SMASH! SEASON 2 CAST
(From Left to Right: Anjelica Houston, Andy Mientus, Jeremy Jordan, Katherine McPhee, Jack Davenport, Leslie Odom, Jr., Megan Hilty, Krysta Rodriguez, Christian Borle, Debra Messing, and, Jennifer Hudson)
SMASH!: THE SHOW THAT WASN'T
Even though I loved SMASH! I will be the first to admit that it was not without its share of problems. It was replete with a bacchanalia of fantasy induced musical numbers that made little sense to the plot that was happening around it, which only served to jar an already dissatisfied audience. Below you will see two examples...
THE 20th CENTURY FOX MAMBO: A NUMBER THAT WOULD APPEAR IN BOMBSHELL
This is The 20th Century Fox Mambo which was originally seen on the second episode of the first season of SMASH!, entitled "The Callbacks." This song occurs as Katherine McPhee's character, Karen Cartwright, vies with Megan Hilty's character, Ivy Lynn, in the final callback for the role of Marilyn in the workshop. We see Karen in her call back for Marilyn and originally she begins the number performing it as just as herself with some minimal props that are created from every day things such as a broom and a swivel chair. However, about half way through the number, we are hit with the first of many fantasy sequences that the series would become known for, as Karen transforms into Marilyn and performs the rest of the number as her. This kind of disjunctive plot upset many of the already alienated viewers who felt that this kind of fantasy hurt the already poorly written story. Below is another example of things even further in decline....
A THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS: A FANTASY BOLLYWOOD SEQUENCE
A Thousand and One Nights was originally seen in the twelfth episode, entitled "Publicity" in which Karen and Karen's boyfriend, Dev meet Rebecca Duvall, a famous movie star who was courted to play Marilyn, and Dev and Rebecca begin to argue about which one of them is better for Karen, which on its face is absurd but we will get to script and character problems in the next paragraph. Anyways, in an effort to escape the "awkward" (and I mean that both in the real and meta sense), Karen turns to a television that is playing a Bollywood movie and then snaps into some elaborate Bollywood dance sequence. The problem that this sequence presented is that all the main characters were present in Karen's fantasy but some of them, like Julia Houston's son, but she had never ever had a scene with and consequently had never met.
A MEME ABOUT DEBRA MESSING'S CHARACTER JULIA HOUSTON'S LOVE OF SCARVES
Which is a perfect segue way into my final point about the reason why SMASH! ended up not fairing well as a series is because the way the characters were written and a general abandonment of any human emotion coming from the characters. Basically, peoples main contentions with the show where that the characters felt wooden and that there was very little continued advancement of them.
Behind the scenes the problems were many, with jealousy, feelings of betrayal, and, fights crept in and ultimately ended up sabotaging what the pilot indicated to be a successful, cutting edge, musical television show. If you want to find the gossip about it I recommend that you Google it because I refuse to engage with people that want to use this as fodder to claim I hate SMASH!, because in fact I don't. I have nothing but the utmost respect for all involved in the series and what it was able to accomplish.
THE HATE WATCHERS RESPOND
I am going to keep this very brief because I don't want to give them a ton more attention but after SMASH! became train wreck in the eyes of it viewers people began to create scathing and rather hilarious reviews about their opinions of SMASH! as a series. Again you can look these up for yourself because I don't want to be responsible for continuing to propagate them but this negativity often overshadowed the legacy that the show has left behind it.
THE LEGACY OF SMASH!
BOMBSHELL: A FICTIONAL MUSICAL CREATED IN SEASON 1 AND CONTINUED IN SEASON 2 ABOUT THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MARILYN MONROE
HIT LIST: A FICTIONAL MUSICAL CREATED IN THE SECOND SEASON ABOUT THE PRICE AND COST OF FAME IN THE MODERN ERA
Regardless of whatever hate may be out there about SMASH! I want to take this opportunity to express my opinion of what SMASH! has meant to me and the legacy that this sadly short lived series has left behind. The first thing that is important to remember is that this was not a realistic portrayal of what Broadway is (I'm looking at you learning an entire aerial silk routine the day before a performance) because it is television. If you are looking for a realistic portrayal of what Broadway is you might want to become a Broadway star and live that life, or even better yet go see a Broadway show because that will be packed with all the Broadway realism that your heart desires.
THE DIVA (A HIT LIST CHARACTER) PERFORMING REACH FOR ME ON AERIAL SILK
Secondly, this show helped to boost exposure and audience knowledge of what a Broadway musical and what the creation of a musical looks like. This is tremendously pivotal because you are helping inspire people to pursue a passion or educating people about a career in theatre.
Finally, this show left behind two extremely great original new musicals in its wake, Hit List, and Bombshell. Hit List has seen a concert debut at 54 Below under the eyes of Ms. Jennifer Tepper, the newly appointed head of programming at the venue and there are talks being held to do a concert for Bombshell as well. Additionally, I have written a full version of Hit List and hope to take it to Broadway one day.
PROMO POSTER FOR THE CONCERT OF HIT LIST WITH STARS KRYSTA RODRIGUEZ, ANDY MIENTUS, AND JEREMY JORDAN
On a related note to hate watching, Miley Cyrus' performance at the 2013 VMA's, or Video Music Awards as it is known, bears speaking of because it relates to a larger issue in our culture. Miley Cyrus obviously was being provocative when she did this...
But I am about to blow your minds with what I am about to say next. Are you ready? Are you really ready? You sure? Ok then, well here I go.
IT WAS 100% HER RIGHT TO DO THIS!
That is not me giving her permission or saying that I agree with what she did, this is me saying that she is a grown woman who is capable of behaving in a fashion she chooses. She doesn't need your approval to do whatever she is going to do. In fact, what bothered me more then her shoving a foam finger around her crotch, or grinding up on Robin Thicke was the people that said the day after, "I had to sit through that trash." NO!!! YOU DIDN'T!!! You could have gotten your lazy butt out of your chair, grabbed the remote, and CHANGED THE CHANEL!!!! (Gasp*, such a revolutionary idea, I know). No one is forcing you to watch this, you chose to watch her do what she did and so you have about zero right to the complain how much you didn't like it because you didn't take the obvious step to correct your discomfort.
IF YOU SEEK AMY
BRITNEY SPEARS' CIRCUS TOUR PROMO POSTER
If You Seek Amy was a song that appeared on American pop singer's, Britney Spears' album entitled Circus. The title is obviously provocative and shocking and up to the Britney standard of selling sex but I am not going to tell you flat out what the title is, I'll leave that one up to your imagination. Needless to say, controversy ensued when a mother in New Zealand gave the song to her daughter of seven who proceeded to run around saying the title. The mother then got mad because there was no parental advisory sticker on the song. I am going to keep this really simple and just get right to the bottom line, (1) Britney Spears is not responsible for raising your kids or making music for them, (2) you as a responsible parent should know that Britney Spears isn't appropriate for a seven year old to begin with and then with that knowledge not give the song to them.
So what is the conclusion/moral to this post: