The first season of Smash finale-d in the States this week, having squandered the lion’s share of its potential and popularity, with too many dreary diversions and delays. To shorthand my (totally subjective) take on the past 15 episodes: Any scenes directly related to the writing and staging of the musical itself, were usually pretty interesting and entertaining… ‘Derek’, ‘Tom’ and ‘Ivy’ were compelling, charismatic characters I enjoyed spending time with… and Tom & ‘Julia’ made for a fun creative double-act… but any time spent exploring the off-stage” lives of Julia and her family, ‘Karen’, ‘Dev’, ‘Elliot’, or ‘Eileen’, was just dead-air as far as I’m concerned. Towards the middle of the run, I just started fast-forwarding through their scenes, because it wasn’t worth the aggravation. At first I honestly thought that Julia’s son, ‘Leo’, was supposed to be “mentally challenged”, but in the end I just concluded that he was a crappy actor being fed crappy dialogue. Meanwhile, Uma Thurman’s cameo as peanut-allergy-impaired movie star ‘Rebecca Duvall’ was much ado about nothing.
I guess my biggest complaint about the show is that Ivy (Megan Hilty) was so blatantly, undeniably, unequivocally perfect for the role of Marilyn, that it seemed like a foregone conclusion she would win it in the end, making all of the stupid obstacles they threw in her path nothing more than futile, frustrating, time-wasting filler. The writers kept trying to make Karen (Katharine McPhee) happen, but I doubt anyone outside of the show (or Derek’s demented brain) ever saw her as serious competition. Maybe in some bizarro alternate reality where Marilyn was a chaste, charisma-free, pop-idol-next-door… but not in this reality, dammit! Ivy was a true “bombshell”, with an epic voice, and the breathy inflections down pat. She could play Marilyn in her sleep… or even in a drug-induced stupor! SHE WAS BORN TO PLAY MARILYN!!! But, no… they decided to fly in the face of sanity, and award Karen the win. WHAT THE G*DDAMN MUTHAF*CKIN’ F*CK!!!???
[Pause for cathartic, primal scream]
Sigh… frankly, I think they’d have been better off just making the musical itself, with Hilty in the lead, and calling it a day… because in retrospect this season was just a disappointing, dispiriting time-suck. Gah!