Someone should make a musical about the remaking of Smash between its first and second seasons. Let's call it Phantom of the Rewrite.
Or maybe The (New) Producers, seeing how NBC replaced the original creator/showrunner in hopes of calming this elaborate backstage drama's own behind-the-scenes creative turmoil, which manifested on screen in turgid and oft-ridiculed soap opera between the splashy production numbers (which are still mostly terrific). Smash 2.0 (Tuesday, 9/8c) wastes no time addressing, while slyly commenting on, the show's problem spots, many involving Debra Messing's character, insecure lyricist-librettist Julia Houston. Her dull husband, cloddish son and needy lover? History. Her hideous scarves? Mocked. Also soon to be gone. Along with reviled characters like the scheming, lurking Ellis and Karen's cheating ex, Dev.
All eyes are on Smash as the NBC musical drama prepares to unveil its second season on Tuesday (9/8c on NBC). But it's not because fans are dying to know whether Ivy (Megan Hilty) survived her possible pill overdose or if Karen (Katharine McPhee) ditched her cheating boyfriend — it's because fans are waiting to see just how much the Smash they loved, and more famously loved to hate, has changed its tune.
Premiering on NBC a year ago with impressive critical acclaim and almost inescapable advertising, Smash follows the creation of Bombshell, a new Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, and the characters involved behind the scenes. Over the first season, ingénues Karen and Ivy tried to out-diva each other for the main role while juggling messy love lives, lyricist Julia (Debra Messing) cheated on...
Send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me on Twitter!
Question: While I'm not happy Last Resort was canceled, I would like to thank ABC and the producers for allowing this show to have an actual ending, with [SPOILER ALERT] Marcus showing his love for his country and sub by dying to make sure the Chinese didn't get it. Like you said in one of your daily reviews, any ending is better than a cliffhanger. I was satisfied with the ending. — Foster
Question: After the embarrassing debacle of Viva Laughlin, I figured network TV wouldn't ever touch musical dramas ever again. Then Ryan Murphy surprised the naysayers with the out-of-the-box success of Glee. Then came along my personal favorite Smash last winter, and the also-great Nashville this fall. Now I read a couple months ago that Fox was trying to revise Fame. My question is this: Have you ever known of a time when so many music-based shows have been on TV? Is it because of the success of American Idol, The Voice and The X Factor? And do you think there is room on TV for possibly four musicals, or will they cannibalize each other for viewers? I've noticed Glee has been down in the ratings, and for a year-four show targeted at the fickle teen market, is this expected? Have you heard any buzz on Smash? I thought Season 1 was great, but I did notice the weak links too, which seem to have been corrected. I hope Season 2 really gets grittier and goes more behind-the-scenes a la West Wing instead of the soapy melodrama of S1. Thoughts? — Sean
Thursday's vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan generated more than 4 million tweets, according to official statistics from Twitter. And, needless to say, several of those comments came from celebrities weighing in on the election.
Here's a roundup of some of the best reactions: