What do you get when you mix the Emmy’s , Golden Globe’s, Oscars, American Idol, Broadway, and Marilyn Monroe?
What you get is the newest show to hit NBC which is entitled “Smash”. “Smash” revolves around the lives of quite a few characters. The first one you meet is Karen Cartwright, which is played by the always lovely Katharine McPhee, who is your traditional small town girl working as a waitress as she tries to break ground as an actress in New York City. Not too long after we meet her, we meet Julia Houston, who is played by Emmy Winner Debra Messing. Julia is someone who dedicates her life to her job writing plays, but she is now at a stage where she and her husband Frank (Brian d’Arcy James) have decided to adopt a second child and she is taking a year off in hopes to get all the paper work and information in place to make the adoption a success. Next we officially meet Ivy Lynn, who is played by former Broadway star Megan Hilty. Ivy is a little known Broadway Star who is trying to get away from the small roles she has always seemed to play and take on the role of a lifetime.
The show starts off with Karen trying out for a play and in mid song the director receives a phone call and cuts her off and thanks her for the audition. Karen, visibly upset, heads to work where we are introduced to her Government Working Boyfriend Dev Sundaram (Raza Jaffery) and she is trying to figure out what she is going to do next. That takes us to Julia, who is returning from the airport after picking up her writing partner Tom Levitt (Christian Borle) and they are entering his home to the site of Tom’s new assistant Ellis Tancharoen (Jaime Cepero) who is cleaning the home up and he has made a welcome home dinner for Tom. While walking the house Tom notices that Ellis has pulled a book off of his shelf about the life of Marilyn Monroe and that immediately gets the three of them talking about the idea of having a play based around the life of Marilyn. After that, we check in with Ivy who is working on one of the plays that Tom and Julia have written (in a small role nonetheless) and she is sitting in the dressing room in tears as she has not received a call back for a much bigger role (the same one Karen went out for earlier in the episode) and as Tom is talking to her he brings up the possibility of a “Marilyn” play. Tom, Julia, Ellis, and Ivy later sit down and record one of the possible songs that would be in the “Marilyn” play. What they were unaware of was that Ellis was recording the session on his phone and one thing lead to another and the recording was uploaded onto the internet. That leads to Ellis being fired, but once the video starts to take off with people in the field and others throughout the world take notice to this wonderful song Ellis is brought back in to the position.
Later we are introduced to Eileen Rand (Anjelica Huston), who is a producer of sorts (I think? Her role was never completely defined). She is also going through a divorce and a play which she has been working with has been taken from her because of the legalities of the divorce. Eileen takes notice to the video posted by Ellis and immediately comes into contact with Julia and Tom (She actually commented on the video posting). This leads to her becoming fully involved and she has the idea to bring in Derek Wills (Jack Davenport) who is a very successful director who currently holding out for the project which Eileen just lost in the divorce. The idea of bringing Derek in does not go over well with Tom at all, as he has worked with Derek in the past and they did nothing but argue the whole time, and that is very evident when they meet again at his “try out”. Once the “try out” is over it is well known that Julia loved the performance and Tom is trying to hide his love for it as he still doesn’t want Derek involved with the play. Derek really only has one issue and that is the women, Ivy, playing the role of Marilyn and he calls for auditions for the part. We go through the first round of the audition phase and it is down to just two girls for the role of Marilyn, Karen and Ivy (of course). The episode ends with the two of them sharing in a ballad while travelling to the second audition.
One episode in and I will say that I am looking forward to what this show is going to give me this season. I’ve always been a Kat McPhee fan and it’s good to see her actually doing something with her Post Idol Career (Unlike the person who actually won that season, but that’s a sore subject with me). I’m also a fan of Debra Messing, so I’m glad she was given a more serious role than the roles she has done in the past. Usually when a show jumps around from a few characters I don’t really care for it because if its not done right then it just seems like there is too much going on. But “Smash” stayed true to the characters and showed exactly how they got to where they are. I really like the way they are developing the characters of Karen, Ivy, and Julia, but at this point it is kind of hard to pinpoint exactly who the main character is going to be. I have a feeling they are going to put the majority of their attention towards McPhee’s character in the coming episodes, but it could really go any direction at this point.
I don’t think I need to dedicate too much time towards the singing as it is well known that these two girls (Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty) can sing. Honestly coming off the “Pilot” this show has the potential to be one of the best Drama’s that this season has seen. My only real worry is the fact that it airs on NBC (which has a track record of killing Dramas early and often) but being paired with “The Voice” should give the show what it needs to be a huge success.