Proclaiming itself “Glee for adults,” Smash, the new musical drama from NBC, delivers on its promise.
From the outset, the characters are well-defined in their respective storylines. Karen, the young ingenue, works as a waitress from Iowa, dreaming big dreams. Ivy, the chorus girl, is a perfection that dreams big. Julia, songwriter/lyricist, balances her theatre work with her husband’s dream for adopting a child. All three are strong, vibrant women that only make a fraction of the cast.
Katharine McPhee really breaks out as Karen, a role she is appropriately cast for. Having not too much exposure since coming second place to Taylor Hicks on the 2006’s season of American Idol, she is fresh and innocent. She still radiates the wholesomeness of a mid-western girl, and that really shines through in her performance.
Megan Hilty is an amazing casting also, very appropriate as she has the Broadway and television credits to be the veteran chorus girl the character Ivy is.
The show’s hook is the music. Three original songs have been premiered, with at least a dozen more in the works. One of Glee’s weakest points is that fact that the songs can really seem forced into the storyline or vice versa. Also the lip-syncing to the pre-recorded tracks has been a plague on the show. Smash seems to have glossed over these issues, because it’s about Broadway, the showstopping hits fit incredibly well into telling the story.
If you’re looking for an entertaining drama, Smash fits the bill.
However, if you’re looking for an amazing musical, Smash fits the Playbill.