It was the final curtain call on NBC’s “Smash” during the Memorial Day weekend on Sunday. Most of the other shows had their season finales a week or two earlier. During the few remaining weeks “Smash” was banished to Saturday nights, considered the final resting place for a doomed TV series. With all the constant changes in times and days it’s a wonder anyone could figure out when the showed aired, thanks to NBC.
At least the series finale was on a Sunday night when many viewers are home. The two-hour closing series centered entirely on the Tonys, with the first hour on the Outer Critics Circle and Tony nominations. The final hour was exclusively on the Tony ceremonies itself. “Bombshell” and “Hit List” vied for best musical with each dominating the OCC and Tony Award nominations.
Much like the Golden Globe Awards are a harbinger for Oscar nominees, the Outer Critics Circle Awards are New York theater counterpart to the Tonys. The OCC is a band of out of town journalists covering the Broadway scene much like the Globes has the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. “Bombshell,” the Marilyn Monroe musical, received 10 OCC noms while “Hit List,” the edgy “Rent” meets “Spring Awakening” garnered 11. With the Tony Awards nominations “Hit List” dominated at the top with 13, “Bombshell” closely behind at 12.
Remarkably “Smash’s” version of the Tonys was spot on like the real one. The late Kyle Bishop, Jimmy Collins songwriting partner, was honored posthumously by receiving a Tony for Best Book (Musical) for “Hit List.” Throughout the finale it was obvious this was the end when all the storylines conveniently worked itself out. Julia and Tom, along with Ivy, Derek, and “Bombshell” were the big winners of the night. Ivy’s memorable acceptance speech was truly from the heart when she thanked her mom for the gift of “a life in the theater,” and to Broadway audiences “for believing in live theater.”
Derek Wills got his shot at redemption at the Tonys. Jimmy Collins tackled his fears by confessing to Karen on his complete past, while later returning to jail. Eileen and Nick are reunited once again. Tom confronted his latest man crush with a surprising kiss. Julia revisited her lover from Season 1, and Ivy shared the news of her pregnancy with Derek. It was a bittersweet ending for fans of this extraordinary show about the workings of Broadway. There hasn’t been anything like it on network television. Most likely there won’t be another one with the plethora of reality shows taking over.