‘Smash’ Season Premiere Review: On Broadway? Not so fast

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Well, Smash is back with a two-hour premiere. Last season had its ups and downs (more downs than ups), but the show did have its great moments. It has quite an amazing and incredibly talented cast, and for theater geeks like me, it’s always fun to get the little Broadway inside jokes and terms.

The season premiere seems to have upped the standards. It’s too soon to judge if the quality will actually stay up considering last season premiere was pretty fun too, but so far, so good. Along with Karen, Ivy, Julia, Tom, Derek and Eileen, season two also brings in new characters and quite a few Broadway names to the show.

Jennifer Hudson appeared as Veronica Moore on the first hour, a Broadway star, and she made me really wish I could go to NYC and see the musical she was in. It looks like she was in it just as a guest star, but I definitely hope we see her again.

Then there are two permanent cast members that I hope we get to see singing a lot more than we did these episodes: Jeremy Jordan, who is probably better known for playing Jack Kelly in Newsies is playing Jimmy, who I’m guessing will end up being Karen’s new love interest and possibly the new lead on Bombshell. And Krysta Rodriguez, who is the original Wednesday Addams on The Addams Family musical. She plays Ana, Karen’s new roommate.

Cast information aside, the storyline itself wasn’t overly impressive. Don’t get me wrong, any excuse to hear extremely talented people singing is a good excuse, but it was still pretty predictable.  It all started going smoothly for the musical but little by little, everything crumbled. The funding, the writer, and the director. The only surprising thing is that, for the first hour, the Ivy/Karen drama was kept to a minimum.

But the drama came, eventually. First with Karen asking Derek to fire Ivy and then with them asking Ivy to perform a song to promote Bombshell. I get that the rivalry between the two of them is the center of the show, but having them compete for Marilyn is getting a little old, I mean isn’t that what the whole first season was about? I just hope we see a little more diversity when it comes to them not getting along. Or at least focus less on this.

Also, I know that Ivy was a terrible person most of season one, but can we not make this the kick the Ivy game? She’s incredibly talented, she does make a better Marilyn and while Karen is also a great singer, Ivy is just a better performer. Every time they are singing one of the songs from the musical, Ivy seems more in character as Marilyn. Maybe it’s because of how she looks, I don’t know but I know if I was watching this show on Broadway, I’d want to see Ivy perform instead.

And then there is Jimmy and his musical. I liked the one song from it, but I have no clue what it’s all about yet, so I’d like more information on it. I’m still trying to decide if it’s smart for them to introduce a brand new musical to the show so soon, but I guess since Bombshell is almost on Broadway, they would need something else to take through the creative process. As long as they don’t have Karen and Ivy fighting for the lead role, it should be okay. Besides, more Jimmy singing, please.

Hopefully the whole Julia/cheating drama is done this season, because that storyline was pretty terrible from the start. And now that Eileen has given into her ex-husband and accepted the financial support, we should see brand new conflict for the rest of the season, and not plots that were recycled from season one.

I can safely say I enjoyed the first two hours of the season overall. I do hope it keeps improving but considering season one, I will have to wait and see what happens in the upcoming episodes.

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