You’re going to hear more and more critics talking about Smash as its premiere date approaches. And there’s a reason for that: the show is very, very good. There’s just something about this show that will leave you wanting more and you can already see that in the pilot episode.
As the premiere date approaches, you will also hear inevitable comparisons between Smash and Glee. But let’s be clear, there are little similarities between the two shows besides the fact that both are essentially musicals. I watch (and enjoy) Glee, but Glee has always been a less mature show. The musical performances are outstanding, but there’s something more real and grown-up about Smash, at least in terms of the characters.
Smash revolves around 8 central characters. Debra Messing returns to television as Julia. Along with her writing partner, Tom (played by Christian Borle), the duo eventually decide to start creating a musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. Buzz in the Broadway world begins immediately and soon Angelica Houstin, who plays producer Eileen, wants to get the show off the ground. She recruits a veteran play director played by Jack Davenport and these four people come together to search for the star.
From the beginning, it’s clear that two women are competing for the coveted role of Marilyn. The first is an old friend of Julia and Tom: a young blonde actress named Ivy (played by Megan Hilty). The other is a young Midwestern girl named Karen (played by Katharine McPhee), who is trying to make it in the tough Broadway world of New York, along with her supportive boyfriend. Julia and Tom’s assistant rounds out the cast of main characters, who initially gives the duo the idea for the musical.
There’s something electric buried within Smash that bursts forth through the musical performances. They’re not as plentiful as Glee – and there will be more original songs – but the final song with both Hilty and McPhee – a sweeping score called “Let Me Be Your Star” – is incredible and will leave you wanting more.
Below is a five minute preview of Smash from NBC, as well as two sneak peeks that showcase two of the musical numbers from the pilot episode. The network has also put together a music video with McPhee singing “Beautiful”.
Smash premieres on NBC on Monday, February 6 at 10:00 p.m. For more on NBC’s midseason schedule, click here.