Monday, May 14, 2012
Guilty TV Pleasure of the Season: Smash!
This season's GP is Smash, a series that explores the behind-the-scenes goings-on of the genesis of a Broadway show. The idea is a musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, and what goes into getting that idea from somebody's head onto a Broadway stage.
It is a soap opera, pure and simple. Who is doing what, with whom, and to whom, the relationships, the characters, that's what the show is about. Nobody is all cardboard, there are all kinds of good and bad about all the main players. Even the most Goody Two-Shoes among them has a bit of a dark side, and ambition flows every which way ...
It doesn't hurt that the musical numbers are good, the show-within-a-show is good, and the dancing and singing and acting are all on point. There are fantasy numbers, it's a musical about a musical, and the Bollywood number a couple weeks back was flat-out terrific.
We see the unfolding from the heads of the writers who come up with the idea and who do the book and music; the producer, the director, the actors, chorus, and it all has such a real feel to it that it hooked me from the get-go.
I know a woman who once toured with a Broadway roadshow and I asked her about it. Yep, that's the kind of stuff goes on, all right.
There is romance, some of it hetero, some of it gay, some of it interracial, some of it cheating on a great marriage, some of it cold and calculating, and all of it sometimes painful.
The cast is great and gorgeous, and the central wonder of who will wind up playing Marilyn, the blonde, the brunette, or the movie star, doesn't get decided until the last episode, which airs tonight.
I'm a sucker for good soap opera. Upstairs, Downstairs, the old British series, is one of my favorite TV shows ever. I'd stay up until midnight on a work night to watch that when it was on originally. Smash isn't as good as that, but for my money, it's better than just about anything else on network TV at the moment.
Which, since I like it so much, means it'll probably get cancelled, but at least I got the one season. (Editor's Note: This just in, the show has been renewed for at least fifteen more episodes.)
If you haven't been watching it, don't start now; pick up the DVD and watch it from the first episode. (Homophobes need not bother, because there are like, you know, guys kissing each other, but this may be one of the best portrayals of gay relationships ever.)
Smash. For me, it has been ...