The Apple TV+ comedy Schmigadoon! wrapped up its six-episode run on Friday. If you haven’t seen it, be sure to check it out. I reviewed the pilot as part of my weekly pilot roundup and thought it was the best of the new pilots I’ve seen so far in 2021. I quickly went through all six episodes and loved the way the series was put together.
I don’t know if it will get a second season, or if it’s even the kind of show that should have another go around. Regardless, this season is on my short list for the best of the year. So, for those who haven’t gotten to it or are on the fence, here’s six reasons why you should make a point to see this comedy.
6. The beautiful look. This is a show about a couple being trapped in a 1940s musical, and the sets in this show look every bit the part. It captures the simple time square and the time capsule of small-town life in that era. The costumes are on point and the beautiful colors really enhance and augment the story experience. I was captivated by the look and feel of this world, which really drew me in and held my attention throughout its run.
5. The Comedy Style. This one comes from producer Lorne Michaels, and if you’re familiar with some of the other series he’s helped bring to the air (30 Rock, Miracle Workers, The Other Two) it’s like putting on a warm blanket. This is also a huge credit to co-creators and writers Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul, who craft fun stories and characters, and director Barry Sonnenfeld, who puts it all together.
4. The Supporting Cast. This one really lets characters come in and shine at various points throughout the six episodes. I appreciated Alan Cumming as the Mayor, Fred Armisen as the local reverend and Kristen Chenoweth as the semi-villain. But two who really stood out were Aaron Tveit, who takes the spotlight early as the shady carnival worker and Ariana DeBose, the school teacher, who takes a more central role later in the season. The supporting cast was excellent and really helped flesh out the world.
3. Martin Short. He only appears in the first episode, and only briefly, but what an appearance. Short is hilarious as a leprechaun who arrives to explain the situation to our heroes. It was one of the best scenes in the pilot and remains one of the best scenes of the entire series.
2. The Music. If it’s going to be a musical, the music needs to work. This does work, and quite well. Some of the standouts for me were the Corn Pudding number and the way that Melissa (Cecily Strong) is able to explain reproductive anatomy to a couple lacking in knowledge using the pattern and tune of a famous number from The Sound of Music. The songs were always timely and a delight that added wonderfully to the experience.
1. Keegan Michael Key and Cecily Strong. At the heart of this story is the two leads. We needed to root for them and to experience this crazy town through their eyes. The opening to each episode shares a bit of their love story and makes you invest, but it’s really the beautiful performances that make this show hum. They both had beautiful timing and did well with their musical numbers. In fact, when Key breaks into song, finally, in the finale, it was an emotional high point of the whole season. I loved them in this and I hope they get the award recognition they deserve.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.