SMASH Don’t Give a Shit: “The Big Finish”

The series finale gave us two SMASHtastic hours that culminated with the Tonys. I must admit that SMASH let me down by not titling the episode, “The Tonies.” I’m also sad that we didn’t get another season for me to abrasively campaign for an @Actor_Friend reference on the show. Alas, some things aren’t meant to be.

I can’t believe SMASH has officially come to an end. More importantly, I can’t believe SMASH Don’t Give a Shit has come to an end. 17 episodes. 20 blogs. 0 dollars. 525,600 memories.

Grab a cocktail folks, because the only thing more inflated than Jimmy Collins’ ego, is the following recap…

Top 17 Times (one for each episode) SMASH Didn’t Give a Shit and Other Things I Loved: “The Nominations” & “The Tonys” 

1.) Bombshell Adds a Scene: Fade in on a girl with her arms wrapped around a toilet. I love that we got to see Ivy huggin’ porcelain again. It reminded me of season one Ivy or me on an average Thursday morning. What I’m trying to figure out is, what happens between “Don’t Forget Me” and Ivy’s curtain call, that she would have enough time to essentially pass out in the communal restroom? Did Tom add another scene per Ghost Kyle’s suggestion? Is there a Bombshell mega-mix? Do Jessica and Bobby come out and do a somber epilogue in all black, thus explaining why they are still in their beatnik costumes from the top of act two? These are the questions that keep me awake and night and remind me why I’m single.

2.) Ana Vargas Loses Her Agent: I thought I hit rock bottom when I supplemented my unemployment by party pumping at bar mitzvahs, but I’ve never had to troll that busted version of Actors’ Access for auditions like Ana did. I would assume someone like Ana would have her agent’s password to Breakdown Express, but I’m guessing she has nobody to submit her. A lot of unfortunate events happened to our friends on SMASH. Julia’s marriage fell apart, Jimmy went to jail, and Kyle died, but I feel the greatest tragedy in SMASH is the fact that Ana Vargas lost her representation.

3.) SMASHiverse Weather: Awards season happens during the most beautiful time to visit New York City. May and June. Spring into Summer. But the people on SMASH are still wearing winter coats and scarves. You can see their breath when they sing. But guess what? Last Saturday, May 25th, I wore rain boots, a peacoat, and gloves. The NYC weather is officially the most realistic thing depicted on SMASH.

4.) Bombshell Has the Worst Fans Ever: If I were Ivy Lynn, I’d take the secret exit out the back after a performance, because Bombshell has the worst fans ever. Bombshell fans consist of three catty teenage girls that give me horrible high school flashbacks and one old kween with a video camera, that also gives me horrible high school flashbacks. I mean, who was that guy? Like… was that JesWaza65 from All That Chat, just chillin’ with his iPhone on video record? Talk about uncomfortable! Not because that guy was downright creepy, but “uncomfortable” because the Invasive Broadway Super Fan is something else SMASH got completely right. The Invasive Broadway Super Fan believes they are intimately connected to your cast because they see the show six times a week, and I guarantee they will find a way to rush your wedding.

5.) That Awkward Moment When … : 

  • Eileen said, “My life has to be about more than this show,” and I was like, “Crap. I just said that last week.”

6.) Table 46 is Everything: I think I can pinpoint the exact moment that NBC cut SMASH’s budget. Somewhere around the time Table 46 became the only set piece. By episode 12, Table 46 was getting more screen time than Bobby, Jessica, and Sam put together. I mean, the Outer Critics Circle Awards took place at Table 46 along with both the Hit List and Bombshell Tonys parties. Was the Hotel Carter booked? I’m surprised that Table 46 wasn’t featured in the season 2 advertising campaign. I’m also floored that Table 46 didn’t get a solo in the “Under Pressure” montage.

7.) The New Table 46 Bartender Loves Broadway: Drew Gehling, currently starring as Bob Gaudio in Jersey Boys, is now the new part time bartender at Table 46, and apparently LOVES Broadway. If you thought it was awesome that Kyle carried around playbills, you haven’t met Drew Gehling. According to SMASH, Drew Gehling keeps his iPhone perpetually locked on BroadwayWorld.com. Ivy was like, “What are people saying about Hit List?” and Drew was like, “Here’s my phone. And I’m not even going to look at it because I know it’s already logged onto all the theatre gossip boards!”

After Drew gives Ivy his phone he disappears. Why? Because Drew doesn’t fucking need that phone. When you’re a principal on Broadway and working shifts at the only restaurant in midtown, you can afford to just give away your Apple products.

8.) Karen Cartwright is AnnoyingActorFriend: How has it taken me this long to notice that there is a wall in Karen and Ana’s apartment that has various letters in random positions? Seems harmless… Except six of them are positioned to spell: ARTIST. SMASHiverse AnnoyingActorFriend was clearly inspired by Karen Cartwright. It’s a shame every episode of SMASH went twelve minutes over, because I’m sure there is a cut scene somewhere of Karen’s vision board party.

9.) Ana’s Fifteen Minute Call: Ana was gifted with Kyle’s ticket to the Tony Awards because Kyle’s parents didn’t give a shit and Karen’s parents are too Iowa for the NY1 Red Carpet. Ana only needed fifteen minutes to get ready because 1.) She’s Ana Fucking Vargas and 2.) She still had her makeup on from last night.

10.) PSM Marissa Don’t Give a Shit: It must have been all those 8 a.m. rehearsals, because the Hit List PSM was phoning it in on Tonys week. She let Karen call Jimmy out of the show for a night and then completely lost control at the Tonys rehearsal. First she let Daisy be the dance captain and basically run everything, then she cried to Karen about Daisy giving line readings, and finally, she let the entire cast revolt. I gotta admire Marissa’s tenacity for sticking around so long, considering Linda bolted before Bombshell even opened, but this was just sloppy. Girl, this is the 67th Tony Awards and you’re show is performing in a theatre that’s apparently also home to Evita AND Follies. Get your shit together!

11.) Tom Levitt LOSES It: Tom has had his ups and downs this season, but in the finale, I’d say he completely gave up. I felt like I was watching a public meltdown. So, naturally, I loved every minute! Let’s breakdown the anatomy of this breakdown:

  1. Tom keeps his iPhone on the brightest setting necessary, when we all know that you can see the screen just fine in a Broadway house when the backlight is powered to low.
  2. Tom brags to the audience member behind him about winning an award when the poor guy is trying to enjoy the first three act musical since 1916.
  3. Eileen and Julia are having a heart to heart about relationships when Tom breaks in like the stomach alien from Spaceballs, and is all, “Hey, look at me!” while doing his best W.B. Frog impersonation.
  4. Tom slams Petite Sirah multiple times, even thought it usually has the highest alcohol content of all red wines. I know this because Ana told me.
  5. Tom passively aggressively slams J. Crew. Look, not all of us are getting 2% royalties on two hit Broadway shows.
  6. Tom not only kept Kyle’s Lisa Frank puff-painted Trapper Keeper libretto from Julia, he also neglected to tell her about their affair and explain to the audience who was the top.
  7. Patrick said, “I liked Bombshell and you deserved your nomination,” and Tom heard, “I’M A CLOSETED HOMOSEXUAL COME LOVE ON ME.”
  8. Tom suggests Patrick’s “upper arms” are not straight. #DeltoidsAreSOGay
  9. Tom asks Patrick out for lunch and when he politely declines, Tom takes that as: “I’M A CLOSETED HOMOSEXUAL PLEASE COME LOVE ON ME IN THIS VERY PUBLIC LOBBY WHERE THERE IS A NATIONAL TELECAST HAPPENING IN THE NEXT ROOM AND MICHAEL RIEDEL IS LURKING UNDER THE VICTOR/VICTORIA POSTER.”
  10. Patrick tells Tom he isn’t gay and Tom is like, “That’s how all my straight friends kiss me after I forcefully shove my tongue down their throat.”

I have to admire Tom’s committment. I feel like Patrick really could be straight but Tom would just be so convinced he were gay that it wouldn’t really matter. I imagine Patrick waking up one day as an old man in Palm Springs with Tom bringing him french toast and Metamucil, all the while wondering, “How the fuck did I get here?” This is also how I imagine Don Draper’s arc on Mad Men ending.

12.) Diane Paulus Don’t Give a Shit: I want to know what went down between Diane Paulus and Laura Osnes that required Sutton Foster to sweep in and grab the Tony nomination for Oliver! — and if that were the case, I want to know why there wasn’t a moment when Ana was required to say something about Laura Osnes being on a break.

13.) PSM Linda Runs the Tony Awards: We may not have seen her, but I can guarantee that Linda was the stage manager of the Tony Awards. PSM Linda must have been MIA the last six episodes because she was off werking the wizardry necessary to pull off this awards show. Want to know why we didn’t see Linda during the episode? Because she was too damn busy holding that shit together with Elmer’s glue and popsicle sticks.

Linda may have had trouble getting that plane on stage in Bombshell, but she did not have a problem making sure the entire cast of Hit List got miked up with five seconds notice for their Pitch Perfect 2 audition. If the SMASH 67th Tony Awards are any inclination, the ACTUAL 67th Tony Awards are going to be a BEAST. I mean, these Tonys were such a huge deal that everybody on Broadway got their matinee off just to prepare. This was also a Tonys that had the gall to televise Best Book, Score, and Choreography. That’s ballsy, SMASH. I hope I don’t have to sit through that boring shit on June 9th. I’m praying for a cruise ship performance of Catch Me if You Can instead.

14.) Jerry is PISSED: Not only did Jerry lose best musical to Eileen, he now has to pay thousands of extra dollars for all the Hit List cast members who suddenly decided to partake in the Tony performance. He also has to pay the minimum for Ana, who isn’t even in the cast. Actually, can we get a dramaturg on that? I honestly don’t know. Does Jerry have to pay Ana for appearing on the Tonys? Should I find out? How much do you dare me to just casually wander on stage when Kinky Boots performs next month? I’d probably do it for twelve bucks and a high five.

15.) Audra McDonald Don’t Give a Shit: Contrary to what some might believe, I did not werk on SMASH. Suggesting that Kyle would be literally thrown in front of a bus weeks before it happened was a lucky guess. For the most part, I was able to keep the majority of the season from being spoiled for me. That is, until Audra McDonald decided to not give a shit, and take to twitter Sunday night to ruin my life…

Screen shot 2013-05-28 at 10.55.10 AM

Look, Audra, I know you reserve Sundays for polishing your basket of Tonys, but some of us were out enjoying the immaculate Memorial Day wind-tunnel weather, and were saving SMASH to nurse our hangovers. I mean, it was like THREE MINUTES after the finale aired on the east coast! You ruined it for the four people in California, anxiously awaiting the episode to air an hour later. Not even my super fans (yes, I have about three) tweeted me a spoiler! Couldn’t you have watched Behind the Candelabra instead? At least I know how that ends (with a bang). <— I’m twelve.

16.) The Big Finish: SMASH gave us a SH-META BIG FINISH musical number montage with a literal SMASH logo in background. I gotta respect that. I also loved the following moments:

  • Jimmy and Karen eating each other’s face outside the Midtown South Precinct.
  • Ivy and Karen singing something along the lines of, “forget all the times SMASH didn’t give a shit because we just need to finish strong.”
  • Ivy saying Karen Cartwright’s entire name twice to remind us that even though she won a Tony, it’s still all about Karen.
  • The down and dirty eye-fuck that Cleopatra Rand gave to the guy from All My Children that said, “I want you to discover my Egypt all over this desk.”

17.) An Honest to God Thank You (seriously, this one isn’t meant to be sarcastic) : While my official goodbye to SMASH was posted after its cancellation (Closing Notice: SMASH), I want to personally thank the writers, cast, and crew of SMASH. You were one classy, hard working group of people with an incredible sense of humor when it came to assholes like me. Thank you for reminding us all that life is too much fun to take yourself too seriously.

I also want to thank all of you for tuning in weekly to read the barely coherent psychobabble of an anonymous blogger with a shit ton of time on their hands. There are more SMASH recaps out there than songs in Bombshell, so the fact that you chose to read mine means more than you know.

Shameless Self Promotion

Some of you have asked if there is life for me after SMASH, and I would like to officially announce that I have given myself a book deal! This summer, I will be writing #SOBLESSED: The Annoying Actor Friend’s Guide to Werking in Show Business. In the style of my SMASH Don’t Give a Shit posts, this how-to book will explain everything from choosing the right college, pounding the pavement, and getting your Equity card to regional theatre, Broadway, national tours, navigating pilot season, and of course, behaving on social media.

Expect #SOBLESSED on Amazon Kindle and paperback in September! I have made the brave decision to do this without a kickstarter.

7 comments

  1. macartney

    The “Artist” wall was actually Anna’s. “Since Anna is a struggling artist in NYC, I wanted to do something that was unique and showed ingenuity when it came to decorating her space. I came up with the letter wall by putting myself in her shoes; it’s creative, expressive, but also inexpensive.” http://homes.yahoo.com/photos/behind-scenes-look-set-smash-slideshow/behind-scenes-look-set-smash-photo-112045502.html

    P.S. I will greatly miss your recaps. Thanks for the good times.

  2. Ian

    I can’t believe Susan Blackwell didn’t get a mention – that alone made the season for me. I will miss these posts. You have made me laugh hysterically and made watching Smash even more enjoyable than it already was. Yes it was ‘slightly’ car crash tv but good god did they go full out! I still don’t know the plot of Hit list or how they afforded so many iPads for the off broadway run but who cares!

    Most of all I will miss the ensemble dancers of Bombshell and Hit List giving so much face and sass whenever the camera was near – werk!

    Please do a Tony post!

  3. Angela

    I can’t believe you ONLY make (roughly) 2 grand a week on the bway, and you aren’t using a kickstarter! How will you pay your rent?! I make 12 dollars an hour as a hostess in midtown, but I would LOVE to donate toward publishing #SOBLESSED!! I’m sure I can pick up a few extra shifts so you can still afford your costume jewelry, 40 pairs of glasses, and awesome party lifestyle!! Just tell me where to send the check! My annual at Planned Parenthood (bc I’m non equity, and don’t have health insurance) can wait till October!

  4. TW

    Thank you so much for your blog, AAF, it was a helluva lot of fun to read every week. Can’t wait to get your book #SOBLESSED and hope to finally meet you at a book signing at whatever Barnes & Noble is still open in Manhattan by September. And I’ll definitely push it as a present for the holidays-stocking stuffer!

Leave a Reply