Popular TV and movie genres tend to come and go, especially when they're brand new. The early 2010's saw the arrival of scripted television with a focus on the arts, complete with extravagant musical numbers. While FOX's campy comedy Glee was the most successful, NBC attempted to break into the genre with its 2-season dramedy Smash. Smash revolved around the world of Broadway musicals, showing the salacious and dramatic process of a musical going from conception to its Broadway opening. Despite an impressive ensemble cast and amazing original music, Smash ran for a meager two season before NBC pulled the plug in 2013. One of Smash's stars, Leslie Odom Jr., just won the Tony Award for his role in Hamilton, elevating him to a bonafide Broadway legend. So what does he think of his time on the small screen?
Leslie Odom Jr. recently appeared on Andy Cohen's Watch What Happens: Live, where Cohen brought up the short-lived Smash. Odom was asked, via TVLine, how he would rank the show's second season on a scale from 1-10. After a bit of hesitation and attempts to dodge the question, Odom gave Smash season 2 a fairly poor score of 3, before admitting that the sophomore season was "not that great".
The first season of Smash revolved around the conception and mounting of a new Broadway-bound musical about Marilyn Monroe. Season 1 was largely focused on the rivalry between two potential actresses vying for the lead role, Ivy (Megan Hilty) and Karen (Katharine McPhee). Additionally, we were privy to the complicated job that is producing a Broadway musical, as we saw Anjelica Houston's character Eileen attempt to raise the funds needed to develop the show, as well as juggle the various other players including composer (Christian Borle), lyricist (Debra Messing), and director (Jack Davenport). Leslie Odom Jr. played one of the leading characters of the show's cast, as well as the romantic interest for Christian Borle's character.
Season 2; however, got a bit more confusing and convoluted. Major mixups in the cast occurred, with big characters being written off, while a slew of new players were brought on. Rather than just one musical, we followed two competing Broadway shows as they opened, and vied for the coveted Tony Awards. With so many characters happening and shows being mounted, Smash became less focused, despite producing more amazing musical performances.
Smash Season 2 was especially strange for Leslie Odom Jr., as his character jumped in between both shows. Additionally, his romantic storyline all but crumbled, making his character feel out place among the growing cast of characters. So his assessment that Smash's second season wasn't great makes a great deal of sense.
Everything seems to have worked well enough for Leslie Odom Jr., and he can cry over his Tony Award whenever he looks back on the poor showing Smash Season 2 had. You can see him currently starring in Hamilton on Broadway, if you can afford the crazypants price of tickets.