lily_1990 (lily_1990) wrote in ontd_glee,

10 things Glee could learn from Smash.


The cast of Smash

Plot before cash-in

Smash is a clever conceit: a musical within a TV drama, where the theatrical production may end up on Broadway but the television story comes first. In Glee, it often feels like the writers work in reverse. They once wrote a plot around Katy Perry's Last Friday Night (TGIF). It wasn't a great plot.

Slow it down

Glee's target teen audience are like drunken butterflies from all that online multitasking and sexting, which may explain the hyper pace. There are only three punchlines in the Smash pilot – but at least they're comprehensible.

Give the good guys the slushies

Every time Smash's Eileen Rand (Anjelica Huston) dines out, she douses her caddish ex-husband with an expensive cocktail. In Glee, the oppressed get a face full of frozen juice. Where's the joy in that?

Get a real legend on board

The final scene of Smash's first episode is a montage that includes Huston sashaying through a gold-panelled Manhattan hallway. The clip is half-a-second long, but is executive producer Steven Spielberg's way of saying, "You've got Ricky Martin doing Sexy And I Know It, Glee? Well, here's Anjelica Huston walking. Just walking." It's quite the thing.

Location, location, location

Right now, someone somewhere is watching the spunky monk episode of Sex And The City, because, on TV, New York is a place with restaurants where glamorous types throw cocktails, broker deals and organise orgasms. Smash maintains the illusion. The kids of Glee hang out in a coffee house that's just one step down from The Apprentice's cafe of doom.

Get rid of the gawpers

Glee Club is always in a dull rehearsal room, switching between Rachel doing another Babs song and everyone else looking on, feigning interest. By episode three of Smash, there are hardly any scenes of actors watching other actors perform. And one of those is a dream sequence, so it doesn't count.

Stop making it all about gay men

Glee does not wear its gay politics lightly, and can be sanctimonious. Smash's womanising director Derek Wills (played by Jack Davenport) sets out its stall from the outset: "All that fawning over the actress. Gay men piss me off."

Treat the adults like adults

Glee mentor Will Schuester had to ask one of his pupils to be his best man because no one has bothered to write him a grown-up friend. In Smash, adult characters are fully fleshed out, like happily married co-writer Julia Houston (Will & Grace's Debra Messing), who has a dark secret under her nice boho shawls.

Don't forget the story

Glee's series three highlight so far has been We Found Love, the synchronised swimming version. Smash leans towards original music, fewer songs per episode and leaves more time for a thing called plot.

Never underestimate the power of a good cushion

People sat through five seasons of Brothers & Sisters because they enjoyed a soap full of tastefully lit houses and Balthazar Getty. Smash spends time lounging around in brownstone apartments filled with good-looking people eating their five-a-day using all their own teeth. It works.

Smash starts 21 Apr, Sky Atlantic; Glee, Thu, 9pm, Sky1

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2012/apr/14/smash-glee-10-things

Tags: flawless post, media: website, news: article, news: opinion, u messy but not wrong
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