February 6, 2012

Tonight at 10/9c  on NBC Smash premieres. And if you can’t wait, you can watch it right now on Hulu. Which you might want to do, because OMG beaver nuggets, this is a good one. Katherine McPhee exudes every iota of hometown innocence with jaw-gaping sexuality that you could want from an actress playing an actress playing Marilyn Monroe. The script oozes with conflict, thanks to the big egos and emotional decisions that go into this kind of subject matter, and it’s dripping with subtext, thanks in no small part to the manipulative (but very believable) villain. And although musicals always run the risk of coming off as cheesy (see Why I’m Giving Up on Glee), this one uses the music exactly as its designed: to further the story and to heighten the emotional stakes when dialogue just isn’t enough. The cheese is meant to be there, and the rest hits right at the emotional core.

I always get excited when I see shows that revolve around the entertainment industry. They always seem to have an extra spark, because the people making it really know what the hell they’re talking about, and they really care about it. And as someone who works in the industry, I get it. Of course, the same thing that appeals to me about these showbiz TV-shows – that I get what they’re talking about – may be the reason why they don’t always do so well. Studio 60 was awesome, but was doomed to a single season, mostly because the audience just didn’t quite appreciate it to the same level.

So let’s give it some love, and give Smash the opening night it deserves.


Why I’m Giving Up on Glee

January 12, 2012

That’s it. I’m officially giving up on Glee. Although Season 2 sucked me in with it’s sitcomesque humor but dramaesque structure, and the fact that literally every song they cover seems to be better than the original, the impotence of the writing in Season 3 has left me bored, frustrated, and irritated.

Specifically, there are two things I’m reacting to:

  • Plot Holes: As a musical, and as a TV show, there’s always an extent to which we suspend disbelief. The fact that there’s always a band ready to play every song is amusing, but it’s not something that bothers anyone who isn’t a douchebag. That’s not what I’m talking about here. Remember the episode that followed the Super Bowl last year? It involved a series of football games, where the players did things that people never do in football games. Like, for example, taking a shotgun snap when you have the lead in the final 30 seconds and are supposed to be in victory formation. They might have gotten away with it if we hadn’t just watched the biggest football game of the year. That was Season 2, and at the time I was willing to overlook plot holes like this, because I was absorbed by everything else. But this year there just seems to be so damn much of it. I’m talking about Sue Sylvester running for office against nine opponents, and then later in the election it turns out she’s running only against one. I’m talking about the fact that she loses that election to a write-in candidate. I’m talking about Sugar Motta being rejected from the Glee Club, which forms the entire basis for the season’s conflict, only to be welcomed in with open arms (and narry a word about her lack of talent) after the Trebletones lose at Sectionals.Any one of these by themselves  I’d be able to overlook, but adding them all up it just bugs the crap out of me. It’s just plain lazy writing.
  • Unsupported Character Changes: EVERY. ONE. Always. Comes. Around. And. Does. The. “Right.” Thing. EVERYONE.  I love Blaine, and I’m super happy he’s part of the regular cast, but who leaves an expensive private school so they can be closer to their high school boyfriend? Michael Chang’s father, who hasn’t spoken to him in weeks, suddenly, after a pretty lame conversation, decides to come see him perform (not even his best performance), give a standing ovation, and then completely change his tune? I don’t think so. Finn and Rachel, in a five minute conversation with Trouty Mouth manages to convince him to give up the money he’s earning and come back to Ohio? And then he convinces his parents in another five minute conversation? Oh, come the f*** on. These are major life changes we’re talking about here, and I understand that these things happen in TV shows, but again, it seems like every five minutes someone is doing a complete 180 that changes either their whole character or their whole life.

So, for those reasons, I am officially ending my relationship with Glee. You had me for a full season, which is better than most. But it’s time for us to part.

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