Is Smash a Smash Hit or a Crushing Fail?

April 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

Smash is the latest musical TV series to hit our TV screens and has received a lot of hype in the US. So, I was interested to find out whether or not it lived up to all the publicity surrounding it.

While the birth of this TV show has definitely been inspired by Glee, it could not be more different. That doesn’t mean that the principal isn’t the same, as it’s basically about a group of good looking, talented singers with dreams of making it big. However, the whole Broadway/Marilyn Munroe aspect gives it a touch of sophistication and it is clearly Glee for adults.

While Karen Cartwright (Kathrerine McPhee) is no Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), she is endearing and vulnerable – just like Marilyn Munroe. However, she has a competition from Ivy Lynn who is confident, ambitious and attractive – also like Marilyn. While we don’t see these characters together in the pilot, I’m assuming that we will definitely see the competition heat up as the series continues.

It’s also unlike Glee because most of the characters are unlikeable, don’t have a specific journey or their own personality. The only person I’m interested in is Karen but I can tell that even she might start to bore me. I was particularly disappointed in Debra Messing’s character whose character was full of so much life in Will and Grace. She’s a stereotype of the passionate artist who loves theatre. I want to inject some life into her – make her an alcoholic, make her hate the theatre and only in it for the money, make her do something more than say cheesy lines that I don’t believe.

One thing that annoyed me about the show is that they went with the old stereotype of incorporating an English theatre director who just so happens to be an absolute sleaze. Seriously, when will American shows stop doing this?

So, is it worth a watch? If you’d asked me within the first twenty minutes of the show would I watch the next episode, then my answer would probably have been no. However, as the episode continued, the characters really started to come into their own, the songs got better and the plot seemed as if it was actually heading somewhere.

So, yes, it is worth a watch. Look beyond the stereotypes, the slow start and the age old cliches and you probably won’t mind it. You might even enjoy it.

It’s no Glee.


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