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Smash

Thu Jul 18, 9-10pm, Sky Atlantic

Series two, episode one
The glossy, empty-headed US musical series opens its second series unaware of its fate (canned) while its characters worry about the future of their own stage show, Marilyn musical ‘Bombshell’. While writer Julia (Debra Messing) daren’t read the reviews (wise), insipid star Kate (Katherine McPhee) is politely seething at rival Ivy (Megan Hilty) and duetting with Veronica Moore (Jennifer Hudson).

If you’re invested in the characters there’s enough to entertain, but while the musical numbers are well-written, they’re over-produced: the actors could be dubbed for all we know, which is a bit of a waste of the likes of Hudson. There’s an amusing nod to Messing’s ‘Will & Grace’ days and a promising new character or two, but this is still soapy stuff that doesn’t make the most of its star power. Talking of which, Liza Minnelli’s coming up later in the season – heavens.

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