This week “Smash” in episode 9 titled “The Movie Star” goes Meta. They cast Uma Thurman (who does a fine job in the role, but the character is clichéd and I am annoyed), a movie star, as movie star Rebecca Duvall who is going to save “Smash” by getting butts in seats and Eileen the funding she needs. Oh, wait Eileen already got the funding she needs from her bartender crush’s drunken rock star bazillionaire. Well, I guess Ms. Duvall is just going to put butts in seats. But here’s the thing, she can’t sing! WHOA! Original problem with casting a movie star, oh wait it’s not.
Damn you, “Smash.” You had so much potential at the beginning of this season. You had big stars from stage (Christian Borle and Brian d’Arcy James), television (Debra Messing), and film (Ms. Anjelica Huston). You also had several strong relative newcomers in Megan Hilty, Katherine McPhee and Raza Jaffrey. You had decent songs; pretty good storylines, adequate writing but you know what? You fucked it up. You made what should have been an exciting new look at Broadway musicals into a plodding, clichéd, network television drama. You played it safe, and Broadway is a lot of things but it isn’t safe. Investors put millions of dollars on the line for uncertain (at best) returns. Actors live on Top Ramen hoping they can make it to the level of a say Sutton Foster or Matthew Morrison. And then there are the thousands that struggle in the wings. “Smash,” you are milquetoast. You aren’t bad; you aren’t great you are adequate pap for babies and the masses. That being said I will continue to tune in this season for one reason and one reason only, Ms. Anjelica Huston. She seems to be the only actor who can bring nuance to their role and the only character the writers seem to be interested in making something other than a tired cliché.
Anyway, enough of my ranting, here is what happened this week. Dev and Karen’s relationships continues to be on the rocks, Eileen continues to fall in love with her bad boy (a bad boy with Mob ties, more originality) bartender friend, Julia and Frank try to come together to save their son’s grades, Tom goes on a date the insufferable straight-acting chorus guy (who is in to relationships and God and wants to take it slow, fuck off straight-acting chorus guy!), Ellis snubs Rebecca Duvall’s agent who apparently is the only agent in Hollywood that hates users (um, find a new job), Rebecca Duvall is making too many suggestions and Derek is annoyed, and Ivy wormed her way back into the show. I could go on but I won’t instead I am going to go shopping for the red wine and dolls that I will need to make it through the rest of the season.