Smash - Series Premiere Thoughts - February 2, 2012
NBC is putting a big promotional push behind their new show, Smash. I watched the first episode last night via a sneak peek which I always encourage networks to do. Several of the shows I've gotten hooked on in recent years was because I got to watch the pilot episode ahead of time and wasn't constricted to a certain time and date. I watched more pilot episodes than I ever would just because I have easy access to them. Please networks, keep doing this. This article will contain spoilers more than likely so if you don't want to be spoiled by the happenings in the first episode, you may want to read this later. Smash takes us inside the inner workings of Broadway. The show stars Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Anjelica Huston, and Katharine McPhee and is executive produced by Steven Spielberg. The first episode sees a new project being born which revolves around the life of Marilyn Monroe. The writers of the new Marilyn show, Tom and Julia, work to get this project off the ground while also dealing with their own personal lives such as Julia's family trying to adopt a child. The family is already concerned because when she is working on a show like this, they never see her which obviously conflicts with their goals as a family. Add in a battle behind the scenes between the producer, director, and writers with there being a lot of conflict. It becomes a deal of talent versus can you deal with the person on a personal basis? Which overrides the other? Early on, we see another problem when an audition video goes online which breaks the quiet of this new show getting off the ground. Stuff like that can either create a buzz for a show or finish it before it can even get started. The real story of the show for me involves the battle for the starring role. Katharine McPhee plays Karen who is just trying to find her big break and get her foot in the door. Megan Hilty plays Ivy Lynn who has a ton of stage experience and is determined to get the role. The writers push hard for Ivy to get the role but Karen comes in and just leaves a huge impression on them. Based on the previews for upcoming episodes, it looks to be getting messy with the competition to get this role. I am a Katharine McPhee fan going back to Idol and I just thought she shined in this first episode. They really set the table for her role in the series with the dinner scene where you see that her parents really have little confidence in her dreams while her boyfriend is the one that lifts her up. It was that dynamic in that scene that really gets you behind this character wanting her to succeed. If you are a long time McPhee fan, you'll appreciate the opening of the show with her song. That brought back memories. Like I said, that story with those two having two different backgrounds and competing for this role with one really having the talent and having to fight the odds and the other having built in support and seemingly a big advantage is the core of the show for me. I enjoyed the first episode. The cast did a really good job and I like the way that the overall show is produced. I'd definitely recommend checking it out and seeing if it is something that grabs you or not. Definitely worth a shot if anyone is looking for a new show to get interested in. Smash premieres Monday, February 9th on NBC at 9pm central time. Here is a preview of Smash.