Sometime last week between episodes four and five of Smash's ill-fated second season I had an unhappy epiphany: I was no longer looking forward to new episodes of "Smash". Last season, when everyone else was 'hate-watching' I was actually unironically enjoying. Yes, it had issues but where else were you going to see showtunes on TV? And besides, MANY shows have troubled first seasons as they find their voice. Bunheads, for example, recently leapfrogged from 'who-is-this-for?' curio to must-watch in the final episodes of its first season.
Yet, for all of my "Support the Musicals!" blog fervor, Smash is now a chore. They've basically cut the staged musical numbers and all we're left with is solos on bare stages or by pianos, usually by Jennifer Hudson. "The Song" as an episode was, and I couldn't believe it, a Jennifer Hudson concert. That was the plot! She's a fine singer but not a good actress and therefore hardly worth tuning into as the lead of a serialized scripted television. (I'm as surprised as you that the show suddenly thinks of her as the lead. I thought it was a guest arc!). Smash already fell on this sword in season 1 whilst trying to make Katharine McPhee happen.