I read it far more as a jeremiad against Rebeck (and more curiously, Spielberg) than against any of the actors who got let go. A couple of interesting points:1. Seems like Smash and The Newsroom may have shared more than a little in common with a creator who means well but winds up getting so hung up on their own vision that they get lost in it.2. This is also a classic situation where seemingly everyone involved agrees that the current situation is not sustainable/working, but since they can't agree on how to fix it, they just keep moving forward in a ramshackle way. No one was willing/able to be the person where the buck stopped.
I thought the piece was terrible.- a collection of anonymous quotes that reflect almost everything that people were saying about the show while it was airing. The one tidbit I found interesting was that Spielberg allegedly wanted to recast HIlty. I know I'm still in the minority on this one, but I think that would've been a good thing. Hilty's got a good voice, but I just find her to be an unlikeable presence (even apart from the fact that Ivy's supposed to be unlikeable), and I don't think she makes a good Marilyn. Every time we've seen her as Marilyn, she comes across as someone doing a bad spoof of the Marilyn facade - there's no depth to her impersonation. The bits we've seen with McPhee as Marilyn were MUCH better. (And the fact that I keep mentioning this every time we talk about Smash apparently means this is a hill I'm willing to die on...)
You're wrong, but I respect your passion.
OK, so Smash and the Newsroom, as Matt notes below, have a lot in common. The big thing that stands out for me is that the entire season was filmed before it aired, so the show was developed in this bubble. Everybody has piled the blame on Rebeck, and Rebeck isn't commenting, so the truth, whether it's that she was a monster or that she sees refuting the claims as either pointless, career-damaging, or both, lies in her silence. If success in mainstream television is determined by the gen-pop's reaction to it, this approach makes no sense at all to me. I get making the first three or four in a bubble — production logistics for a musical show prohibit a weekly turn-out with satisfactory results — but in giving us the whole season in an all-or-nothing proposition, the public opinion was dismissed from the conversation altogether. As such, the criticisms that heaped on the show throughout the season read to me a lot like a parent's criticism of a photo of a child's messy room, given to the child over the course of a 3-month family trip abroad — the kid can't do anything, the kid is in Egypt — with a round of virulent finger-pointing among people who are trying to keep their jobs and careers afloat. Ugly stuff.I always liked the show, because the music is good, the voices were moving, and ladies McPhee and Hilty are both people that I wanted to see more of (I was watching AI during McPhee's season and while I'm not a seasoned Broadway attendee, Hilty's heckler on Louie was spot-on). The problems fell by the wayside for me because I knew they wouldn't be able to do anything about it until the next go-round.I really hope the title of this article isn't accurate, because a piece on which no principal player comments is hollow as a chocolate bunny.
(It's notable, btw, that they're still filming season two now.)
That sounds like a sentence you must hear daily, Finn. :)
Smash wasn't quite done filming when it started airing, though a big chunk of the season was already in the can by the time it premiered because NBC gave it a late start. (The show has a longer than normal production schedule for an hour-long drama because the musical stuff is complex to stage and film.)
Really? I was under the impression that the whole thing was done. OK, so at what point could public opinion have impacted the show?
It's kind of hard to tell, but it looks like only the final few episodes were shot after the show started airing. They went back to work pretty early, too. Borle left Peter and the Starcatcher at the end of July, and Jeremy Jordan left Newsies in early October to start shooting this season.
I really liked the piece (although I admit a slight bias as Kate Aurthur is an acquaintance that I also really like.) If you like to read long form, behind-the-scenes analysis/expose things like this, I highly recommend Julie Salamon's book "The Devil's Candy" - it's probably 20 years old at this point and out of print, but it's a fantastic look at the making of the film of The Bonfire of the Vanities.
I like Smash - it is a flawed show sure but it provides an easy hour on a subject I love with pretty people. Hate-watching seems so ridiculous to me. As for the article, fascinating but I take everything with a pinch of salt as it seemed to be very difficult to get anyone close to the issues on the record and participating.
To put things in general production perspective, Carrie Diaries is currently finishing up episode 9 (I assume of 12) as a mid season replacement. The Following is just a little behind that I think. It makes sense that Smash would have followed a similar schedule...
I think Smash went back earlier because they weren't sure when it would debut. Had Revolution tanked (as Do No Harm did last night), we might have seen Smash on the schedule in the late fall.