In a feature Entertainment Weekly interview-story, the cast and crew of Smash revealed MANY interesting season 2 details, including those about the two new original musicals to be introduced, and just who will be playing Marilyn in Bombshell. Smash stars Megan Hilty, Jennifer Hudson, and Katherine McPhee also graced the front cover of this week’s Entertainment Weekly.

Entertainment Weekly‘s 11 page spread featured new season 2 info on the new plot points and characters smashing their way onto the NBC musical-drama this February.

The musical Hudson’s character Veronica Moore will star in is called Beautiful and will feature “an Etta James-style singer in the 1960’s.” However, the musical had to change directions from its original plot surrounding “the first African-American supermodel” once showrunners decided to take Hudson’s character on a different arc.

The original song for Beautiful that was already shot and produced, titled “Take a Picture…It Lasts Longer” was cut from the season 2 premiere. Executive producer Josh Safran said “We all realized that maybe that [original] introductory number did not service Veronica Moore’s arc as well as this.” But “Take a Picture…It Lasts Longer” may still show up. “We went back and retrofitted a musical that closely mirrored Ronnie’s emotional landscape with her mother,” said Safran. In the mean time, Hudson will perform a tune called “Mamma Makes Three” in the premiere.

When asked about her role on Smash, Hudson said that “I found this role kind of intimidating, like, ‘Oh my God, I have to sing, act, dance, perform all at once.’ But I just loved what this show was about.” She will also be performing an original song “I Can’t Let Go” at the end of the season 2 premiere episode.

The show that will directly compete with Bombshell is called Hit List. It was described as being a Rent-esque production, “spearheaded by a bad-boy composer named Jimmy (Jeremy Jordan).” This show gave Smash the ability to cast younger actors, who have the potential to be more top-40 friendly. Executive producer Craig Zadan claimed “It’s a much sexier show, a much younger show, a much cooler show.”

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With all of the changes in season 2, everything felt brand new on the set.

“It’s a different energy, which is kind of nice because at the beginning you feel like you’re a little bit of an outsider looking in,” Newsies star Jordan said. “I compared it to being a replacement on a Broadway show, which is always weird at first.”

The last batch of news the cast offered was a set of bombshells on its own. Katherine McPhee (Karen) criptically said that “The part of Marilyn is sort of up in the air again because Karen makes a bold choice to do something entirely different.” But just what could that bold choice be? And could it relate to this on-set spoiler we covered about a potential dream sequence? Lastly, Debra Messing confirmed that her character, Julia, won’t have any scenes with her Will and Grace co-star, Sean Hayes.

The cast and crew commented on the changes in season 2, and what simply didn’t work in season 1. Steven Spielberg, another executive producer, recalled hiring Smash’s new showrunner. “Safran pitched his point of view, and it was unanimous with everyone in the room that he had an authentic understanding of theatre and drama and comedy.” Commenting on the show’s past mistakes, executive producer Craig Zadan said “When we went to the personal stories, the show bogged down. And the show went from being incredibly special to kind of ordinary.”

On a lighter note, McPhee lamented about the first season’s infamous Bollywood number “A Thousand and One Nights.”

“People will criticize the Bollywood number, but in all honesty you don’t really know while you’re filming,” she said. “You think, ‘Well, on the page this could work.’ There’s a lot of things you think are going to work beautifully, and they don’t.”

 

What are you looking forward to in season 2?

Smash returns on NBC on Feb. 5 at 9 p.m. EST for a two-hour premiere, and will continue to air at a 10 p.m. EST slot. For the entire article, check out the latest EW issue, on stands this week.

Photos: Entertainment Weekly

Disney’s released a minute-long clip from Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a great one: Emma Watson performing “Belle.”

Belle skips around town as the townspeople observe the “funny girl” in this uplifting sequence from the movie. You can’t help but get excited for Beauty and the Beast after watching this, and Emma sounds great!

Read full article

Disney’s released a minute-long clip from Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a great one: Emma Watson performing “Belle.”

Belle skips around town as the townspeople observe the “funny girl” in this uplifting sequence from the movie. You can’t help but get excited for Beauty and the Beast after watching this, and Emma sounds great!

In related news, the cast and crew kicked off their press tour today in Paris. Disney released the following adorable photo of Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Josh Gad, Luke Evans, director Bill Condon and composer Alan Menken as they start publicizing the movie, which opens in theaters March 17:

Can’t wait to see it!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Read full article

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Free will and humanity. Sacrifice and love. The nature of reality — and even of life itself. Beneath the plot, surprises, and pain, that’s what’s really going on in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spring finale.

That, and the characters who get caught in the middle.

Jed Whedon is Not. Playing. Around.

Executive producer and showrunner Jed Whedon is the man behind the pen and the camera in “Self Control,” and he’s there for a reason. Whedon’s first try at the director’s chair on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is operatic, incisive, and perpetually gut-clenching.

Yes, there are lovely and disturbing vistas, an artistry that comes from a deliberate and careful eye. But more important is the unshakable Whedon impulse that animates Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, that builds through the episode like a cresting tide.

You know that unmistakable sense that someone is laughing behind the scenes? Yeah. That’s why Jed Whedon is here.

What’s next?

Well, that’s a very good question. “Self Control” leaves us with a few razor-like possibilities, all of which lead down spiky corridors of questions. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 is here to leave us thirsty for the season’s final seven episodes, and that’s exactly what it does.

Oh, and to answer your next question…

Cliffhanger?

Uh, yes. Cliffhanger.

Oh boy, cliffhanger.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, “Self Control,” airs Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

What are your top theories for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 4×15?

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

Read full article

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

‘Liberty’s Kids’


Liberty’s Kids aired in the early 2000s on PBS. Liberty’s Kids follows three teenagers from varying backgrounds throughout the American Revolution, mentored by Benjamin Franklin. It is geared for children but is still pretty enjoyable for adults. In each episode, the teenagers encounter a significant person or event from the revolution, giving a concise and entertaining history lesson. The show features many important figures throughout the revolution, showing even more presidents than in Hamilton. As one can imagine, Washington is among these.

‘Lincoln’


Lincoln is a 2012, Oscar nominated movie, directed by Steven Spielberg based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Abraham Lincoln, Team of Rivals. Instead of a biopic of Lincoln’s entire life, Lincoln is specifically about his passing of the 13th amendment. Essentially directed between each of his science fiction blockbusters, Spielberg also made many significant historical movies, Lincoln among them. Lincoln not only shows his power as a president, but also humanizes him through an Oscar winning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis.

‘1776’


Hamilton is not the first musical about American history. Thankfully, though, because this way there are other options, one of which is 1776. Even more conveniently, the musical 1776 was adapted into a movie in the early 1970s. Heavily implied by its name, 1776 is about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 1776 definitely has a more classical musical theater vibe than Hamilton. The strange combination of American history and musical theater allows for a humorous yet educational experience. However, as reflective of the history of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Washington is not a character in the musical; yet, it obviously includes many other significant historical figures.

‘The West Wing’ or ‘The American President’


Unlike the other items on this list, these two are about fictional presidents. But it would be nice if they were real. Of the many politically charged movies and television shows by Aaron Sorkin, these two are specifically about presidents. If you have the day off and want to attempt to binge watch seven seasons, then you may want to check out The West Wing. The West Wing follows President Bartlet and his staff and advisors during their time in the White House. If you want a movie to help you transition between Valentine’s Day and President’s Day then The American President is worth watching. It is a romantic comedy about President Shepherd, who falls in love with a lobbyist.

How else will you celebrate President’s Day?