Tonight is the series finale of Smash. Much as I love the concept and the characters, the showrunners lost the plot so badly that I’m glad to see it go — here are a couple of reasons why.
As a writer, what you cannot do is push. You have to coax. All I have seen all season, instead of building on the possibilities of the first season, is a relentless shoving of values down our throats.
Derek Wills will always be drunken womanizing scum, but drug addict Jimmy, who is younger and appeals to a different demographic, has a chance at redemption.
Megan Hilty: fantastic actress, terrible part. Ivy’s an idiot, and that’s the best I can say. She slept her way to the top the same way Daisy Parker did. For an encore, she slept with Derek again. And again. And again.
Derek and Ivy never had chemistry. Neither did Karen and Jimmy. Having not even watched the end of the show (it’s still on!) I’m pretty sure these will be the endgame pairings. Ivy, you used Derek just as much as he used you. Karen, Jimmy is not relationship material. Not now. Not after his show makes it even bigger. It’s a gamble as to whether he’d be worth it after a course of rehab, which he so needs. Try picturing these people ten years down the line. It’s ugly. Karen keeps hooking up with guys who don’t want to be on Broadway and seem not to want her to be there, either — seriously, Jimmy, don’t give a woman who’s just been nominated for a Tony FOR YOUR SHOW the old “the show will go on without us, right?” line. Derek keeps hooking up with girls who want things from him. Neither pattern is exactly wise.
And for the love of Fosse, did Kyle seriously only die because they needed to turn him into a proto-Jonathan Larson? If he had to go, which I’m not convinced he did, could he not have been killed in a way that actually impacts the rest of the show? The crash was realistic but stupid. No, Kyle could have been interesting; Kyle could’ve made Tom more interesting. The most interesting thing about Tom was the bitchy Lena Dunham joke he made, and I am not ashamed to say I laughed because for ONCE here is the media not kissing her ass. Too bad it’s a show that’s getting cancelled because the rest of the writing is terrible.
Here, then, is the liveblog of the rest, since I can complain faster than Smash moves:
I am not sure how they’re going to fill another half hour of this show. Ten minutes of awards would do it. What, are they going to find Derek’s body in his hotel room? — Oh, no, never mind. Here he is, spouting the expected “I love Ivy” line when all she’s brought him are problems. And speaking of him? Jack Davenport’s voice was wasted ALL SERIES. It turns out he can sing (his one line in “Under Pressure” was a revelation). This could have been fun.
“Didn’t you hear? She won.” — He should hang himself for causing that. Instead, he’s going to fly Ana instead of Daisy. That’s a score for the ages. Incidentally, I bet Daisy’s sleeping with Jerry, too. Wait: an ensemble number where Ana should be getting her fuck-you-Daisy-Parker moment? I know this is reinforcing the “Hit List as family” dynamic, but it should be Ana’s moment if it’s anyone’s. Karen will get hers. Jimmy has had his. Derek’s… oh, that was ugly. Logically it is Ana’s moment.
Illogically, I have been right on both counts regarding the romantic endgame.
“That’s how all my straight friends kiss me.” Painful moment is painful and we now have two awards and fifteen minutes to go.
Sutton Foster should get the fake Tony. I want a Sutton Foster cameo.
Oh, so this is how they’re going to fill the time: commercials. Praise the Lord and pass the advertising.
Nope. Ivy, who got her role mostly by [cough] impressing Derek, wins. Because Karen is clearly going to run off into the sunset with Jimmy or some shit. Hit List comes away with nothing, which is unfortunate because it is the better musical, and also the writing should never have made Hit List the better show. I want to see Hit List. I care about Hit List.
See? Jimmy’s going to jail! And that means, Karen, that you need to RUN A MILE.
There’s not going to be any resolution? There’s going to be a musical number? We’re left to imagine Karen’s conjugal visits with Jimmy? Derek actually being happy about the surprise!fetus when we have seen nothing to support him being this person, ever, in the script? Julia, what, getting taken for a ride by her husband’s lawyers? Tom pining for straight guys forever? Ivy having a career?
Goodbye, Smash. Don’t let the door hitcha where the good Lord splitcha. I wish I could say you took some amazing risks with your plot and your characters but the sad truth is that you threw all the tropes into your last season and played them straight. I wasn’t even asking for the cracktastic, balls-to-the-wall ideas I’ve wanted from other shows (I could’ve asked you for Derek/Tom and Karen/Ana, pairings with more chemistry than what we got!). I asked for “unusual”. I asked for “not a cliché”. I watched because I honestly thought you could deliver.
I’m sorry you didn’t take your own advice:
It’s never too late.