I wouldn’t say that I was shocked when I learned that NBC had cancelled Smash, with the show moved from its Tuesday night slot mid-season to Saturday (who watches shows on Saturdays unless they’re trying to catch up?) I knew it was only a matter of time, but when the official statement came out, I was a bit sad.
I have to admit, the show has seen better days. I, myself was forgetting to tune in on the days that it was on and having to catch it on demand. For a show that I’m supposed to love, wouldn’t I remember to turn it on? Apparently not. I’ve read reviews on the series as a whole, and they kept mentioning one huge thing that had changed between the first and second season: the writers. After the first season didn’t get the ratings that NBC thought it would, they hired a new team of writers who were supposed to bring Smash out of its slump. New characters were brought in, focal points were changed, multiple plays were going on at the same time rather than just the one, and then there were the guest stars. While the first season had multiple stars like Nick Jonas, Uma Thurman and Bernadette Peters – who also made appearances in season two – even more stars were brought in this year including Liza Minnelli, Jennifer Hudson, Sean Hayes (Will & Grace reunion?), etc. Even original Rent cast members Jessie L Martin and Daphne Rubin-Vega were brought in, but I have to admit, I’ve been disappointed that neither one has sang. Crossing fingers that they will in the finale, otherwise I will not be happy. Debra Messing even picked up the microphone in the penultimate episode, how can they not sing?!
One story line that the writers seemed to love, but highly irritated me was of Karen and Jimmy – the up-and-coming actress and the drug-addicted song writer. In the first season I liked Karen, she had an amazing voice, she had a life outside of Broadway, and she did not sleep with the director (Derek) to get the part of Marilyn. During the finale, a distraught Karen looked at Derek from her hiding spot behind a row of costumes after she found out that her fiancé cheated on her and I felt for her. This season, she became increasingly annoying and infatuated with Jimmy, thinking that she could “change” him (haven’t we all thought that we could do that only to end up hollow?) and it became an obsession, she was a tiny shell of herself. There seemed to be some chemistry between Karen and Derek, which would have been a good storyline, but the writers never fleshed that out sadly.
So what’s in store for the series finale airing this Sunday in the middle of Memorial Day weekend (great timing I must say)? It’s the Tonys, and Karen and Ivy will probably be up for the same award, and Ivy is pregnant, probably by Derek since I don’t think that she’s dated anyone else all season. All in all, despite my feelings of Smash this season, when the final credits roll, I’ll be sad that it won’t be coming back.