“Smash” No. 2: Quick Thoughts

The second episode of “Smash” aired on Monday night. It was an improvement over the premiere installment, which, like all premiere installments, had to spend most of its time on exposition. New thoughts about this making-of-a-Broadway-musical series: 1) It’s a pleasure to see Debra Messing play a character who is so far removed from Grace Adler that I hardly thought of “Will and Grace” at all. I’m not sure about her adoption subplot, however, but at least she has a personal life, unlike her gay writing partner. 2) I’m still not convinced that a musical about Marilyn Monroe is sufficient to sustain our interest over a whole season. Apparently, biographical details about Miss Norma Jean are going to dribble out during every episode. 3) Theresa Rebeck, the creator of the series who also wrote this week’s episode, has a real gift for comedy, as we see in her current Broadway play, “Seminar.” I do wish she’d lavish that gift on “Smash” once in a while. This week’s episode didn’t make me laugh once. And I’ve rarely been in a Broadway rehearsal room where I didn’t at least titter.

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