I know the hubby is going to roll his eyes when he reads this one, but here goes anyway!
I know people have this happen with books and even movies. I have a few favorite movies that I can quote three or four lines from.
The Goonies “Hey you guys!”-Sloth “It’s a booty trap.”-Data, “You mean booby trap”-Mickey, “That’s what I said! Booty trap.”-Data,
Spaceballs “I’m surrounded by a$$holes!”-Dark Helmet. And here’s a favorite the hubby loves to tell me when packing for vacation. “Take only what you need to survive.”-Lonestar, “It’s my industrial strength hair dryer and I can’t live without it!” -Princess Vespa. And one of my favorites, “Sir, the radar, it’s been jammed.”-Col. Sanders, “Only one person would dare give me the raspberry. Lonestar.” -Dark Helmet. Gotta love Mel Brooks!
My point is, this year I’ve had this happen with a television show. I’m not quoting lines but singing the songs – obsessively. (no electricity on vacation, the songs still ran through my head the whole time). I LOVE Smash! Watching the episodes every week, I got sucked into the story line. At least three episodes have made me cry and it’s been a long time since that happened. Even in 12, 13 years of Law and Order: SVU, only 2 or 3 episodes have made me cry.
The show ended its first season on May 14th. Since then, I’ve watched several episodes online and want to watch the series again from beginning to end before they take the episodes of nbc.com. So, you ask, what makes Smash so special? Let’s see if I can convey the myriad of thoughts I have on this show.
The Story – Granted, the idea at first didn’t really seem plausible.
A musical about Marilyn Monroe. Cheesy? Potentially. Well, there are a few cheesetastic numbers like ‘Wolf’ and “National Pastime”. But they, along with the rest of the original songs, tell a story about not only Marilyn, but the two actresses, Ivy and Karen, vying for the part. Not only do the songs tell the story of the bombshell whose life ended too soon, the writers found a way to make these songs relevant to the characters in the show. Some of them were so poignant that it took me several listens to catch that deeper level.
The Characters – It kind of reminds me of “Love, Actually” in so much as the way the stories are woven together. Each person is in some way connected to someone else in the story and you don’t see the entire cast together until Karen’s daydream Bollywood sequence and then the end of the show with the final production. One thing I didn’t like too much was the bed hopping. Strange coming from a romance writer, right? Sure, some of it did move the story line, but Ivy’s conquests just seemed calculated and I hated what it did to her character. And there’s the rub. As much as I want to dislike Ivy because of her manipulating, I still like her character. No doubt Megan Hilty is talented. I even like Katherine McPhee. I don’t watch American Idol (I think I just heard a few of you hit the floor). I did see a few of her videos right after the show and just couldn’t get into her singing. I don’t know what’s changed, but I love her voice now. I found a few videos of her singing with Andrea Bocelli and was totally impressed.
And let’s not forget Derek. The womanizing director who, at the beginning, epitomizes everything most people think about when they think of a director. Derek is driven, has the vision of what the musical should look like, and fights for the actress that, for him, embodies Marilyn no matter how much his decision hurts/aggravates those around him. Most of the time, you just want to smack Derek or tell him to be nice. But it’s Jack Davenport and the accent kind of makes it okay for me :). If I’d been Elizabeth Swan, I think I’d have chosen Commodore Norrington over Will Turner.
I’m sure there are theater (read theatah) people out there how think this show is a travesty and doesn’t come close to portraying Broadway properly. That may be the case. I’ve never been in theater productions or musicals, but I’ve worked quite a few jobs and seen this kind of behavior just about everywhere. It’s a slice of life in general set on Broadway. So I’ll leave that discussion right there for now.
For me, it took taking the songs out of the show and into my car to really catch the subtle nuances the writers put in to them. So many things in there I didn’t catch when caught up in the show as it aired. I strive for that level of depth in my writing. I watched an interview with Megan Hilty. The interviewer asked what her favorite number was in the show. Megan’s response? “
What shows, books, movies have just totally made you stop and dissect the story and immersed you into its world?