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YMMV: Smash
  • Awesome Music:
    • The big number for Marilyn: The Musical "Let me Be Your Star".
    • "The 20th Century Fox Mambo".
    • "A Thousand And One Nights".
    • The appropriately named "Big Finish."
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Karen is understudying for Marilyn and isn't following stage directions properly. Derek gets mad at her, she gets mad at him, and suddenly he sees Marilyn herself instead of her complaining about the musical's problems. This is never explained.
    • Also the Bollywood dance number in "Publicity".
      • Justified: Bollywood dance numbers are usually a BLAM.
  • Broken Base: It actually came pre-broken, and with the show's active encouragement, as the marketing played up a Team Karen and Team Ivy angle. And sometimes it seems that there's actually a deeper split between fans who hate the other girl/team and those who find both characters likable and both actresses talented.
  • Creator's Pet: Karen, to many. No matter how many times characters on the show say how great she is, a lot of viewers don't understand how a gal with an average pop voice is supposed to be a legitimate threat to Ivy, the seasoned vet with the big Broadway voice. Not to mention Ivy LOOKS the part way more than Karen.
    • To be fair, it is mentioned that because Ivy has been in the ensemble for so long, she's having difficulty standing out when given the chance. Karen, due to being a Na´ve Newcomer, has difficulty blending because if she wants to make it big, she has to stand out.
  • Complaining about Shows You Don't Watch: People who hear about the concept and don't actually watch the show itself are prone to snarking about how it's "Glee on Broadway," despite Jack Davenport saying in an interview that it was nothing like that.
  • Foe Yay: Karen and Ivy display quite a bit of this. Karen can often be seen staring longingly at Ivy, looked hurt when she learned that Ivy and Derek were sleeping together, and recently became so caught up in Ivy's music that she practically fainted in the middle of a workshop. Ivy's obsession with Karen only grows stronger after final casting; she even sees Karen in her mirror at one point. A Wicked duo is inevitabely in their future.
    • Derek and Tom tend to bicker like an old married couple, and according to the previews, we'll soon be learning about their amiable past together!
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Seasons 1 the song "Don't Say Yes Until I Finish Talking", performed by Daryl Zanuck (as played by Tom in the rehearsal), features the line "Let's find a role for Nat King Cole". Come season 2, Tom attempts to get his ex Sam a role in Bombshell as Nat King Cole. Doubles as Harsher in Hindsight because Tom's decision to put the song in the show is vetoed by both Eileen and Julia, and he ultimately decides to not put the song in.
  • Informed Attribute: Many viewers wonder how Karen could possibly be considered an equal contender for the role with Ivy, given that she never seems to demonstrate the talent everyone says she has.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Jimmy.
  • Mary Sue: Karen seems to accomplish with ease what Ivy struggles for. This is despite that fact that Ivy possesses more experience than Karen. In addition to this, Karen possesses very few noticeable personality traits and is hardly ever shown in a bad light. In contrast, Ivy has loads of energy and spunk, and is portrayed in an often questionable light. At the end of season one, Karen gets the part of Marilyn, and celebrity friend, and a possible future recording contract. Ivy gets nothing but a suicide attempt... but in season 2 Ivy gets the role after all. And in the Series Finale she wins a Tony.
    • According to ''Buzzfeed'' Julia is former showrunner Theresa Rebeck's Mary Sue. The writers were never allowed to give her a genuine struggle to work through. "She's the hero! She saves everything!" Rebeck told them.
  • Second Season Downfall: Despite the sweeping changes made to the cast, the show was no better received in season two than season one. Without The Voice around to prop it up, the show collapsed further in the ratings, and eventually got banished to Saturdays, which is a death knell for pretty much any series on any network.
  • So Bad, It's Good / Snark Bait: Smash has unfortunately become a popular target of "hate-watching".
  • Unfortunate Implications: Regarding Ivy, who ends up losing her dream role to a Na´ve Newcomer, despite years of hard work and an abundance of talent. The season finale makes it seem like no matter how good she may be, and how much time and effort she's put into her Broadway career, it still isn't enough to make her a star. Sort of a Family-Unfriendly Aesop that one can work hard and be skilled, and still end up getting their dreams crushed.
    • Added bonus of what can come off as Slut Shaming in the past few episodes involving Ivy's relations with Derek.
      • Then again, the series ends with Ivy, who's gotten to play Marilyn after all, winning a Tony for Best Actress and getting together with Derek. Karen doesn't win, but it's clear it's not the end of the world for her.
  • Values Dissonance: on more than one occasion, Karen is essentially told that she needs to learn how to become a team member by blending her talents into the ensemble rather than being showy...even though most of the occasions where this happens it's Ivy being an Alpha Bitch diva who messes with Karen because of a combination of insecurity and a feeling that Karen hasn't payed her dues. Ivy and the other members of the cast who pull this have barely ever been called on this (with basically only one exception).

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