Everyone’s favorite show-with-potential-turned-hate-watchers’-bait is finally back after what has felt like a lifetime. And it has a new showrunner, to boot! That new executive producer is Josh Safran, of Gossip Girl fame. Or infamy, that is, especially when it comes to season five of The Greatest Show Of Our Time. That’s precisely why I just had to recap the premiere (and perhaps more thereafter).
There were so many things to love and simultaneously make fun of during season one of Smash, but there’s definitely an apparent change of creative for the sophomore run. Most of it is for the better: The first hour of this season opener allows for everyone’s personal woes to be erased, thankfully. And some of it may feel like it’s falling flat. The second hour earnestly feels like it was a second episode and not really much of a two-parter. But that’s okay.
While some people feel a certain, ahem, dislike towards Safran, I tend to think that he knows what his shows are good for. He did an interview recently where he stated matter-of-factly that he couldn’t remove everything that made Smash hate-watchable, because that would alienate most of the viewers. So he’s honest with himself, and that tends to allow for some good tongue-in-cheek self-referential humor. And the show could use that.
Below are my minute-by-minute reactions:
9:02pm | The season’s opening number is incredibly meta. They get it: the show was awful. And I’m not 100% about this, but I think new showrunner Josh Safran wrote the lyrics. Oh, Safran. This is why we love you.
9:07pm | Holy crap, I am extremely glad that they decided to scrap that awful cat’s meow opening titles, which was incredibly undecidedly Smash-like. The new opening titles are amazing.
9:13pm | This is a scene in which Jennifer Hudson’s publicized ad nauseam “Someone’s always looking to take you down, honey!” line is FINALLY said. It’s unfortunately not as scandalous as I wanted it to be. I was hoping Ivy would be after Karen with a butcher’s knife and then J Huds would be like, “Someone’s always trying to take you down!” Or something.
9:14pm | Kind of missing Julia’s scarves.
9:16pm | First hint that this show is now spearheaded by a previous Gossip Girl producer: Eileen’s husband just sent a very shady text message. I will be trying to mine all of these hints for the next hour and forty-five minutes.
9:20pm | By the way, I’m happy that the whole “Ask Karen To Sing At Events For Investors” has yet to stop.
9:21pm | “What is my future with this show…exactly?” “BIHH YOU IZ FIRED, BASICALLY.”
9:23pm | Every show/movie about actors needs a lesser off bartender with a chip on his shoulder, obviously.
9:24pm | I love that they quoted Variety and not… literally anything else.
9:25pm | GG HINT #2: Two people happened to stumble upon someone cheating by putting someone else in a cab as they watched from across the street. This is our second “This Show is Run By an Ex-Gossip Girl Producer” hint. Now all we need is for people to have a meal without actually eating any of it, and it will be the Gossip Girl trifecta.
9:31pm | “Shows are like family; everyone knows everything.” WHAT? That’s incredibly insane, Debra Messing. Are you fo’ serious? Besides, how more untrue could this statement be? My family knows zero things about me.
9:33pm | And we’re back to Karen distracting people at parties! Except it’s basically just J Huds and Karen going “Dooooo do do do doooooo” every 30 seconds.
9:35pm | Uh oh, Diva-off! “Yeah-ee-YEAH-EE-YEAH-AYYYYYYYY!!!!”
9:36pm | Derrick: “Your singing was so…melodic. Gimme dem lips.”
9:37pm | “Are you cheating on me?” “ARE YOU EFFING SERIOUS LADY!?!??!!!” “Shhhh. Don’t scream even though I accused you of infidelity at a public function.”
9:38pm | Ivy: “I almost did something really stupid, not including your boyfriend.”
9:39pm | “My marriage is over.” Oh, thank goodness.
9:41pm | Oh, noes! They know about the illegal funds they received!
9:46pm | Are kisses on the forehead still sexy? Or even romantic? I was getting a bit of a dad vibe from the Derrick-Karen thing. Please no hate, shippers (if any)!
9:49pm | I’m really glad this number allowed us to see everyone look at everyone else. Deep.
9:52pm | I love Karen. “Oh shit. The two lines I just heard… THIS IS THE NEXT BIG HIT.” But, you know, dude can sing.
9:58pm | “Ha he said I could be cute if I unclench my jaw ha ha he’s so bad boy charming, let’s fuhhh.” You just know that’s where it’s going.
10:00pm | OH MY GOD KAREN IS SINGING AT YET ANOTHER PARTY LIKE HOW OFTEN DOES THIS HAPPEN HOLY CRAP
10:04pm | “I refuse to be treated like a criminal…which I am.”
10:05pm | “Karen’s no longer singing.” Well what a frickin’ surprise!
10:05pm | Tom and Julia, it’s just like Will & Grace.
10:09pm | Stop being an enabler, Tom!
10:11pm | Jimmy is kind of annoying. “We don’t need anyone’s help!” How else do you GET to Broadway, Jimmy!? COME ON GUY. Also, I know this is a late reaction, but.
10:12pm | HAHAHAHHAAAA!!! Does Derrick seriously not understand exploiting women and them accepting to get roles in his plays? Like?
10:15pm | Why does Tom even care what this guy thinks? Get your frog throat outta here, guy!
10:16pm | Man, Derrick had to resort to going to the ONLY bar in New York.
10:17pm | Holy shit Karen just grabbed Derrick by his crotch and threw him three feet up and away onto the bar. THIS FANTASY SEQUENCE IS AMAZING.
10:18pm | That was A LOT to fantasize in the .03 seconds it took Derrick to fall down.
10:23pm | Uh oh, this Tom/Julia thing is getting a bit sitcom-y.
10:26pm | Oh, no, Julia!!!! Don’t prove frog throat right!
10:28pm | Ugh, who even cares? I want to lie on my couch all day in my PJs watching House of Cards, to be honest. With food, obviously.
10:30pm | Saturday Night Live ad touting Justin Bieber as the host and musical guest. Please make fun of his recent TMZ stories. C’mon, Biebs!
10:33pm | “Oh no! Not something stuck to my shoe! SO EMBARRASSING UGH.”
10:35pm | I hope Derrick leans in for a kiss to a new girl every. single. week.
10:37pm | “I sing a little… when I’m in the mood.” “Oh, I bet you do.” Most unintentionally hilarious line ever, guys? What do we think?
10:43pm | Oh, my goodness Jimmy. For someone who keeps telling people they’re uptight, YOU ARE THE MOST UPTIGHT PERSON EVER.
10:44pm | HAHAHAHAHAA SINGING AT ANOTHER PARTY OH MY GOD IT’S ON AGAIN
10:46pm | Someone please tell me they have a GIF of that random guy swaying his head while making eye-sex at Ivy!? PLEASE PLEASE. Hilarity.
10:48pm | So why is Karen playing Marilyn again?
1048pm | Possible GG Hint #3: People crashing, and also usurping, parties.
10:49pm | Also, possible GG Hint #4: Brooklynites thinking anyone who doesn’t live in Brooklyn is just insanely privileged and entitled.
10:52pm | The U.S. Attorney just so happens to be there.
10:53pm | “She’s so full of herself.” WHERE AND WHEN HAS THIS HAPPENED I DON’T. Thank you Jimmy’s Inexplicable Friend Whose Name I Don’t Know for explaining that Jeremy keeps describing others while looking in the mirror. I officially don’t know how Jimmy hosted a party because HOW DO YOU HAVE FRIENDS?
10:55pm | “It’s time to retire the scarves.” See what I mean when I say that Safran gets it? He gets it.
10:56pm | “Thank you. I think this could be really big.” “Oh you know it is.” *If Smash were a porno*
10:58pm | More Ivy being sad. And premiere over!