By Morgan Roberts
In a day and age when the entire world is crumbling around us, it is nice to have shows with heart but also do not take themselves seriously. “Perfect Harmony” is just that show.
The overarching premise of the show is Arthur (Bradley Whitford) plays a recently widowed Ivy League music professor becomes the director of a rural Kentucky church choir. Ginny (Anna Camp) is his main confidant and part of the reason he agrees to direct her church’s choir. That and to beat the local mega church which refused his late wife’s wish to be buried in their cemetery.
“Perfect Harmony” is the perfect escape for when the world gets to be too much. Sure, it has deeper themes, but it does not dredge in them.”
The show is comprised of a host of lovable characters like Adams Adams (Tymberlee Hill), Ginny’s best friend and boss at the diner. Wayne (Will Greenberg), Ginny’s ex-husband and dad to their son Cash (Spencer Allport). Dwayne (Geno Segers), Wayne’s best friend and just giant human teddy bear. And there’s Rev. Jax (Rizwan Manji) who grew up with missionary parents who renamed every TV show and film to fit their Christian values. The cast should be one of envy. Each cast member has natural chemistry together. Their cohesion was instantaneous. You feel that from the start of episode one. Even with the plot points of potential drama, you know why these people spend time together. They all just naturally go together.
The show is not this high-brow, twists with every episode, epic event. It is just good fun about decent people trying to make it in the world. The simplicity of the show is where the charm lies. It is making statements about loss, growth, redemption, but not in a pretentious, exaggerated way. Arthur’s arch begins with the loss of his wife. On top of that, Arthur has a complicated relationship with people in general. He tends to represent our snobbish approach to art, music, film, and television. At introduction, Arthur holds himself to a higher esteem than those around him. But he quickly learns the value in each person. Ginny is his frequent sounding board. While they come from differing backgrounds, education levels, socioeconomic statuses, they are both deeply insecure people who want to be loved and appreciated. Our human need to be seen and loved is universal. That is a truth that all people hold.
“The simplicity of the show is where the charm lies. It is making statements about loss, growth, redemption, but not in a pretentious, exaggerated way.”
Whitford and Camp play so well off each other. You can tell that it is people connecting with each other on human truths. Each episode, curmudgeonly Arthur softens in his attempts to help or connect with Ginny. In one episode, he has her create an alter-ego to help perform in front of others. In the Halloween episode, Ginny is resigned to failing her trial-run as a manager for the diner when Arthur steps in, attempting to save the day by performing a PG “Chippendales” dance routine. In turn, Ginny brings Arthur back down to earth by reminding him of his successes or gently nudging him to do better. It is a sweet friendship to watch and one that is the fabric of the show.
While these broader themes of life, loss, and redemption are explored, “Perfect Harmony” does not dwell in answering the big questions. Those answers are going to be different for everyone. Instead, it is a fun ride, watching some fun people sing some covers and try the best that they can at this crazy thing called life. When did good, clean fun become so hard to find? “Perfect Harmony” is the perfect escape for when the world gets to be too much. Sure, it has deeper themes, but it does not dredge in them. Instead, it gives its audience a break from the overwhelming existential dread we’ve all been experiencing. “Perfect Harmony” is all about laughs and heart. Does not need to be more complicated than that to endear its audience.