I've been watching Smash. I thought I would love Glee when it began, being a music teacher and all, but I found I couldn't stand it. Smash is better, so far, but still ridiculous in relation to how a musical is actually created, and stuffed full of every primetime-soap cliché you can name. (The marriage conflicted over adoption and the time it takes; the greedy assistant out of All About Eve; the choice between the capable pro and the fresh-faced unknown for the new starring role; the casting couch; the divorcée producer who fast-tracks the production because she sees it as her chance to stay in the game; and on and on.)

It doesn't help that the "unknown," Katherine McPhee, is the one who apparently is supposed to be the draw to TV audiences (she lost on American Idol years ago), and she's just a mediocre pop-style singer, a minimal actress, and no dancer. It's absurd that they would spend half a second vacillating between casting her or Meg Hilty.

But I'll admit that it's fun to see actual NYC locations as part of the show every week, and stage actors I like such as Hilty, Christian Borle, and Brian d'Arcy James. I wish they had fresher material. I don't know how long I'll stick with it.