Press Tour: ‘Smash’ producers talk backlash against the series
Few shows on TV have the hate-watch following of Smash, the show that NBC intended to rescue its fledgling ratings, but which ultimately only did modest-to-good numbers. However, it’s hard to deny that the show was largely a success in its first season, despite a host of issues with character and plotting, many of which were attributed to the vision of showrunner/creator Theresa Rebeck, who exited the series at the end of the first season, to be replaced by Joshua Safran (Gossip Girl). During TCA press tour this week, Safran and executive producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan took the time to discuss the upcoming premiere of the show’s revamped, and hotly anticipated second season, while also addressing some of the issues with its first.
“As it unfolded over the first season, I read the love-hate, and I hope I was objective enough to say that it made sense,” said Meron. “First seasons of shows need time to find themselves, to lock into what they are, especially with a show like Smash. There are so many moving parts to figure out the mechanism. It’s a fantastic machine. When certain moments worked in season one, I dare anybody to say what could be better.”
“We followed what a lot of people were saying about the show,” Zadan added. “We felt certain things were going off kilter. We would read about them in the press, or in blogs, or in tweets, and it reinforced the feelings we had and things we would have [change] anyway if we were lucky enough to come back for season two. Boy, wouldn’t it be great to adjust those things! A lot of the [tweets] reinforced our own instincts about the show.”
Safran piped in with his thoughts on the first season, delicately avoiding naming anything that may or may not have been wrong with the first season. “I don’t think it’s changed that much. It’s still the same Smash, just bigger, with more music.”
In a last bit of info gleaned from Press Tour, it was learned that NBC and Columbia Records will release a soundtrack for the musical that the characters of Smash have been working on. Music from “Bombshell” will release on Feb. 12, although this doesn’t necessarily mean a Broadway production of the musical is in the making. “When we watch Bombshell moments, we think wouldn’t that be great on Broadway? But that’s where we leave it,” said Meron. “Our first priority is to make the show. [Bombshell on Broadway] will inspire more conversation, but have we done anything about it? No.”
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Why is there so much hatred for this show? It's awesome and as a theatre actor I really enjoy how realistic the behind the scenes look into musical theatre is!
@Mikhail XO I'm borderline offended. The music coming out of the show alone is enough to warrant at least a little bit of credit.
@Mikhail XO Well, you're dead-on about us yanks watching anything, or else Here Comes Honey Boo Boo wouldn't be a thing.
But I watch Smash more out of a weird nostalgia for theater, having grown up a theater nerd and become enamored of all things theatrical. It's weird how the show inspires a borderline-whimsical glee in me. Yet I wouldn't necessarily ever say that the show is GREAT or anything. It's just a decent show I enjoy watching, without any irony whatsoever.
It's the pizza of television. Even when it sucks, I still enjoy it.
@Mikhail XO @JustinBrooks I have to agree with Mikhail, for I find the show to be badly written, poorly directed, and often chock-full of mediocre or over-the-top performances. The show seems to meander aimlessly through the first season, looking for appreciation from either fans or critics, and found neither. Now they wanna whine about it...
@Mikhail XO @JustinBrooks I honestly don't feel like it genuinely sucks. I'm a pretty big fan of the show, but I won't deny that the first season had major problems. But I don't think the show outright sucked. It certainly threatened to suck at points, but I don't feel like it ever did.
Then again, we've been through my qualifications as an arbiter of good taste.
(Off-topic, and I ask this because a) I genuinely respect your opinion, and b) I'm sincerely curious, but what, if anything, DO you like, Mikhail?)
But opinion duly noted. And hey, I agree with some of the problems Smash has had. I just happen to like the show, in spite of them, although I don't begrudge anyone's negative opinion of the show, as I can easily see why it might not be popular. I just happen to enjoy it, is all.
Don't know why we can't all just get along. :)
Mik doesn't give a crap or he's being generous. His lack of an answer to your question says enough. Having the same bland opinion all the time gets boring. I'm thinking Mik just doesn't care enough to engage you.
I agree with Howard that the writing and poor direction are the crux of Smash's ratings failure.
I was only asking what the man liked, because I was genuinely curious. Like I said, I enjoy Mikhail and respect the hell out of his opinions around here, positive or negative, even if I occasionally don't agree. I'd afford that same respect to anybody here. We're all friends around these parts. :)
@NickRoman1 Pretty rude. Your opinion isn't gold. What do YOU NOT like? Lol!
@Mikhail XO Directly? American viewers. and as long as you're here throwing out your 'opinions' I reserve the same right to advise as I please.
@Mikhail XO Then simply state your opinion about the show, no need to take a stab at the people who watch it.