SMASH – Season 2

The first season, while containing many of the flaws for which those who hate the show really hate it, had so many high points — most especially the musical numbers — that the melodramatic missteps were all forgiven. Just as musical comedy itself is an entertaining combination of exhilaration and sap [give it a second chance, Storm!], SMASH 1 was bliss. Now, as we head toward the end of the second go-round, I’m still committed to watching every episode, even though the emphasis this time is on the melodrama. Maybe that’s because the show’s very concept makes an extended run problematic: the writers have to come up with continuous snags to keep “Bombshell” (the show-within-the-show) from finally making its Broadway debut; it’s becoming an ever-receding goal. More crucially, the music quotient has gone way down. The score for “Bombshell” already has a full musical’s compliment of songs, and really good ones, too. But for whatever reason, the songs this season are mostly the ones we’ve already heard (although in new versions). And there aren’t as many of the “contemporary” rock and pop sequences, either (although those were always pretty weak). I still enjoy it, but S2 isn’t blowing me away. — Jeff Schultz

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