Printer Friendly - SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn


NBC's SMASH -- Series Discussion
Posted by jacobsnchz14 2012-01-02 20:33:44




What do you think?









SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by emilyfaye48 2012-01-02 20:41:19


someone tell me when in the history of Broadway have producers ever cast someone with no credits as a lead in a musical?

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by broadwaybabytn 2012-01-02 20:48:03


Betty Buckley in 1776. First day in town, she auditioned for the leading lady and was cast.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by bobbybaby85 2012-01-02 20:58:37


Linzi Hately in Carrie. Ditched school to go to the audition. Didn't have her music cut anywhere near correctly and sang "On My Own", the ultimate never-sing-this-at-an-audition song during the heyday of Les Mis. She also claims to have put on so much makeup for the initial audition that she resembled a prostitute because they were looking for older girls. After Dean Pitchford told her to remove her makeup and come back, she would not only land the lead in Broadway's most infamous musical but become a West End star in the process.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by random person 112 2012-01-02 21:02:02


No broadway credits at least would be Merman in girl crazy, though she was a very popular vaudevillian before this.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by bobbybaby85 2012-01-02 21:04:22


Reeve Carney in Spider-Man. He and his band were trying to make a name for themselves on the Sunset Strip before being cast.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by random person 112 2012-01-02 21:08:30


Kinda sorta Mary Martin, she only had two singing gigs one where no one saw her, another bit radio advertisment but no broadway credits and went into Leave it to Me.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by taboo123 2012-01-02 21:14:01


The entire cast of RENT...

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by dramamama611 2012-01-02 21:14:40


Laura Osnes and Max Whats-his-face in Grease.

Most of the cast of 13.



And must I say: IT'S A TV SHOW!

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by Kad 2012-01-02 21:15:55


"Reeve Carney in Spider-Man. He and his band were trying to make a name for themselves on the Sunset Strip before being cast."

Except Reeve Carney has film credits, and it was his working with Julie Taymor on her crappy The Tempest that led to his being cast in Spider-Man.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by taboo123 2012-01-02 21:17:57


AVenue Q, Title of SHow, In the Heights


Josh Strickland in Tarzan


...ok....enough .

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by random person 112 2012-01-02 21:22:29


Gotta call you on heights taboo olivio had credits,burns, lopez, mirandez, Gonzalez etc. Ensemble for title of show guys too. Blickenstaff in countless ensemble understudy roles.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by SondheimFan5 2012-01-02 22:26:20


NEW SUBJECT: They both look incredible.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by CurtainPullDowner 2012-01-02 22:39:17


Hilty is so friggin' talented but she looks awkward and her arms are too skinny, looks photoshoped.

I hope all of the attention doesn't go to Mc Phee who seems the more sympathetic of the two. For those who saw the first episode, is that so?

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by best12bars 2012-01-02 22:45:19


Girl's got some shoulders on her ...

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by Wishing Only Wounds 2012-01-02 23:22:34


Uh, what's with Megan? I think they could've picked something a little more... natural looking... for her.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by SondheimFan5 2012-01-03 00:34:31


best12, she looks like Marin Mazzie in that pic!

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by CurtainPullDowner 2012-01-03 00:46:42


Thanks best12, that pic really captures her beauty.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by PalJoey 2012-01-03 08:46:10


Just watched the pilot and they're both fantastic. The ending of the first episode is a musical clip-hanger, with the two of them waiting their hearts out on a very, VERY good Shaiman/Wittman song that has the two of them belting their lungs out. Loved it!

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by taboo123 2012-01-03 22:00:01


hey Random...

Was referring to the lead role on 'Heights' as mentioned in the original question. can you stop calling me now?

:P


CurtainPullDowner..

"Hilty is so friggin' talented but she looks awkward"

Is that a zucchini up your dress? Or are you just awkward to see me..


SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by bwayfan7000 2012-01-03 22:14:42


I think this show has enormous potential. Not only was I interested in the main storyline, the competition between McPhee and Hilty's characters for the role, but the other plotlines are also very intriguing, and they meld together well. I initially thought that it would be ridiculous to even think that Hilty would not get the role, but McPhee is extremely talented and I foresee a legitimate competition arising. I do wonder, though, if the creators plan on reducing or eliminating either Hilty or McPhee once Marilyn is cast. Perhaps they have other ideas for how to use the one who does not get cast?

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by PattyO'Furniture 2012-01-03 22:15:20


Katharine looks to me a little bit like Eden Espinosa dressed up as Marilyn.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by jacobsnchz14 2012-01-03 22:23:14


@PalJoey Any other thoughts on the Pilot episode? I cannot wait to see it and am very interested to hear what it may be like.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by fingerlakessinger 2012-01-03 22:24:12


i think if one get's the lead then the other will most likely be the "Alternate." I doubt they will let one of them go.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by PalJoey 2012-01-04 00:15:45


I agree with what bwayfan said about the cast is really true: They make you interested in ALL the storylines. Theresa Rebeck and Michael Meyer have done it right. And Joshua Bergasse's choreography is exciting.

Obviously the story is making McPhee's character the innocent-waif-with-talent-who-should-really-get-the-job but Hilty is so good as Marilyn--she gets the whole amazing baseball number to herself!--that you keep thinking, "Wow, she might not be as likable but she would be terrific." And that final number of the first episode doesn't leave either one of them the clear winner. That's what makes it such a cliffhanger!

But the rest of the cast--and their storylines--make the show seem like it has winner potential. Anjelica Huston is simultaneously sympathetic and larger-than-life as the female half of the divorcing producer couple determined to show her ex--and all of Broadway!--that she can make a hit without him, a Fran-who needs-no-Barry.

In just this first episode, Debra Messing as one half of the songwriting team, created a fully fleshed out, funny, likable and totally believable straight woman of the theater. I feel like I already know her--and I already like her--and I already think of her as extremely talented. And Christian Borle as her gay writing partner who can't remember the name of one of the chorus boys he's slept with...yeah, I feel like I know him too--and Borle is giving a pitch-perfect performance.

The others are good too--espeically Jack Davenport as the straight British director who doesn't like when Christian Borle fawns over the divas, Jamie Cepero who play Borle's cute assistant, and smolderingly sexy Raza Jaffray who plays McPhee's boyfriend. I feel like if he were to coach me in how to play Marilyn, I'd get a callback too.

And don't discount Wesley Taylor (from Addams Family and Tales of the City) as the cute chorus boy whose name Christian Borle can't remember. I think we're going to remember him.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by bwayfan7000 2012-01-04 01:12:12


In my opinion, PJ has hit on another really important and distinct thing in the pilot: the music is GOOD. I'm not surprised, considering it's Shaiman and Wittman, who always do wonderful work, but if the original music in future episodes continues to be this well-written, it will make the series even more truly compelling. And, if they are lucky, the music might become a popular download on iTunes and make the show even more popular. I think the show deserves positive attention for the music alone (which is part of the way in which Glee skyrocketed to success...fingers crossed this show can do the same).

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-01-04 04:18:34


*grumpy grumble* How is this a first look when we've seen them in their Marilyn outfits ever since the 5 minute trailer was released last May? :P

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by BrodyFosse123 2012-01-04 11:39:08


LOVED the Pilot of SMASH. HATED that out-of-nowhere 'movie musical' finale'. They think they can set the songs in realistic 'in performance' settings then throw that unrealistic singing-in-the-streets movie musical moment out of nowhere and expect it to go with the rest of the episode? It sho' didn't fo' me, yo!

The camera LOVES Christian Borle and his chemistry with Debra Messing is delicious. Everyone else fits their character like a glove and I hope the series keeps the tone of the Pilot episode unlike GLEE -- who had a fantastic Pilot episode but the actual series ended-up being crap.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by Phyllis Rogers Stone 2012-01-04 11:48:03


See, that number at the end worked for me. It felt earned.

I agree with everyone who said they thought it was great. I'm not a big fan of McPhee, but I found her tolerable. I really liked Megan Hilty and Christian Borle a lot.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by PalJoey 2012-01-04 12:35:57


I agree with Phyllis. It felt "earned."

The other songs hadn't been totally "realistic." They would be in rehearsal clothes, and then there would be little glimpses of the number fully costumed and lit. Those glimpses were CLEARLY the imagination or fantasy or ambition of the characters. (Unlike in Glee, where the production values suddenly appear for no organic reason.)

So the singing-in-the-streets to singing-on-the-stage at the end of the episode worked for me because, in real life, actresses like that WOULD be singing the song--albeit in their heads--as they woke and showered and dressed and took subways or hailed cabs and as they waited in the waiting room and the other girls were singing. It made perfect sense.

But, even more to the point, as bwayfan said, it's a really good song and the two of them sing the hell out of it. When they started to sing at the same time, I actually got shivers down my spine and felt hairs stand on end--that kind of thing--they way I do sometimes at the climaxes of certain other female duets, like Judy/Barbra or A Boy Like That. It was pure musical-theater magic.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by Phyllis Rogers Stone 2012-01-04 15:25:33


And I agree with everything PalJoey has said in this thread. There were brief snippets of fantasy numbers throughout as it was, so you could even look upon the final number as the culmination of something that had been building the entire episode. And indeed, I don't think the number was supposed to be 100% happening in real life.

I'm still pretty flabbergasted at how much I liked the pilot.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by bobbybaby85 2012-01-04 15:36:42


It's totally happening in real life. They're wearing earphones when they leave their homes... They're rehearsing for the big callback. While the show is definitely catering to the Broadway community, it's not just a stereotype that musical theatre performers never shut up and are always singing... it happens.

Talk to some big stars. They'll tell you how they used to stand between cars on the subway and/or train and warm up/rehearse their audition piece.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by Phyllis Rogers Stone 2012-01-04 15:39:42


I said 100% happening real life. And yes, you are right, it's all just a plot to perpetuate a stereotype that's not really a stereotype.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by ljay889 2012-01-04 16:06:44


Am I the only one waiting to watch this on TV?

It sounds so promising. I just hope it doesn't fail like THE PLAYBOY CLUB.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by E.Davis 2012-01-04 16:45:13


Jay, was the Playboy Club ever promising. Certainly you did not think it was a strong Pilot.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by ljay889 2012-01-05 02:40:54


I never meant to imply that THE PLAYBOY CLUB was promising. I hated the pilot. But, it was also an NBC show, and we know that network has been struggling.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by EponineAmneris 2012-01-05 12:49:48


I can not WAIT for this to start!!!

I wish the best for Wesley Taylor

Not a true fan of McPhee's, but I enjoy Megan Hilty.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by rosscoe(au) 2012-01-06 04:19:07


Sadly the most disapointing thing about the pilot was the two would be leading ladies, I failed to engage in there story. I did like everything else about it.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by singer73192 2012-01-06 08:19:40


Ah, I am dying to see the pilot! (wink wink..... anybody with a link?)

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by wicked1492 2012-01-06 09:32:37


I would love a link PM'd as well if possible

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by jamiekennywicked 2012-01-06 09:54:53


My PM's are also open

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by EvanK 2012-01-06 12:21:11


Joining the PM list..

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by fingerlakessinger 2012-01-06 12:34:43


It is SO wrong to link leaked episodes....

but eh...yea my PM is open too lol

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by digitsABC 2012-01-06 12:49:10


"My PM's are also open "
"yea my PM is open too lol"

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by E.Davis 2012-01-06 16:13:49



I mean come on, as if there would ever be a choice if it was down to these two actresses.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by pinoyidol2006 2012-01-06 16:25:12


Add me to the PM List, as well.

I just watched the released clips, and I don't like the name dropping and the creepy director.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by fingerlakessinger 2012-01-06 16:32:35


Wait, by "name dropping" you mean the audition scene?
I thought it was kinda funny lol. But I agree, the director is kinda creepy which I think they are going to either
A)explain the reasons for his actions
or
B)play on it and turn it into a huge plot point.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by Michael Bennett 2012-01-06 16:37:20


These clips remind me of SHOWGIRLS! Which may mean good for the gays and bad for the mainstream appeal of the series. Of course everything they depict is completely ludicrous in terms of how the industry actually operates and how a show is put together but its a soap opera and as such looks like a lot of fun.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by broadwaybabytn 2012-01-06 18:47:32


Add me to that list.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by CurtainPullDowner 2012-01-06 19:20:27


I love how on the voting thread on this board about who should get the role Hilty had 100 votes and McPhee: 2. We are so loyal to our Divas. The AMERICAN IDOL board is probably the opposite.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by lull89 2012-01-06 19:30:23


All you asking for PMs need only wait until January 16th, they just announced a Press Tour that they're releasing the Pilot on iTunes and other streaming services then.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by beautywickedlover 2012-01-06 22:57:14


As much as I had McPhever in season five of 'American Idol' I think the part of Marylin should go to Hilty's character.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by beccaface 2012-01-07 10:57:21


I'm pretty sure this hasn't been brought up yet, but is anyone else bothered by McPhee's audition scene? I haven't seen the pilot yet so I'm just going off the video that was posted yesterday.

First of all, her body language is completely closed off and demure. She doesn't look to be really selling the song and giving the energy that the role needs. Also, why in the world is she singing a contemporary song in a pop voice with Christina Aguilera riffs in an audition for Marilyn Monroe? Wouldn't something by Cole Porter or Frank Loesser be more appropriate? Music from when Marilyn was actually alive?

The whole scene just looked like she was auditioning for Idol, not a Broadway musical.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by AngusN 2012-01-07 12:19:46


"her body language is completely closed off and demure"

Isn't that the whole point? Her character is supposed to be unassuming and unaware of her talent.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by random person 112 2012-01-07 13:37:05


I'm really surprised they didn't call her off on the eyes closed thing, that would become a major issue on stage, Let us see your eyes!!!!

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by beccaface 2012-01-07 17:44:02


Angus, it might be part of the character, but if we're being realistic, an unassuming girl who is unaware of her talent shouldn't be in serious consideration for a lead role.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by aasjb4ever 2012-01-07 20:47:07


PM list??

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by bobbybaby85 2012-01-07 21:25:07


Marilyn Monroe, or shall I say Norma Jean thought she was ugly and worthless. She literally changed her entire appearance form the ground up for fame, love, fortune, and all that jazz... She continued to struggle with issues of self worth to the very end.

Marilyn Monroe was also a victim of the press. They watched her every move, they criticized her looks and her acting ability...

"I am beautiful, no matter what they say... your words can't bring me down"

If that's not Marilyn Monroe's anthem, I really don't know what is.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by Hest88 2012-01-07 21:34:58


Becca, I hope this show is great, but knowing the way these Hollywood scripts are written, I wouldn't be surprised if they fall back on that old stupid scene where McPhee will start off all shaky and timid, and it will look like she's going to blow it, but they give her another chance because they feel sorry for her, so at the last second she rallies and they realize they have in front of them the greatest star of her generation.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by beccaface 2012-01-07 21:58:11


I hope it's great too. From what I've seen in the previews, it looks like Hilty's character is going to be sympathetic as well, which is nice. I would hate for her to be a stereotypical bitchy diva who gets shown up by the heartland of America down to earth girl.

And Bobby, I know that Marilyn as a real person had a terrible personal life and was very self deprecating, but if I was the casting director of this show, I'd want to know that the actress can do the big crowd pleasing numbers that will bring in tourists and can be shown during the Thanksgiving parade. The ballads seem less important.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by bwayphreak234 2012-01-07 22:27:11


The whole scene just looked like she was auditioning for Idol, not a Broadway musical.

I disagree. I thought the audition scene was wonderful, and the song choice did not bother me at all. As for the subdued body language, I thought it was fine. Much better than having her flailing her arms and overdoing it.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by Marlothom 2012-01-07 22:53:25


I read that the plan for Season 1 is now to end it at out of town previews and focus season two on preparing for Broadway. Originally, I think they wanted to make each season a different show - glad they changed their minds.

PM LIST PLEASE!

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by AngusN 2012-01-08 11:12:49


"if we're being realistic, an unassuming girl who is unaware of her talent shouldn't be in serious consideration for a lead role"

What a load of nonsense. It doesn't matter if you are unassuming or overly confident, if you are right for the part (physically, vocally etc.) you should be, and would be considered. Yes, there are many egotistical performers in TV and theatre, but not everyone is that way.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by beccaface 2012-01-10 07:02:24


In performance, confidence is everything. It's the difference between a great performer and a girl with a good voice.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by Mister Matt 2012-01-10 10:06:12


The audition scene works. There is other business that frames the audition that makes it work and somewhat addresses the same concerns expressed here.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by jacobsnchz14 2012-01-10 10:30:50


After seeing the screening last nite, I really cannot wait! PM list?

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by maila 2012-01-10 16:51:44


i saw it last night too, and i wanna see it over and over. PM list?

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by xxdrewboy85xx 2012-01-16 01:15:04


SMASH is now up on Xfinity On Demand for Comcast if anyone was interested...

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by E.Davis 2012-01-16 01:25:41


It says it is not available.......

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by xxdrewboy85xx 2012-01-16 01:43:32


weird, I just started watching it right now! Are you not on the East Coast or Central time? I know its Available the 16th and I checked at 12:05 EST and it was up...

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by E.Davis 2012-01-16 01:47:34


Anyways I just check NBC on demand for Time Warner and it is there.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by dramamama611 2012-01-16 10:17:11


It's also available on Amazon -- although at 6am it wasn't yet free -- but it is now.

I enjoyed it. For a PILOT, I thought it was quite good, albeit a tad stiff. I can see the potential.

The bigger fear is, of course, can it find an audience? Are there enough people that have an interest in live theater? I hope so, I'd like to see where this goes.

As for who should get the part -- it's fiction, so who cares about the realilty of it? I'm going to assume that one is going to be cast as the understudy so that they can keep them both around.

SPOILER: in the season's previews at the end, it becomes obvious that Hilty's character sleeps with the director -- so she will lose sympathy with the audience. (And I thought she also comes off pretty bratty in those previews -- but not the pilot.)

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by ucjrdude902 2012-01-16 11:36:57


I'm not going to give a detailed review because I'm sure there will be quite a few of those. Personally, I thought it was a bit rushed which most pilots are but I did enjoy it. I did enjoy pointing out familiar faces in the baseball number (Spencer Liff, Alex Wong and Curtis Hallbrook). I'll keep watching though so I guess that's what they want!

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by random person 112 2012-01-16 11:54:49


Yes dramamama but she also apparently gets into a big mother-daughter fight with peters that could helpher play the sympathy card.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by HBP 2012-01-16 13:31:05


it's free on itunes, as well. downloading it as we speak (:

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by PopAria 2012-01-16 14:53:44


That 7 minute sneak peek at the series made me cry. I'm sold!

I'm watching the free pilot tonight ... I've already downloaded it.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by EugLoven 2012-01-16 15:06:35


Watching the "Pilot" now
I'm only 11-minutes in but it's already VERY convincingly "New York" in filming (duh! locale),
theme and dialogue. So far so good.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by HBP 2012-01-16 15:11:13


just watched the pilot - i am sold. this is going to be good.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by wickedfan 2012-01-16 15:12:19


Many great TV series have started with weaker pilots than this. This is an exceptionally strong start to what could be quite a wonderful show. My biggest concern before was McPhee, but this pilot (as well as the preview for the series) totally sold me. She's very likable and isn't at all a waif. They give her enough edge to make her worthy of being rooted for. Surprisingly, I didn't care for Brian D'arcy James, but that could be the character and I'm sure they'll flesh him out as the series goes on.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by maila 2012-01-16 15:31:57


can't wait for will chase's character

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by EugLoven 2012-01-16 16:16:07


Yes, I'm sold. And with 8 episodes already in-the-can (as detailed in last month's "New York Magazine") I think we can have faith the writing and directing will be just as solid as the "Pilot"

Little tidits that tickled me:

Brian d'Arcy James playing an excellent husband who gives a damn!

The script rips at Riedel (oh he must be gooey with gloat at even being mentioned)

Curtis Holbrook and Spencer Liff among the dapper baseball dancers

The sparkly pin-stripes on the baseball uniforms. And that terrifically simple editing of rehearsal/stage cuts. And that awesome (albeit, short) shot from outside/above the rehearsal room glass windows.

Dylan Baker is a perpetually-reliable cameo-actor

During the Times Square shot (Angelica Houston and Jack Davenport) you can see all the tourists (the real ones) along the margins of the screen crowding behind their invisible lines, watching the cameras/actors strut by.

Annaleigh Ashford bit as a big-bowed Marilyn auditioner

I wanna know how Karen (Katharine McPhee) got an audition so early in the morning/process. Is she Equity? Ha!

McPhee's "Beautiful" was astounding. I think I like it better than Aguilera's (mostly because she had terrific diction!) And awwww how sweet was that, when she sang it to her boyfriend!?

ARGH! The "I don't give a sh!t"-ness that Ivy's mom (via phonecall) gives her is just ARGH!

I just LOVE seeing all these NYC "regular" locations (like Park Slope and Riverside Drive, etc)

HELLO!!! alternative plot-lines! Adoption, Boyfriend, F*cking the Director, Producer's Divorce, Hire/Fire the Assistant, and Julia gets a crush!

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by random person 112 2012-01-16 16:49:26


You forgot the Ivy and Mamma drama, if the scene gets so intense bernadette had to ask reporters to leave the room i can't stand the wait.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by fingerlakessinger 2012-01-16 17:08:37


Not to jump on the bandwagon...
but this is amazing. Watching it right now. This has so much potential to be a smash (wink wink)

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by Jane2 2012-01-16 17:47:37


Loved the pilot! Really well done!

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by E.Davis 2012-01-16 17:57:31


The last 5 minutes is really smart filmmaking.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by random person 112 2012-01-16 18:06:25


Slight worry, won't they have to decide between hilty and McPhee pretty quickly given they are the only two to get called back. And how they've promoted the show around them....

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by Phyllis Rogers Stone 2012-01-16 18:25:02


I would worry, too. If you can't solve the problem, I wouldn't expect tv professionals to be able!

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by random person 112 2012-01-16 18:42:14


No need to condescend phyllis but if you've promoted the show around that concept i can hope they can really hold the intrest or it's going to go by real fast.

SMASH First Look at Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty as Marilyn
Posted by Kad 2012-01-16 19:08:02


Just got through watching the pilot. It's fantastic and very smart exposition. We're introduced to all the major players and their story lines and it doesn't feel like we're being hit over the head with any of it. The acting is great and so is the music. It was only 46 minutes and I was invested in everyone. I hope this finds an audience.

And random person- I'm sure they've figured it out.

SMASH "PILOT" Discussion
Posted by EugLoven 2012-01-17 23:20:03


(bump)... since I'm sure more people have downloaded/watched the "Pilot" by now

SMASH
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-01-18 23:54:42


OK I really liked it and don't want my complaints to sound like I didn't but I do have some complaints just to go against all the praise.

(I know some on here seem to feel that you can't like a show and still have some major problems with it, but ...)

I can accept the story is the hoariest of theatre story cliches. "Aging chorus girl has her last shot at a lead against the pure midwestern ingenue (whose parents even say ridiculous things like how expensive New York is and she should move and settle instead of persuing her dreams) and also is up against a director who wants to sleep with her--will she maintain her purity for her love". Because there's some reality there and it's done with a clever and realistic back drop.

But some of the dialogue really should have been re-written especially between Debra Messing and her husband where I literally felt in the first few scenes I could anticipate every second line. Angelica had to spout out some embarassing ones too (ie the usual divorce stuff "You slept with every blonde who spread her legs" "We once shared LOVE" etc), but she's amazing so made it work. The hispanic guy had that ridiculous I love theatre speech "Theatre was the only place where I truly felt [dramatic pause] WHOLE". All of that stuff I felt could have been perfect if they just hadn't gone for the cliche line. It also would help the cliche plot seem fresher. For some reason the second half was much better (in general and cliche line wise) so maybe it was just a rough setup.

I also hated Marc Shaiman's underscore. His original music so far is fab--and original music is NEVER good on tv show musicals--witness the original songs for Glee last year, or the infamous Cop Rock--so I'm really impressed with that (but he is a talented Broadway composer as Hairspray the musical proves, and Catch Me If You Can the musical doesn't prove--he also is amazing at doing Broadway pastiches, songs that are meant to sound like other Broadway composers which is what he does here with the compoing team modelled after woman-and-gay-best-friend Broadway composers Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flahherty, who also consulted). But his underscore SUCKS. I HATED the light comedic tinkly music that telegraphed every even slightly comic scene. That may sound like a silly complaint but...

This is a theatre fag comment from me and probably won't bug people not as into musicals as me, but... I'm glad they brought up the flop Marilyn musical.But then they say their musical will be different because it will truly get to the heart, sadness, etc, of Marilyn. So umm to show this they do a number about her romance with DiMagio which is a camptastic, Bob Fosse esque production number comparing baseball to getting gang banged? Don't get me wrong I LOVED the number and how it cut between rehearsal and performance, but so far from this (and the great, but cliched other songs) I don't buy that this is some deep take on the Marilyn story, or that as a serious musical it would stand a chance in current musical theatre. As a parody about Marilyn, sure.

(I also wish it was a bit more adult--another reason I'd prefer Showtime had done it as originally planned. It's a 10pm drama, but most of it is flat out family friendly wholesome fare, and then suddenly we have the seduction attempt scene, or a song and dance all about crotches and baseball bats--I've already read that NBC toned down the pilot from what was scripted for Showtime, and I think that was a mistake).

And I wanted more songs. Three for a pilot seemed weak--and not one till half way in. I guess I want it to be a bit more of a musical. That said some have really complained about them singing "in real life" in the streets for the finale--but I loved that and felt that it was earned--by that point the audience should have warmed up to the use of singing to further the story, and I hope there's a lot more of it.

Again I wanna repeat I largely really enjoyed it, but do have some major issues that I hope were largely there just because it was the pilot with a lot of setup. There are so many directions the story could go--for nearly all of the characters, so I hope it doesn't become focused primarily on a cliche version of the "aging chorus girl vs the ingenue" as some of the previews imply, though it is refreshing to see both portrayed sympathetically. I also appreciated that they kept SOO many theatre geek references in (even things like the composer has a Follies original production poster proudly on display) and didn't worry about explaining them to mainstream America, but this is another reason I think it would be more suited to cable than network tv which by definition has to appeal to middle america as much as possible.

SMASH
Posted by fingerlakessinger 2012-01-19 00:13:39


There's only been one episode. This is the pilot so yea, they do have flaws but I think it will find its firm footing soon :)

SMASH
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-01-19 00:25:12


Or get completely derailed... It's true that for the many flawed pilots that lead to great shows, the opposite can be true when all the time, premise and money goes into the pilot.

SMASH
Posted by AMH 2012-01-19 00:34:37


I enjoyed the episode, but wasn't too crazy about the musical numbers.

if the scene gets so intense bernadette had to ask reporters to leave the room i can't stand the wait.

I'm also really looking forward to this.

SMASH
Posted by DottieD'Luscia 2012-01-19 07:24:51


I really enjoyed this and actually watched it twice. I loved the final number.

Can someone tell me who Savannah Wise played, as I looked for her both times, and couldn't figure out who she was. On the other hand, I recognized Annaleigh Ashford immediately.

Kudos to Joshua Bergasse for his wonderfully energetic choreography.

SMASH
Posted by SporkGoddess 2012-01-19 09:02:13


I watched it last night and loved it. I don't even know why there's a competition, though. Megan Hilty looks more like Marilyn Monroe and she nailed the numbers she was in. McPhee sang well and I really cared for her character, but I just don't think she fits the part as much as Megan Hilty does.

Is it sad that I would actually be excited about this if it were a real musical? Heh.

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-01-19 10:03:29


Aging chorus girl...

Ouch, sweetie, ouch!

SMASH
Posted by DottieD'Luscia 2012-01-19 12:19:59


I didn't realize this was originally supposed to be on cable.

I think Jaime Cedeno as Ellis is adorable but certainly he should have known who Michael Reidel was.

SMASH
Posted by Lili Von Shtupp 2012-01-20 00:41:14


Savannah Wise plays "Jessica," one of the workshop dancers.

SMASH
Posted by WithoutATrace 2012-01-20 14:34:54


I took today's lunch hour to watch this on my iPad and let me say that I loved every single second of it.

The references to Marilyn: An American Fable. The window cards on the wall. The Reidel references. The beautiful shots of manhattan. Megan Hilty and Katherine McPhee were excellent. Loved that the musical numbers/auditions switched from rehearsal to actual performance. The "director tries to seduce ingenue" scene was very tastefully done instead of being corny and cliched. Annaleigh Ashford. Spencer Liff! Curtis Holbrook! Anjelica freakin' Houston!!

I can't wait to see more. I feel like this show was written just for me. Truly outstanding.

SMASH
Posted by Amalia Balash 2012-01-20 17:50:03


I watched the pilot this afternoon.

I liked it enough to look forward to the show. I'm not seeing the "star" in Katherine McPhee's character, but I like the character. Megan Hilty's Ivy pulls at my heart more.

SMASH
Posted by songanddanceman2 2012-01-20 19:30:19


I watch every pilot every year to see what im gonna watch and i have to say that this was one of the best pilots i have seen, not perfect (Pilot episodes never are) but it was very strong. And the musical numbers for the Marilyn Musical were great, i can see if the show does well that we could end up seeing a version of the musical they are writing on the stage.

SMASH
Posted by fingerlakessinger 2012-01-20 22:19:57


^Thats what I want/hope to happen. If SMASH becomes big enough, for a full stage version of the Marilyn show to open.
Or, for the big season finale (not this season but whatever season they get the show to opening night) to be the show itself.

SMASH
Posted by songanddanceman2 2012-01-20 23:28:58


Sadly it wont be the show itself that would be to blame if it flops, it will be 3 little words.......NBC.

I wish it was not on this sinking ship of a network.

SMASH
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-01-21 03:42:28


"Aging chorus girl...

Ouch, sweetie, ouch!"

As much as it flutters my heart to have you call me sweetie--isn't that the premis? That this is her last chance to be a big time Broadway star and not do Chicago--sorry Heaven on Earth--for 20 years?

SMASH
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-01-21 03:45:00


"^Thats what I want/hope to happen. If SMASH becomes big enough, for a full stage version of the Marilyn show to open.
Or, for the big season finale (not this season but whatever season they get the show to opening night) to be the show itself. "
Because a musical about Monroe where one key part is equating her love for DiMagio with how loving baseball is loving cocks would be a big hit?

(I loved the number btw...)

SMASH
Posted by Taryn 2012-01-21 11:25:33


As much as it flutters my heart to have you call me sweetie--isn't that the premis? That this is her last chance to be a big time Broadway star and not do Chicago--sorry Heaven on Earth--for 20 years?

I don't see any evidence that it's Ivy's "last chance." Your career isn't over from not getting one project. It's just a project that's a fantastic opportunity for both actresses to have their big break.

SMASH
Posted by singtopher 2012-01-21 13:48:51


Just finished watching the Pilot and thoroughly enjoyed it. They did a good job of creating realistic/believable plot lines that can create good conflict. I though the cast was fantastic and found the musical numbers to be joyous throughout. Not perfect, but I'm incredibly excited for what is to come.

SMASH
Posted by broadwayjim42 2012-01-23 12:42:53


Watched it on demand last night and mostly enjoyed it. I'll probably be in a minority that hated the baseball number, but I did like the other two songs. Thought the cast acquitted themselves well, although makeup and hairstyle basically have Anjelica Huston physically mutating into her character from "The Witches."

SMASH
Posted by Miranda3 2012-01-23 14:10:09


Article in yesterday's NYT says Bernadette will be playing the Megan Hilty character's mother. I hadn't heard that before. Great news!

SMASH
Posted by AMH 2012-01-23 14:20:07


^ Yep, and it'll be a recurring role.

SMASH
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-01-24 01:00:48


"I don't see any evidence that it's Ivy's "last chance." Your career isn't over from not getting one project. It's just a project that's a fantastic opportunity for both actresses to have their big break."

She's a year younger than I am (at least Hilty is), and I suppose I exagerated either way, but I still got the impression from the pilot that the actress was meant to be viewed as someone who people like the director considered as a life long chorus member who had missed her chance for breakout star success. And not that there's anything wrong with many brilliantly talented people who do go on to have careers that way--I just didn't get the vibe that was what the show was saying.

SMASH
Posted by April Saul 2012-01-24 08:22:25


I'm not usually a naysayer on the boards, but is there anyone besides me that has a hard time imagining how this will appeal to a mass audience? I liked it, wasn't blown away by it and I'm a theater geek; what about the average viewer?

SMASH
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-01-24 20:03:11


I think it's broaad enough that people without major theatre knowledge could like it, and many probably would (backstage dramas have often done well), but I can't see it keeping the size of audience and demos needed for a major *network* show which is another reason it should have stuck to Showtime.

SMASH
Posted by tazber 2012-01-24 20:35:41


I just watched it and I have to agree with April Saul and EricMontreal.

I enjoyed it (thought McPhee and Angelica Houston were super) but who's gonna watch this?

Still, hoping for the best.

SMASH
Posted by broadwayjim42 2012-01-24 20:49:54


The first episode, if it hasn't played out with all the previews and on demand exposure, will do well but beyond that, I think it will settle into ratings that will kept it afloat but not much more. Definitely more culty that populist but I'll keep watching.

SMASH
Posted by broadwaybabywannabe2 2012-01-25 12:54:01


hate to be a negative nelly here, but...i thought the show looked cliched with the over-sexed director bedding the star-wannabe, and the other hopeful star lead, in the coming weeks...BUT that being said...i loved the Baseball number that they showed, and how it went from rehearsal stage to production stage...now that will keep me interested and coming back for more musical numbers...not the sexual goings-on of the leads...ALL THAT JAZZ did that much better...and for that matter so did BOB FOSSE...on and off stage...:)

SMASH
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-01-26 20:41:54


I assume the stuff in the current Ent Weekly on Smash isn't news, the piece did make me think it could go in some more interesting directions (apparently we'll know who's cast as Marilyn by the second episode)--I'd love to know what profanity and especially nudity they said they had to cut in the script when they moved it from Showtime.

And what some hoped for on here could come true--Speilberg says one long term goal is to actually maybe DO the Marilyn musical on Broadway. As I said before, this seems a bad idea to me--I loved the numbers in the show (they were the highlights for me) but if on stage, I think it would be just another campy Marilyn musical...

(Greenblatt also claims that he and NBC see this as a show that will need three--apparently short, like cable tv length 12 or so episode--seasons to see any real return on the project).

SMASH
Posted by NYadgal 2012-01-27 00:42:32


I had the incredible good fortune to have been invited to the Premiere of SMASH tonight.

Held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, they pulled out all the stops, and had quite the star-studded event.

The pilot (which I'd previously seen) was shown in the theatre, with wonderful introductions of all the stars and creative brilliance associated with the show, and much applause throughout the screening. It was as if we were at a live event, with applause following each of the production numbers. We were also treated to two musical numbers which will air in subsequent episodes. Thrilling!

A party followed around the Temple of Dendur at the Museum, and when I left a few minutes after midnight, the stars of the show were still going strong. Everyone was thrilled with the overwhelming support for the show. They're riding a wave of exciting enthusiasm.


(and, I was given episode 2 to watch... I'm giddy with delight!)

SMASH
Posted by dramamama611 2012-01-27 06:00:38


I like the episode a lot. Although I'll agree with some other posters that I'm not convinced this will have a wide enough appeal to keep it afloat for the long term.

I tried to chock up some of the things that caused me to roll my eyes (who thought Wicked and Jersey boys would have been a good idea or not knowing who Riedel is) as some of those concessions for the more main stream viewer - those that they NEED to attract.

I look forward to more episodes and hope it continues to grow.

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-01-27 06:11:30


Addy--that sounds like a wonderful party! I really hope this show surprises all the hand-wringing theater geeks on this board who "worry" about the show not having a broader appeal.

The Temple of Dendur!

SMASH
Posted by NYadgal 2012-01-27 07:24:31


NBC has high hopes for this show.

For so many reasons, I hope it's a ratings success.
Network TV is a tricky business.

Who the heck knows what our TV consumer wants to watch these days. Quality shows end up on the cancellation floor while reality crap about people who have no real talent and are treated like national heros continue on and on and on.

I applaud NBC and the creative team for trying to create something to elevate our culture. I hope the TV consumer embraces it.

We'll see... but, in the meantime, I personally feel they're doing everything right in terms of advertising, marketing, PR, social media and creating buzz and awareness.

SMASH
Posted by BuddingBeauty 2012-01-28 01:48:52


I love the entire premise of this show. It has shown itself to have A LOT of promise.

The ONLY issue I had was that they put a "poppy" spin on the most sympathetic girl's voice, and that is just not right for Musical Theatre. But, I grudgingly admit, that I liked it a little. I just felt it was out of place.

But in order to draw in the modern day youth, they have to add some pop in. Hopefully it will be mellowed out as the show goes on.

Still, I love the character set-ups, the musical numbers, etc. and can't wait for more!

SMASH
Posted by random person 112 2012-01-28 10:18:12


But hey they could make the 'poppier voice' a plot point, a really good one.

SMASH
Posted by Miranda3 2012-01-28 20:44:27


Re the question of how will they keep both the Hilty and McPhee characters in the show if one of them gets the Marilyn role in an early episode: Is it totally unlikely that one would get the role and the other would be convinced to take a supporting part and understudy the winner? That would create dramatic tension. Hilty's character, for example, could think that the McPhee character will crumble and thereby provide her the opportunity to go on and ultimately save the show. She might perceive that as a better shake of the dice than remaining eternally in some ensemble. Or the lechy director might be involved in some underplay, telling whoever understudies that she is really his first choice and that he will get her on somehow. Etc, etc.

SMASH
Posted by allofmylife 2012-01-29 04:49:43


Two words: Eve Harrington.

SMASH
Posted by Miranda3 2012-01-29 09:50:37


Allofmylife: Exactly! And ironic too, as Marilyn had the small part (Miss Caswell, was it?) in "All About Eve".

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-01-29 10:47:09


Well, maybe neither Hilty or McPhee will get the part...

SMASH
Posted by My Oh My 2012-01-29 11:37:50


Not much of a T.V. watcher. Not kidding when I say the last thing I saw on T.V. was some America's Next Top Model rerun...a year ago.

I'm about 3/4 of the way through the Smash pilot and I dig it.

My T.V. habits might change soon, hehe.

SMASH
Posted by broadwaybabywannabe2 2012-01-29 12:07:38


is there really this much sexual intrigue in a production of a broadway show?...does the director always have the pick of the girls..or boys in some cases?...and does sex really play a part in who gets which roles?...really?...please enlighten me...

SMASH
Posted by Taryn 2012-01-29 12:09:48


Yes.

SMASH
Posted by ucjrdude902 2012-01-29 17:36:00


I had a guy friend that got on Broadway by performing tricks that weren't on his resume.

SMASH
Posted by ucjrdude902 2012-02-05 10:42:05


Well tomorrow is the big night and I would assume we'll know ratings by Tuesday?

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-05 11:04:15


I had a friend who had sex for a part in a Broadway show.

And then they died.

SMASH
Posted by ucjrdude902 2012-02-05 11:17:16


Well isn't that unfortunate.

SMASH
Posted by dramamama611 2012-02-05 11:22:36


It's called drama. (I have no idea how often it ACTUALLY happend...but I would assume chorus boys/girls are more likely to fall prey then those being considered for leading roles -- but I know nothing.)

SMASH
Posted by Wicked Fanatic 2012-02-05 14:21:20


Thorsten Kaye has landed a recurring role on NBC’s highly-anticipated new musical drama, “Smash.” The series that heralds Steven Spielberg as an Executive Producer debuts “the Monday after the Superbowl” (February 6). Kaye will be playing the love interest of producer Eileen Rand, played by Academy Award winner Angelica Huston.

Kaye will air in at least nine episodes of “Smash”. His character debuts as a bartender named Nick. Kaye is reportedly set to debut on the seventh original episode of the season which is tentatively scheduled for a March air date. The former “All My Children,” star should air through to the conclusion of the fifteen episode first season.

Lucky Anjelica Huston!

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-05 15:18:06


I have a question about the ratings, since I know how important they are for any TV show, but certainly a show like this with high overhead and a risky subject ...

Since they've already posted the pilot episode online and on-demand on cable channels, and so many of us have already watched it, how does that figure into the Monday night ratings? Or does it?

SMASH
Posted by random person 112 2012-02-05 15:33:26


Good question best12, this has become a very common practice with showtime, where the new NBC head is from, because it generates interest and fans for the show. So by creating these fans you have people tuning in just to see it again and to make sure the show stays on. It also serves them by getting reviews by all the blogs, who have been praising the show heavily so then you have people tuning in to see what the big hoopla is all about. It's kinda like releasing the album early on itunes on and then on CD, you buy it for your ipod so you can listen to it before hand but get the CD anyway for your own personal collection. Despite what some people may think, that this would destroy the show or albums chance of success it doubles the chance of success.

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-05 15:47:05


Correct me if I'm wrong, but when you release an album in advance on iTunes, those sales count toward the total units sold.

When you're tracking the ratings of a single event, like the broadcast debut of a TV show, do they include any of the "advanced viewings" leading up that broadcast? Are they even tracked at all?

It seems to me there might be a lot of fans (Nielsen ratings families, in particular) that may have "fans" who will have already watched it and may not tune in tomorrow night to see it again. That doesn't mean they didn't see it.

It may generate some additional interest, as you say, but doesn't it also sabotage their overall numbers?

SMASH
Posted by random person 112 2012-02-05 16:00:02


Now yes, in the past no, i used that as an example because before itunes music companies didn't like online sales because they thought it took away from the numbers when the actual album was released as they found out and as tv has found out that isn't the case. And no it dosn't, all you have to do is look at examples of shows who have done this in the past, shows like the also heavily promoted the big c, dexter, and in more recent seasons weeds. It dosn't detract from the overall viewing, if anything it helps the numbers. In short GOOD WORD OF MOUTH.

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-05 16:02:28


It's a gamble. Downloading takes dedication, so only the motivated fans (or computer-proficient fans) will have downloaded it before Monday. It's much easier to sit in front of the TV set or set a DVR. But each person who goes to the trouble to download becomes a potential source of word-of-mouth.

Ultimately, the number of downloads is probably a small fraction of what the ratings have to be tomorrow night. So if each of the people who download tells 5 other people "OMG Smash was SO good--you HAVE to watch it!" and then 3 or 4 of those 5 people tune in, the gamble will have been worth it.

It's part of the remarkable advertising campaign that has made the series seem ubiquitous (in certain circles) even before the first episode has aired.

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-05 16:06:44


Downloading is tedious and painful, I agree. I would think only avid fans of this subject and this potential show would wait for that.

But it's also available from virtually all cable TV and dish providers with on-demand. That's how I watched it. No downloading and no waiting. I just found the show listed and hit "play."

SMASH
Posted by random person 112 2012-02-05 16:10:39


I do think the on demand plays do count towards rating though since only downloads don't... but yes it's a gamble that in many cases pays off in ten fold.

SMASH
Posted by dramamama611 2012-02-05 16:26:57


They also aren't likely to base the entire decision about Smash's fate to be only from the first nights ratings.

How is DL'ing it painful? It took me about 60 seconds before I was watching it.

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-05 16:31:42


I don't download TV shows, so I'm no expert on how to do it. But when I tried to watch an hour-long show through iTunes on my laptop one time, it said, "You have 45 minutes remaining before it's available." The play button was grayed out, too, so there was no buffer/cache, I guess.

Maybe it's easier than that, and I just didn't know what I was doing.

I know on-demand works fine. You just hit "play" and it starts streaming right away. That, I can handle.

SMASH
Posted by HumATune 2012-02-05 16:57:14


Best12bars, do you have a really slow Internet connection? I can stream a TV show from iTunes without waiting.

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-05 17:49:39


I have a fast DSL connection. Works great for other things. I was wondering why it was downloading the entire iTunes show (45 min. download time). There was no instant streaming for this (that I could see). It just went straight to a download when I hit the "play" icon.

(Any advice in case I try again in the future?)

SMASH
Posted by wickedfan 2012-02-05 22:43:33


The NY Times posted their review tonight. I'd say overall it's positive and certainly encouraging. They say that it's not perfect, but it has great potential (they love Messing/Borle and their plotlines as well as the new songs). It's also a warning to the writers not to get sucked into a Glee universe by awkwardly sticking in mainstream songs just to be contemporary. I love the reference to Slings and Arrows.

http://tv.nytimes.com/2012/02/06/arts/television/smash-on-nbc-with-debra-messing-and-anjelica-huston.html?ref=arts

SMASH
Posted by beautywickedlover 2012-02-05 23:56:12


Well, just my luck. The show starts tomorrow and I thought I could start discussng it here at Broadway World, but tonight I learned a have a large amount of homework in the current semster. So, until a certain amount of time I will not be able to discuss the show here. Nor will I able to discuss any other topics here at BWW for a while. So, I hope the show is a sucess tomorrow and I look forward to watching it when I am not busy with homework.

SMASH
Posted by jayinchelsea 2012-02-06 10:03:45


I watched it this weekend, and was extremely disappointed. Who exactly is this show supposed to appeal to? Super Bowl watchers? As someone said on the Amazon message board, it's only for "fat chicks and homos." As I represent one of those groups (and I'm not saying which), it certainly wasn't for me.

I frankly couldn't believe how cliches were being piled on cliches and then stitched together for 46 minutes. The two women sang well, but the drama and the acting???

Calling this "GLEE for adults" is ridiculous. Even the GLEE numbers, with their constant quick cuts and ADD-like action, are more entertaining that the numbers on the first SMASH episode.

It would be great if America would embrace a TV show about the making of a Broadway musical, but it has to be good, right? I'll keep an open mind, but not an auspicious beginning...

And the Times bringing up SLINGS AND ARROWS, the brilliant British satire, as a basis for comparison in their review of SMASH? Laughable.

SMASH
Posted by dramamama611 2012-02-06 10:18:26


As with any pilot, it's not going to be perfect. They need to get so much info jammed in PLUS make it accessible to the non b'way community/fan that their going to need for this to be successful.

I didn't think it was perfect, but I really did enjoy it. Looking forward to seeing where they take it.

SMASH
Posted by tazber 2012-02-06 11:38:39


I wonder how they will gauge whether the premiere is a success since its been available for so long on the web.

I would imagine that will lower its initial ratings somewhat.

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-06 11:41:51


I raised that very question on the previous page of this thread, Taz. Everyone assures me that it will only increase the ratings in the end, even if I don't quite follow that logic.

SMASH
Posted by tazber 2012-02-06 11:48:26


Well, it has been shown many times that when musical artists release singles or "mix-tapes" over the web for free their first official week of sales are generally strong.

But there are so many inherent differences between the consumption music and television that I don't know if that same strategy would apply.

It will be interesting to see though.

SMASH
Posted by Owen22 2012-02-06 12:08:11


Now that a lot of the reviews are out and are surprisingly good, I'm guessing, since the critic had multiple (up to four or five) episodes in advance to watch, the show will get better.

SMASH
Posted by Eris0303 2012-02-06 12:28:48



As someone said on the Amazon message board, it's only for "fat chicks and homos."


Funny, I don't fit into either of those groups and I enjoyed it. So obviously that statement isn't worth much.

SMASH
Posted by artisn'teasy 2012-02-06 14:53:15


Loved the pilot. I actually think it has the right mix to be popular w/mainstream audiences- they've been watching American Idol for years now, and like it or not GLEE has also helped warm mainstream hearts to the idea of a music/Broadway based tv show. Add in well-known commodities like Debra Messing & Anjie Huston (plus the ridiculous amount of marketing that's already been done) and I think you have the makings of a hit. Not to mention Meg Hilty and McPhee (the latter of whom doesn't seem right to play Marilyn but is insanely talented, nonetheless) seems like a recipe for success so far!!

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-06 16:34:03


Thumbs up from The New Yorker

SMASH
Posted by Michael Bennett 2012-02-06 16:52:52


“The first few episodes after tonight's sensational pilot struggle to find the right balance between the musical and the dramatic, but by the fourth hour, as the new leading lady makes things difficult for the also-ran during the tense rehearsal process, “Smash” finds its footing. The show depicts an incestuous world where torrid "show crushes" erupt among desperately ambitious people dreaming of a hit. I have a ‘show crush’ on “Smash,” and hope it lives up to its name." --

That's from TV guide. So stick with it kids. Takes a while to warm up out of the gate.

SMASH
Posted by Miranda3 2012-02-06 18:57:54


Is there any way to see the second episode before it airs next Monday on NBC???

SMASH
Posted by tazber 2012-02-06 19:06:27


Here's a review roundup (courtesy if AICN).

I'd say mixed.

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-06 19:23:45


Love this line from the Variety review:

"Though clunky in places, at its best the series captures the essence of what the movie version of 'A Chorus Line' didn't, providing an illuminating window into the creative process."

SMASH
Posted by beautywickedlover 2012-02-06 19:27:59


What a difference a day makes. Just when I thought I would have no time at all to post at BWW, it turns out that I do have a little bit of time in my schedule after all. So, I will be able to discuss the show.

Metacritic has averaged critics reviews of the show and it has a score of 79 out of 100. 26 reviews are positive and 5 are mixed.

SMASH
Posted by thetinymagic2 2012-02-06 22:42:15


Such an "insider" show. And fun in the insider details at that, esp. for we that are BWW, however.... I agree with Jayinchelsea. Who's the audience for this show, besides theater freaks? Is it just an elaborate marketing tool for selling Bway tix this season?

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-06 23:01:04


Funny you should ask. Theresa Rebeck answers that very question on today's Daily Beast.

SMASH
Posted by NYadgal 2012-02-06 23:03:42


I've set my Tivo Season Pass.

I'm hooked!

And am in awe of the brilliance of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

SMASH
Posted by FindingNamo 2012-02-06 23:04:24


I loved it. I waited to watch it tonight like a regular civilian in the manner of how one used to watch television: at the show's scheduled time when the network broadcasted it. I just thought it was a perfect pilot. The best pilot episode I've seen since Modern Family, and that turned out pretty good in the long run.


SMASH
Posted by Marianne2 2012-02-06 23:06:57


I also just saw it for the first time. I really liked it.

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-06 23:07:09


That "Let Me Be Your Star" sequence is the most exciting piece of television I've seen since the final montage of the last episode of Six Feet Under.

SMASH
Posted by NYadgal 2012-02-06 23:08:54


Like!

So happy to read these positive comments.

I'm already planning a SMASH viewing party!

SMASH
Posted by FindingNamo 2012-02-06 23:09:19


Damn fine TV.

SMASH
Posted by adamgreer 2012-02-06 23:12:50


I also watched it for the first time this evening and really enjoyed it. It was a little choppy in parts, but it's a pilot. I was definitely "hooked" and can see the potential. I found the characters interesting, and the story grabbed me.

...but by the fourth hour, as the new leading lady makes things difficult for the also-ran during the tense rehearsal process, Smash finds its footing.

Does that mean they cast Katharine McPhee's character, and not Megan Hilty's character, as Marilyn? Or should it have said "audition process" instead of "rehearsal process"?

SMASH
Posted by beautywickedlover 2012-02-06 23:15:42


This was my second time seeing the pilot after seeing it in theaters and I enjoyed it just as much. One of the things that I did not notice the first time was that Alex Wong from 'So You Think You Can Dance' and will also be part of the Broadway musical 'Newsies', was one of the dancers in the baseball number. I think the show has plenty of potentital and the cast is terrific. I have not been looking forward to this good of new series since 'Once Upon a Time'.

SMASH
Posted by AwesomeDanny 2012-02-06 23:18:21


I watched the pilot for the second time tonight (I watched it a few weeks ago online) and loved it again. I'm really excited for next week's episode. This definitely has the potential to be my new favorite show. I hope that it got good ratings! Perhaps the fairly generic advertising that barely hinted at the fact that the show is about Broadway helped with that?

SMASH
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-02-06 23:19:22


Loved everything about it. From the music to the story. Love that McPhee and Hilty are both likable characters. Love the whole cast. Especially Messing. Great role for her. Great to see not only Brian d'arcy James as Messing's husband but Dylan and Becky Ann Baker as McPhee's parents!

SMASH
Posted by ACL2006 2012-02-06 23:20:45


I found Smash to be very exciting, new and likely my new favorite show. Their first episode was better than any Glee episode, it actually had heart, a purpose & there wasn't all that auto-tune shoved in our faces. What I would really like to see out of Smash, and it's something Glee would never do, is to do a live episode. Love Bergasse's choreography. Always have and am very glad he's getting his break. He needs to be choreographing some Broadway shows as well.

I just have to wonder where they'll take the story. When the show ends up on Broadway(likely in season 2, maybe season 3, according to interviews), do they cut out Hilty or McPhee? Does one land the lead and the other simply u/s the other? Very curious as to which direction they will take this.

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-06 23:27:18


Or maybe neither one will play Marilyn.

SMASH
Posted by E.Davis 2012-02-06 23:28:49


Well Uma Thurman is coming in for a five episode arc later in the season. I know that doesn't answer your question but they clearly have ways on how to prolong it and the longevity of the series.

SMASH
Posted by broadwaydevil 2012-02-06 23:32:30


There's no way they cut Hilty or McPhee out of the series. There are a million directions they can take both characters even if, as some of the rumors are stating, Marilyn is actually cast early on. Whoever doesn't get the part could understudy, get a part in the ensemble, try to seduce the director, attempt a coup after an out-of-town tryout, or take a temporary detour, try another show, and have their paths cross again. The possibilities are really endless and I only mentioned a few pretty cliched ideas, but that's why I'm not a television writer.

SMASH
Posted by canmark 2012-02-06 23:33:18


I thought the show was pretty good. Loved Debra Messing (and Brian d'Arcy James), and her relationship with Christian Borle. I thought the original songs were so-so, and I much preferred seeing them presented in the rehearsal studio than in the staged versions (the baseball number in costume was ridiculous--I would not be interested in that show).

To me, this show is a drama and they should not overdo it with production numbers (esp. while the Marilyn musical is supposedly just in development), or with the pop songs. I think the characters and their relationships (Julia-Tom, Julia-Frank, Karen-Dev) are interesting enough in themselves, as well as the insight into the creative process and development of a show. I think they should be careful not to make the show too Glee-like (not that I have an issue with: it's good in it's own way), but maintain a level of maturity and realism.

SMASH
Posted by canmark 2012-02-06 23:35:52


The Toronto Star showed Smash to 3 Canadian Broadway performers ("Bob Martin starred on Broadway in 2006 in the musical he helped create, The Drowsy Chaperone, and won a Tony. Louise Pitre starred on Broadway in 2000 in Mamma Mia!, for which she got a Tony nomination. Adam Brazier played the romantic lead on Broadway in one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's few flops, 2005's The Woman In White.") and printed their comments/conversation about the show:

http://www.toronto.com/article/712332--three-broadway-vets-from-toronto-have-a-bash-at-smash

SMASH
Posted by broadwaydevil 2012-02-06 23:36:09


Random point - but did anyone else notice the American Idiot ad on the top of one of the cabs in the pilot? The show's been closed for a while on Broadway but is conveniently touring the country at this very moment. It was one of the only ads for a currently-running show I saw in the pilot. Tricky, tricky Michael Mayer.

SMASH
Posted by FindingNamo 2012-02-06 23:42:05


I noticed it. I made nothing of it.

SMASH
Posted by E.Davis 2012-02-06 23:43:37


The Pilot was filmed last winter. It was still open.

SMASH
Posted by broadwaydevil 2012-02-06 23:49:11


I didn't realize it was filmed so long ago. Either way, Michael Mayer still definitely was using a few seconds of free advertising on his show. I do think the tour was announced last winter though, so he probably knew. You can correct me if I'm wrong.

SMASH
Posted by FindingNamo 2012-02-06 23:50:52


No offense but so the f what? I expect lots of little easter egg details on this show.

For instance, did anybody else notice how the episode was a little mini scrapbook of the Tony Kushner season last year at Signature Theatre? Oh, and you know who directed The Illusion? Michael Mayer!! It was like retroactive free advertising for that and iHo and Angels in America!!!!

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-06 23:58:19


No one has yet mentioned Raza Jaffrey, who plays Katherine McPhee's hunky boyfriend.

SMASH
Posted by FindingNamo 2012-02-07 00:01:16


All his screen diva knowledge makes me think that relationship is heading for heartbreak.

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-07 00:14:01


Don't tell anyone but he's cheating on her. With me.

SMASH
Posted by bwaylvsong 2012-02-07 00:16:37


Some of the things Karen's dad said at the fancy restaurant were like word-for-word quotes from my mom's mouth.

SMASH
Posted by NYadgal 2012-02-07 00:18:36


Dylan Baker is great as the Dad.

Raza is a dreamboat.

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-07 00:27:41


Dylan and Becky Ann Baker--together!

And, yes, Dylan Baker's dialogue had the painful ring of verisimilitude. And he played it perfectly.

SMASH
Posted by NYadgal 2012-02-07 00:37:54


Love these lyrics:

The drama, the laughter,
The tears just like pearls.
Well, they're all in this girl's repertoire.
It's all for the taking,
And it's magic we'll be making.
Let me be your star!

SMASH
Posted by JP2 2012-02-07 00:42:33


"Let Me Be Your Star" has been on repeat for the last hour.

SMASH
Posted by tazber 2012-02-07 00:42:52


8 Burning Questions:

IS THE SHOW ALL ORIGINAL SONGS?

Even though the show chronicles the development of an original musical and features several original songs, there are also a fair amount of covers. When it comes time to make the albums, this could be the way they release them, according to co-executive producer Craig Zadan. 'They'll be two kinds of music, so, one way of going is an album with the covers and then an album with the Marilyn songs, almost like an original Broadway cast recording,' he says. 'At the end of the season we should have at least 15 Marilyn songs. So that's a cast album, basically.' A solid decision has yet to be made.

WILL THE SONGS BE AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD?

The release of songs after they air is half of the fun of watching a music-based show (cough...Glee...cough). So, how will Smash handle its hits? According to co-executive producer Neil Meron, cover songs likely will be released to the public (and available for download) the night before or day after they air. 'Very similar to the Glee model,' he says. Music from the pilot is already available.

WHAT'S THE INTEL ON THE ALBUM? THERE WILL BE AN ALBUM, RIGHT?

As EW reported, there is indeed going to be a compilation album, but, Meron warns that the show features less music than Glee, so don't look for several volumes per season. 'Glee, they have a lot more music than we do. It's a lot more music per episode,' he says. However…

HOW MANY SONGS ARE THERE PER EPISODE?

About three. But it varies. In the pilot, there are several songs from the Marilyn musical and one pop song.

WHO BESIDES KATHARINE MCPHEE AND MEGAN HILTY WILL BE SINGING?

With a host of Broadway talent on their roster, Meron says they'd eventually like to get everyone singing, but 'it all depends upon the construction of the episodes.' For example, Brian d'Arcy James, who plays the husband of Debra Messing's character, sings in a 'naturalistic way,' says Meron. 'So, it really fits his character and how he breaks into song. He is the chemistry teacher husband of a songwriter, but he's not in show business himself. But there are ways we can get him to sing in a very real way.'

WHAT GENRE OF MUSIC WILL THE COVERS GENERALLY BE FROM? ANY SURPRISE SELECTIONS IN STORE?

There's a little bit of everything. (The second episode, Meron says, opens with a Katharine McPhee cover of 'Call Me' by Blondie.) 'We have more contemporary songs, like Adele or Rihanna, that come up, and then there [are] some classic songs from the '70s as well,' he says. 'So we're in the pop vernacular, but contemporary pop so we sometimes go back to the '70s and '80s, too.' Just don't look for any, say, Kanye West to pop up. 'Not yet. We've kinda stayed away from the hip-hop-R&B world. Rihanna is as close as we get, but it's very much more in the pop R&B [world],' Meron says.

WILL WE EVER SEE THE FINISHED MARILYN MUSICAL?

Not this season. 'At the end of this season, we open out of town. So the show's not finished, the show's still a work in progress,' says Zadan. 'By the time we go, if we come back next season, and we are on the road to Broadway, we haven't really decided how much of Marilyn the musical we're going to show. We may show a lot of it, we may show less. It's all open to creative discussions based on what happens next season.'

BESIDES THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED (UMA THURMAN, NICK JONAS), ANY GREAT GUEST STARS?

With the amount of star power already present on the show, Zadan and Meron say they didn't want to overdo the guest stars this season. 'We wanted to focus on our stars of our show rather than throw in arbitrary guest stars to, like, try and spruce it up. We don't really want to start that way,' says Zadan.

SMASH
Posted by NYadgal 2012-02-07 00:51:16


Cool info.

Can you imagine how quickly tickets will sell should they ever bring 'Marilyn the Musical' to Broadway?...

SMASH
Posted by ASOOS04 2012-02-07 01:09:33


I tend to "lurk" because i so WHOLEHEARTEDLY disagree with the vast majority of what you people discuss as fact (when in reality, you have almost no idea of the truth behind your hypothesis). That being said, this is one of the worst pieces of garbage on television or in any medium. I know for a fact where this script is headed and it is a MESS. But, you all bought it, hook line and sinker.....so, here we go...may the continued debate continue...but you may not have the opportunity as long as you had thought.

You can al continue to theorize, speculate, debate, argue and jump up and down on your worthless soapboxes...but when the proverbial curtain comes down, the ignorance is deafening. Good luck!

SMASH
Posted by TheatreDiva90016 2012-02-07 02:54:58


No wonder you lurk...

SMASH
Posted by Starcarolina 2012-02-07 03:02:31


I never really liked living vicariously or ever thought I would need to, but SMASH will make it a genuine pleasure. I like everything about it! The last segment with the song, "Let Me Be Your Star" was excellent and gave me chills. I am not one bit ashamed to say how much I liked it and every cliche', stereotypical character, schmaltzy bit and glittery costume that was a part of the first episode.

SMASH
Posted by Starcarolina 2012-02-07 03:15:52


"
AS(oo)S(o4)joined:2/2/05

SMASH
Posted On:2/7/12 at 01:09

I tend to "lurk" because i so WHOLEHEARTEDLY disagree with the vast majority of what you people discuss as fact (when in reality, you have almost no idea of the truth behind your hypothesis). That being said, this is one of the worst pieces of garbage on television or in any medium. I know for a fact where this script is headed and it is a MESS. But, you all bought it, hook line and sinker.....so, here we go...may the continued debate continue...but you may not have the opportunity as long as you had thought.

You can al continue to theorize, speculate, debate, argue and jump up and down on your worthless soapboxes...but when the proverbial curtain comes down, the ignorance is deafening. Good luck! "

************************************
Did you miss your last appointment at the Mental Health Center?

SMASH
Posted by someone.else's.story2 2012-02-07 03:17:46


Am I the only person who felt a bit disappointed by the show. I want to like it, I truly do. I know people (tangentially) who are involved with it and having a legit 60 min drama about Broadway is an amazing idea.

However, I felt that the writing was too pedestrian and on the nose a lot of the time, making for silly cliches (midwestern hick parents? the casting couch? Really...) Not that this stuff doesn't happen but I feel like they handled it in the most obvious manner, which is disappointing.

My second complaint (sorry guys, but I need to vent) is that the minor details seemed overlooked. For instance, McPhee's character singing a Christina Aguilera song in a seemingly legit musical audition. In my experience, not really all that smart nor did the performance blow me away enough for that type of bold choice to work. Also, Messing's character says that Marilyn's last hopes were that she was taken seriously. Then, on comes the cheesy baseball number.

I don't know...I guess I just expected more. Theresa Rebeck is an amazing writer and the cast is chock full of really, really talented people. I hope it gets better next week.

SMASH
Posted by choitoy 2012-02-07 03:33:09


I guess this is the same reason why I don't watch medical shows. I work in the medical profession and it irks me when there are inconsistencies (really, a doctor can just waltz into the CAT scan room while the CAT scan is going on? And the same said doctor runs the scan?).

But you know any TV show is going to gloss over the facts and bend what would really happen. The medical stuff irritates me too much so I can't do it, but I can handle the fact that Karen sings "Beautiful" as an audition song.

I don't know where I'm going with this.

I really shouldn't post in the middle of the night...

SMASH
Posted by dramamama611 2012-02-07 06:39:08


I don't think you should expect this to a documentary, its a DRAMA and they need to make it exciting and interesting, especially to those that are not "in the know".

One of the (many) reasons I don't like Glee is the portrayal of the school setting. I actually find it offensive. I'm sure those that aren't in education only see the humor which is fine.

I didn't think it was perfect, and I do think it can/will grrow past it as it develops. It's hard to focus a pilot: enough to get our attention, enough forr us to want more, but not too much.

Might I get bored? Perhaps, but right now, I want to see where they go with it.

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-07 06:39:29


The show is way too phony for me. I probably wouldn't watch again, but I think they're aiming (a lot) younger than me for a core audience. I wasn't pulled in by the characters because they all came out of a cliche handbook on backstage plots, but I did enjoy some of the "fluff." It wasn't bad at all. Just not compelling or realistic. It was yet another nighttime "fun" soap opera, veering closer to camp and comedy than anything truthful or realistic ... with decent enough music and an "American Idol"-esque competition at its center that didn't seem like the stakes were all that high.

I also think a real bio musical on Monroe heading this direction creatively would tank. How do you end it? With the drug overdose and the autopsy? The severe depression and pills? If you don't (and who would want them to?), you're not telling her story, you're just exploiting her for face value as a greeting card icon. After the must-have, "fun" baseball number that says nothing at all about her life or her relationship with DiMaggio, where do you go? It's fine in a gaudy '70s variety show or a dream sequence or a "drag" club, but not in a bio on Monroe.

To me that number symbolizes the entire approach of this TV show pilot. "Make it big, loud, and glitzy. We don't care about truth here, so just sit back and tap your toes."

SMASH
Posted by random person 112 2012-02-07 07:42:37


I think it's very strange to hear you all criticizing the shows orginal music and only citing one number. there were two disctinct sides of marilyn someting almost every fan will tell you. There was the image she projected to the public and who she really was. If they balance the two (The great problem with a real marilyn musical) it will be great, plus do you really think a workshop show is going to have all perfect songs yet? For all we know they could decide to cut it as soon as anything on the show. The other songs were very good particularly the one Hilty sang before mcphee. So i don't think we should judge Shaiman just yet.

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-07 07:47:31


This isn't a "preview period." It's a pilot. It's a nationally televised first impression, supposedly putting their best foot forward, setting the tone, style, and introducing the initial characters and story lines.

The "I don't think we should judge this just yet" comments are ludicrous.

SMASH
Posted by artscallion 2012-02-07 08:00:07


Boring. There was not a single thing about this show that was fresh, new or that I haven't already seen a thousand times. Too cliched and predictable. And, if you're going to do a show about Marilyn, you'd damn well better find an actress that has something distinctive and special about her (in a big way.) She needs to make an audience sit up and say, "who is that???" Otherwise all you're doing is inviting people to say, "she's good. But she's no Marilyn."

On the other side of that coin, you have a generation tuning in that really doesn't know Marilyn other than through photos and one or two clips they've seen on the Oscars. Most young people have probably never sat down and watched a Monroe movie. So they don't understand what she brought to the screen. So when they see these competent, yet lusterless actresses up there playing her, they're just going to wonder what the big deal about Marilyn was and why she deserves a musical.

I also thought the musical numbers were uninteresting. C'mon. This is about Broadway! Can we get a few decent Broadway numbers up there??! That baseball number looked like it was lifted out of the Madonna halftime show.

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-07 08:02:07


We definitely share the same sentiments, artscallion.

SMASH
Posted by random person 112 2012-02-07 08:19:21


Best12 i didn't mean the actual tv show i mean the supposed broadway musical they are working on in the show. And not juding that product yet.

SMASH
Posted by tazber 2012-02-07 08:21:57


Sadly, I agree with besty and scallion also.

I really wish I could be as excited as Addy, PJ, and Namo. I soooo want to love this show.

I'm not going to stop watching, I'm sure that I'll get involved as time goes on. Maybe I was expecting something else, I don't know.

I liked the ballad at the end even though it was a bit generic (I still bought it off itunes, ha).

On a side note, I saw an article mentioning 6 plot turns we can expect and this one excites me (I don't think this is a spoiler, but be warned I guess):

ELLIS SECRETS?
In the pilot, Ellis (Jaime Cepero) finds himself in hot water after filming a song from Julia and Tom’s (Christian Borle) forthcoming musical without their permission. And though he gets back in their good graces, Meron teases, “There’s going to be lots of twists and turns because he comes off as being such an innocent, but he’s really not an innocent…Nobody’s who you think they are, really.”


SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-07 08:28:02


The problem isn't so much the number itself. It could be effective if it were used to illustrate the surface-value image of Monroe and everything she WASN'T in real life. So the setup is key.

I think the setup of it in the TV show was terrible. Messing and Borle's characters go from saying (roughly) "She just wanted to be loved and understood for who she was. She didn't want to be made fun of or exploited," followed immediately by, "We should do a baseball number!"

In other words, "Wow, Monroe really didn't want to be trivialized or turned into a cliche! Hey, let's write us a big snappy tune that does just that!"

I thought the quieter tune that Hilty recorded as a demo was no better. Still playing up on the image of Monroe, not Monroe the person. Way too surface.

My complaint lies more in the treatment of this "surface" production number, rather than the song itself, which could---in the end---be used to great effect, illustrating exactly what's wrong and phony with this image. It's not her. It never was. She invented it and used it as much as everyone else around her did. And it haunted her until the day she died. She was seduced by it and ultimately trapped in it.

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-07 08:30:03


Taz, as far as that upcoming "plot turn," that was pretty easy to spot.

He's the show's real "Eve Harrington." It was obvious to me.

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-07 08:32:16


I know for a fact where this script is headed and it is a MESS. But, you all bought it, hook line and sinker...the ignorance is deafening.

Oh, noooooooooooooo! Mommy, make the bad man stop scaring me!

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-07 08:38:03


I really don't get that comment either. "You know for a fact?" and ha-ha for "buying it?"

We all (clearly) have different opinions about the show, but I don't think anybody's being duped here. They like it or they don't. They became involved in it or they didn't.

If you've read future scripts, good for you. How or why should that play into anybody's opinions so far? And I'm asking as someone who didn't care for it, not as one of your "accused dupees."

SMASH
Posted by tazber 2012-02-07 08:47:11


For real.

We can have differing opinions without resorting to such 3rd grade hyperbole.

SMASH
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-02-07 08:54:58


It should go without saying that one doesn't have to imagine loving the show within the sow or finding much freshness or merit in it, or the casting thereof exciting, to find the show itself and that and the casting thereof highly enjoyable. They are two very different things.

Moreover, we are all well aware that flops happen on Broadway. And more importantly, that hits that aren't very good happen on Broadway. The title of SMASH doesn't have to make us believe that MARILYN THE MUSICAL will be one, or, more importantly, deserves to b one.

And finally, why even both judging the show within a show, for what that's worth, which isn't much, by a few numbers, presented in the early stages of its development and audition process?

SMASH
Posted by themysteriousgrowl 2012-02-07 09:06:23



Should I watch it?

Someone tell me, please, what to do.

SMASH
Posted by tazber 2012-02-07 09:09:51


There comes a point when we have to learn to make our own decisions in life and accept the consequences, growl.

This is your moment.

I know you will do the right thing.

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-07 09:10:48


A good point for discussion, henrik.

I think the "relevance" of the show-within-a-show was established by the characters all through the pilot. Everyone talks about wanting to get to the essence of who Marilyn Monroe really was and what she really wanted in life. They hold auditions with talented (but inappropriate) girls "bearing their souls" in "truthful" ballads. They find it refreshing when one of them comes in NOT dressed up like her with the expected superficial iconic visual.

Then they proceed to ignore all of their own thoughts and creative perspectives with their first time "up at bat" (pun intended) while creating a big cheesy number for the show. And as I said, the quieter demo song that Hilty sang didn't dig any deeper.

I suppose you could create a TV show about a bunch of doctors being sued for malpractice, or a bunch of construction workers who build a house that falls down, or a bunch of soldiers in wartime who aren't sure how to fire a gun. It sort of takes the edge off of them as "relevant" characters with credibility when you do that.

Again, it was fine as soap opera "fluff." I was mildly entertained. Probably not enough to come back for more.

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-07 09:13:01


growl, if you have an interest in the subject or at least a creative attempt in its general direction, you should check it out, by all means.

If not, then don't.

I know you'll do the right thing.

SMASH
Posted by tazber 2012-02-07 09:17:30


I confess that when the baseball number was performed I kept thinking how so many people on this board (me included), and probably most critics, would just shred it to pieces had it been in a real show.

But that's one of the things that I liked about show. I'm hoping that they will delve in to the creative process (since the songwriting team seems to be the where the center of the show is focused) and deal with having to make cuts and the impact that has on the company.


SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-07 09:19:09


Taz, I'm sure that's the very reason why many here will continue to tune in.

If I had found these characters a little more truthful, I would too. I just didn't care about them all that much.

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-07 09:47:35


Digital Spy calls the reviews "overwhelmingly positive":

SMASH
Posted by themysteriousgrowl 2012-02-07 09:56:50



Thanks, guys! I adore your faith!

No, I keed. I will definitely watch it.

I'm still so butt-burned by "Glee," though, that I will approach with much skepticism.

And not read this thread.

SMASH
Posted by SporkGoddess 2012-02-07 10:10:30


I do agree that what we've seen of the musical in Smash doesn't really dig very deep, and that the baseball musical makes light of what were serious emotional problems for Marilyn Monroe. But as others have said, it's still in the beginning stages and we haven't seen how it treats the drug abuse. I do wish that Smash would acknowledge that she was basically used as a sex object for her whole life. They mention the image she put out and the real woman behind it, so I hope that they juxtapose the two nicely.

Btw, this is a turnaround from my previous reaction to the baseball number. I acknowledge the flip-flop. That said, if it weren't about Marilyn Monroe, I'd love it.

And, haha, I kept thinking of how BWW would be ripping into the leaked song that was posted on YouTube--I mean, YouLenz.

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-07 10:18:26


I think this would be the best angle for the show ...

They're attempting to write a Marilyn Monroe musical that gets to the essence of who she really was. They dig beneath the glamorous iconic image and try to find the girl that just wanted to be loved for herself, who didn't want to be made fun of and wanted to be taken seriously.

But the truth is that Monroe knew she wouldn't have become a star if she had "just been herself." She had to create this phony iconic image, from the look to the walk to the voice, so that she would be loved by all and become a "relevant" movie star. Almost from the very beginning, she gave up her dream in order to get there, and she became someone else. So it was the "creature" she invented who became the star, not her. Not Norma Jean, but "Marilyn Monroe."

Now ... apply that idea across the board for the whole TV show.

These characters, as is, are too phony. They walked right out of a cliche handbook on backstage dramas. This is a nighttime formulaic soap opera.

I want the Hilty character to live in an apartment with cockroaches. I want her to be struggling to get out of debt (student loans, paying her insane rent, etc.), even while she's currently in the chorus of a Broadway show. I want to see her struggling with weight issues and thinking she's not pretty enough or tall enough or good enough, even if we can see her light up, filled with talent, on a stage.

I want the "hugely successful" Broadway songwriting team to be living in gloomy one-bedroom or two-bedroom condos that cost them an absolute fortune. I want to see everything (and everyone) they ever sacrificed to get where they are today. I want to see them going home from a glittering party or a glamorous premiere to their gloomy condos. I want to see them show how hard they work, only to make a tenth of what they would get on a TV series.

Basically, I want to see their not-so-glamorous "truthful" lives in the theatre world set against the self-created illusion of the theatre itself, where everything is glorious, wonderful, successful, glamorous, and ... fake.

Ultimately, in the end, I want to see them write a musical that actually perpetuates the myth of Marilyn Monroe. They realize that the only way to be loved and accepted by all is to give the audiences what they want, just as Monroe herself knew.

Sell them the illusion. That's what counts. That's how they'll become a hit, beloved by all.

Now, would any one tune into the show I described? Probably not. It's too dark. It wouldn't be "fun" enough. It wouldn't be "light" enough (even with the light and fun musical comedy numbers set in juxtaposition to the people working on them). Although "Fame," the original movie, and even the film "The Goodbye Girl" from decades ago came closer to showing what it's like for young theatre hopefuls and seasoned professionals, and those movies did pretty damn well. So did "All That Jazz." So who knows? I'm not suggesting these "real life" characters be devoid of humor. In fact, humor is a great and often necessary tool for survival. It could still be very funny, which would help draw us in.

I would just like to see a whole lot more at stake for all of them.

SMASH
Posted by ljay889 2012-02-07 10:19:24


Some early ratings info...

http://www.headlineplanet.com/home/2012/02/07/the-voice-ratings-stay-hot-monday-smash-gets-decent-debut/

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-07 10:38:56


That's a 7.7 rating for Smash's debut.

The Voice got 10.6 after getting almost 20 post-Super Bowl.

Last week's ratings for various shows, by way of comparison, we far below Smash's:

30 Rock: 1.3

Parks & Recreation: 1.8

The Office: 2.7

Big Bang: 5.4

Rob: 3.4

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-07 10:55:19


More detailed numbers on zap2it.com:

The Voice had a pretty great night and Smash had a good-to-great start and that in those 56 markets, NBC won every half hour of primetime in household viewing. The Voice pulled a 10.6/16 (household rating/share) from 8-10p and Smash scored a 7.7/13 at 10pm. Comparatively speaking that 7.7 was better than everything else on Monday night save the aforementioned The Voice, and CBS's Two and a Half Men (8.5/12).

It says to check back later for the number of viewers.

SMASH
Posted by JoeKv99 2012-02-07 11:03:03


I had this "Smash" all wrong! I thought it was some kind of TV show- a drama or comedy or something. Had no idea it was so important.

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-07 11:04:57


I had this "Smash" all wrong! I thought it was some kind of TV show- a drama or comedy or something. Had no idea it was so important.

You had it right, Joe ... it's not.

SMASH
Posted by FindingNamo 2012-02-07 11:09:04


It's not a reality show. And it's good. In this culture, right now, that feels almost as important as discovering a new member of a species that is almost extinct.

SMASH
Posted by newintown 2012-02-07 11:33:15


From the initial episode, it appears to be merely another prime-time soap opera. Except this time it's about a bizarre fantasy version of Broadway, rather than the usual hospital or police station.

SMASH
Posted by FindingNamo 2012-02-07 11:42:54


Which is a startling enough difference.

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-07 11:52:04


For those who prefer to be mean and snarky to this show, here is the hilarious Rachel Shukert's mega-snarky vivisection of Episode One from the new New York Magazine website. It was almost too mean for me to post, but I couldn't help laughing at the way she insists on referring to Deborah Messing's character as "Cousin Debbie":

EDIT: Oh, and it's long. But it's worth it, just for the way she describes chorus boys having sex.

SMASH
Posted by steveshack 2012-02-07 11:57:28


My main problem with that, in just a few days, it went from "Hey, here's a bad idea for a musical" to two songs, to auditions for the Broadway production. And the book was written when? And by whom?

SMASH
Posted by miss pennywise 2012-02-07 11:58:33


Add me to the Besty/Scallion/Tazber group. Underwhelmed, disappointed, skeptical...I found so many moments cringeworthy. I was watching it with my partner, and, at times, one of us would blurt out a "I can't believe how bad this is" comment. (In fact, many of your points were echoed verbatim last night, Besty.)

On the other hand, I think Namo's remark about it "not being a reality show" is worth heeding. And I must admit that over the course of my lifetime, anyway, there have not been many TV shows that approached this subject matter, so it certainly has that going for it. (And those that did flopped pretty quickly.)

I'm willing to give it another week because of what people have posted here, but if the cliches continue at last night's pace, I'm just going to feel I have more important things to do with that one hour each week.

What I did like was Angelica Huston, Megan Hilty and Christian Borle. Huston is soooo good, she actually makes it all seem plausible.

I love Besty's idea for revamping the show, but, yeah, I guess that would be too dark to sustain decent ratings. Of course, I like "dark"! I wish they were trying to pull off a musical like BAT BOY, one that takes huge risks and crosses barriers. I read that someone (perhaps in this thread?) suggested more of a BOOK OF MORMON show-within-a-show, and I suppose that's what I'm saying. Then again, I never watch TV, so my opinion is worth zilch...I mean, nobody will ever create a show that only one person watches, right?

SMASH
Posted by FindingNamo 2012-02-07 12:01:45


Sooooooooo long, I couldn't get through it. The weird thing is, I'm no fan of Deb Messing but thought she was fine in this.

(this was a reference to the article pj linked)

SMASH
Posted by degrassifan 2012-02-07 12:09:43


I only watched because I love Anjelica Huston and I've had mad respect for her since "Ever After", so I had to support her new show. Anyway, she and this did not disappoint. I thought it was good! Thanks to you guys here on Broadwayworld, I understood the inside theater jokes! I loved the fact it employed original songs and I was hooked by "Let Me Be Your Star". I'll keep watching!

Oh, and I'm glad Debra Messing has work again!

SMASH
Posted by beautywickedlover 2012-02-07 12:15:24


The show has gotten off to a solid start. It was watched by 11.5 million viewers and had a 18-49 rating of 3.8/10. It was also the third-highest rated new drama debut of the season and delivered the biggest 10 p.m. rating of any drama this season.

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/02/07/tv-ratings-monday-nbc-has-a-big-voice-the-day-after-super-bowl-cbs-down-not-out-castle-sees-lows-big-drops-for-house-alcatraz/118898/

http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/02/07/smash-ratings/

SMASH
Posted by NYadgal 2012-02-07 12:15:33


I love it when you talk ratings, PalJoey!

SMASH
Posted by miss pennywise 2012-02-07 12:21:20


I forgot to mention that I looooove Raza Jaffrey and would dress up like Marilyn (or anyone else he asked me to be) every night if he were my boyfriend.

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-07 12:22:15


Miss Penny, I'm glad we share a similar view here.

I think Namo has a point. And I am glad it's not another reality show as well (or I never would have tuned in). I'm even glad it's set in a totally nonrealistic theatre word, I suppose. Although the more I think about that one, the more I think it's doing it a disservice by playing into tired cliches and myths.

Still, I hate liking a show (or anything, for that matter) on principle alone. I realize that Namo genuinely likes the show, but for someone like me who was underwhelmed by it, I'm not sure "counting blessings" is valid or enough.

SMASH
Posted by miss pennywise 2012-02-07 12:32:18


Oh, Besty, I didn't mean I'd watch something simply because it's *not* something else! It's got to be worth viewing on its own merits.

When I see a play, musical, film or television program, if I don't respond strongly to the characters and start "wanting something" for them (or at least ONE), I'm just not engaged.

That's how I feel now: unengaged. But I'm willing to give it one more chance to show me what it *might* become.

SMASH
Posted by FindingNamo 2012-02-07 12:33:29


Everybody doesn't like something.

World Peace

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-07 12:35:54


But nobody doesn't like Sara Lee.

SMASH
Posted by beautywickedlover 2012-02-07 12:50:10


The show's 18-49 was only two tenths behind the highest drama premiere of the 2011-2012 season, 'Once Upon a Time' (4.0), and was also just one tenth behind Kiefer Sutherland's new series 'Touch' (3.9)

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/tv-ratings-smash-voice-super-bowl-287606

SMASH
Posted by mmFan 2012-02-07 12:50:41


Was so excited for this show as like all of you, I'm a huge broadway fan. Liked the premiere...lived up to expectations. Love how it's a behind the scenes showing both the writing and producing side and also the actor's side.

Didn't even realize that was Katherine McPhee (sorry if i wrote name wrong). Thought she sang great; however, I personally woulnd't choose her as the lead as even if she can act the part, she's too skinny to play Marilyn Monroe.

SMASH
Posted by miss pennywise 2012-02-07 12:55:36


I don't like Sara Lee.

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-07 12:57:24


LOL!

I don't like double negatives in slogans. I'm standing on principle here.

SMASH
Posted by random person 112 2012-02-07 13:00:46


I was just thinking why don't they just split the role of marilyn one play norma jean and the other marilyn. That would be fun and they wouldn't lose either actress.

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-07 13:11:46


They did that already in a TV movie with Ashely Judd and Mira Sorvino playing the two sides of her.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117201/

EDIT: I don't mean to imply that there isn't some merit to this idea. There is a definite internal struggle between the real Norma and the invented "Marilyn." I think if it were played out in a literal sense as dual sides of the same person for any length of time, it would be a little too "Sybil."

But I could see a single production number where she struggles and even argues with her invented persona(s) on stage. You could have the "real" Marilyn dancing and singing with various iconic images of herself in films. She could either try to mold them or erase them, in a "love/hate" conflict. The search for her self-identity.

And that could be paralleled in the private lives of the behind-the-scenes characters on this show. They live one life at work filled with glamour and importance and another at home in their small apartments (even the rich ones) and their normal and often anonymous existences, always trying to reconcile and justify the two.



SMASH
Posted by someone.else's.story2 2012-02-07 13:14:27


Wow, I so wholeheartedly agree with Best12bars!

I wish you could go in and save the show as your ideas would add much needed depth to the characters and plot.

I loved:
<<<<>>>

Yes, if they could show the reality of the struggles of kids trying to break in in NYC, it would be so much more interesting. Even the apartments of "highly successful" people in NY are not so lavish, although that seems to happen with every tv show that is set in NYC and it has always bugged me.

Anyway, kudos to you. I think you've really hit the nail on the head with your analysis.

SMASH
Posted by someone.else's.story2 2012-02-07 13:15:12


Oops, I meant to quote Best12bars (see below).

I want the Hilty character to live in an apartment with cockroaches. I want her to be struggling to get out of debt (student loans, paying her insane rent, etc.), even while she's currently in the chorus of a Broadway show. I want to see her struggling with weight issues and thinking she's not pretty enough or tall enough or good enough, even if we can see her light up, filled with talent, on a stage.

Read more: http://broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.php?page=10&thread=1040522&boardid=1#ixzz1lil7AIX9

SMASH
Posted by random person 112 2012-02-07 13:31:56


No offense but we haven't even seen enough of her character to know all that, i mean we can assume she's anorexic but that's about it. So wait a little longer before we start wishing for plots. They mit even come up.

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-07 13:43:54


Except the cockroaches. Mice, maybe. But not cockroaches.

SMASH
Posted by miss pennywise 2012-02-07 13:59:51


Oh god. I'm having serious flashbacks, now, Pal Joey. To this day I quote you to anyone who asks why I hate mice so much.

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-07 14:02:14


Cockroaches ... I know, nasty stuff. Unless they sing like in "Enchanted," right? (no!)

random person 112---I know this is an ongoing series, and many things will develop and perhaps even be "reinvented" a bit. But a pilot episode is at least supposed to introduce us to the characters, the tone, the perspective, and set the stage for what's to come.

A "pilot" steers the show (hence the name), in other words. I wasn't asking for any more than that. And I thought it was veering a bit off-course for me already. I was looking for a little more truth to counterbalance the glamorous fantasy world of the theatre. To have the "real life" characters come off as so fictional to me, lessened the stakes of everything from their on-stage musical to their private lives.

EDIT: And thanks, someone.else's.story2!

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-07 14:08:45


I will say this, too ... am I mad, sorry, or "disappointed" that the show did well in the ratings last night?

Absolutely not!

Would I prefer to know that America was watching this as opposed to yet another reality-game show?

You bet I would, given the choice of what's out there.

SMASH
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-02-07 14:09:30


Good points, best12, certainly there is an effort here to create something meaningful, and it may well not be. But 1) the material already presented may well be provisional, as it is in any musical, subject to cuts and changes in production, let alone pre-production; here it appeared to have been whipped up in no time at all; and 2) great artists misfire; I have no problem taking Borle and Messing's talent on faith and believing in them as artists even if M the Musical turns out to be pablum.

I'm not watching SMASH to judge MARILYN THE MUSICAL and I find the musical within a musical numbers more than adequate for the purposes of the series. And who knows, they may get much better. I don't recall the original material in ALL THAT JAZZ being exactly brilliant either, with the exception of Fosse's staging of it. Nor was it important to me that the movie within a movie in DAY FOR NIGHT was a work of comic bliss or that AGED IN WOOD was, as Karen Richards says to Margo Channing, "a fine and distinguished play." What matters here is that the numbers are fairly entertaining and show off McPhee and Hilty well. So far, they do that.

As for the show itself, I think it has to do with expectations. Personally, I was expecting a fun, fairly well written show with some interesting likable characters and good performances and I'm happy to report that the results so far are more than meeting my expectations. In terms of a program about a group of theatrical professionals putting on a musical, I wasn't expecting contemporary television's answer to THE BAND WAGON.

SMASH
Posted by miss pennywise 2012-02-07 14:10:18


More than anything else, I am discouraged by the news of Uma Thurman making a five-episode appearance as a movie star who wants to play Marilyn. While the movie musical THE PRODUCERS had a number of flaws, she was the WORST of the lot! I can't imagine anyone I'd rather NOT play Marilyn Monroe. (How's that for double-negativin', Besty?)

SMASH
Posted by Bettyboy72 2012-02-07 14:12:37


PJ-that article was worth the time. It cracked me up.

"We don’t know. We can’t know. But Anjelica Huston does. Anjelica Huston, her dark bob swinging purposefully as she strides, pantherlike, through the oddly empty streets of Times Square; Anjelica Huston, her sphinxlike mask of a face hiding eyes that have seen the deepest mysteries of time, that have seen stars born, and seen them fade, that have beheld as life took its first faltering steps from the sea, eyes that will still blink impassively when Earth at last is subsumed by the fiery death of the sun. Anjelica Huston has seen it all."

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-07 14:18:34


Uma? Oh, no! Or is that Ono?

Sounds like more soap-opera hijinks. Which means the "pilot" was steering the show in its intended direction.

henrik--I'm glad you enjoyed it. I think the show-within-the-show can be played so many ways, as you've pointed out. It can be not more than a marquee and someone running around in a costume, or it can be a full number, or a full scene, or a complete show within the show. "Smash" put a lot of time and effort and emphasis into showing us the "show," so that's why I'm placing more emphasis on it than "Aged In Wood" or the musical in All That Jazz (I forget it's name). The number "Take Off With Us" is used as a mediocre song one step away from an airline jingle, painstakingly turned into a thrilling and atmospheric production number by the director, so it served a great purpose there, even if we know next to nothing about the musical itself. I remember the first table reading, where everything suddenly goes silent and all we hear are the sound effects of matches and a cigarette being lit, while everybody seems to be laughing their asses off. At what, we never know.

SMASH
Posted by Bettyboy72 2012-02-07 14:21:01


I definitely liked the smaller moments, like when Hilty was on the phone with her mom or when McPhee was upset in the bathroom. I liked it less when it was heavyhanded. However, I still loved it.

I do hate the NYC apartments on TV shows. No one I know lives like that-even people with a little money.

SMASH
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-02-07 14:25:20


ah, yes, best12, that was a great moment in ALL THAT JAZZ. I especially loved Leland Palmer knowing glances at Roy Scheider.

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-07 14:25:58


Exactly! The focus of that scene was so terrific.

SMASH
Posted by FindingNamo 2012-02-07 15:14:38


"I am discouraged by the news of Uma Thurman making a five-episode appearance as a movie star who wants to play Marilyn."

Actually, this is an area of great interest in many households, including the Cody-Fosters'. It seems worth exploring to me.

But listen, I don't get why anybody who had such a negative response to the pilot would bother investing any more time in it? I lasted 15 minutes through the pilot of "Glee," and turned it off because it nauseated me. Eventually, enough people I love and care about were such big fans I gave the next 45 minutes a chance. I ended up going with how I felt originally, except for one other time maybe in the second season when I watched a whole episode and confirmed it Really Wasn't For Me!

Life is just too short!

I can't really think of any episodic television that isn't a soap opera anymore, including, most regrettably, all post-Cheers sitcoms. So, that's a kind of fundamental nature of the beast that one can rail against but is not likely to change.

Complaining about the veracity also seems to be a waste of time to me, or is everybody so conditioned by reality TV that they want to sit through 4 hours of auditions alone? I don't care if a drama is "how it really is" or not so much as that it establishes a set of rules in its own universe and sticks to them. (Something I know, even from afar, that frustrates GLEE fans.) I thought the SMASH pilot showed us the stakes and gave us perfectly fine television reason for all the fast tracking: divorce battle royale!

I can't wait to see more and love the fact that the woman in the New Yorker got my hopes up for the next three episodes.

I was a little disappointed by the interview linked above to the Canadian actors, listening to them go on about how "theater is not really like a fictional television portrayal." Well, Bob Martin, a story teller like the man in the chair would just sit and talk your ear off, it's not really like an entire musical would spring to live in his living room. It wouldn't be like that at all!



SMASH
Posted by miss pennywise 2012-02-07 16:03:09


As I said before, Namo, I am going to give it another shot because of what BWWers like you, MB and Addy, for example, have said. I trust the opinions of several posters and respect their perspectives. That doesn't mean I always agree with them, and maybe we'll simply "agree to disagree," but I'm going to keep an open mind...even though I didn't care very much for the pilot.

The simple point that last night's episode was *the pilot* is enough for me to tune in again. There have been shows I loved in the beginning that grew tiresome with age as well as the reverse. We'll see.

I am involved with a man I thought was a total jerk the first time I met him, and now I'm totally in love. The open mind thing is important, you know?

Also, as I pointed out, there have been very few TV programs whose backdrop was the theatre, so that alone is a draw for me. I remember a TV show that was actually a weekly musical comedy starring Robert Morse and EJ Peaker. I think it was called "That's Life!" Even though I was just a kid, I was already hooked on musical theatre, so I watched it every week and loved every minute of it. Of course, it didn't last, but the concept was original and close to my heart.

I am a big enough person to say, "I didn't care for the first episode, but there is so much enthusiasm and positive response from others that I am willing to take another stab at it." And I really WANT to like it!

So that's why I will "bother investing any more time in it."

But, as a rule, I don't like Uma Thurman, so she better "win me over"! (Something Sara Lee has never quite accomplished.)

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-07 16:09:25


What am I? Chopped liver?

SMASH
Posted by tazber 2012-02-07 16:09:37


I for one am kind of hoping it gets more soapy.

(btw, apparently it will; as cast members and characters start playing musical beds - this from a interview on EW.com)

It's about theater people. Are there any more dramatic creatures on the planet?

I'm sticking with it b/c I just know there's going to be All About Eve levels of bitchery and backstabbing.

Personally I'm going to invest my time because it's a show about musical theater, which obviously I have great passion for. Even mediocre musical theater soap is better than 5 star doctor/lawyer/hospital staff/cop soap.



Actually, this is an area of great interest in many households, including the Cody-Fosters'.

Bold and underscored LOL, namo!


SMASH
Posted by miss pennywise 2012-02-07 16:16:15


PJ, you got a singular shout-out in the "mouse urine" post. What more could you ask for?

SMASH
Posted by CurtainPullDowner 2012-02-07 16:19:06


Now that ALL MY CHILDREN is gone, I'm glad we have SMASH!
It's fun.

SMASH
Posted by miss pennywise 2012-02-07 16:21:54


I'm with everyone on the soapy part. I wanna see lots and lots of suds.

SMASH
Posted by best12bars 2012-02-07 16:21:55


Taz, that's probably the road it's taking: more soapy ... unrealistic and over-the-top.

Even if they lose viewers like me, they will likely gain a whole different and much bigger audience in the end who love crazy soaps and may or may not care about the theatre part. There are a lot of people who are into those shows, simply for the "who's sleeping with who" shock-value aspect. They could be set in a bar or a brothel or a balloon factory, it wouldn't matter to them as long as it was "juicy."

The only "soapy" series I've been hooked on in a decade is Downton Abbey. That's a rare exception to the rule for me, but I also love the subject matter, setting, and the era. And it leans toward the drama side of "soapdom" rather than the over-the-top comedy side.

For the very reasons Miss Penny mentioned, I still hope Smash is a smash and has a nice run, even if it's not for me.



SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-07 16:32:02


I wonder who Ellis, Tom's beautiful assistant with the dangeous camcorder, is going to sleep with--and whether he's going to sue them for a portion of the writers' proceeds since the Marilyn musical was his idea in the first place.

SMASH
Posted by supportivemom 2012-02-07 16:35:24


See- I'm one of those who enjoyed the show and one who is mostly watching for the performances. Katherine and Megan are amazing talents and it's worth watching the show just for that. Everything else is just icing on the cake. I don't look too hard into the storylines. I guess I'm just shallow when it comes to watching this show. I, too, am so happy for a scripted show with people who actually have talent and don't need to be autotuned. :)

SMASH
Posted by tazber 2012-02-07 16:38:30


I think they're leading up to an Ellis and Borle (can't think of the character's name) hook-up.

Followed by Ellis demanding some compensation/credit...and possibly blackmail?

Or he'll turn Borle against Messing. That dynamic has already been established.

But who knows. Guessing is half the fun!

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-07 16:53:47


Actually, it's the one plot element that DOES bother me: Deborah Messing's character ought to be all over Christan Borle's saying things to the assistant like "Well, after all, it was your idea" and "I'm looking forward to your input..." (I can't remember exactly what he said.)

She should have had their lawyer immediately sign the kid to a collaboration agreement limiting his participation to a fraction of what he might eventually ask for.

SMASH
Posted by miss pennywise 2012-02-07 17:03:09


Who is HE going to wind up sleeping with????

SMASH
Posted by BroomstickBoy 2012-02-07 17:11:13


I like Katherine, don't love her yet, but I like her. She has a natural screen presence. I adore Megan, Debra and Anjelica. I want to smack the sh*t out of Christian Borle's character. Am I alone in this? I don't buy it. His performance leaves me cold.

SMASH
Posted by NYadgal 2012-02-07 17:14:54


That's an interesting point, PJ. I hadn't thought of it.

My thought, after reading this thread (and many others) is... If you don't like the show: fine.
If I do like the show: fine.
You don't have to convince me not to like it. I don't have to convince you to like it.
Even if we're friends with similar tastes, we all have our own preferences, and some things speak to us while others don't.
If you didn't like it, don't feel obligated to give it another try because I liked it.
If you want to give it another try, do so because you're curious about the show. And, after an episode or two, decide if it's something you want to watch.
Either way, it's fine by me.

A discussion about various plot points and how they work into a show is always interesting. I'll look forward to it as the program unfolds.

I'm not trying to change anyone's mind. And you can't change mine. Only the show can do that.

SMASH
Posted by NYadgal 2012-02-07 17:18:01


Miss P, he's a dreamboat.

SMASH
Posted by tazber 2012-02-07 17:22:17


Well said as always Addy.

Pennywise (hi!), I don't know how they're gonna deal with Raza's character, but he's into politics and that always leads to friction.

**SPOILER?**

Also, I hear the adoption is not going to go over and their teenage son is getting a bigger story arc.



SMASH
Posted by CukorLover 2012-02-07 17:45:13


NY Magazine's Scott Brown weighs in:

"n the pilot, aside from a few covers, we’re dispensed one full original production number (“The National Pastime”), one snippet of a chorus of a torch-song (“Never Give All the Heart”), and one propulsive non-diagetic duet/duel (“Let Me Be Your Star”). And yes, musical-phobes — that last song features people bursting into song in the “real world,” y’know, whatever that is. "

SMASH
Posted by random person 112 2012-02-07 17:50:13


Is it wrong that when someone said politics i started dreaming of Jafferey and Mcphee singing 'better fall out of love'?

SMASH
Posted by beautywickedlover 2012-02-07 19:16:32


Brian d'Arcy James has confirmed on Twitter that he will be singing on the show.

SMASH
Posted by CurtainPullDowner 2012-02-07 19:48:04


I think Tom's cute assistant will turn into a back-stabbing little bitch, if you think his "mother" posted that song I got a bridge...

SMASH
Posted by Owen22 2012-02-07 19:50:15


Did you notice Ivy pulling and tearing the hair of her wig when she didn't get her callback? Right out of the Eve Harrington playbook...

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-07 19:54:39


Let's play Identify the Chorus Boys:

SMASH
Posted by miss pennywise 2012-02-07 20:41:02


Taz, since Raza's character works for the City of New York, maybe he'll have an affair with Paul McCartney's new wife!

Addy, I called him first!

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-07 20:53:14


Sorry Miss P. I called Raza Jaffrey on page 1 of this thread.

SMASH
Posted by CurtainPullDowner 2012-02-07 21:16:08


PJ, I think I noticed Spencer Liff in the baseball number?

SMASH
Posted by Starcarolina 2012-02-07 21:22:49


After reading some of the critiques of this show on this thread, all I can say is that I am glad that I was not in your biology class when you had to dissect that frog...

SMASH
Posted by mdbro88 2012-02-07 21:23:10


I enjoyed the pilot the second time around. I did feel there were too many cliches, but I'm hopeful that the scripts will gain some footing as the show moves forward.


"One of the things that I did not notice the first time was that Alex Wong from 'So You Think You Can Dance' and will also be part of the Broadway musical 'Newsies', was one of the dancers in the baseball number."

I noticed Alex as well as two other SYTYCD alums in the pilot, Ellenore Scott & Thayne Jasperson (who is also in Newsies). Last season's Jess Leprotto (another who is in Newsies), along with Ellenore, just taped a new dance number for an episode for later this spring. This show should be a great one for spotting some of my favorite SYTYCD dancers. I'm almost as interested in that as I am the development of the plot!

SMASH
Posted by Kad 2012-02-07 21:26:57


Cliches in a nightly hour-long drama? Blasphemy.

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-07 22:02:48


That's Spencer on the left, no? And I saw Keith Kuhl.





SMASH
Posted by miss pennywise 2012-02-07 22:17:15


In the first photo, Curtis Holbrook is the guy all the way to the right.

Hey, PJ, you may "Call Raza," but he plays for MY team, Nyah Nyah.

SMASH
Posted by artisn'teasy 2012-02-07 22:28:07


Another thank you PalJoey for the recap link. Laughed my ass off-esp. loved this bit:

"Frozen Dad pauses angry salad-making to remind Cousin Debbie that she is supposed to be taking a break, because they are supposed to be adopting a baby this year, and if you so much as breathe the words “Bernadette Peters” to a Chinese adoption official they will drown you in a wok filled with boiling corn oil, and also, she promised not to have any more ideas ever because it’s his turn, goddammit, and he has needs, too, and this goddamn ****ing salad is finished, and she forgot to get pine nuts, so he just hopes she’s happy, even though she and her stupid brain ruin everything!"

SMASH
Posted by PalJoey 2012-02-07 22:35:27


you may "Call Raza," but he plays for MY team, Nyah Nyah

Now, now, Miss P. Not everyone who plays for your team is necessarily a team player.

SMASH
Posted by FindingNamo 2012-02-07 22:36:29


No kidding.