Ousted Smash Creator Theresa Rebeck Slams Season 2 as a 'Complete Disaster'

Smash Season 2Smash creator Theresa Rebeck is not a fan of the show’s second season.

Rebeck, who departed NBC’s musical drama at the end of the show’s rookie season, has offered her first critique of Season 2. And it’s far from glowing.

RELATED | Smash Series Finale to Include a [Spoiler!] and a [Spoiler!]

In an email exchange with Buzzfeed, Rebeck took issue with a January story the site posted about Smash‘s Season 1 struggles, writing, “If in fact Theresa Rebeck was the problem with Smash and the train wreck it became, wouldn’t things have gotten better instead of drastically worse once she left?”

Rebeck went on to call Smash‘s poor Season 2 ratings performance (which led NBC to banish it to Saturday’s) the least of its problems. “Most media reporters would agree that the second season is a complete disaster,” she wrote. “and that the troubles of a once promising show go far beyond faring poorly in the ratings.”

Thoughts? Chalk up Rebeck’s mini-tirade to sour grapes? Or does she have a point? Weigh in below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. kate says:

    she’s got a point.

    • scooby says:

      She’s also talking about herself in the 3rd person.

    • Charles Lo Tempio says:

      Smash. I can’t recite the storyline back to you cause, it’s just at tv program. Its in the air then its gone. What I will tell you that good, bad or not… I love this program! Talented great looking cast, dancing, singing, and acting… its good tv. It’s an hour of not thinking about reality. It makes me smile. Katherine McPhee is beautiful, has a great voice, as do the rest of the cast. They do what their supposed to. Entertain. What I don’t like? This Jimmy guy. He’s miserable. There’s one thing that a tortured artist can get away with…Karen shouldn’t be that thing. Give it another chance.

      • Rick Price says:

        Well said. Sometimes even I feel weird how I get attached to certain tv shows every great once in awhile. SMASH deserved better, though. And reading what they had in mind for season 3 I think it would have gotten better again.

    • Martha says:

      I love Smash and have watched it both seasons. It’s not perfect but its way better than most things on network TV. The talented cast always entertains and the storyline is interesting and complex–which is a good thing. I hate the fact that it has been cancelled and would love to see some other network pick it up. There is a lot of talent there and the stories can be developed further.

  2. a says:

    Both seasons of the show are pretty terrible, albeit in different ways.

    I just choose to view the pilot as a short, wonderful movie and everything after that never happened.

    • wordsmith says:

      For the record, I’m still watching the show, and I’ll probably watch as much of it as they care to make. However, that pilot was a feat of TV magic that they have just never been able to recapture since.

      • Amanda says:

        I couldn’t agree more. I just watched the pilot again last week, and cried at how amazing it really was.

      • I also could not agree more Wordsmith. The first episode was perfection! The rest of season one I liked quite well also but it had it’s ups and downs. Season 2 has had it’s moments but overall a disappointment compared to season one. I am sad it was canceled though.

    • wordsmith says:

      And I wouldn’t say that either season is particularly better or worse – they cut out a lot of the problems from the first season and replaced them with a whole new and different set of issues.

  3. L says:

    I agree… Season 1 was much more entertaining… Season 2 has been mediocre since the beginning… They should have kept the focus on “Bombshell” instead of adding a second show and splitting the cast..

    • Chloe says:

      Agreed! I don’t care about Hit List & I certainly don’t care about Jimmy. I’d actually like to see him put on someone’s hit list. LOL

      • Lu says:

        I think i wouldn’t have minded Hit List as much if it Jimmy hadn’t been a part of it and Kyle had been the only creator of it. If Jimmy had never existed.

      • paulav says:

        I agree! I didn’t enjoy the storyline of season 2 or any of the new cast for season 2. i loved season 1’s cast, storyline, and talent. Season 2 really was a disaster for me as well. I only watched 4 shows and all were terrible. The new cast members truly did nothing for me, so other networks got my viewing. I can only imagine how tough it would be to have consecutive seasons to end up brilliant, but I believe it can be done with the right recipe. if it’s renewed for season 3 , I will still give it one more chance to watch a couple of shows.

        • Season 1 had too many subplots that were uninteresting. So they made some cast changes, but kept the same ol poor writing. Seems like they just couldn’t hit on the right formula. What a shame; there was so much potential. Actors weren’t that bad, but had to contend with poor writing and short segments that kept hopping about. Sorry, Speilberg; your hopes of eventually bringing it to Broadway ain’t gonna work.

      • Clare says:


  4. joy says:

    she has a very good point. If season 1 was such a disaster because of her….why is it an even bigger disaster this season without her? And it really is an even bigger disaster. At least last season, as crappy as it was, had a specific arc it was following. This season is all over the place, and even more confusing then the first.

    • Two says:

      The majority of the fans that bailed on this show stopped watching after last season ended. A lot of viewers disappeared between then and the start of this season. It actually hasn’t dropped too much in season two in terms of ratings

    • Karen says:

      I don’t know what the hell any of you are talking about the first season being terrible! Are you all on crack or what? The first season was fantastic! It was interesting in the plot, which the plot had a main focus and then some smaller subplots which were all terrific. I really hated Ellis and I really wanted to see him prosecuted or something rotten happen to him, and I absolutely LOVE Dev and the actor who played him. They should have kept Dev without a doubt. “Jimmy” should have never existed. PERIOD. He sucks and the actor that plays him sucks about as bad as the character does. I do not know what they were thinking. But you people need to stop trashing last season. In short, Fantastic plots and story lines, memorable and extraordinary characters all along with amazing music! That was the winning recipe! Why didn’t they kill “Jimmy” off? That would have solved the biggest issue of this show. I solved the problem myself by recording the show and fast forwarding through anything that had anything to do with him. Gave my ears a break anyway! I pray for one more season to resurrect the magic of season 1!

  5. Maloy says:

    The show never did appeal to me and obviously doesn’t to a lot of other people either.

    • Temperance says:

      So why do you feel the need to be a jerk to the people that do? It’s not you have any taste so that your opinion means anything….

      • shksprsis says:

        I’m sorry, but this comment is much ruder than the original poster’s. He stated he didn’t like the show and other people probably don’t either, since the ratings are poor. How is his stating an honest opinion in any way rude to you? Yet you follow it up by calling him a jerk and having no taste for having a different opinion than you.

    • Karen says:

      So why are you on this website? Perhaps you should make a comment about something that you do watch so you don’t sound so stupid. Who goes on a specific website just to say that they don’t watch that show? Who does that?

  6. Luli101 says:

    Agree with her. Season 1 had problems, but season 2 was off the rails completely. Would like to have seen where she would have taken the show

  7. Sally says:

    I disagree. Season 2 was far better in terms of writing, direction and quality. The only “complete disaster” is its ratings.

  8. Mellie says:

    Season two has been an immense improvement…

  9. I hve enjoyed the show this year not as good as last year but I liked it

  10. Playhouse says:

    Sorry. I actually like Season 2 of the show much better than Season 1. It’s not great, to be sure, but it’s dramatically more appealing and satisfying than the trash that was the first season. The whole series needed much better showrunning and plotting, though. All of the mini-arcs this season are what have people up in arms about it. I can understand the problems with that. But the show feels much more theatre oriented this season than all of the tripe of drama from last year.

    I know many don’t feel the same way, but I, for one, was thankful that Rebeck left/was pushed out.

    • Delia says:

      Agree. Season 1 was like watching kindergarteners fling poo at each other. At least they graduated to a high school mentality in Season 2.

  11. Lauren says:

    I feel like this season overall has been better than season 1. I know the ratings haven’t shown that, but has Theresa considered that season 1 made people not want to continue watching when this new season debuted?

    Yes, the show has low ratings, and yes, it’s not going to get a 3rd season. But she was still a huge part of what made season 1 such a disaster.

    • Delia says:

      Exactly. Season 1 was a high profile trainwreck. By the time the train got quietly back on the track, the viewers had moved on to something less aggravating.

  12. Ginger says:

    Well perhaps if NBC reminded its fall viewers that it was still on television by actually airing it in the fall, people wouldn’t have forgotten about this ‘once promising show’. I think season 2 has been a bit of a mess, but if NBC had cared enough to support it, we’d be seeing a different outcome.

  13. S says:

    I can’t figure out if her comments are genuine or purely bitter. Maybe a little bit of both. While neither season of the show has been as stellar as it probably *could* be – season 2 at least has some stronger storylines, in my opinion. But of course, neither season can boast true success regardless of how much people may enjoy it.

    And poor ratings? In my eyes the ratings are hardly reflective of the show’s content, but rather the network’s neglect of the show. It put off it’s return by 8 months, effectively killing any chance of really bringing in new viewers without thoroughly confusing them, and has shuffled it all around the schedule trying to find a place where it works, and failing.

    Honestly, her waiting this long to really offer an opinion, especially *this* opinion, is really just adding insult to injury. Talk about killing your baby.

    • Mike says:

      I agree. The show’s content, acting, music and dance are awesome. Davenport, Hilty, McPhee, Borle and Huston are its heart and soul. Forget the newbies and guest actors; let Davenport be vulnerable, let McPhee get angry; let Hilty get jealous, let Huston explode and throw more cocktails and let Borle sing. Season 1 had its issues, but I loved Bombshell.
      The Smash audience isn’t 20-somethings; it’s people who love musicals and want more of them.

      • Kaleigh says:

        I agree. I am riveted by the performances of Hilty, McPhee, Borle, Davenport and Huston. I have loved both seasons due to their exceptional talent. It is so far superior to what is available on most television. What is wrong with our rating system that Steve Wilkos, Super Nanny and the Teletubbies can run for years, and a show packed with this kind of talent gets cancelled. Tragic!

  14. EJ says:

    I’d put Rebeck’s scene with Julia’s son Leo whining about the fate of his never-to-be-adopted Chinese baby sister right up there as one of the worst scenes of all time ever on TV. I sense we’ll get some unintentional hilarity when Jimmy cries over Kyle’s untimely demise.

  15. I’d say the only reason season 2 was weaker was because of Jimmy. That guy is the biggest tool I’ve ever seen in fiction. He makes Ellis look good.

    • bobbie says:

      lol, yes

    • Playhouse says:

      Jimmy is a grind to get through. But nothing, and I mean NOTHING, could be worse than Ellis. Even Dev was less tolerable than Jimmy.

      Tom’s nightmare vision of Ellis this season was enough to make my soul shriek and crawl, and that was less than 15 seconds of television.

    • iana says:

      OHMYGOD YES!!!!!! Can’t stand him on the show!

    • kate says:

      The character of Jimmy could have been amazing if they made him redeemable at all! Of course now that Kyle dies he’ll do what he always should have. It’s too bad to bc the actor that plays him is awsome and was fantastic on Broadway. I guess in a way he was great here too since everyone hates Jimmy so much!

    • Chloe says:

      Amen to that!

    • momma marmot says:

      I agree…Jimmy…not so good…as for the night change…I had no problem with Sat., less competition and Sat. is as good as any since who needs a “date night” anyway. Am very sorry that there is no Season 3…I loved the idea of the show and even if it has problems, there is always a way to fix it. For those of us who just live the dream of seeing Broadway or the people and their lives who want to be on Broadway…it is an opportunity to enjoy the moment. Not everyone has the opportunity or means to get to NYC for the experience. It’s an hour to relax and dream a little. Jimmy…he needs to go. He should have been the one hit by the car. McPhee is awesome and I hope that she will return in something else very soon. Wish we could reverse NBC’s decision!

  16. I enjoyed Season 2 more than Season 1. I like the addition of the second musical.Lest we forget Ellis, Leo and Julia’s whining hubby, all season1!

  17. Linderella says:

    If she was pushed out for failing to deliver the goods, she sounds like sour grapes. If she left on her own volition, she should keep her opinions to herself. The two seasons are totally different from each other – each with strengths and weaknesses. But for those of us who have enjoyed this series and would like to see it continue, Teresa Rebeck comes across as the consummate spoiler.

  18. Jonathan says:

    The main problem with the show is that Rebeck wanted us to believe that Karen is Ivy’s equal. This is something that she perpetrated throughout season 1 and the show suffered for it. While season 2 has had its major flaws, I’ve enjoyed it much more as it has moved away from having the two leading ladies as immediate rivals. This absolutely sounds like sour grapes. When a show does so poorly in the first season, how often are new creative teams able to turn things around? That ship was almost already submerged. She comes off as incredibly petty and her bickering only serves to confirm how much of a nightmare she is/was to work with.

    • Temperance says:

      Nah, Karen is Ivy’s superior in some areas. Rebeck’s issue was creating scaled conflict – conflict that didn’t devolve into all villian roles/conflicts becoming irredemable in context of the plot. She did a great deal wonderfully, but had trouble managing a believable level of conflict within the heightened realism of the show (Ellis, the first DiMaggio, Julia’s husband/infidelity, etc).

  19. Annie says:

    I thought that season 1 was far better than 2. I liked the competition for parts with just Bombshell. What a waste of talent and Angelica Houston. In 2 it got almost ‘wimpy’. I dvr it and sometimes it takes all i have to watch it.

  20. Craig Byrne says:

    Season 1 of Smash was bad, but it was the kind of bad where I HAD to tune in and read the hate-tweets about how awful it could be. It inspired a passion within the audience. Season 2, I quickly found myself not caring…. and apathy is a worse thing for a TV series than hate. After about 3 weeks of Season 2, I was just bored and had no reason to catch the episodes stacking up on my DVR. At least Season 1 gave us quotables like “I’m in Tech!”

  21. Josh says:

    Yes it’s bad but her’s wasn’t great either.

  22. jake says:

    well, i think it is interesting to note that a lot of viewers did not even want to return for a second season — which is a result of people losing interest in the first season.

  23. Stuart Yael Gordon says:

    Yes, the quality of Season 1 was uneven, but I wouldn’t say the quality descended … the last episode of Season 1 was terrific.

    However, Season 2, with its stunt casting, added cast members, and second show story line clearly intended to attract a younger demographic was a disaster from the first moment. And was there ever a more completely unlikable character than Jeremy Jordan’s Jimmy Collins? (And I’m including Ellis Boyd in that query.) This show was never going to appeal to a younger demographic that hates stage musicals, and the attempt to reframe the show for that demographic was just absurd.. And have I mentioned the writing? If the writing in the first season was uneven, no word exists for how bad the writing and the continuity have been in the second season. If I were Jack Davenport, I’d sue over how my character has been treated.

    Theresa Rebeck may have been as ego-maniacal as has been reported, but at least she believed in the concept and was competent. Josh Safran should never be allowed to run a show again.

  24. bobbie says:

    I liked Season 1, and I love Season 2, so far. Season 2 makes more sense in that Karen doesn’t go from being a waitress straight to a Broadway success. Off-Broadway is good for her. Ivy has done the work, years in chorus, etc. And she’s more of a Marilyn. So that works.
    I never disliked Ellis, I really don’t understand that, but I do understand disliking Jimmy. I don’t understand Karen going from waitress to talent scout, but hey. They wanted a sideshow, and there it is.

  25. Bob Diepold says:

    Season 2 has it’s share of faults (Jimmy) but is still much better than Season 1. Once SMASH started concentrating more on two shows getting to Broadway the quality has been much better. As for the ratings, NBC showed how inept they are as a network in trying to build audience for a show. First, they wait 8 months to start the new season. Second, the premiere episdoe is available on line before the show is viewed on TV. Third, they schedule the show to have a two hr premiere at late hour (9p-11p) and then show misses the next week due to SOTU speech. Fourth, SMASH is preceded by horrible programs (Betty White)which give it no chance to get some viewers. Finally, NBC moves it to Saturday which is giving up on the show and then moves the time it is shown from week to week.

  26. Jan says:

    Season 1 was terrific and had me excited about Season 2. But Season 2 tanked. It would take a miracle to get this show back on track. And I don’t say that lightly.

  27. Jodee says:

    Totally agree with season 2 being better.I love this show (so much better than Glee!) and am really disappointed that people are bit watching. Things I have been waiting to happen are finally happening and it will really suck to have no resolution.

  28. MM says:

    To me it’s like parcing the difference between dog poop and horse poop. At the end of the day, you’re left with the same thing. Both seasons depicted atrociouy bad dialogue and ridiculously absurd moments, but the music and (name) actors were (mostly) good (most of the time) in both seasons.

  29. Stacy says:

    Season 2 quite literally does not make sense. A major director with career trouble and brand new actress with her first broadway lead BOTH leaving the show to work in a fringe production in a basement? Ivy getting two broadway leads after her on-stage meltdown in season 1? Debra Messing suddenly without spouse or child and (shocker) living with her gay best friend in a Manhattan apartment?! And don’t even get me started on the horrible Jimmy subplot, wherein we are supposed to believe that Karen somehow was in the wrong by not walking off her broadway show to immediately star in a fringe production — but oh wait, she agreed with Jimmy that she should throw it all away for him and she did it! The producer and show writers FORGETTING that they had exclusive rights to the material on which the musical was based??? Not sure what’s happened after that since that was the last episode I could stomach watching. Season 1 had some ups and down in the writing, but the concept was always excellent. Season 2 has become actively unwatchable. It’s a waste of my time now.

    • Sherwood Scheim says:

      Yes, and on and on.Thank you at least listing some of the obvious judgement cal “Huh?”.
      I still don’t get what happened to the magic between Derrick and Karen,which put something worth stying around to see in the air, why he left the show in the first placed, and dumped his potentially newest hot star for nothing else. After that, something fell apart in the heart and sensibility , for me.

  30. Carlos says:

    As a first season lover , I was ok with all the hiccups .. I hated Elllis , I hated the scarves and the son plot..

    But season two is terrible .. The Jonathan character throws fits EVERY episode ! OMG . How obnoxious .. Axe him !!

    I wish this would still all revolve around bombshell not the other mediocre play

    • Caro says:

      Carlos, it’s obvious you don’t even watch the show! If you did you would know the character who throws fits is named Jimmy not Jonathan! Don’t comment if you don’t watch!

  31. Kay says:

    While Season 1 had its fair share of problems, Season 2 is simply terrible, what with boy-wonder Jimmy and his insta-wonder show Hit List. But truly, one of the biggest problems with Smash in both seasons was Karen/McPhee.

    • LE says:

      I think you’re kinda right. I mean I like Katherine Mcphee as a singer but as the lead actress of the show.. I don’t know, she isn’t a good actress.. And they put her neck to neck with Megan Hilty who is a much better actress. Maybe with another leading lady, the show could work better.

      • Temperance says:

        And I don’t agree with that at all. McPhee does very well with good material and proper direction, as she’s proven over and over. She is amazing at nearly every song she does, and she’s the better young Marilyn.

        • Kit says:

          “Over & over”? I’m sorry, but are we watching the same show? Or are you referring to McPhee’s other lauded roles in cinematic masterpieces, to include The House Bunny?

          • Dmac says:

            Ah yes House Bunny…I am really surprised she wasn’t nominated for an Oscar for that roke, Karen would of. LOL

      • mar says:

        McPhee was an amazing Marilyn! that last episode of Season 1 proved it! and when season 2 came around- the Public Relations number was again amazing! Hilty could never pull that off!

  32. guest says:

    Season 1 was far better!

  33. Dana Kiehl says:

    I thought Josh Safran did a really good job with the second season. He tightened things up and gave it more focus on the theater. He did what he could to clean up the messiness of Season 1. Sure, you can nitpick a lot of things if you want and if you didn’t like Hit List, it was probably hard to like the season, but I’m enjoying this season quite a bit. It’s too bad so many viewers from Season 1 chose not to even tune back in. NBC made a big mistake in not bringing the show back sooner and putting it behind the low-rated The New Normal.

  34. SaraG says:

    In my opinion, the emails from Ms. Rebeck only support the accusations that she is miserable. From those alone, I can see that she was terrible to deal with.

    Season 1 started with a bang (and lots of hype). What started out great quickly went downhill. I think the viewers that remained through the first season stayed on to find out which actress ultimately won the role of Marlyn.

    While Season 2 hasn’t been perfect, the premiere debuted so low, because the disillusioned viewers that hung on for the cliffhanger Season 1 finale had no interest in getting reinvested into the train wreck the show had been. Many previous viewers didn’t give the show a second shot due to the mess Ms. Rebeck had previously created.

    It’s sad really. It had such potential. Now it appears there’s more drama surrounding the show than in the show. Way to have class Ms. Rebeck!!

  35. karie18 says:

    I don’t understand. Season 2 is far better in my opinion. The only person who really annoys the crap out of me is Jimmy. But then again, we did have Ellis in season 1 but I think I’d rather Jimmy over him. At least he’s much better looking. Also, the show needs to focus more on character development. I like Katharine McPhee, she’s an awesome singer but I hope the writers stop making her character so naive all the time. Why does she keep making the wrong choices (well, except moving to Hit List because that was a good one) and why does she keep tolerating Jimmy’s crap!? I didn’t really buy Cartwills in s1 but seeing Karen with Jimmy, I’m now all for it. Bring on the Cartwills!

    And season 2 is much better because helloooo, HIT LIST that’s why! In season 1, the primary focus was Bombshell and I like that in season 2, they expanded to include other musicals because seriously, they can’t focus on Bombshell forever.

    And I’ll be honest now, I wasn’t a fan of the season 1 storyline, I stayed merely for the songs because let’s face it, no matter how bad the storyline sometimes is, Smash always produces good songs.

    I still want a season 3. SEASON 3 NEEDS TO HAPPEN. I ain’t giving up on this until there’s official news.

  36. Fernanda says:

    Theresa Rebeck’s SMASH rules (without Ellis, Dev, Leo, Frank, Michael and sadly Katherine McPhee). Joshua Safran did a terrible job, he allowed to mention Lea Michele, Rebeck wouldn’t do that.

  37. j says:

    I like the show. There’s always things that someone can find to appreciate with any show. It’s actually kind of rude of her to say that. Maybe she should have stayed with it if she doesn’t like what they’ve done with it

  38. dude says:

    Season 2’s horrible performance is no excuse for her horrible performance as showrunner. She was replaced with an equally bad showrunner. That was the problem. One doesn’t validate the other. What she did was the equivalent of saying “sure I did a bad job…but look at the job he did.” It doesn’t change the fact the show sucked with her running it as well.

  39. wi says:

    The show in S2 did not stand a chance ratings-wise, once the freefall started in S1. Not that it was deserving of better ratings, since the gossipgirlifying of it made it utterly ridiculous on top of the character-inconsistent, plot-lacking, Karen-is-a-star throat-pushing it inherited from S1.
    So yeah.
    No one should from the production side of either seasons should open their mouth and try to justify themselves. Ever.

  40. Jason says:

    I may be wrong didn’t season one have the Voice as a lead in and season 2 did not!!! Can’t that be the reason for the ratings drop?

  41. Caro says:

    I thought season one of SMASH had a few issues but overall it was quite good! The season one finale was incredible – one of the all time great finales as far as I am concerned! Season Two has had problems but I think they are all due to new showrunner Josh Safran. Safran is the wrong choice for the show – period. He has no Broadway experience and limited TV experience running shows that are heavy on teen oriented drivel; Safran doesn’t have the ability to run a show like SMASH nor is he capable of understanding the needs of such a sophisticated audience.

    This is apparent in the many mistakes Safran made with Season Two. Showing the season premiere online a week prior to the network airing was a huge mistake – it eroded ratings for the premiere which had the critics shouting that the show was a failure from the get go. Audiences don’t invest in shows they believe will be cancelled so Safran’s decision seriously hurt the ratings from the beginning. Safran also rushed through the aftermath of Boston and did a lousy job reintroducing the show and letting us catch up with the characters we already know and love. Instead Safran pulled in guest stars and new characters and began immediately foisting them ad nauseum on the audience without giving us any time or reason to become invested in them. Jennifer Hudson was hired to play a character that was pointless and boring, Jimmy was introduced as the show’s new resident bad boy but boys that bad are not appealling to adult women or decent men, Sean Hayes was hired to guest star and that was another waste because his character was neither funny nor necessary and the show he and Ivy were in was unwatchable. Kyle and Anna were added and while they weren’t awful all of these new people were given far too much airtime.

    Safran turned Karen into a shadow of her former feisty and independent self and had her walking away from her Broadway dream for Jimmy who treats her like dirt after she refused to walk away for Dev who really cared for her. And Safron completely ignored the audience who has wanted Derek and Karen together since last season! Karen and Derek have more chemistry than any other couple on the show and Safran has been pretending it doesn’t exist which makes him one of the most clueless idiots ever to run a show! SMASH is still a show worth watching but it needs a new showrunner and a season three. The problem is Safran – not the show, the cast or the audience – it is Safran.

    • keith says:

      season one had huge problems, with all that stupid focus on the writers family and affair, ellis, dev all wastes, best reason to watch was Karen’s covers and singing PERIOD. THAT was what many of us would replay over and over. This new show jettisoned dead weight and then immediately added worse and no Karen covers. lost interest quickly, have the season dvred but apathetic about watching a doomed show as there were no Karen covers to watch on hulu.

      new showrunner was an idiot and didn’t understand his audience of mature people at all. Shame this one had great potential.

    • Sherwood Scheim says:

      Great perceptions. Right on point all the way.

  42. Kit says:

    The major problem with Smash, as a whole, is that both Rebeck and Safran wanted the audience to be enamored of Karen & think she was the best talent to hit Broadway in years. Unfortunately, Karen is not written or played well enough for this to be believed. The character is, at times, painfully naive, inappropriately entitled, ungrateful, and lacks self-reflection. While McPhee has a beautiful pop star voice, she does not have a Broadway caliber voice and cannot emote. The writing has not been entirely consistent either, and the writers have resorted to having other characters give Karen effusive praise to compensate for the shortcomings of the writing and acting. Bottom line, I don’t find Karen Cartwright “magical” in the least. Everything else that has been attempted with the other characters amounts to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Rebeck and Safran failed to support their hypothesis about Karen (as both a person and a performer) but continued to try, and the audience stopped caring. The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. At least last season, it was awesomely bad. This season is just bad…despite really wonderful music & a talented cast. Such a pity.

    • ER says:

      Well said. It’s hard to build a show around a main character that you don’t love or, even, truly hate; you just kind feel annoyed by her, at best, and indifferent to her, at worst.

    • Temperance says:

      The main problem was the writing; McPhee was great when provided with sufficient material.

      • quang says:


        The problems with the Karen character can’t be blamed on the writing alone. Virtually every character on the show suffers from bad writings, yet unlike Mcphee, they somehow manages to elevate the material.

        • mar says:

          No way! all the characters except for karen & jimmy have a better story. this season has turned them into blah characters. Karen’s performance of ‘That’s Life’ showed her talent as a singer, an actor, and as someone with some humor. she has alot to offer when given the opportunity!

  43. Nikkidiva says:

    Both seasons: predictable cliches with an occasional decent piece of music thrown in, but spoiled by bombastic or wimpy performances. Not a cohesive show. Plastic characters with superficial relationships in a cookie-cutter production.

  44. Tyler says:

    Anybody with two brain cells to rub together can see that ‘Karen’ is not Marilyn, nor even Norma Jean. I liked Ellis. Whatever. Without Dev, this show was doomed. Karen is a self-centered, whiny cow. Can’t redeem her by adding a jerk-of-all-trades. Bottom line – the show was too niche from the start.

  45. Todd W. Adams, Sr. says:

    I have never really gotten into musicals, I saw Sound of Music so many times w/ my wife I told her if it came on our TV again I’d shoot it!!! I am eating my words now though! McPhee is a gorgeous lady with an awesome voice and Hilty is nothing short of spectacular in either catagory. I would, however like to see Bombshell ALL THE WAY THROUGH though as a finished project. We have been taken on this backstage pass of a ride through the inner workings of Broadway and it has been enlightening to say the least! I never realized what all they went through and what ‘made’ up a Broadway musical. I love it. The drama helps it become a story instead of just a bunch of singing (which I love!) but adds a little meat to the bones. I hope they have more seasons and reallytry to develope this show. Like any project, it takes its turns and has its growth and devolpement. NBC needs to stick with something besides stupid 30 minute comedies if it is ever going to beat CBS and get out of the ratings basement!! Dont give up yall, just work a little harder and make something great out of this fresh break from inane comedy shows and predictible cop dramas. Im gonna stick with it for as long as its on,but dont want to feel like a chump and get dumped after only two short seasons! Its easier to work on something that you have now and improve it than it is to start over and try, try again! There must be something there, look how many of us have taken the time to write our reviews and opinions!! Keep SMASH and show the whole musical, especially after weve spent all this time seeing all the parts being created!!

  46. Jay Schufman says:

    Season 1 of Smash had some story problems, and a few direction glitches! But Season 1 had fantastic songs and wonderful choreography! (Won’t someone please publish the collected musical videos of Season 1???)

    But Season 2 sucks — plain and simple! The music’s deteriorated into mp3 static drowning out any sense of lyric, and the choreographer obviously started smoking crack! The story has deteriorated into a crisis management pissing contest! Did I mention the total lack of continuity? Someone break out the Ritalin cos these folks have ADHD overload! If it wasn’t an SKG production, Season 2 never would have seen the light of day!

    RIP Smash!

  47. Mark says:

    1) Ellis
    2) Leo
    3) Michael Swift

    She loses.

  48. Dizzle says:

    Season 1 ended up a hot mess, something so terrible that you couldn’t stop watching, Season 2 has definitely improved some, but in losing that manic, hilarious awfulness it’s lost what made it appointment TV. It hasn’t improved enough to be a Good Show, IMO.

  49. tamrae says:

    That idiot, Josh Safran, killed the series, in my opinion. He tried to turn it into a sexy TV series and the writing was so abysmal that every character in the second season seemed to have developed a schizophrenic personality because not a single character resembled what we saw in the first season.

    While Theresa Rebeck could have done better with the first season, it had tremendous potential to grow. Instead, as NBC has done with every scripted series they have produced, they interfered with the production of the series instead of letting the people who were actually directing and producing the series to develop the show into something good.

    And Safran, this idiot, who didn’t even know these characters, did exactly what his masters, the NBC execs, originally wanted Rebeck to do. NBC execs had decided that they knew better than the writers and the person who created the show and wanted the characters to be written a certain way.

    Execs should stay in their office and STOP INTERFERING WITH THE SHOWS THEIR NETWORK PRODUCES. This is why I will never, EVER, watch another NBC produced TV series or movie ever again.

  50. AL says:

    I cared about the main story arc more in the first season. In the second season, I care more about certain characters (Tom, Julia, Derek and Ivy). The second season also has Jesse L. Martin, a big plus in my book.

    There are also some great elements from first season that have been downplayed too much in the second season: Bobby and Jessica; Eileen’s martini-throwing spirit; lively musical numbers; Bobby and Jessica …

    And I know I’m in the minority, but I liked the *existence* of Ellis and his Machiavellian antics. He was a character you loved to hate.

    The second season is doing a decent job keeping alive the idea of conflict/drama as a show finds its way to Broadway with the whole “Hit List” storyline, and could be setting up for a third season with “Gatsby” (I know, not much hope of a third season). I just don’t feel as emotionally invested in “Hit List.”

    • wi says:

      Ellis as a character is not the only problem; the main issue was that he was lazily used as a plot device too many times; how many situations arose or got known about SOLELY through Ellis’s eavesdropping? What is this, 19th century’s newspaper novels? What kind of plotting was that? Lazy, unimaginative and silly.