I tried watching “Smash” last night. I watched as much of it as I could take. Apparently, I wasn’t alone. Most of the people who watched the Betty White special on NBC also tuned out as “Smash” smooshed along. Betty had about 6 million viewers at 8pm. “Smash” had 4.4 million at 9pm. Everything did better–”NCIS,” “New Girl,” “Vegas,” even “Raising Hope.” I even sampled “Mindy Kaling” for five minutes.
For the “Smash” return, they enlisted Jennifer Hudson to be in a faux Broadway musical, and she was simply outstanding. Returning as the lead character–the producer of a Broadway show– Anjelica Huston is a movie star–looking like Cleopatra who ate the canary. Debra Messing is a fave, too. “Smash” is pretty much over, I would think. A worthy experiment. But no one knew how to write a nighttime soap.
“Smash” has too many heroines, and no one to root for. I couldn’t figure out if Megan Hilty or Katharine McPhee was the star. (If you know, please email me.) The men are all foreign or gay or both, and very poorly defined as characters. Jack Davenport kept squinting — I thought he was trying to read the TelePrompter. The most hilarious part–and this is where I got out to look for a hockey game–was when McPhee discovered a waiter and a bartender in a restaurant had written the next great Broadway musical. Are you really kidding or what?
Then there was a kind of nod to the “Rebecca” scandal of last year–Huston’s producer character has been taking mysterious money–is it mob money or what? It was so out of character. And anyway, Huston was the Oscar winning star of “Prizzi’s Honor.” She’s too smart for that. It made no sense.
And the Devils beat the Rangers.