‘Perfect Harmony’ isn’t getting an encore: Why this is a good thing
Perfect Harmony is the simple story of a retired Princeton chair who’s fallen on hard times and through an act of fate must help a small town choir find their voice. As if that plot wasn’t uninspiring enough, lead actor Bradly Whitford is a cheap knockoff of Steve Carell at times.
The cast also includes Anna Camp, Will Greenberg, Tymberlee Hill, Geno Segers, Rizwan Manji, and Spencer Allport: an ambitious mix of old & new talent, but even the hard hitters in the cast won’t be recognizable to most.
Annnnd . . . it’s canned
With the popularity of musical comedy-dramas like Pitch Perfect and Glee, it’s no surprise NBC capitalized on the genre. Perfect Harmony aired on September 26th, 2019 and season 1 includes thirteen twenty-minute episodes, but a few months after its completion Perfect Harmony was cancelled.
There were high hopes for Perfect Harmony initially. Glee’s executive music producer (Adam Anders) was hired to provide musical direction. Anna Camp provided Perfect Harmony with a musical comedy veteran. American Dad! writer Lesley Wake Webster was even brought on. But these ingredients for a successful show simply weren’t sufficient.
Perfect Harmony just isn’t relatable
There are notably funny moments in Perfect Harmony and at times it does strive to be genuine, but overall the story is tired and falls flat. The plot of Perfect Harmony tries to stress how kooky and mismatched this group of misfits is, but misses the mark when trying to present a diverse cast.
It may be hard for people to believe it, but there are Ivy League professors that aren’t white. Perfect Harmony missed a great opportunity to give a leading role to an African-American, Indigenous, or Asian actor. Instead, Perfect Harmony stuck to the token casting structure, where there’s one black guy, one black girl, and a wildcard.
What are the real issues?
With all the important issues facing our world today we understand it’s nice to unwind with a feel-good comedy once in a while, but the issues that come up in Perfect Harmony come across as naive & simple. The premise is simply out of touch with the issues that lie at the hearts of most people right now.
It’s hard to get interested in what a privileged Ivy League professor does, and it’s hard for us to care. For a show that takes place in Kentucky, Perfect Harmony does a lot of contorting to avoid real issues like racism, gender identity, and religion, which just screams whitewashing.
You can watch some Perfect Harmony clips on YouTube or stream it on NBC. There are thirteen episodes at about a half hour each. If you’re looking for a really great musical comedy, you should check out Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist instead.