Thursday, March 8, 2012

Why I love #Smash

I was having a slow writing morning. Honestly, I should have gone to the grocery store (we're totally out of milk) since that would have been significantly more productive.  Instead, I scraped the remains of last night's pasta out of a tupperware and sat down to watch Smash.

For you Downton Abby, anti-gleeks who may not know it, Smash is the story of a producer, composer, librettist and a crew of performers workshopping a musical en route to Broadway along a road paved with creative frustrations, desperate dreams, achingingly beautiful songs and singers, and some pretty fantastic romance.  And I don't just mean Debra Messing kissing the guy who plays Joe DiMaggio.  I mean ROMANCE AS...

  • the thrill you get when you build a work of art
  • the way, despite the television medium, the performers' and creators' real passion for Broadway somehow shimmers through the small screen
  • that connection, that drive to understand one's creative self and the character you are writing, dancing, singing, portraying
  • the pure, painful, elegant beauty of a star-high dream
SMASH takes the classic show-within-a-show structure to great heights. The fame of iconic Marilyn Monroe is the topic of the musical at the story's core, which reflects back not only on the lives of the two actresses wanting to portray her but also the very act of creation itself.  And, for somebody in the rough-and-tumble writing biz, I see another FANTASTIC meta-layer: Smash is the heart-and-brain-child of Steven Spielberg and a gifted theatrical team including playwright Theresa Rebeck. NBC has made a real investment in making SMASH a smash--a gamble the media is watching. The show itself exists as a testament to the struggle it represents. So, that's uncanny.  Just like the way no one can really control what will be a hit (or a bestseller) and what will sink into oblivion. We just keep reaching up, hoping for that smash.

Last fall, I my debut novel danced into the world. Right now, my next book awaits my editor's eyes. And, as I await her comments, I'm struggling between writing the next book my heart wants to write, and writing something I think will sell better than verse novels about performers.

Maybe that's why I was having such a tough workday. Maybe that's why I turned on my "On Demand" and watched this week's spectacularly produced episode of SMASH.  Maybe that's why my glued-to-the-set eyes were brimming as the episode drew to a close.

And then, because my heart was full, I wrote.


I am Marilyn.  I am SMASH.  Aren't we all?


Grace A said...

I love SMASH!It is so good! :)

Valia Lind said...

I just started the show last night and I love it!!! So much going on and its done so well!