I'm going to try this again. It's been a while since I wrote anything, so let's see how this goes. Just like riding a bike, right?
Today I watched the pilot for NBC's new show Smash. Am now massively resisting the urge to compose this entire post in screaming bold caps because I once jumped the gun with the inexplicably popular narrative clusterfuck that is Glee. I don't want to do that again. The disappointment backlash hurts only slightly less actually than watching an episode itself.
So I may be overly optimistic, but I feel that Smash is going to be something better. Yes, I can see the web of relationships potentially expanding into an endless skein of clusterfucks and horribly planned out relationships, but this show won't have the "they're just high school kids, they don't know what they want" excuse to hide behind. Since both shows both have something to do with musicals, comparison is inevitable, but I feel that while Glee is always going to drum up a larger audience, story-wise Smash will come out on top.
It's got so much potential, and I'm not just talking about the things we see on the screen but the themes and ideas that round this show out. It already discusses the industry's standards of beauty, the very idea of Marilyn herself and what she stands for. I want more.
And I'm not just endorsing this show because Jack Davenport is in it and I basically love him. To me, he'll always be the hapless Steve Taylor cast adrift in the whirwind of mysteries that is woman, but watching him rock the role of the jaded asshole director is like suddenly discovering an entirely new level of sexy. (And here I thought I was gonna be mature about this review, but oh well. He really is. I'm going to watch that scene again and swoon around)
I'm not gonna lie -- even though Dev seems to be the perfect guy (that scene with her parents is so sweet) for Karen I am kind of rooting for Derek to be endgame. Their chemistry is pretty insane already. I suspect that she is going to throw him off balance every single chance she gets, and he needs that.
The cast is pretty stellar, though. Karen and Ivy are obviously meant to represent the two sides of Marilyn's persona, so I'm pretty excited to see how they play out against each other. I just hope they don't play it in two dimensions -- spare me the Madonna/Whore dichotomy bullcrap. Karen is obviously going to come out on top (just look at the poster) but I do hope they give Ivy a fair chance at decent character development. At its heart this series is about delving into who Marilyn Monroe was, and stopping at the sex kitten level with Ivy would be a great disappointment.
Debra Messing may not be stretching her acting chops as Julia, but I think she'll be a great fit. Tom is already a favorite of mine. And we should all bow to the great Anjelica Houston.
Man, I am hoping for great things with this show. I watched the preview thing at the end of the episode with breathless excitement that I reserve for Homestuck or comic books. Despite everything, I really want to love this show. Don't let me down, NBC!