Sunday, May 26, 2013

Curtains to SMASH

In just about an hour, the series finale of Smash is airing. There are a ton of things you could say about this show, but when it comes down to it, Smash was a chance for Broadway fans across the country to get to see their favorite Broadway stars on screen each week. It was a chance to let people that didn’t know much about Broadway to learn some new things and meet some new and very talented actors and actresses.

Sure, the show had its problems. The scripting wasn’t great. Honestly, it was just kind of jumpy and at times, very hard to follow. There was SO much drama going on, that it made it very hard for me to get emotionally vested in anyone. At times, I just wanted to smack them all and tell them to grow up.

The series spent so much time in the first season telling us to love Karen (played by Katharine McPhee) and to dislike Ivy (played by the lovely and talented Megan Hilty). But when it came down to it, everyone, even non-Broadway fans, could tell that Ivy was the more talented and suited for the role of Marilyn Monroe. So then, it seems, that the series picked up on it and tried to make us love Ivy and dislike Karen…but not too much. They just gave her a whole different plotline and musical.  

Throw in the rotating relationship issues between…well pretty much everyone in the show, and you just kind of had a mess. Was it a show about New York theatre? Was it a soap opera? And what was with all the fantasy sequences? It just didn’t work.

But what did work? The amazing music. There was some totally amazing songwriting going on in the show by many different New York theatre composers and songwriters. The music is something I can listen to over and over. And I continue to tune in every week (though sometimes through Hulu a day later because of the crazy moving of the air dates) because I kept hoping it would save itself. And to see all of the theatre actors and actresses, and theatre insiders, that I love so much.

I’ll miss Smash. I think it might have held on if A) The network didn’t keep moving the air dates of the show and the time slots and B) they hadn’t tried so hard.

I’m thankful we had Smash, even for the short two seasons. Because maybe it did introduce someone in middle America to Megan Hilty and Christian Borle and Leslie Odom, Jr. and Jeremy Jordan and Andy Mientus and Brian d’Arcy James and Krysta Rodriguez. And a million other actors and theatre insiders. And maybe someone will think “Maybe I might like to see a musical on Broadway. That looks like fun.” 

1 comment:

  1. In case you're curious what might have happened in season 3 of Smash, executive producer Joshua Safran who was brought into the series after creator Theresa Rebeck departed (a big reason season 2 was so different from season 1 in my opinion), recently told EW (see that he he had some interesting plot lines in mind if the show had been been picked up for a third season. Among them: After losing at the Tony's, Karen would have answered the siren call of going to Hollywood! In the end, I enjoyed the first season of Smash far more than I did the second season, and your assessment on it being unclear whether it was a soap or an adult version of Glee combined with a constantly-changing timeslot really did the show in (which was a personal favorite of NBC Universal President Robert Greenblatt). But, there's always the possibility that the show could get picked up by Netflix or Hulu, so maybe we shouldn't assume it's finished ... yet!!