To the surprise of no one, NBC pulled the plug on Smash recently. The writing was on the wall for some time, to the point that talent on the show began lining up new gigs before the final shoe dropped.
Now Marc Shaiman, who wrote some of the shows biggest hit songs, has talked about the programs demise and he feels like he absolutely understands where things went off course.
"A lot of smart, talented (and in some cases, smart AND talented!) people were brought together to create a television show," he said. "Probably too many people. Yes, 'too many chefs' is the most succinct way to say what went wrong. But there was not a single soul working on the show who didn't want it to be great. Everyone just had a different idea of what that was."
The started off strongly, but steadily declined. It was renewed for a second season, but creator Theresa Rebeck was let go - a sure sign that something was not working. Eventually the micromanaging became overwhelming, Shaiman felt.
"I suppose the greatest frustration Scott (Wittman) & I felt were how the actual moments in Marilyn Monroe's life that led us to write our songs were almost never explained in the episodes, which was a shame for it would have enriched the storylines of Tom & Julia and made many of our choices clearer and maybe made our songs more meaningful, he added.
"So, like childbirth, hopefully Scott & I will forget the pain and will only remember hearing and seeing our songs being brought to life by some of the greatest actors and actresses we could ever hope to work with," he continued. "Which brings up one final thing I never understood, which is ... where were the prima donna costume designers, nerdy orchestrators, crazy professor set designers? Where were the things, so absent on 'Smash,' that are the things you most get when you walk into a rehearsal of a musical: laughter and joy? Damn, everyone on the show was so miserable!"
Sounds like a fun time, huh?