If there's one thing we never expected a show about musical theater to be, it's depressing. Sure sad things would happen, dreams crushed and all that, but those defeats would be surrounded by fabulous victories and song-and-dance frippery. Musical theater can be serious, but it's not that serious. Or so we thought. Proving us wrong was last night's episode of Smash, which was pretty thoroughly a downer.
Let's see here. Debra Messing's Julia has cheated on her husband and he's left her so she's moping and crying all the time. Her writing partner Tom was in a cute relationship with a handsome lawyer but he just stormed out because he thinks Tom has the hots for a dancer in the company (he probably does, yes). Our (ostensible) heroine Karen gets to play Marilyn for a week, but only a week because they're bringing in a movie star, so basically something is dangled before her then snatched away. To make matters worse her boyfriend is having trouble at his job, will probably cheat on her, thinks she's cheating on him, and wants to move to Washington D.C. Meanwhile her rival Ivy has been fired from her chorus role in another musical for popping pills so now she's just alone a lot and drinks wine and stands across the street watching wistfully as her friends go to Marilyn rehearsal. That's what's going on.