This may come as complete a shock, but Steven Spielberg is as an executive producer on SMASH. No joke. THE Steven Spielberg. Close Encounters Steven Spielberg. Munich Steven Spielberg. Saving Private Ryan Steven Spielberg. You know… GOD?
For a while, I actually wondered if Mr. Spielberg knew he was involved in producing SMASH or if he had lost a bet to NBC. Then I read somewhere that he often watched footage from season one while filming Lincoln. #AMAZEBALLS
I like to think that Daniel Day Lewis was occasionally ignored so Steven Spielberg could catch up on SMASH. I picture the director calling over a “Mary Todd-ed-out” Sally Field, to watch Ellis in all his glory. Spielberg would giddily exclaim, “Sally! You gotta see this! He put peanuts in her smoothie! Everyone knows Rebecca Duvall is allergic to peanuts!!!” Ms. Field would then return to the Craft service table and scoff to the crew, “Ugh. He’s watching his stories again…”
Allegedly, the production surrounding Lincoln was very serious. But I don’t buy all that oh-we-tried-to-stay-connected-to-Lincoln-and-the-time-period crap. Bull shit. You know everyone on the set of Lincoln was watching SMASH. Why? Because Steven Spielberg was. When the creative mind behind The Goonies finds time to watch Uma Thurman awkwardly stumble through a SMASHtastic Bollywood number, SO SHOULD YOU. He’s Steven EFFING Spielberg. And Steven Spielberg don’t give a shit!
If Steven Spielberg gave a shit about SMASH, I think we’d see a bit more of his influence throughout the series. Sure, Karen Cartwright and Kate Capshaw have the same initials. That’s not enough! Karen and Ivy may have a lovely little Duel going on, but when is Ivy going to stalk Karen behind the wheel of a tanker truck? Jennifer Hudson and Sheryl Lee Ralph were thoughtful guest stars, but why not Oprah and Whoopi? I mean, Jimmy is about four angry faces away from being Harpo Johnson anyway. And it’s evident that Karen is an Extra-Terrestrial, so when are we just going to send her home?
SMASH is missing the special Spielberg magic that could really turn their ratings around. If you’re out there, Mr. Spielberg, I have a few suggestions…
(Get ready because I’m about to get seriously Dawson Leery right now.)
1.) Hire Don Draper
Let’s start with the advertising. It needs a complete overhaul. That flashy season two campaign was a nice thought, but it didn’t #werk. However, playing on nostalgia never misses the mark…
The terrifying dramatic series
from the terrifying world of musical theatre.
“We’re going to need a bigger budget!”
This approach has it all! It draws in Generation Xers and features a sexy blonde “bombshell.” One must also note that the shark is not only symbolic of Marilyn Monroe’s inevitable demise, but SMASH and NBC’s as well! I’d watch THAT show. Furthermore, I don’t think there is an actor alive who hasn’t felt like the girl in this poster during pilot season. #symbolism
2.) Play the Awards Card
You want Hit List to be like Rent and NOT like Glory Days. How do you do that? STICK WITH WHAT WORKS…
“It gets pretty dark… I’m warning you…just…everybody dies…in the end.”
3. Throw in Something for the Kids
SMASH may be on late but that doesn’t mean you should just forget about the preteens. You want to make #smashtag a nationwide trending topic? GET THE KIDS ON BOARD…
You Know That Place Between Sleep and Awake?
That Place Where You Still Remember Dreaming?
That’s Where We’ll Always Love You, Marilyn…
“She can fly! She can fight! And she can… BELT!”
You’ll really nab the coveted 7-14 demo by throwing some pirates and mermaids into Bombshell. And Maggie Smith. Always Maggie Smith.
4.) Go Blockbuster or Go Home
You need a movie to get the music out there and a hit franchise is a great place to start! I hear you and Mr. Lucas have been struggling with a story idea for a certain college professor of archaeology…
The Man with the Hat is Back. And This Time, He’s Bringing His Rep Book!
“Dancers. I hate these guys.”
The women of Indiana Jones consist of Marion Ravenwood, Willie, the hot Nazi, and Marion again. Why not add Marilyn Monroe to the mix?
The last Indy film took place in 1957 and my concept for the fifth installment in the series is fierce… It’s 1958. Some Like it Hot is filming at the Hotel Del Coronado. Indiana Jones travels to California in search of an ancient Kumeyaayan artifact that is thought to be hidden deep within a Native American burial ground, underneath the historic hotel. Conflict ensues when Indy believes Marilyn is the key to the artifact’s power and all its secrets. Indy learns that the Kumeyaayan treasure provides the gift of song to whoever possesses it. To save Marilyn from angered spirits, Indiana Jones must use the artifact to perform a one man cabaret that includes: “Let Me Be Your Star,” “Let’s Be Bad,” and of course, “Second Hand White Baby Grand.”
You’re welcome, Mr. Spielberg.
5.) Do a Spin-off
Every successful TV series has a spin-off. It shows how popular you are! Like, you’re sooo big you need TWO shows to satisfy all that story. It’s best when the spin-off airs concurrently with the original series (I’m looking at you, Joey). Grey‘s Anatomy had Private Practice. The Bachelor has The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad. All in the Family had Maude, The Jeffersons, and Good Times all at the same time. Heck, Mr. Spielberg, you did it yourself with Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain!
It’s been stated that Tony Kushner’s original screenplay for Lincoln was five-hundred pages and only filmable as a TV mini-series. Why not get Mr. Kushner on board a SMASH spin-off? I smell Emmy! Except… I’ve found someone even more polarizing than the 16th President of the United States…
“It’s time for me to go. But I would rather stay.”
6.) When All Else Fails