Review: NBC’s "Smash" lives up to its name

UPDATE:  After watching several episodes into this show, the magic has been lost.  The music is good, but it’s actually kind of boring and is trying to be shocking, and it takes more to shock American viewers now, so I don’t think it works.  I’ll keep watching, but I no longer race home from night class to avoid missing it.

Friday evening on the way to a quiz bowl in Concordia, I watched the pre-premiere release of Smash, courtesy of NBC offering it for free on iTunes.  As I have been looking forward to this show ever since I saw the first commercial for it, I was super excited to get my eyes and ears on it!

The show follows Ivy Lynn (“The Experience,” played by Broadway vet Megan Hilty) and Karen Cartwright (“The Talent,” played by Katharine McPhee – love her!) as they both audition for a new musical about Marilyn Monroe.  The show takes us behind the scenes of the creation of a Broadway musical, from the creation of music and financing of the show to auditions and the cutthroat industry that is Broadway.  The show’s producers, directors and writers do an excellent job of making us like Karen right from the start, while still letting us see another side to Ivy, who it appears we are supposed to be against for the role.

Overall, the writing and dialogue are spot-on; the pacing is good; the setting, premise and music are fantastic; and the acting is wonderful and believable (Debra Messing and Anjelica Huston also star).  To conclude, I look forward to seeing if Smash can live up to its potential and the pure awesomeness of the pilot episode.  I hope and think it can.  NBC has invested a lot of time and money in promoting this show, so that has to mean something, right?!

Preview of Smash :: Starts after the Super Bowl on NBC