Like 'Smash'? Try 'Submissions Only'!
Yes, it is true: Smash is not coming back for a third season. Whether you watched because you love Broadway so much that you would feel like an inadequate “theater geek” by not tuning in (cough cough… me); or you liked making fun of the show’s depiction of the VERY melodramatic things that occur in the drama world; or maybe you were just a good ole fan of Debra Messing’s scarves– finding out the show was canceled hit you as hard as not getting a callback. It may have been the show that everybody loved to hate, but it was also the show that made little lovers of “The Great White Way” feel a little closer to the bright lights of NYC.
So now that there is no Smash, what are we going to watch on our Tuesday nights? I suggest watching the web series Submissions Only!
I have to admit that halfway through the second season I stopped watching Smash because the plot lines became too cray cray for me. Thankfully, I found a wonderful alternative that is humorous, realistic, and has an extremely catchy theme song.
Broadway vets Kate Wetherhead [Legally Blonde: The Musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee] and Andrew Keenan-Bloger [Newsies, Mary Poppins] have crafted two seasons (with a third in post-production) of what life is like trying to break into showbiz. The 15-20 minute long, commercial-free episodes take place in NYC. The series follows an aspiring actress, Penny Rilley [Wetherhead], and her casting director BFF, Tim Trull [Colin Hanlon], as they navigate a life in the entertainment business. Insert the colorful characters they interact with on a daily basis and hilarity ensues.
Here are three reasons that you Smash fans will love Submissions Only:
1. Broadway Stars… And LOTS of them
Name a Broadway star. Now check their IMDB page to see if they have been on Submissions Only. Chances are they have, right? There is a new Broadway star featured in pretty much every episode of the show. With lots of scenes taking place in auditions, you have the opportunity to watch celebs like Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Nick Jonas do some pretty crafty things. While there is no Megan Hilty, you do get the original Glinda, Kristin Chenoweth.
P.S. Santino Fontana (Cinderella) will melt your heart like nobody’s business!
2. Lots of LOLs
Wetherhead plays Penny with spunk and sass, which sets up many great scenes. Gail Liner (Lindsey Chambers) balances the broad physical comedy with dry humor that’s as sharp as a tack. There’s a laugh in there for everyone.
3. Undeniable Authenticity
Because the creators/writers are Broadway babies in their own right, you can be sure that you are watching an accurate depiction of art imitating life behind the scenes on Broadway. You get a peek into a pressure cooker the audition room is and all of the crazy things that can happen when your nerves take over. It will teach you the importance of having a tolerable roommate while living in a tiny NYC apartment. Plus, there’s a healthy dose of rivalry and conflict. Instead of Ivy and Karen fighting over a part in a Broadway show, there’s the love triangle between Penny, Serena Maxwell (Donna Vivino), and Aaron Miller (Fontana).
It is super manageable to watch but I guarantee that you will get hooked and end up binging like I did. It’s all on YouTube, too!
Smash fans, the moral of the story is: a show about Broadway is still available for you to fall in love with. You’ll laugh for sure, you may cry because you have fallen in love with Santino Fontana, and you will LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Submissions Only!