Let's get this out of the way right now: "Glee," this is not.
After months of hype (not to mention online streaming), NBC's "Smash" premiered on Monday night, and it was easy to see that while plenty of singing is involved, the show has a very different tone from the Fox hit series. (Worth noting: "Smash" was originally pitched to Showtime in 2009, the year "Glee" premiered.)
"Smash" – as anyone who saw the endless promos probably knows – revolves around a musical adaptation of the life of Marilyn Monroe.
What's incredible right out of the gate is how fully formed the idea for the story is, not to mention the songs. For example, Ivy, the more experienced of the top two contenders to play Marilyn, had a showstopping baseball-themed number. (This show will make the actress who plays Ivy, Megan Hilty, a star – her rehearsal scenes alone!)
The ingenue, Karen, played by onetime "American Idol" runner-up Katharine McPhee, wowed the producers with her rendition of Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful." Despite the fact that this scene has been shown the most in promos, it's still an extraordinary performance.
Karen, by the way, might as well have had a halo over her head. Despite the notion of "Team Ivy" versus "Team Karen," so far we were asked to sympathize with her a lot more. (She even does the right thing by refusing to sleep with the director, Derek – possibly eliminating any future Marilyn-esque performances of "Happy Birthday" for the rest of the series.)
In another very memorable scene, Karen is seen practicing her Marilyn, singing along with Ivy thanks to a video that was leaked online by the playwright's assistant (whose story arc could be very interesting to follow).
Speaking of the playwrights, Debra Messing's character, Julia, was drawn into making a Broadway musical, almost like it's an addiction. The moment it becomes clear that the Marilyn musical can work, she and her writing partner Tom are unstoppable.
In the meantime, Anjelica Huston wasn't given too much to do, but it's early yet.
With the possible exception of "Homeland", this was the pilot this season that had me dying the most to see what happens next. It didn't hurt that the way they left it off, with a terrific song – and Karen and Ivy almost running into each other before walking into callbacks – was absolute perfection. I think we'll see more than a few Emmy nominations this summer.
What did you think of the premiere? Are you in for the season, like me? Share your iReport or comment below.
I love Katherine McPhee but I'm not quite sure I love her enough to keep watching the show. Although it's a great idea for a show it's a little boring and not really worth skipping Hawaii Five-O (at least for me) which plays in the same time slot. Yes it's different from Glee but even that show is losing momentum and teens watch way more TV then any "sophisticated" crowd I know. I'll probably watch it when it's posted online and I'm bored. But I'll give it a real deserving try and watch a few more episodes before writing it off completely.
Hawaii five-o?? Really?Along with the thousand other crime/drama shows, don't you think there's a little room for something different.I for one think so and am so tired of the up-tight negativity of bloggers.Leave your opinion and then go do something useful.Dance !Sing! Create!.....Thanks for listening
Didn't see the show, but I am overjoyed that Union actors and techs are again working on TV as opposed to the public ripoff of the unscripted and trashy "reality" shows currently running roughshod over the public airways.
A lot of effort went into the show, but no one seems to have asked why do a happy go lucky musical about a tragic figure? The show appears clueless that it doesn't work to do triumphant stage songs about someone whose life was a mess. The baseball number did not work for me because it forgot the baseball marriage ended in tragic divorce. The show itself meant well but was a compendium of cliches. If there was an original thought or character, sorry but I missed it. Hopefully the show will improve over time.
i tuned in out of curiosity and thought it very well done. like another commentor, i found myself at the end wanting the show to continue! however, i am holding onto my own reservations as i fail to see how the show is more than a movie mini-series masquerading as a tv series. i hope that i am proved wrong!
I enjoyed the show. However, I am a singer and love the theatre. I agree with another comment - it makes me miss NYC too. I was very impressed with Katherine McPhee. I think that she is very pretty. Enough with the dissing already!!
I thoroughly enjoyed the show and look foreward to watching it each week. I'm not a New Yorker but particularly got a kick out of all the location shots. I really don't watch a lot of TV but this show is an absolute must see for me each week. Like several others have said I hated seeing that the hour was up and that it was over. Outstanding!!!
Sword swallowers only for this one
I enjoyed it very much and can't wait for the the next episode.
Observatard strikes again!
Reading some of these comments from people who have probably never acomplished a thing in their life is pretty funny. This was actually a very well done show and although I've never been a big Katherine Mcfee fan she was very good and is actually a very pretty gal.
All of you with your crude and cruel comments can now go back to you dismal lives.
Absolutely loved it!! Can' wait for more.
Didnt I already post a comment on this rubbish show in this blog? I hope McPhee forgets her underwear again
I watched the Pilot on youtube before it actually aired. AMAZING show! Can't wait until next week!
So, that means you didn't like it? lol
Boring, cliche, unimaginative, seen it all before, completely insulting, culture-deprived drivel. It just gives me the creeps to even think about it, it's so completely dumb. And I don't mean the stars are those words, the stars of the show are just acting out crap. Complete crap. Sorry, but I just think it is so completely stupid and it's all been done before. We all know Marilyn was a confused soul, I mean, can't they think of something else to write a story about, then take Marilyn AGAIN and hash it all out?
Yeah, but you're partially retarded, so you're opinion is weak.
Loved every minute of this show!!!
Loved it!! Can't wait for more episodes!!!
I liked it, too. Actually, much more than I expected. It ended on a high note.
Let's get one thing straight. Is this more or less gay than glee?
I did not want to add another show to my DVR line-up, but SMASH left without the option. I was floored. And at the end, when I realized it was in fact the end, I was actually angry. I wanted it to go on forever!
Ok...hope it gets better!
Linda is correct. Boring. Silly story line and all the hype was just that...HYPE. Don't waste any time on this one. NEXT!
You must have watched a different show than I did. I found it boring and predictable. Next!
I truly enjoyed it but I dont think it will do well with viewers. Unless you have broadway dreams or lived in NY you wont releate to the show. It really made me miss NYC and all its energy.
you don't have to "live in new york" or have "broadway dreams" to appreciate broadway?
I think it is on at 10pm for a reason. Glee this is not and I think it's "sophistication" will try to draw an older audience. I don't think this is geared for teens and I don't think it will be a top 20 show. But there are a lot of other really good shows that don't get the credit (ratings) they deserve either. I'm hooked!
Reblogged this on the1tvjunkie.
Newsflash: Megan Hilty already IS a star. Duh.
I liked it. It was sophisticated. People on it had tattoos and smoked cigarettes. Thats how you can tell if someone is sophisticated and different and cool.
disappointing if you ask me.
I am not a Glee fan at all, but Smash is sophisticated and so well done. It's like watching a movie, theatrical musical, with top notch acting and performances. Thank you for great TV.
I wasn't interested – but found nothing else on to watch either – so I watched it now I can't wait to see more
It made me toot.
Katherine Mcphee sure has a horse face. She reminds me of an uglier Sarah Jessica Parker.
I don't think "uglier [than] Sarah Jessica Parker" is possible.
Ugly? You are crazy! She's not smokin' hot, but she is really 'bring home to meet the folks' cute.
I just didnt even watch it. It is definitly the most boring and lame show on tv today. It was just silly. ILL give it 2 more episodes before it is gone.
All that negative criticism that started with "I didn't even watch it." Moron.
I thought you didn't watch it??? It was fabulous:you're loss.
It was interesting, different and promising, enjoyable music... I'll certainly give it a chance
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