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Smash

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Smash debuted to decent numbers on NBC and held up well in week 2. I watched the premiere online before it aired last Monday, and have watched half of the second episode.

I like it. I like the musical numbers, some of which are originals, according to what I've read. I don't know how they'll sustain original music numbers if the series continues, but for now it's fun to watch.

I like that the show is aimed at adults and has a few different couples dealing with different life situations. (In other words, it's not about high-schoolers and their problems.) Their problems aren't unpredictable or unheard of, but that's OK.

I like that it has gay characters and straight characters, and that it allows one of the straight characters to say that he can't stand gay men. (Followed by a quip about how theater probably isn't the best area for him to work.)

I like Katherine McPhee. That's a problem, because I think the show's creators want me to like her rival on the show equally as well. I don't. Maybe that's intentional?

That's all I have to say about Smash at this point.

Edited by Christian

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I think you're supposed to see Katherine McPhee's character as the real star here. She's the center of the show.

Anyway, I think the show is okay. Neither particularly great nor especially terrible, just kinda there. The plotting is pretty so-so, with the major character conflicts not being altogether that interesting, and the dialogue could use an Aaron Sorkin polish. Oh, and I wish they'd give more opportunities for Angelica Huston to ham it up.

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I can't argue with anything you wrote, Ryan. For whatever reason, the mediocrity of some of the show hasn't bothered me (after one whole episode and a half), while the stuff about it I like I like enough to keep watching. It's not revolutionary, just kind of mildly enjoyable, with a few highlights.

Edited by Christian

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Well, I've watched two episodes. So something there has me coming back. But it's going to need to kick things into gear. The creation of a musical can be quite an exciting, strange ride, but the show has yet to bring into things any of the strange little textures and hiccups that makes the best story-behind-the-musical material.

The biggest problem with the show is that it seems so focused on the stars that it's not focused enough on the show. Not that the show itself looks all that great, mind you, and would probably be exactly the kind of show I'd avoid, but they've gotta start giving us a real sense of the vision of the show, and the the way that competing visions (and egos) really begin to wear on people.

Edited by Ryan H.

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Came for the music despite the McPhee, staying for the Megan Hilty and Jack Davenport. ;) And Anjelica Huston is magnificent even if criminally underused.

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Did they get to this scene yet?

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I'm just gonna poke my head back into this thread to state that I believe that this show has officially crossed over into truly "bad" territory. SMASH is entirely soap opera, complete with trashy plotting and paper-thin characterization, but it refuses to take those soap opera elements to the extreme levels that they need to reach to be entertaining. The pilot wasn't even particularly good to begin with, but it at least had a slight pulse. Now the show has become a complete slog.

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I'm just gonna poke my head back into this thread to state that I believe that this show has officially crossed over into truly "bad" territory. SMASH is entirely soap opera, complete with trashy plotting and paper-thin characterization, but it refuses to take those soap opera elements to the extreme levels that they need to reach to be entertaining. The pilot wasn't even particularly good to begin with, but it at least had a slight pulse. Now the show has become a complete slog.

Well, last week's episode took a turn -- or a dive -- in that direction. I haven't watched last night's episode yet. Maybe I'll do that now.

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Alan Sepinwall's review of Monday's episode (SPOILERS) could be summed up as "bored now," and somewhat annoyed. I dunno. It's still not as ridiculously bad as Glee, but I must say that I thought from the beginning that "Marilyn: The Musical!" was a high concept that would wear thin sooner rather than later, and that may be why they're leaning on the soap opera stuff so heavily.

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Alan Sepinwall's review of Monday's episode (SPOILERS) could be summed up as "bored now," and somewhat annoyed. I dunno. It's still not as ridiculously bad as Glee, but I must say that I thought from the beginning that "Marilyn: The Musical!" was a high concept that would wear thin sooner rather than later, and that may be why they're leaning on the soap opera stuff so heavily.

Just streamed the episode about an hour ago. Sepinwall writes:

Many of the musical numbers still have good energy. Kat McPhee's voice isn't as distinct as Florence's, for instance, but that was still a good rendition of "Shake It Out"(***).

I agree. The difference for me is that I'm willing to put up with a lot of "interpersonal drama" (read: boring) for the few moments of the show that really stand out -- usually the musical numbers. I don't begrudge anyone who thinks otherwise, however. There's a lot that happens between those musical numbers, and it's beginning to feel old-hat.

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I don't think the musical numbers are all that great, which is the problem. They often feel like filler themselves. Most of the covers have been lame, and a lot of the original material fails to make any real impression beyond reminding me of CHICAGO.

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I don't think the musical numbers are all that great, which is the problem. They often feel like filler themselves. Most of the covers have been lame, and a lot of the original material fails to make any real impression beyond reminding me of CHICAGO.

Yeah, I can see having that impression. The last two episodes have featured characters bursting into song apart from rehearsals for the musical -- something that, I think, might be new for the show, although the fact that I can't say for sure might underline your allegation that the musical numbers aren't all that great! :)

My big disappointment with the show is that, while it started out as a cross-section of character types (straight, gay, co-habitating, divorced, married with kid), it doesn't seem as interested in pursuing the lives of the characters I most identified with (the married parents) outside the context of one of them having an extramarital affair. How transgressive. Not. In the meantime the show is spending lots of time on the characters I don't much care for. Maybe I'll grow more sympathetic toward them through the constant exposure?

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I may be the only one still watching, but last night's episode makes me glad I've stuck it out.

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I forgot to watch Monday night's finale the next day (I watch the show online) and didn't remember to watch until last night. That might sound like I've lost interest in the show, but honestly, I've just been busy this week. I thought the finale was more than fine, and I'll plan on watching this show again next season.

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I think Smash is terrifically entertaining. Of course, I did theater in high school and one of the guilty pleasures for me is the way it totally nails theater people--the mix of childishness, narcissism, and yet just enough child like wonder and enthusiasm to be endearing.

I've been going through S1 on Hulu again, this time with the missus, and I just notice a lot of little touches. I like the direction/editing (lot of reaction shots where I think other shows would focus on the person delivering); Karen winking at the kid in the Bar Mitzvah, Derek's response to Ivy's comment about wanting to feel safe ("then go back to the chorus"), the way in which Leo's falling to pieces kills his mom so much the more because he's trying to hold it together. It's melodrama, and I get that some people don't like melodrama, but there's a place in this world for things that know what they are, don't try to be any more or less than that, and execute. Every single member of the cast is spot on, and the writing is sharper than what I'm used to in a weekly. It will be interesting to see if that can be sustained. There was a part of me (more than 1/2) that was actually sad to see it renewed, not because I didn't like it but because it seemed very organic to me, and now I'm afraid it will just turn into a more grown-up Fame.

Edited by kenmorefield

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Oh, gosh, it's new-TV-season time. Is Smash about to start, or is it one of those shows that's delayed until January?

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Oh, gosh, it's new-TV-season time. Is Smash about to start, or is it one of those shows that's delayed until January?

All NBC's Smash page says is "Returning Soon," so I guess they don't have a new season premiere date yet. January's a good guess.

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I'm excited to have been handed a copy of the latest Entertainment Weekly, which has a cover story on Smash. I'm going to read it! The show returns soon. It's one of two shows I'll probably watch with some regularity this season (I watched nothing during the first half of the current season).

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Smash has been moved to what Washington Post TV Critic Lisa de Moraes has dubbed NBC's "Burnoff Theater" -- the dead zone of Saturday nights. It'll play out the remainder of this season, with very few people watching.

So it was surprising to discover, just in the past week, that five co-workers of mine are regular Smash viewers. I had no idea. I think we're the only ones left.

Edited by Christian

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S2 has been just horrible. It's like they took everything that was successful about S1 and said "let's do the opposite."

And yet I still watch; don't know why.

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