Monday, March 18, 2013

What's Wrong with Smash Season 2?

Smash on NBC
I hinted at this in the pictorial post about this week's episode of Smash (missed the post? Check out the pictures on Singular Sensation!), but as many have noticed, NBC's musical drama Smash is going under fast.

Last season treaded on thin ice, with the viewership helped heavily by the fact that Smash came on right after NBC's The Voice. So to boost ratings this season without The Voice, the Smash folks changed their tactics to make it improve. To do this, they had to take quite a few chances, but whatever changes they did have yet to work.

  • Taking out Brian d'Arcy James (Frank)- I've mentioned before that I didn't love this choice... Then again, I understand that this topic was exhausted, and they couldn't keep throwing marital drama around every minute. But [SPOILER] having him basically cheat on Julia was ridiculously out of character and was not a classy way to get rid of Frank.
  • Adding Jennifer Hudson- Smash star Katharine McPhee got her start on American Idol, so I'm sure that in casting Jennifer Hudson, the thought was to bring in more Idol fans. And let's face it, they wanted a famous person to draw audiences,but I wish they would at the very least bring in actors so that their featured episodes aren't just an excuse for almost-has-beens to have a concert on national television.
  • Adding Jeremy Jordan- I approve of bringing in the recent Bonnie and Clyde and Newsies actor, because I think pulling Broadway actors into the limelight is extremely important. I don't love his character or anything about that whole side plot. I just find I don't care.
  • ...and his friend
  • ...and their scrappy, yet literally overnight success of a musical
  • Karen's ridiculously big head- all of a sudden she's everyone's favorite Broadway chorus girl. Literally. She has the most ridiculous connections, and let's keep in mind: she hasn't even been on Broadway yet!
  • In a nutshell- It's gotten even more contrived than last season, which was definitely on the edge. Although, I'll admit that it's still not as random as last season's Bollywood number "A Thousand and One Nights" (which everyone who's seen it is secretly obsessed with, even though it made no sense whatsoever). Also a lot of characters seem oddly depressed or at odds with each other for no reason.
Besides all of these specific things, the general tone has been changed. It seems like the love and joy from the show is gone, and I can't quite put my finger on exactly what makes it a little lackluster.

Sometimes, I feel like reminding the writers that this is only the beginning of the season. And it's only the second season anyway! To save the show, I think they are trying to throw in as many plot surprises and guest stars as they can. For instance, [SPOILER] that Katharine McPhee and Jeremy Jordan kiss came at least 8 episodes too soon. I barely know his character, much less their relationship. But I digress...

As much as I love Smash, I won't be surprised when it gets canceled.

1 comment:

  1. I really like how you examine every factor... that's cool. Keep it up! Great article!