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Watercooler: Smash Ends on a High Note

Date May 15, 2012

Katharine McPhee and Jack Davenport

OK, Smash, we take it back. Well, some of it.

Since you showed up with that amazing pilot, things have been up and down. Mostly down. You just never seemed to get back on track after Karen's trip back to Ohio and as the weeks went by, you got weirder. Chinese babies? Ivy does pills for a week? Derek has visions of "Karilyn"? It was just all over the place and please, don't even ask us to discuss all the time wasted on Heaven on Earth or the whole Ellis/Leo problem. Hating on them is so five minutes ago. Like mocking Julia's wardrobe. It's played.

But back to the show. There were clearly problems — oh God, that Times Square number, damn you! — yet there was also clearly potential. And last night, you lived up to it. By framing the entire season finale around the scramble to pick a Marilyn who could save Bombshell from being a deadly downer ("She dies in the end!") and focusing on the actual production, we got the show we all signed on for. Note that all the flashbacks were from numbers, not story lines that either went nowhere or did nothing for us? And did you see how everyone was working together as an ensemble to salvage the costly preview run, not off screaming about Micronesia or worrying about their Republican boyfriend? Yeah, because that other stuff sucked. The hotness came from the flare-ups between the creatives. The search for investors. And more than anything, the Karen-versus-Ivy battle. 

And now that you've given us a winner in that war, along with a song we can't stop playing, almost all is forgiven. There's a saying in the theater that "a bad dress means a great opening night." This wasn't a Carrie: The Musical -level mess, but we're still gonna go and consider this season your dress rehearsal. Here's hoping that lessons are learned, problems are fixed, a certain starlet survives, and you come back with a far stronger second act next year.

Did you watch Smash last night? What did you think? Did the right diva land the lead?

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