Review: Smash – TV Show


I think I can say it outloud: I love musicals.

It started out with Grease, which I loved when I was little, and this whole thing grew bigger with The Rocky Horror Picture Show. And with Hairspray. And The Producers. And then Glee.

I guess everyone pretends to hate on Glee, but secretely they watch it every week. Or so I like to think. It pissed me many times, with unflattering song choices and bad covers, but at times it was simply amazing. Also, it opened a door for me to find out about new bands and I can’t be ungreatful for that, right?

But this review isn’t supposed to be about Glee; it’s about Smash. The TV show was officially cancelled on May 10, 2013, with the finale airing on May 26. I’ve watched it several times since then (the whole second season, to be more specific) and I still miss it.

I watched it back in 2012 because of Jack Davenport (Derek), Anjelica Houston (Eileen) and Debra Messing (Julia), while taking Steven Spielberg’s word for granted, as he served as one of the executive producers. I needed a new show, so I thought „Meh, a TV show about producing a Broadway musical about Marilyn’s life, maybe it’s fun”.

The first season is a blur, but I remember the animosity between Karen (Katharine McPhee) and Ivy (Megan Hilty), who battled for the role of Marilyn Monroe in Bombshell.

There were a lot of characters I despised, including Ivy, Karen’s boyfriend, Rebecca Duvall (played by Uma Thurman), Julia’s son, husband and lover (those are 3 people there, don’t understand differently, please!), Eileen’s ex-husband, and many more.

Personally, I think that the first season had very poor written characters, the story was as badly written as the characters, there was no development and no dynamic in there. I’ve seen that people point the finger at the playwright and showrunner Theresa Rebeck, but I’m not familiar with her work, so I can’t say a thing on the matter. Only that the second season, when she wasn’t the showrunner anymore, was much better. That’s why last days I’ve been watching only the second season.

Smash started out as this story about a group of people, writers, directors, producers, actors and singers and dancers, who try to tell us the story of Marilyn Monroe. At times, it annoyed me greatly the way they insisted on Marilyn the icon, Marilyn the human, Marilyn the used and abused, but maybe that’s partly because here, in Romania, she doesn’t seem to have much impact (only if you count lost little girls that quote her at every second).

The second season sees Bombshell running into legal and creative troubles, so there’s space for a second show to develop. Karen gets the Marilyn role, under Derek’s supervision, and there are sparks seen there often. But after the boat starts rocking, Karen and Derek leave Bombshell and go on working on Hit List, a show created by 2 unknown geniuses, and Ivy takes Karen’s role as Marilyn in Bombshell.

There are love triangles all over the place. Karen starts falling for Jimmy, one of the creators of Hit List, while still having some kind of feelings for Derek who, because the unrequited-something-he-feels for Karen, turns back to Ivy for comfort.

Eileen goes back and forth with her ex-husband, with her lover and with some New York Times reporter.

Julia is seen flirting with a playwright, an artistic director and later she is seen going back to her first love from season 1, the actor who originally played Joe DiMaggio in the initial Bombshell workshop.

Tom Levitt is seen making out and breaking hearts, I don’t even remember all the men he had sex with this season.

The second season impressed me with better songs, all of them covers or written for Hit List. Even though the characters or the story didn’t improve much, the music was a great step up for me. I wish they could keep Smash and cancel something else, but I guess this has been a wreckage for too long. I’m glad that at least I got to keep a few good songs and I got to root for some of the characters.

I’m glad they de-vilified Ivy, in the end, even though I hated her storyline, her stringing along by Derek and her pregnancy, so stupidly written, and her happy ending with Derek, which seemed not only improbable, but simply impossible.

I’m glad they thought of Hit List, it would’ve been an awesome show. But I hated Jimmy, the songwriter, and I loved his partner, Kyle. I also hated Jimmy’s relationship with Karen and I think they would never workout in real life, while I loved his relationship with Derek. It made me think Jimmy was a younger Derek, with more spunk in him and a little more rebel. (I have to admit I love Derek more).

I really loved Eileen this season, she seemed more powerful than ever. I hated her publicist, she was nosy and annoying. I also hated Julia, in the first season she seemed more grounded. I also hated Tom, with his sleeping around and his thoughts of grandeur, thinking he deserves it all.

All in all, the second season brought more songs, more entertainment, more development, more characters. And it made me want to see a Broadway musical, sometime in this life. All I’m left after Smash are the beautiful songs in Hit List.

Pic here.

My Week With Marilyn – review

Post început la cinema.

În primul rând, vreau să comentez serviciile. Nu sunt o persoană care merge așa mult la cinema (deși lucrez să îmbunătățesc acest capitol), dar îmi plac oamenii răbdători, care știu să vorbească cu tine. Mă așteptam să văd mina omului „ia uite-o și pe asta, are invitație gratis la film”, dar lucrurile au decurs foarte ok.
Mi s-a cerut numele, buletinul, apoi am primit invitațiile în mai puțin de 2 minute.
N-am fost niciodată la Sun Plaza, așa că am rămas surprinsă de cât de curat e cinematograful (Cinema City, pentru necunoscători). Angajații par competenți și drăguți, au și o cafenea drăguță la intrare (o s-o testez data viitoare). Foarte cozy, niște canapele roșii și negre, comode nevoie mare. Utile când îți aștepti prietena.
Să vedem filmul…

Continuarea de după film.

My Week With Marilyn a fost un film bun, per total. Singurele chestii care nu mi-au plăcut deloc au fost „the prosthetics” pe care i le-au pus lui Michelle Williams (arăta ca o grasă balonată și se vedeau pe sub orice) și faptul că uneori exagera cu jucatul. În rest, în anumite scene, mi s-a părut absolut genială. Cum a jucat-o pe Monroe – fix așa mi-am închipuit-o eu toată viața. Bravo ei.
Eddie Redmayne, din punctul meu de vedere, un necunoscut total, mi s-a părut foarte bine ales. Nu are frumusețea tipică a masculului hollywoodian, lucru care-l poate face să treacă neobservat, dar în schimb s-a descurcat mai mult decât admirabil în rolul lui Colin. Cine este Colin? Băiat de familie bună, cu o pasiune – să lucreze în lumea filmului. Are ambiția omului care le-a avut pe toate și inocența copilului care n-a pășit în lume. Merită urmărit pe viitor.
Julia Ormond, în rolul zeiței Vivien Leigh, mi s-a părut prost aleasă (din punct de vedere estetic, să zicem), dar cu toate acestea personajul mi-a plăcut. Cum să nu-ți placă o femeie atât de bine ancorată în realitate, care știe ce vrea și care-i sunt limitele?
Kenneth Branagh, cel care s-a vrut a fi Sir Laurence Olivier, mi-a displăcut total. Dar doar ca personaj. În rest, a fost magnific. A interpretat un bărbat trecut de prima tinerețe, căsătorit cu una dintre cele mai frumoase femei, râvnind la alta, comportându-se ca un adolescent teribilist care-și trage colega de codițe pentru că o place prea mult.
Emma Watson era și ea pe-acolo, a avut vreo 2 replici, din care am înțeles că poate și mai mult decât Harry Potter și ce i s-a dat aici. Rol micuț, aproape fără însemnătate.

My Week With Marilyn era pe lista mea de to see de prin vară, când l-am observat pe imdb. Merită văzut, pentru că e o altfel de poveste. Nu sunt extratereștri, nu e horror, nu e acțiune, nu e nici măcar iubire. E o relatare simplă și elocventă a unor fapte care s-au petrecut (sau nu, nu putem ști totuși adevărul) în trecut. E o bucățică din viața unei femei care a fascinat o lume întreagă și care încă ne mai fascinează. Muzica a fost foarte bine aleasă, se mula perfect pe epoca aceea romantică. L-aș mai vedea o dată, cu mai multă bucurie și emoție.
Îi mulțumesc Annei că mi-a dat ocazia să-l văd.