I just finished watching the premiere of Smash. Since I gave up on Glee (eight weeks clean), I’ve been hankering for more musical magic. As annoying as the writing is on Glee, the music just made me happy. Fortunately, NBC has introduced a new show that promises to be as musical as it’s FOX counterpart.
So, here is a rundown of Smash: Debra Messing and her family is trying to adopt a baby. She promised she would stay out of the musical production business while they go through the process of the adoption. Of course, that all goes out the window when she and her musical partner (and his assistant) come up with the idea to do a Marylin Monroe musical. This is apparently a taboo subject in the theatre community because Marylin can be such a hard subject to approach.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Katherine McPhee is a
waitress struggling actor. She has a wonderfully supportive boyfriend who works at the mayor’s office and parents who are less supportive. When a fake Youtube video is leaked about the new Marylin musical, she becomes obsessed with it and auditions. She’s amazed that she gets a call back.
Debra Messing’s writing partner has a longtime hatred for a famous choreographer, who is, of course, the best in the business. And the project is too intriguing for said choreographer to stay away. That choreographer is also a lecherous man who likes to abuse his power, as is evidenced by his call to Katherine McPhee to spend some time on his casting couch.
One last element is Anjelica Huston, a woman who is a producer of musicals who is going through a nasty divorce. If she loses the divorce settlement, she’ll lose a lot of money and, as such, lose the opportunity to produce said musical.
And wackiness ensues.
As far as pilot’s are concerned, this one wasn’t terrible. It did have some elements that worried me. Namely, the fact that I guessed every major plot point of the episode before it happened. I knew the tape of the first song was going to be leaked, I knew the choreographer was going to try to sleep with Katherine McPhee, I knew that the social worker was going to turn out to be a fan of Debra Messing… If this show is going to capture me, it’s going to need to throw in some twists and turns. I can’t watch it if it’s going to be predictable.
The acting is decent and I like that it’s going to be a drama, rather than a dramedy like Glee. I think few shows can balance both and I’m glad that Smash isn’t trying to. And while the pilot wasn’t the most impressive I’ve ever seen, it certainly wasn’t the worst (I’m looking at you, 30 Rock). I’m looking forward to seeing what comes from it.
Onto the music. Oh, the music. It opened with Katherine McPhee singing an absolutely beautiful rendition of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” That’s one of my favorite songs in the world. And McPhee nailed it. Additionally, the covers of “I Wanna Be Loved By You” and “Beautiful” were exceptionally well done. The original songs were clever and well-performed. It makes me excited about a Marylin Monroe musical. I’d gladly go see it.
All in all, it’s a good first effort and I’m on board. I’m willing to give it a few episodes. I won’t make the same mistake that I did with Glee, though. Keep it good, Smash, because I’m going to be a harsh critic.