Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, in which I offer my take on NBC's Smash, which started out with such promise but has turned into a head-scratching mess of a show. (Also, said story is being advertised on the site as, "A Jace Lacob rant." Ha!)
What has happened to Smash?
Despite a pilot episode that was praised by critics, Smash went from must-see TV to stumbling, face first, into the orchestra pit in a matter of weeks. While the show will be back next season after a renewal last week, the show’s creator, Theresa Rebeck, won’t be returning.
That has to be a boon, given how uneven Smash has been. For every well-done and lavish musical number, there have been countless appalling elements each week.
One of the concerns about Smash going in was that it would be too insular: that its depiction of the rush to stage the Broadway launch of Marilyn: The Musical would prove to be too inside for a mass audience. But, in an effort to downplay the specificity of its world, Smash has instead spent the majority of each week’s episode focusing on the home lives of the characters and on the often tedious battle between the two would-be Monroes, jaded Ivy (Megan Hilty) and sunny ingénue Karen (Katharine McPhee).
Even in that retreat, Smash has proven itself to be weak-willed, attempting to cram earnest drama and over-the-top soap operatics into 40 minutes. When unstable Ivy began to suffer prednisone-derived hallucinations and fantasy musical numbers kept cropping up in the midst of rehearsals (not to mention that ghastly Karen-does-karaoke number in Iowa), well, that’s when the ability to suspend disbelief in Smash began to falter considerably.
Continue reading on The Daily Beast...