadway stars such as Kristin Chenoweth, Aaron Tveit, Ann Harada, and Alan Cumming.

Also worth pointing out is how good the show looks. Say what you will about Apple, but they clearly put a lot of money into making sure the right people make their originals. The atmosphere of the series, plus the old-timey backlot feel of the sets, props, and costumes, are spot on homages to the shows that inspired them.

I don’t want to spoil any of this show for you, so suffice to say that you should definitely check this show out if you are a fan of the classic musical. On the other hand, if you’re not a fan of musicals, well, I don’t know that I can help you with that, but I can tell you that this is a fun show with some excellent performances and a lot of great laughs.

Schmigadoon!’s 6 episode season premieres on AppleTV+ on Jul 16th 2021, with new episodes following weekly.