Friday, 1 August 2014

TV Do Over Blog Hop - SMASH

Thanks to the lovely author Caroline Fardig for inviting me to take part in her TV Do Over Blog Hop.

The concept? Take a TV programme you love (or hate!) and say how you'd have liked to have re-written it and changed things if you'd had the chance....

So, here goes.... my TV programme of choice for the TV Do Over is the American all singing and dancing TV series SMASH...

First up... I have to say that I LOVED season 1 of SMASH.

If you’re not familiar with this American series then basically it’s the story of a team of professionals (writers, actors, singers, dancers, choreographers)  trying to put together a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe.

I loved season 1 from the start – all that singing, dancing, drama, secrets and romance – what’s not to love?

I thought the characters were all well developed, had their flaws and their good sides, were like-able – even the ‘baddies’ – something which I feel is a real gift, creating a TV character who is the villain of the peace yet at the same time, you can see why they are the way they are and develop some sympathy for them – in some cases you might even find yourself rooting for them a bit too!

We don’t have cable or satellite TV so I only discovered SMASH via Amazon on DVD in the sale. Season 1 was, to me, one of those wonderful programmes where you can’t get enough and finish one episode only to want to watch the next one straight away- which luckily I could do as I was watching it via DVD and didn't have to wait a week for the next installment - phew!

Season 1 finished unsurprisingly on something of a tantalising note. As I had ‘found’ SMASH well after it had been on TV I didn't have long to wait until season 2 came out on DVD in the UK- just a few months. I put it on pre-order and counted the days for my DVD to arrive in the post.

So, now for the, in my opinion, not so good bit.

The first episode of season 2 left me feeling disappointed. Why? It felt as though the whole thing had been taken off in a different direction. 

For me, the issues were:

*The original musical (Bombshell, about Marilyn Monroe) had some problems and some of the cast and ‘crew’ filtered off to work on various other projects. At this point I felt it lost some of its ‘reason to be’. There were now several different musicals/plays ‘in development’ and I felt this diluted the story. I thought some of the new story lines were silly especially the lead male actor's incompetence in the play Ivy was now rehearsing in. I’d go so far as to say I found some of it irritating and, I confess, hit the fast forward button through some of the story in a couple of episodes.

The relationships lost their chemistry-

*For Karen, having split from Dev, she becomes involved with Jimmy, a talented young writer/actor/singer but to me he came across as ungrateful, selfish, spends a lot of his time high and I never quite took to him at all.  Yes, there was the usual plot device of giving him a challenging upbringing as the reason for his current behavior but I still didn't warm to him much - bring back Dev I say!

*For Eileen her previous love interest Nick was now in jail and she was doing battle with her ex-husband. Shame I thought – I liked the other guy! Though it was good she did eventually get back with Nick right at the end of the second season.

*For Julia – well, she got together with her old flame Michael in season 1, risking both of their marriages, but such was the chemistry between them that you felt they did belong together.  When their partners found out, trouble loomed but in season 2, her hubbie has left, fling guy is also out of the picture by now too. She becomes involved with a seemingly arrogant writer who she isn't even that keen on to start with! Though, once again, thankfully, right at the very end (blink and you'll miss it!) there is a hint of a reconciliation with Julia and Michael.

*Derek , well, as the ‘bad guy’ you wanted him to mend his ways a little, but the plot didn't give him much chance to develop or evolve. Shame!

I watched each episode thinking/wishing /waiting for the musical Bombshell to get back on track and for everyone to be reunited – it didn't happen!

When I watched the last episode of season 2 I thought ‘well, it can’t tie up all the various loose ends in just one episode so there must be some questions left unanswered' - even though we all knew there was to be no season 3. 

Then, bizarrely, and  I felt unsatisfactorily, everything came to an extremely rushed  and slightly confusing, ending in just the last couple of minutes.

Verdict? I was left feeling season 2 was a different programme from series 1 – it felt so disjointed – such a pity!

Also, I thought the music was not anywhere near as good as it was in season 1.

Obviously this is all just my humble opinion and I have heard people say they loved both series but, as with most things, it’s all subjective...

Would I recommend SMASH?

Yes, absolutely, for season 1!
Season 2? Good in parts but not a patch on season 1.


  1. I loved season one of Smash, but it really went downhill from there, which is too bad. It was a great show to start, but when they started to go in different directions (the characters), it messed up the show's rhythm and they never found it again. That whole other production thing with the writer that got hit by a car was horrible, too.

  2. Glad I'm not the only one who thought this Carolyn! Totally agree with everything you said...

  3. what would you do to rewrite season 2 though? i enjoyed it for the most part. i thought jeremy jordan was so hot as jimmy and loved the music in his show. some things went off the rails a bit, but i still loved it anyway. i'm surprised no one talked about glee in their posts. i have more issues with the last season than any other show i've watched lately.


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