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Profile for Craig A. Macdonald > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Craig A. Macdonald (Edinburgh, Scotland)

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Smash - Season 1 [DVD]
Smash - Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Debra Messing
Price: £7.43

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Small screen theatre, 6 Sept. 2012
This review is from: Smash - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
SMASH is an interesting show to try and review because of its polarising effect on the critics. It has been NBC's highest rated Drama series in recent years, had one of the most acclaimed pilot episodes.

And then things went a bit wrong.

I will say that I love SMASH, it is an exciting show with great new music, a wonderful premise and some brilliant acting. The first season is ultimately flawed however, with some unnecessary characters, some character decisions put in just to drive the drama, and some episodes which were not as high a standard as the pilot suggested. This is not to say it is not good, or enjoyable, because it definitely is. It's just flawed.

I still rate SMASH highly though. The reason for this? It, at times (not always), manages to capture that feeling of working in a live theatre production. That sense of ensemble, rivalry, camaraderie, last minute changes of direction, the struggle to rewrite, the inability to see flaws because they are so close to the production. That is what live theatre is about, and for large parts of the series, SMASH manages to bring this across, to capture that adrenaline-fuelled feeling of being in the theatre. Of creating for the stage. Of performing for large audiences and trying to make sure that the theatrical statement is realised. Bring in the fact that the music was written by the incredible Marc Shaiman and Scott Whitman (Shaiman responsible for the Broadway hit musical Hairspray, based on the John Waters film, which was later turned back into a hit movie based on the musical) shows that the calibre of talent involved in this production is remarkably high. Anjelica Huston, Debra Messing, Christian Borle, and Megan Hilty all give accomplished performances, creating nuanced and flawed characters who have problems with their personal lives dictating how they work in the theatre.

The reason I would recommend SMASH is because I think it has so much potential, it is a good base line for a show which looks set to improve so much more in season two. All the news and casting notices for season two seem to be suggesting it will return to what it should be - a show about creating theatre, and not about courting character drama. Watch this season and you're sure to fall in love, and be ready for season two when it finally hits the television.

Queer As Folk USA - Season 3 [DVD]
Queer As Folk USA - Season 3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Thea Gill
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.48

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Continuing on in fine form, Season 3 is a treat, 25 Aug. 2008
If you enjoyed the first two seasons, season 3 will be right up your alley.

Following on from the second season, Michael is still dating HIV+ Ben, Justin and Ethan are still together, and though Brian denies he has feelings for Justin, that seems to be the only thing he thinks about. Unexpected relationships blossom, the arrival of a teenage hustler stirs things up, and a new client of Brian's threatens the freedom of everyone on Liberty Avenue. It's definitely Queer as Folk - complete with the graphic sex scenes and frank depictions of life - but a little bit darker.

This season is shorter than the previous 2, coming in at only 14 episodes. In these episodes issues are dealt with quicker, though at times it seems like they're dealt with too quickly - the over arching theme takes a long time to come to a conclusion, as it would in real life, but some things seem a bit too cut and paste. Regardless of that fact, the season is still excellent and some great issues are explored.

The only real downside about this release is that having loved it and finished it in days, and there's no set date for seasons 4 and 5. Having contacted WarnerBros they have said that there are plans to release the last 2 seasons, however dates have not been decided. Hopefully it won't take too long because the nature of Queer as Folk dictates it should be watched in close succession, and having to wait for another year for another box set would drain on the climax achieved in the season finale.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 26, 2012 6:54 PM BST

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