A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Positive messages are mostly present in the way that Schmigadoon! mocks often regressive musical conventions. Communication is key.
Positive Role Models
Most characters are stereotypes when we first meet them but reveal hidden depths -- e.g., Mayor Menlove, who's sad beneath his veneer of cheer, and town "rapscallion" Danny Bailey (Aaron Tveit), who's a romantic despite being cast as a bad boy. Melissa and Josh are both doctors, i.e., in the helping profession, who need some help themselves sorting out their romantic lives, but they largely have a positive outlook.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is mainly confined to jokes -- e.g., a character sings about his daughters: "touch 'em and you answer to my gun."
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters kiss in bed before the camera cuts away, implying sex. Premise of show is built around finding "true love" and characters are willing, though romance is largely confined to dialogue and song, like when a character says that when a man bids on a woman's picnic basket, he can expect "something special for dessert."
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Cursing is infrequent, but expect "ass," "hell," and stand-in curse words like "freaking."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters have wine with dinner; no one acts drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Schmigadoon! is a comedy about a couple who accidentally stumbles into a fantasy land where everyone acts like they're in a retro stage musical. The amount of iffy content is light: sexuality mostly takes place off-screen, though there's kissing and lots of talk of romance and "true love." Characters have wine with dinner; no one acts drunk. Cursing is confined to "ass," "hell," and stand-ins like "freaking." Violence is almost not present, but there are jokes such as a song in which a man threatens gun violence if anyone "touches" his daughters. Many characters begin as stereotypes but reveal hidden depths over the course of the show; retro conventions such as sexism and racism are satirized and shown to be ridiculous. The cast is diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, age, and body type.
Is It Any Good?
Bright, colorful, and lots of surreal fun, this series spoofing creaky old musicals both satirizes the conventions of the genre and gives us a central story to hold onto. Josh and Melissa have a classic meet-cute in the break room of the hospital where they both work, but in typical cinematic fashion, the course of their love doesn't run smoothly. The schism between them is made painfully clear when they land in magical Schmigadoon, where Melissa is charmed by the singing, dancing locals -- she thinks it's a show, like Williamsburg, for tourists, and when she attempts to join in on a verse, finds she knows exactly what to sing -- while Josh is decidedly not so. And so, dejected to find that the love between them isn't true enough to earn them a release from Schmigadoon, the two are forced to join in on local antics, and the audience gets to spend more time in this colorful little town.
For those who appreciate life lessons shared through song, flouncy dresses, and rampant harmonizing, Schmigadoon! sure is a treat, and musical fans will recognize conceits and musical numbers lifted directly from such favorites as The Sound of Music (whose anthem "Do-Re-Mi" is turned into a hysterical number in which Melissa explains the details of human reproduction in clinical terms) and vintage stage shows like Oklahoma! and Carousel. With old stage pros like Kristen Chenoweth and Alan Cumming on board, the Schmigadoon! cast is a delight (who knew Strong could sing?), and there are plenty of sharp jabs at the sexism, racism, and other -isms of the musical theater genre. Even for viewers who don't really care for hoary old song-and-dance numbers, there's plenty to enjoy, and the short episodes pass like a candy-colored dream. Musical fans, though, will be in raptures over the knowing yet affectionate mockery, and are likely to crown this a new TV fave to stand in the company of modern cult classics like Pushing Daisies and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Enjoy, stage nerds! This one is for you.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.