Sunday, February 5, 2012

Watch This Show - Smash

NBC has definitely had its issues.  A lot of misses in programming, not fairing well in the ratings, etc.  I admit that I don't watch a lot on the net (big fan of Parenthood and I enjoyed Up All Night until they moved it to Thursday where it now conflicts with other shows I watch so I've been forced to abandon it) but I know they've been fighting to find new hit shows.  I think they've finally found one: Smash, premiering this Monday, Feb. 6 at 10 p.m.

Unfortunately that time slot is booked for me - I am already dedicated to Hawaii Five-O and Castle - but I wish my DVR could allow for three shows because I loved the pilot, which I was able to see for free through iTunes(thanks NBC!).  I may have to go into the other room so I don't miss the episodes to come, though this show warrants big-screen viewing.

I won't give any episode details here as it hasn't officially aired yet, but I will say that if you are a fan of Broadway, musical theater or showtunes, this is the show for you.  And even if it's not your cup of tea, give Smash a shot.  It has a little of a lot for all to latch onto:  likeable characters, fun antagonists, an underdog to root for, big musical production numbers and terrific choreography, all of which the pilot sets into motion at a great pace.  The style reminded me a little of the film version of Chicago, which I also enjoyed.

Smash welcomes Debra Messing (Will and Grace) back to series TV in a role that seems very suited for her given her musical background.  She plays lyricist Julia Houston, one half of the hit-musical-making team Houston-Levitt (Christian Borle plays partner Tom Levitt). Julia struggles to balance the relentless demands of Broadway with the needs of her family as she and Tom begin work on a new show based on Marilyn Monroe.

Competing for the lead role are seasoned triple-threat Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty, Broadway's Wicked), an ensemble performer who has spent years pursuing stardom only to be bumped back into the chorus again and again and who has Tom's full support for the role, and talented newcomer Karen Cartwright (Katharine McPhee, American Idol seaon 5 runner-up) . Newly arrived from Iowa in pursuit of her Broadway dream, Karen must learn to navigate the shark-infested waters of the professional theater to win the role of a lifetime against Ivy, all while maintaining her integrity.

Academy Award winner Anjelica Huston (Medium) stars as legendary Broadway producer Eileen Rand who, driven by a passionate love of her art, must masterfully manage both the warring egos of her creative team and her musical's skyrocketing budget - even as ex-husband Jerry (Michael Christofer, Rubicon) freezes her assets.

Then there's Derek Wills (Jack Davenport, Flash Forward), one of Broadway's most brilliant director-choreographers - and one of its most seductive bad boys.  But even Derek's genius is strained by the demands of bringing an untested new musical to the New York stage.

NBC has been promoting Smash for weeks (along with the return of The Voice) as if the net's life depends on its success.  Can one show save all?  Probably not, but it will definitely give a the net a little life while giving a little song-and-dance delight to those who tune in.

But why does it have to be Mondays at 10??  I say go for Thursday in the same hour!  Then the show would have one more dedicated viewer.  Not that I won't find some way to see the show.  The pilot won me over immediately and a preview of the upcoming season looks well worth tuning in for.  I have no doubt I'll be downloading the songs week to week if they are anything like the ones in the pilot.

Bottom line:  Let Smash bring a little Broadway into your living room.

Check out Smash Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC.

1 comment:

  1. Waited to watch till tonight and liked it a lot; it felt like a movie and there was MUCH less auto-tuning than Glee...and it's about adults AND brings attention to NYC theater (about time). I've never been a big McPhee fan but thought she was a much better actor than I was expecting, so that was nice. Messing was great...I didn't see a hint of Grace at all, she feels perfectly cast. And having seen Megan Hilty in Wicked in the flesh, I KNOW that girl's a talent MONSTER. I'm certainly looking forward to where it will go.