Presenting… NBC’s Smash!

January 16, 2012

Finally there’s something on TV that gets me a weekly theater fix. And that would be NBC’s SMASH.

The buzz around this show has been steadily growing since its first whisperings and to garner fans early in the season, the pilot episode was released on iTunes and Amazon for a free download today. After just one episode, people are already declaring allegiance to either #teamIvy or #teamKaren. [I’m #teamIvy in case you wanted to know. Sorry Katharine McPhee, I don’t know what it is about you, but you really annoy me.]

I admit I liked Glee when it first started but after about 5 episodes, I was beyond over it – I feel like it’s so juvenile. I was so disappointed when the HBO pilot The Miraculous Year with a stellar cast was somehow passed over. HBO’s “reason” for not picking it up? There isn’t a big enough audience that would watch the show every week. SMASH just might be the show to change that opinion.

The premise is simple. There’s a new musical in the works and these two lovely young ladies both want the lead. You don’t need to love theater or even understand the inner-workings to follow that plot. But the thing I love about SMASH is that it knows it’s core audience. And that’s us. Those of us that understood the little jokes. Those of us who know who Michael Riedel is. Thanks for putting in those little bits that make theater dorks like me smile.

The thing that Smash has in its favor is familiar all-star faces mixed in with some of our favorite Broadway stars. Who doesn’t love Debra Messing? How could you not love Jack Davenport with that dreamy accent? [Commodore Norrington, oh how I adored thee] I’m sure the younger crowd will know Katharine McPhee [okay NBC, seriously, we don’t need to be “introduced” to her, everyone knows who she is.] And Anjelica Huston? No words. Mix that star power in with brilliant stage actors and actresses like Megan Hilty, Christian Borle, Brian d’Arcy James, Savannah Wise, the list goes on… the entire cast is phenomenal. [Expect cameos and recurring roles from Nick Adams, Norbert Leo Butz, Will Chase, Wesley Taylor…]

To be perfectly honest, the only thing I’m slightly on the fence about would be the music [yes I know there’s only been one episode]. They have to keep it fresh every week and not over-do it. That baseball number, not my cup of tea. Reminded me of Catch Me If You Can and how that “Pinstripes” song was one of my least favorite numbers in that show. However, that last duet with Megan and Katharine – love. That melody will definitely be in my head for the next few days.

I had pretty high expectations for this show based on all the chatter and the previews. This pilot definitely met those expectations and I cannot wait until there’s more episodes. The writing is brilliant and it’s obvious they are taking care to make it realistic. The staging is fantastic for the musical numbers. …And I’m begging you SMASH, don’t go the Glee route and go merch crazy. No need to make t-shirts, release a new cd of “Music from…” every other month – it’s not cute. Don’t ruin this for us NBC, you’ve got something amazing on your plate.

SMASH will officially premiere on NBC on February 6th, 10pm eastern. Download the pilot episode for free via iTunes or Amazon.com.

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