Smash: Is the New NBC Series Worth Watching?

Smash TV seriesWell, tonight’s the night. NBC is launching Smash, their most-anticipated new TV series of the season, and giving it the strongest lead-in they have, The Voice.

Smash follows a group of artists who come together to put on a Broadway musical that’s based on the life of icon Marilyn Monroe. That’s no easy feat. Before they can do that, they have to try to get their own personal acts together. The musical drama stars some fresh and familiar faces like Debra Messing, Jack Davenport, Katharine McPhee, Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, Raza Jaffrey, Jaime Cepero, and Anjelica Huston.

But, is the show as good as the network would like you to believe? Is Smash worth your time? Here’s what some of the critics are saying:

New Yorker: “Even before airing, Smash has been divisive: it’s bound to annoy some viewers, either because they’re not into musical theatre or because they’re too into it. But for me, and I hope for others (since I want the thing to survive through Marilyn’s opening night), Smash does a very satisfying job of merging the pleasures of American Idol and commercial Broadway, placing the ‘hummable melody’ dead center and prioritizing fun over absolute authenticity. And when the show does get at something deeper, bolder — or has a musical scene as stirring as the final sequence of the pilot? Well, that’s just gravy.”

Newsday: “This is NBC’s long ball to the end zone. After a lost season of failure (at least in dramas), Smash amounts to a heave-ho wing-and-a-prayer Hail Mary, accompanied by a silent network prayer… But NBC can exhale. Smash is just fine — a bounty of memorable performances and spectacular song-and-dance numbers, or spectacular for TV, anyway. Hilty, Davenport and Huston are uniformly excellent, but McPhee’s the surprise. We knew she could sing. Who knew she could act?”

Boston Herald:Smash’s original songs are forgettable, although one cannot rave too much about McPhee’s Iowa naif turned aspiring Broadway star. Her voice starts silky smooth and then rises to meet the demands of a power ballad… Three episodes in, I was left wondering if everyone involved was suffering a massive case of stage fright. This Broadway baby has but one destination: Exit stage left.”

LA Times: “Not that Smash is to be confused with a moody character study or a biting backstage satire. This is one big unapologetic feather-headress-waving, sequined derriere-twitching, high-note-holding love song to the siren call of song, dance and the theatrical life. But if there is no adversity, there can be no triumph. And Smash is a triumph.”

USA Today: “No series is ever make or break for a network, nor are we as viewers ever under any obligation to help any show become a hit. But if Smash does hit, it will prove that shows like Glee don’t have to be the exception and that network TV does not always have to fill the airwaves with doctor/lawyer/detective clones. That’s no reason to keep watching if you don’t like it, but it may be enough of a reason to at least give it a try. Even if just this once, come and meet those dancing feet.”

What do you think? Will you be watching Smash? If you’ve already seen it, will you watch again or do you think it should be cancelled too?

Canceled and renewed TV show

10 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Diane Cargioli says

    I love Smash! Please don’t take it off the air. It’s different. It’s a look “behind the scenes” on Broadway.I am sooo tired of reality TV. I have been a fan of Katherine McPhee, since idol. My only complaint about season 2, is she doesn’t sing as much. If another network picks it up , I will still watch it.

  2. Peter Woykovsky says

    Wasn’t a huge fan. A lot of comparisons have been made to Glee. The music in Glee, however, is a vehicle for drawing out issues – and exploring characters – that a wide range of Americans can relate to. Particularly in these hard economic times, for example, who cannot relate to a young Sam who, despite the hardships endured by his family, decides to serve the Salvation Army during Christmas. Yes, he also sings, but more importantly he has soul. In sharp contrast, the characters in Smash seem self-indulgent, narcissistic and anything but connected to the travails of Main Street America. I predict a short run for the show.

  3. Jinko says

    Don’t like. Had looked forward to seeing, but after two episodes will not watch again. What a waste of time, money, and talent. Ugh!

  4. Scott Sperry says

    Why put a potential hit sandwiched between “5-0″ and “Alcatraz”. Not enough viewers to go around and you can’t DVR two and watch the third.

  5. Vicki says

    This show is not like anything else on television right now and we loved it . The past few years we have watched pbs and bravo etc. This is the first network show we have really liked in a long time. Especially the yo yo between “reality” and “production” with the opening audition and the rehersal scenes.

  6. Roy says

    I really enjoyed the show it was like watching the movie Center Stage. I think NBC has a hit on its hands. As long as the show continues this kind of energy and great writing.

  7. Cindy Vanveckhoven says

    I loved it! The music and talent were excellent. I don’t care so much about the plot, I’ll watch the next episode just to heat those two beautiful voices!

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