‘Smash’ Crash: After Finale, Seeking Lessons for TV

"Smash" Finale Review

As curtain falls, what TV shouldn't take away from NBC's not-so-"Smash"-ing experience

Hollywood has a way of deriving the wrong lessons from both failure and success. So in bidding a final farewell to “Smash” — which wrapped up its tumultuous two-season run with a “Let’s dump this on Memorial Day weekend” two-hour finale Sunday — a few parting thoughts.

Whenever something ostensibly risky doesn’t work, TV execs — particularly those laboring at the major networks — like to use that to bolster their impulse to stick to the tried and true. In this case, many argued before the series premiered that it’s primarily elites on the coasts who attend musical theater, so it’s easy for showbiz types to delude themselves into thinking there’s a mass audience for a series about a Broadway show. Frankly, this argument is as old as “Cop Rock,” which — unlike “Smash” — didn’t even open.

Still, “Smash” didn’t fail because it was a musical soap opera. It failed because (unlike “Cop Rock”) it was a bad musical soap opera — or more specifically, because the promise of its first few episodes and thrill of discovering its female leads vying for the part of Marilyn Monroe, Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty, wasn’t sustained past episode three. The margin for error might be smaller for a show like “Smash,” but assuming that’s true, there were nevertheless far too many creative missteps to survive.

The producers, moreover, stumbled not with the relative unknowns they assembled, but foremost with the recognizable names, particularly Debra Messing and to a lesser degree Anjelica Huston. In short, they seemingly didn’t trust a show about hungry young Broadway wannabes to get by on theatrical talent, but rather felt compelled to surround them with stars, whose plots were almost uniformly teeth-gnashing. Stunt casting in the later episodes (Sean Hayes, all is not forgiven) only made matters worse.

As New York Times theater critic Charles Isherwood shrewdly observed, the series repeatedly engaged in “the kind of compromises that can turn an edgy, fresh show into something that resembles a bland, assembly-line-produced product: precisely what ‘Smash’ turned out to be.” Indeed, it’s hard to say “Smash” lacked the courage of its convictions, because in hindsight, it’s hard to discern what those convictions were.

Finally, NBC did the show no favors by continuing to cling to its “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for” public-relations approach when many perceived (correctly, I’d argue) that the program had gone off the rails creatively in addition to losing a sizable chunk of its audience. That included NBC Entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt adhering to his description of the program as “an unqualified success,” when you didn’t need to be a research ace to recognize the claim didn’t hold water.

The closing hours highlighted just how seriously the show had lost its way, which included producing music videos that dispensed with any connection between original songs being rehearsed and performed on stage and people walking down the street (multiple people, in the case of a tepid cover of Queen’s “Under Pressure”) belting out tunes. Fittingly, the final image (and SPOILER ALERT, assuming anyone cares) was a McPhee-Hilty show-stopper, which only reinforced, in a melancholy way, just how much the initial spark had been lost.

During the finale, Messing’s character huffs at one point that the press “will twist anything for a story.”

Perhaps so. But in the case of “Smash,” the media vultures didn’t really need to bother. The show failed. But that’s not a referendum on musicals, or serialized dramas, or shows with too many gay characters, or networks trying to do something a little bit different or outside their comfort zones.

It’s simply a referendum on “Smash.”

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  1. Caro says:

    I hated the finale! I hated backstabbing, manipulative, trampy Ivy winning the Tony and getting Derek. It was completely unbelievable for Jimmy to turn himself in and for Derek to blow up his career the way he did. Karen and Derek had the best chemistry of any couple on the show and they should have ended up together and Karen should have won the Tony instead of rewarding Ivy for bad conduct with no redemption. Safran really messed this up!

  2. Caro says:

    You’ve neglected to mention the biggest mistake which was in hiring Josh Safran as showrunner! Safran didn’t have the experience or vision to helm a show like SMASH. He also seems incapable of original thought! Safran created a new musical in the image of Rent and turned the Karen/Derek/Ivy triangle into his flawed perception of Reinking/Fosse/Verdon. Safran ignored the Karen/Derek relationship the fans wanted that might have saved the show! Fire Safran, save SMASH!

  3. cg says:

    While the second season didn’t have the original luster of the first season with a few forced plots the show overall was a great idea and ended doing just what it promised, leaving me wanting more. There are far worse shows which end up with a third or fourth season, Smash deserved that next season!!

  4. Julie says:

    I loved it. I’ll miss it

  5. David W says:

    I was reluctant to watch Smash the first time and I’m so glad that I did. I never thought I could like a show about Broadway (not usually my interest) but I watched every episode. I believe thinking like mine is what killed it. I don’t know how they could have gotten more people to give it a try but if they had they would be writing the third season as I type this. Thanks for a great (even though it was short) ride. Here is a notice to other networks…If you pick it up you have a dedicated viewer!

  6. Talaluh says:

    I watched Idol for years and the word “pitchy” was used often to critique a performance. Never was that word used in reaction to any of Katharine McPhee’s performances. The only way the broadway types can hype their broadway baby, Hilty is to tear down McPhee. It is futile to argue with these people. McPhee was one of the stars of Smash. Spielburg didn’t even want Hilty and that frosts her fans. I don’t think they will ever get over it. Anyone who followed Marilyn Monroe’s life and career would know that the Katharine was the perfect fit for the Marilyn part. Hilty’s characterization of Marilyn was much like the Marilyn copycats who kept cropping up but who came across as hard and brassy i.e. Jayne Mansfield, Mamie Van Doren etc.

    Still, it wasn’t Hilty or McPhee who caused the demise of Smash. Smash was a great idea. It was the Broadway writer types, starting with Reebek and ending with Safran who were in charge of scripts and plots. At times, the dialogue was bad but sometimes it was worse. The subplots were soap opera-ish, useless, distracting and boring…so much so that my sister quit watching after the third or fourth episode last year. (Smoothies anyone? Or, how many boyfriends did Tom go through and what ever happened to that poor child languishing in a Chinese orphanage that Messing’s character was going to adopt)? I would say more but the mere thought of the subplots makes me want to take a nap.

  7. Theresa says:

    It is truly a sad commentary on our culture as a whole when a quality show like “Smash” is canceled and shows like “Splash” are even concieved of. Smash brought stellar vocal talent and wonderful songs into our homes for our entertainment. Too bad the author of this piece thinks so little of middle America’s tastes. I guess the only part of our society (the coasts) have an appreciation for the arts. That is short sighted in the extreme. Better tell the Broadway touring
    groups they had best bypass the Midwest (where many shows are sold out regularly) since we folks don’t really go for that sort of thing.

  8. JimInNashville says:

    An excellent review. The show did fail. I thought Hilty and McPhee were absolutely terrific, and got better and better as the writing got worse and worse. The Anjelica Huston plot, the ridiculous “Jimmy” (has there ever been a more irritating love interest in TV history), and the totally annoying and self-centered Debra Messing character left us with too much annoyance. At one point, I turned to my wife and said, “Huston can’t throw the drink in his face AGAIN! No human ever born would do that!! And then she threw it.

    However, I must confess. Even if I have to watch her falling in love with a dimwitted, narcissistic, jerky pipsqueak like “Jimmy,” I’ll watch Katharine McPhee in *anything*. A more graceful, beautiful, and talented young star has not graced the screen in several decades. And Megan Hilty is simply fabulous. Can you imagine the stature these two would have achieved had they arrived in Hollywood in 1955, when grace, class, beauty, and talent still mattered?

  9. Mel says:

    The show had flaws, but was still great entertainment, head and shoulders above a lot of the crap ad nauseum, about the police, hospitals, serial killers, etc. etc. that’s there every night parading its seamy side on tv. It’s a damn shame that the public wasn’t there to embrace SMASH. The question isn’t only what were the problems with the show, but what does the lack of an audience say about the viewing public.

  10. Steve says:

    I will miss “Smash,” despite what critics say.

  11. Talaluh says:

    Ever the cockeyed optimist, I watched Smash from the beginning to the end…hoping against hope the writing and plot lines would improve but they never did. The writing was dreadful drivel both years. Good writing could have saved Smash. They should have hired good TV writers using broadway consultants only for authenticity. The only thing that kept me going was the great music and choreography last year. This year had neither. The writers were too ‘inside broadway’.Hit List was a horrible main plot. No one but insiders got the Rent connection and backstory. It was as dreary as the music that came with it. There were no heros. The main character was a bonafide creep who no one liked. You can’t build a show on an unredeemable character! We lost our heroine in the Rent debacle and ended up with the slut winning the Tony. I mourn Smash for what it could have been.

  12. I absolutely loved the show! I am somehow hoping it will magically come back! It was my favorite show on television… I don’t know ehy some people just “didn’t get it” or what… But I am a singer and a performer and I always watched it every week… Every episode!!! Bring it back!!!

  13. I really enjoyed both seasons of Smash, and I am not an elitist that goes to Live theater..really sad to see it go!

  14. LaRue Boenig says:

    The show ended up being make -up, break-up, storm out of the room (or street or wherever they are) or it could be break-up, make-up but not for long. Whose who as far as who is sleeping with who currently (you know this week, this day, this hour whatever) In fact “whatever” perfectly describes this failure of what could have been a great show.

  15. Bettie G says:

    I am not in the 19-49 category. I am in the over 50, closer to 60 and guess what, there are a lot of us in this category that loved “Smash”. We are not into the Bachelor or the Bachelorette, we don’t care are the Housewives of Orange County, because we are the real housewives. What we do like is something that can transport us from our daily lives to something that we can only dream about. Its shows like Smash, Longmire, Vegas, etc, that we like that take us there for an hour at a time.

    • Heath says:

      The shows you mention — I hate them because they glorify endless bad behavior. Good drama needs conflict, yes, but one thing I liked about the finale was that, all the characters came around to doing the right thing. That’s the kind of television we need :) .

  16. WillB says:

    This was one of my favorite shows!! I still can’t believe it was cancelled and more people didn’t watch it. I thought the cast was amazing and the music was superb! Yes.. another network should pick this up!!!

  17. Bob Klein says:

    Smash (0.5 adults) wrapped up its sobering sophomore season at 9 p.m. The two-hour series finale was up a tenth of a point from its last-Saturday showing on May 11. NBC averaged a 0.5 rating with adults 18-49 and 2.4 million viewers for the night.

    Hmmmm. Most of the 0.5 are right here. And, no, Showtime is not going to pick SMASH up.

  18. AnnaB says:

    I loved Smash… the music was amazing, and I liked the mix of original broadway with the broadway style covers they threw in. I thought the plot was pretty great. Way better than most of the other crap on TV. I am so sick of the reality TV shows, I am jsut someone gave us something with music and creativity. I am very sad that it got canceled and I hope it is not truly over.

  19. Ray Workman says:

    I adored SMASH. It quickly became my favorite show. Considering the amount of gay and lesbian talent in the Theatre, there were NOT ENOUGHT gay and lesbian characters. This show was all about many people pulling together to get a Broadway musical up on its feet and running for the masses of people who love to see a Broadway Musical. SMASH will be missed. NBC has hit several foul balls this year, with the cancellation of SMASH, THE NEW NORMAL and letting THE OFFICE run at least two years PAST what it should have!

  20. I loved the show! I enjoyed revisiting my days in the theatre. However, having been in the Entertainment Industry all of my life, it is a microcosm of a particular life of a small piece of literal life. A lot of my friends are gay, but when 2/3rds of the starring cast began kissing on the show at 8pm-9pm, I knew the show was going to fail. The rest of the country is 99% straight, literally. It’s too bad that the Producers don’t understand the demos of the rest of the country.

  21. judith says:

    As current day Texans and New Jersey transplants, we adored SMASH! Loved its bigness, its inside view of theater culture and the music and dance. Sure the subplots were wound up predictably, but so what. This is TV. The parts of major singing talents could not have been cast better. Please bring it back in summer reruns and a new issue in the Spring. Thank you Steven S. for gracing the small screen with such a wonderful series. I would love to see BOMBSHELL and
    HIT LIST in the theater as well.

  22. Joe says:

    Would you please clarify what you mean by “too many gay characters”? You say that like it is an actual thing. Has this actually been criticized by legitimate critics? Rolling my eyes.

  23. Donna Kamp says:

    Loved this show and hated when they began moving it around. It was intereSting ,fun,sometimes sad but always entertaining. Iam really sorry to learn of its passing.

  24. ivyfree2 says:

    I felt I wound up resent-watching. I watched because it was addicting, and I resented it because it was so much less than it could have been. It was the network equivalent of Big Love: interesting premise, terrific talent- and terrible plotting and writing. And it suffered from a catastrophic false premise: that Karen Cartwright was just the the awesomest little plucky Broadway star EVAH- and it was obvious that while Kat McPhee has good vocal training and is easily autotuned to sound okay, Megan Hilty just consistently blew her out of the water. It was insulting to the audience, that we were expected to accept Karen’s superiority as a given, when we could watch and judge the performances for ourselves. “She has something,” we heard over and over about Karen Cartwright- and all I could think of was it had to be some behind-the scenes influence because it sure wasn’t ability. McPhee has a lovely career ahead of her singing at weddings; but she doesn’t have whatever it is that makes a star. “Mostly on-key with good breath control” isn’t enough.

    That said, when I watched the first episode out of curiosity, and I saw that first performance of National Pastime, the sheer dynamic energy of Megan Hilty’s performance had me sitting up and saying, “whoa.” Music I don’t know much about, but the generation and direction of energy I know front and back, and Hilty had it. I watched two full seasons just to watch Hilty, I’d have liked it if Smash went on to further seasons, so long as Hilty stayed; McPhee made a useful foil for her. I’m going to be watching her schedule in the hope that sometime I can see her perform IRL.

    • Caro says:

      Hilty is talented but McPhee has the better and more versatile voice! Karen was also the better Marilyn! Ivy played sexpot Marilyn better but Karen played the more vulnerable combination of Norma Jean and Marilyn much better than Ivy! Karen’s version of “Don’t Forget Me’ blew Ivy’s out of the water! Hilty always sounds too breathy while McPhee is spot on! If you look on iTunes and see which songs are being bought most frequently you will see that people prefer Karen’s songs!

    • JimInNashville says:

      One constant I observed over the past two years is the relentless harping of “Broadway Types” on imaginary characteristics of Hilty and McPhee. Several of the comments center on alleged “autotuning” of McPhee coupled with breathless over-rating of Hilty’s talents and minimizing her deficiencies. Broadway, as serious as some Easterners (especially Hilty’s GLBT fanclub) take it, is a small pond. Ethel Merman was a fabulous star on Broadway, and nobody for a moment would consider her a great talent in the larger realm of North American entertainment.

      Let me ask you this — was McPhee autotuned when she sang “Over the Rainbow” on American Idol? Of course not. To suggest that McPhee can’t sing live in tune is utterly ridiculous.

      When Hilty sings “Over the Rainbow” live on national TV in front of millions, then you can tout her. Broadway stages are notoriously forgiving environments — until you play back the recording and actually hear all the missed notes. McPhee’s live performance on AI can be played back a thousand times, and still sounds virtually perfect.

      Taken at face value, Hilty is a superb vocalist who sings everything well. I’m a big fan. However, I’ve heard her miss many notes in live performances. So my guess is that if McPhee is autotuned on Smash, so is Hilty. Another point. Hilty admits herself — she can’t dance. Go back through the entire Smash series and see how the editing distracts from this fact. Hilty is virtually never shown doing any extended dancing. It is all editing slight of hand. And although she’s in great shape, Hilty looks more like Marilyn Monroe’s slightly pudgy (okay, “voluptuous” if you will) younger sister than she looks like Marilyn. McPhee is actually closer to Monroe. And if you don’t understand what McPhee has that Hilty doesn’t, I suggest you poll a few thousand normal North American males instead of a bunch of aging female Broadway devotees. It is a timeless, very rare kind of beauty. Hilty just doesn’t have that, although I find her dynamic, intelligent, and remarkably sexy.

      Compare Hilty’s version of ‘Don’t Forget Me’ with McPhee’s. McPhee actually made an effort to sound like Monroe when singing it, while Hilty simply reverted to her Broadway-pizazz self — which of course, made it easier for her to sound Broadwayish. Whose version was better? Both hit the extended high notes, Hilty had more drama, McPhee more realism. I’d call it a virtual tie.

  25. John Neal says:

    I completely disagree with the writer of this story. Yes, Smash had its up and downs. But overall the music and choreography, in my opinion was top notch. The music is very infectious. I did not watch this show from the beginning. But i feel in love with it. And will miss it terribly. Lets Be Bad was the best song from the series.

  26. Peter Espada says:

    So sorry to see this go–I’ll buy the DVD set when it comes out. Chill out, everyone–this was a great entertainment, and pretty reasonable depiction of what goes on “backstage” to put on a show. Better than most of the dreck that passes for network programming these days, anyway. I’d like to see this come back on cable with a different cast, or move the supporting actors into leads–there’s a lot of mileage left on this concept.

  27. Larry Magen says:

    I loved this show and I am sorry to see it go. I am sure that all of us who love it, can find things in the storylines that we didn’t like, but one thing that I thought seemed weird about the finale was that they seemed to have dropped Scott off the radar completely. Why spend so much time trying to develop that character throughout the season only to completely ignore him in the finale? Don’t get me wrong, I did not think that Scott was a good match for Julia anyway… but it just seemed odd.

    I did not have a problem with Julia seemingly getting back with Michael at the end, however for whatever it is worth, I never cared for the actor (Will Chase) that was cast in that role. For whatever reason, he doesn’t seem like a good fit with Debra Messing. Only my opinion.

    I hope that there is some angel out there that will save this show and keep it going on HBO or Cable or anywhere. I looked forward to every episode. Peace.

  28. laura says:

    Love, Love, Loved the show. Yes there were some episoded that had a few bumps but overall it was a GREAT and unique show. I applaude the idea and the network for trying something new. I applaude the cast for terrific and believable performances! I too hope that cable will pick it up. I do believe there is an appreciative audience for it. The network should have tried to save it before killing it off. Bad choice on their part, especially since they have very very few other shows worth watching (or better yet faithfully following). You would think that as a major network they would be smart enough to have an ACCURATE PULSE on their audience. Maybe that is only successful networks…

  29. DrMikey says:

    As a paraphrase of the old adage goes: Those who can – do, those who can’t – become critics. And Lowry isn’t even a critic, which is in its classical form, is a reputable profession, many of whom studied theater or movies for decades and had a background to support their criticism. This guy calls himself a ‘TV Columnist’, which must mean he gets paid by the word, or at least by the rant. As you might have guessed, I thoroughly enjoyed most episodes of both seasons and looked forward to them with anticipation – and was only rarely disappointed. Even the second season provided us with glimpses of new talent, partcularly the actress who played Ana and the always improving Jeremy Jordan. If you’re interested in seeing him at his funniest and most astonishing, look for the video on YouTube of a duet showcasing him and Cheyenne Jackson performing a number from Side Show written for the lead conjoined female twins sung by these talented guys in the original key!
    I just hope the Showtime or another Pay Cable station picks up the series, where it would certainly be permitted to shine without the weight of ratings and suits on its shoulders.

  30. Theater Goer says:

    I stopped watching early in the first season. Maybe the two things that bugged me the most in those early episodes disappeared. One was the almost complete lack of a sense of humor. People in the theater, as a general rule, try to be witty, but the characters in “Smash” too often acted as though they worked in an oncology ward. My related complaint was that “Smash” was too filled with angst. I understand that drama needs to have conflict, but conflict can be enjoyable, it doesn’t have to be all stress all the time. If that is what theater is really like, I’d rather work in an office. Thresa Rebeck can be funny. There were lines in “Seminar” that were hilarious. Who made the decision that humor was not allowed?

  31. Bob Klein says:

    Sorry, but you can’t shoot the critic. Spielberg had a great idea. Greenblatt was courageous to green light it. The pilot was brilliant, but contained the seeds of its self destruction. And they just couldn’t fix it. It’s a pity. The world needs a grownup show about musical theater to be a hit on TV.
    There’s got to be more to life than GLEE and the Disney High School Musicals.

  32. Tony says:

    Very sad to see this show leave. Sure it had some writing difficulties in season 2 but it had a certain magic that left me spellbound every episode. Besides the great story line the presentation, the color, the sets, the musical numbers were simply superior to anything on television.The songs were amazing and I will be listening to them for quite a long while. My daughter and I will really miss this show. Sad, just sad.

  33. Mary Owen says:

    Say what you like, it was different from everything else on tv and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

  34. Chester says:

    Don’t ya just love critics!?!? They come out of the woodwork like cockroaches after the fact, never wanting to lay their pathetic existence on the line while in production. Seriously you didn’t have one nice thing to say and as the old saying goes, if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. I loved the show and thought it was a breathe of fresh air on the overcrowded cop and robbers and reality TV airwaves. Sounds like they needed you to save it but where were you??? Nowhere to be found until the wood started rotting.

  35. ellen8 says:

    Sorry but I loved every minute of it. Maybe I am one of those “coastal elites who love musical theatre” but ok, there it is. I loved, loved, loved it and want more shows like this !!!
    Super cast, great music and production – congratulations Smash cast, you should be proud to have this show on your resume. RIP Smash !!!

    • Tina says:

      Yes, I loved the show too, and am sorry to see it end. I’m a theatre geek from Toronto (Canada) – does that make me “coastal elite”? Was surprised that most of the co-workers and friends that I mentioned it to were not fans. Very impressed with Katharine McPhee (she’s come a long way since American Idol) and Megan Hilty, who was unfamiliar to me, showed some lovely shading in her performances.

    • Larry Magen says:

      I am 100% with you Ellen. Well said!

  36. Bob Klein says:

    The pilot of SMASH was the best I’ve ever seen. I was hooked…until week 2. My comment has to do with sound mix. In the pilot, I got every word of I WANT TO BE A STAR. After that, the entire series, but especially the HIT LIST numbers were mixed like a rock concert, as if the lyrics didn’t matter. Well, what distinguishes musical theater is that the words matter. And, by the way, can anybody tell me what HIT LIST was about? Does anybody care? Does anyone remember one song?

  37. Larry Magen says:

    Classiest move of the Tony Award night on the Smash season finale… a tie between Derek announcing that he loves Ivy in his acceptance speech, and Eileen calling Derek up to the stage when Bombshell took the award for Best Musical. Its such a shame that Smash got the ax.

  38. Dan says:

    I really wanted this show to be a big success. It was something my theater buff high school daughter and I watched religiously. The original premise was great but I have to agree with Mr. Lowry. The show lost its way early and was never able to decide what it wanted to be. Too many bad subplots about peripheral characters. And somehow when crunch time came, there were too many miracle solutions hatched in a wildly unrealistic short time (Jennifer Hudson needs a new song, Bombshell needs a new ending, Hit List isn’t working on Broadway). It would have been nice to see more of the work required for those fixes. The writing was on the wall early on. With the audience shrinking fast, I wish the production team would have conjured up one of those miracle fixes and brought back the audience they drove away with poor writing and bad subplots. For those ripping NBC, if people won’t watch it (and fewer did every week) it was just a business decision.

    All that said, my daughter and I stuck with it to the end. There were still moments of excellence, especially the music. And we cared about the characters. We were disappointed in the way it ended (shows what really happens when crunch time comes). I had always thought it would be cool if they actually wrote and filmed both of the plays and showed them all the way through as two-hour special episodes. Guess that won’t happen. It would be nice if this could be one of those shows that finds new life on a cable network somewhere, but I doubt that will happen too.

    Too bad – it could have been great.

    • Kalina says:

      What a great idea, Dan, to show both plays in their entirety. I wonder if it even crossed their minds? I would’ve loved to see that.

    • Tony says:

      Great comment Dan. My daughter and I bonded over this show. I will miss our times together discussing the episodes and enjoying the music we had grown to love.

  39. TV Watcher says:

    I liked generally the show, and am glad after getting cancelled the writers were kind enough to give some closure, Julia going to reconnect with Michael, Eileen gets back with Nick, but true, I never understood Karen and the whiny troubled composer nor did I feel there was real love with Derek and Ivy, but there was chemistry between Derek and Karen. Also that Karen on the cusp of being Marilyn on Broadway would walk away for some unknown Community Theater project, Oh Puleeeze! Come on… Only self righteous real bonafide stars pull that crap….

    • Kalina says:

      I agree with everything you said and I had to laugh at your “Oh puleeeze!” because I said and/or thought that a LOT while watching this show. Although I enjoyed watching “Smash,” I found so much to be unbelievable or corny, especially in Season 2. Most of this centered around the Hitlist story.

      Last night my husband had to endure me saying “Oh puhleeeze!!” and “Who wrote this stuff?!?” for two hours *LOL* For instance, wouldn’t an aspiring actress who’s on the verge of success use BIRTH CONTROL?! Or guess what will happen next when a bottle of red wine is being struggled over? Or gee, just happened to have this extra ticket to the ball, CinderAna. On and on.

      But thank you, Smash, for giving the awards to the most deserving Ivy, Julia/Tom, Derek, and Bombshell. And thanks for putting Bozo in jail. I would’ve found out first if that girl died before confessing all to the police, wouldn’t you?

  40. Gina Hardin says:

    This was a wonderful show. I am sure it was a financial beast and unless it was going to consistently make money, aka ratings, it wasn’t going to sell the ad space to justify it. I believe it was originally slated for HBO or Showtime- both better options than the #4 network NBC. It had its’ challenges but few shows come right off the line and hit every mark. It needed creative time. When they knew it was probably only a 2 season outing, they had to make a lot of choices to wrap it up neatly. The whole season suffered as a result. I don’t think the Sean Hayes casting was such stunt casting- look at Broadway. Every play is riddled with screen and wannabe screen stars hoping to prove they can act, prove they have the chops before making another movie. “I’m coming back to what I love – the theater- blah blah” So it seemed reasonable that his character would have cropped up to bolster ticket sales for a struggling show. If a show is on TKTS, that is great for us consumers but often a death knell for a show. Anyway, whew– writer of this article did just want the critics accused this show of doing- swung for the elitist fences. This show should be for everyone who likes hard work, struggle, heartbreak and hopefulness along w/ great dancing and singing. Sorry it is gone.

  41. Terri says:

    I thought this show was absolutely amazing. This was great television – so sorry to see it go. A fresh break from all the reality TV garbage.

  42. Heath says:

    Meaning of course, they never should have made the 2nd Sex and The City Movie since the 1st was so good!

  43. Peggy says:

    I’m not the demographic..elite, on the coast or attend musical. I’m retired, small town, and rural. But I loved this show. Finally some great songs, plots and actors. You underestimate the taste of the tv watchers out there. We want something besides vocal competitions and silly reality shows. Thanks to Smash for giving me something enjoyable to watch. Please can we have a sequel!

  44. Shuayb says:

    I believe that the writer was correct. This show had promise but it lost its way very quick. They tried to do too much and it inevitable became a disaster to watch because the drama was done a thousand times before.

  45. Val says:

    I think it was the writing that tanked the show. Even the greatest actors and actresses couldn’t pull off the giant leaps from one extreme to other that these characters were expected to make from one episode to another. Great music and great energy! Poor writing…

  46. Heath says:

    What a waste of time. I must not be a good TV critic. First why bother criticizing TV drama THAT hard core when it’s still TV. I know that’s wrong to say, though. But I even like to be snobby about the big screen and say that I prefer film and cinema over movies (I prefer things like Tree of Life and Iranian cinema), Smash being neither film nor cinema. But Smash was also neither Broadway nor anything we’ve really seen on TV. So I figure, Just let it be…! So I don’t even bother criticizing it and nit picking the story lines 4 episodes in, especially since their trying to lay down a whole new, very demanding sub-genre. Good art accomplishes across two poles — creativity and fulfillment of artistic discipline. And if they were trying to help create, oh, I don’t know, only a whole entirely new artistic discipline like serial episodic musical television that also educates noobs like me about the development and production of the venerable artistic discipline of musical theatre — the critics have overly-glossed over this fact. Considering all the givens — THE SHOW WAS FREAKIN’ FABULOUS. Put it on HBO!!! Then again, I really LOVED the finale and so it’s like with Sex and The City 2. While I would love Smash to continue — I also Iove the finale and last memory they gave me :) .

    • DrMikey says:

      I too felt the finale was a great 2 hours of TV, bittersweet though it was. I read a while back that the show was originally shopped to Showtime before NBC decided to take the chance. The deal offered was probably a better one from a financial view, so I don’t fault anyone for the decision. However in retrospect, which is always 20/20, it was obviously the wrong one. Maybe Showtime will come calling again.

      • Heath says:

        I also imagine, though I don’t know much about television production and logistics, a template is being developed, what with glee, for serial episodic televisions musicals and those involved could be available consultants for future possibilities. Maybe not about broadway — maybe about the music industry — but at least an adult-aged series to complement Glee….

  47. Kirk says:

    This was a great show. It was made for mass audiences, but did convey theatre. being made, the stories, the hopes and dreams. It was innovative TV.

  48. Charlotte Vodosia says:

    I loved everything about the show.

  49. Rob says:

    It is a shame that this program lost its way. Megan Hilty is a wonderful talent and shined every time she was on camera. While Katherine McPhee has a lovely voice, she doesn’t have the acting experience to carry the show. I am a huge theater buff and loved Bombshell. I’m sorry this show, which had so much promise, lost its way.

  50. Pete Short says:

    Although at times it seemed a bit lost, the show was great, I knew it was doomed when the last show was put on a Sunday night on Memorial Day Weekend…..Lets replace it with a reality show……maybe where two women switch families…..or where your normal male or female pick their new spouses from a group normal looking male or females…..Wake up people!!!!!!!!!

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