A “Smash”-ing Disappointment
- Megan Hilty stars as the Broadway hopeful on NBC’s “Smash,” returning to the network on Feb. 5.
For anyone who enjoys music, television or Broadway, “Smash” seemed like it was going to answer all of our prayers. A great cast with some amazing singers and actors and an amazing concept—a behind-the-scenes look at creating a Broadway show—what could go wrong?
Well, folks, everything. For starters, the Broadway show created by Julia Houston and Tom Levitt (Debra Messing and Christian Borle) is all about Marilyn Monroe. So far I’m on board, but then they begin casting for the role, and there is big drama over who should get the part: experienced Ivy Lynn (played by real life Broadway star Megan Hilty) or naive and bland Karen Cartwright (played by none other than “American Idol” season five runner-up Katharine McPhee). Besides the fact that Ivy Lynn plays the sexy icon perfectly, she happens to look exactly like Monroe. I never understood how there could be any question over the role, but, of course, Ivy has to start sleeping with the director to try to get the role, which brings me to another complaint.
Too much drama! I understand the whole show revolves around actors and stars, but I felt like I was watching an R-rated version of “Glee” (I would say PG-13, but “Glee” always manages to make me feel really uncomfortable when I find out kids under the age of 13 are watching it). The amount of storylines and problems they crammed into the first season—even the first episode—was unbelievably ridiculous.
Aside from the Marilyn casting drama, there was the whole ex-boyfriend of Debra Messing’s character getting the role of Joe DiMaggio thing, which of course brings up all these old feelings and leads to her cheating on her attractive and wonderful husband. Way to go, Julia. Then there’s a crazy assistant who turns out to be the biggest jerk on the planet, stealing scripts and poisoning the actress they end up casting as Marilyn. Throw in Ivy Lynn sleeping with Karen’s adorable British boyfriend, Dev (Raza Jaffrey), and you have upstaged “Glee” on the crazy-scale.
Needless to say, I was majorly disappointed with the first season of “Smash.” I enjoyed the music, the originals and the covers, and still loved the concept, but I was McKayla Maroney unimpressed with the writing and the plot. The pacing was too fast, and the writers tried to do too much. Every week I found myself rolling my eyes and jumping up and down asking, “Why are you doing this to me? Can’t something go right for once?” And those moments aren’t the reason I watch television.
With that said, I still don’t know if I will watch the two-hour season premiere on Tuesday. I’m sure I will be just as frustrated if I do, but Jennifer Hudson is going to be on this season, and she’s a dream girl. Maybe she’ll get the E for her EGOT.
“Smash” returns to television on Tuesday, Feb. 5. It airs at 8 p.m. CST on NBC.