Smash is back! And things are different -- from the inside. The creator and head writer for the television show, Theresa Rebeck, has been replaced with Gossip Girl's Josh Safran. This could be a good thing. After all, the first season of Smash had just as many sincere fans as hate-watching fans.
Is the new Smash going to be worth watching? Will it transcend camp and weirdness? Will we care about Karen and Ivy and Bombshell? Will Julia finally stop with those terrible scarves already?!?
Season 2 starts right about where the first season left off. Karen is all set to play Marilyn, and Derek introduces her to a Broadway star, Veronica "Ronnie" Moore. She's played by none other than Jennifer Hudson! And Ms. Hudson's musical numbers are one of the highlights of the whole episode. Even better -- we'll be seeing more of her!
Okay, but Jennifer Hudson isn't a main character and can't save the show herself. (Or we'd just call it the Jennifer Hudson Show and have her sing the whole time, which is actually a great idea.) This is Smash, so shit is about to happen. Like Julia almost reconciling with her husband but then not. So she moves in with Tom. Also, the reviews for his music were glowing but everyone hates her words. So it's time for Julia's Very Tedious Nervous Breakdown (whining underneath a comforter in pajamas).
The next meltdown: Eileen's finances get all tied up when her ex-husband sicks the Feds on her in some bogus investigation. Poor Eileen must deal with the lawyers. And she has the most boring problems. So there's no show, apparently.
Another meltdown: Karen gets Ivy fired from the show. Must! Kill! Rival! One thing that hasn't changed from the first season -- I still don't like Karen. But did you hear that marvelous grownup's apology Ivy delivers to her, after she's been fired? I'm so happy to see Ivy getting stronger and more confident.
And yet another meltdown: Women are suing Derek for sexual harassment. He claims he's innocent, but the joke's on him because he actually has no idea what sexual harassment even is. But he is still bright enough to deliver a (unrelated to sexual harassment) zinger to Tom. "Did you pack something warm for your trip to the moral high ground?" Haha, another highlight.
So I guess the big secondary plot this season is going to be Karen cultivating the hot new talent from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Kyle and his brooding/flirting writing partner, Jimmy. I'm sorry, but I'm already bored by Jimmy. He's a cliche, and he's going to be a temperamental pain in the ass.
I was starting to hate the new season, and then they delivered that ridiculous Eurythmics "Would I Lie to You" number with Derek and the ladies, complete with little black dresses and hot pink pumps. Further proof that there is no god, because why would a compassionate god allow human beings to put this on television?!? Let the hate-watching begin.
(I did notice a lot of viewers loved the hot pink shoes, though.)
Okay, so I'm just about to give up on the whole thing. I don't care about Karen and her reluctant protege. I'm sick of Julia's wallowing. Eileen's legal problems are soooo tedious. But guess what? They all pull their shit together!
Derek delivers a pep talk to Ivy. The whole production team shows up at a benefit they were dis-invited to and storm the stage. Ivy sings like a pro. They all look awesome (well, except Julia is in a surpassing unflattering dress) and hoodwink all the Broadway VIPs that they're winners, not loozahs. Team Smash! Yay! It's ON!
And then Tom tells Julia exactly what she's needed to hear all along. "It's time to retire the scarves." Haha, Tom. You. Take a note, wardrobe.
Ugh, and then we end with this ugly scene of Ivy making nice with Derek only to find Karen already at his place, ready to show him Jimmy and Kyle's music. So I guess that's still going on. They're still stoking the flames of that rivalry, and that's probably a good thing.
Will I keep watching? I don't know. I'll give it another episode. I want to see if they give Julia some better costumes. And I'm living for just one more scene where Ivy triumphs over Karen.
What did you think of the season premiere? Will you keep watching?
Image via NBC