Centered in New York City, the city of dreams and inspiration, Smash is not so inspirational, despite fan favorites Debra Messing and Anjelica Huston playing lead roles.
From Steven Spielberg, Smash is the newest musical television show. Messing, who plays Julia Houston, is struggling to find the balance between managing her family and writing a musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. Huston, who plays Eileen Rand, is a producer eager to start production, while also in the process of divorcing her husband whose goal is to leave her broke.
Julia and Eileen both bring their teams together to produce a possible musical number for the show. American Idol runner-up Katherine McPhee, who plays Karen Kartwright, is an aspiring actress who dreams of lighting up the Broadway stage. Having little to no experience, she auditions for the role of Marilyn Monroe and is called back, now having to compete against the more experienced Ivy Lynn, played by Megan Hilty.
Smash was unsuccessful in capturing my attention. The story line was slow and there wasn’t enough drama. As a new emerging musical television show, I would have expected the main characters to be college aged. McPhee, one of the youngest actors, plays a 25 year old and almost can’t pull that off.
Despite my lack of interest in the storyline or musical numbers of the pilot episode, the actors were great. A lot of characters were introduced in this first episode and each was quite talented, as even the background singers and dancers showed off their skills.
As a huge fan of musicals and the hit show Glee, I’m completely open to musical television shows. However, Smash didn’t stand out to me. Rather, I felt like I was watching a hodgepodge of “Chicago,” “Fame” and Glee. There was too much content and it wasn’t its own. I would say it’s Glee for people in their 30s.
Smash is a combination of four of America’s favorites: musicals, Glee, Marilyn Monroe and chasing the dream. These are great separate, but when combined, Smash found itself with too much content that couldn’t be organized into one central plot.