Norma Jean’s Gone: The Lights Finally Go Down on “Smash”

I am actually really sad that Smash is over. Sometimes I watch TV when I’m expanding my horizons, and sometimes I watch it when I’m bored, but always I watch Smash when I’m drunk. And now I have nothing to pair with some pinot and cheese and sweet sweet loneliness.

We all knew the end was nigh. As the season progressed, the ratings waned and waned. When the show was moved to Saturday nights, we all exhaled. The deathly time slot. We could all relax now, and watch the pretty lights as the Titanic inexorably sunk.

A disappointing ending, because EVERYTHING was better without showrunner Theresa Rebeck gnawing on the puppet strings. The music was great, the characters actually had story arcs that spanned more than half an episode, and the writing even started blindly stabbing at current pop culture references. They were bad references, but so endearing in their earnestness. “We go together about as well as Lena Dunham and a bra!” Awww. Ya tried. You crazy Broadway kids.

I genuinely think Megan Hilty is uber talented and hope that this sad little rhinestone of a show gives her career a jumpstart. She absolutely slayed every single number, regardless of ridiculous contexts and bad arrangements. And she committed so much beautiful emotion that I had to wonder if they gave her a brilliant first draft script and then just edited her scenes into the final product.

Even if Ivy had to end the series pregnant with Derek Wills’ nappy-haired fetus, she nabbed that goddamn Tony. NABBED IT. Fuck you, Karen Cartwright with your cipher-eyes and popping collarbones. TEAM IVY 4EVRRRRRR!

Smash really nailed this final moment. Credit where credit is due. A fun, brassy duet with incredibly transparent lyrics. “Give them that big finish and they’ll forget what came before!” GENIUS. SO MOCKING, SO TRUE.

I’ll miss you, Smash, you uneven and mischievous little monster. Somebody come fill the TV musical gap! Don’t be afraid to test out your terrible ideas on this hungry lady. Let’s Be Bad.