TV: Anticipation for a new ‘Smash’

By Meryl Gottlieb| mg986611@ohio.edu| @buzzlightmeryl
Season 2 of Smash returns to NBC on Tuesday February 5 at 9 p.m.

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How do I begin to describe Smash?

A show that had probably one of the best pilots I had ever seen in a long time. A show that would take me behind the scenes into the world of Broadway. A show that was creating its own musical about Marilyn Monroe: Bombshell.

A show that everyone ended up hate-watching since its second episode.

From the very beginning, I was intrigued. I am a musical fanatic who loves TV; on paper, I am the perfect fan for this series. In reality, I sat on my couch and criticized the show to pieces. The acting. The scarves. The covers. Ellis. All pieces that made the show, well, terrible.

However, I was determined to stick with it, for I could not get the original songs out of my head. Because the show is centered on the idea of a fictional musical, there had to be songs to go along with it, and they were all five billion times better than anything else on the show. Personally, I believe that without them, the show would have – or should have – been canceled.

Yet, the show lasted its promised 15 episodes and was given an early renewal in March 2012 for a second season. A season that will reveal the complete overhaul the show went through since the end of its premiere.

Creator Theresa Rebeck and several cast members will not return for season two. Joshua Safran, previously of Gossip Girl, has taken over the leading role and is steering the show in a much needed new and, hopefully, better direction.

Article after article mentions the drastic changes the show has gone through in order to not have a repeat of its first season. Ellis (Jaime Cepero), Frank (Brian d’Arcy James), Leo (Emory Cohen) and Dev (Raza Jaffrey) are out while promising newcomers Jimmy (Jeremy Jordan, of Broadway’s Newsies) and Kyle (Andy Mientus) are in, with an anticipated guest star appearance by Jennifer Hudson. Julia’s (Debra Messing) notorious scarves have been banned, and the plot is being whipped into shape.

More importantly, Safran is set on having more original music and fewer covers. In an interview for Entertainment Weekly, Safran said, “For me, the biggest thing that separates us from Glee is that original music is the major component of Smash.” Preach! I only stuck with Smash because of the original songs, which, unlike Glee’s original music, is amazing.

With all of these changes, I am actually ok with saying that I am excited for season two. I have the highest hopes for this show and pray that the previews aren’t misleading – again – and that it actually ends up being as good as it sounds. Fingers crossed!

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