TV: Smash – Season 1

Premiered: February 6, 2012

On: NBC

Starring: Katharine McPhee, Debra Messing, Jack Davenport, Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, Anjelica Huston, Jaime Cepero, Raza Jaffrey, Brian d’Arcy James, Ann Harada, Becky Ann Baker, Dylan Baker, Michael Cristofer, Emory Cohen, Leslie Odom Jr., Wesley Taylor, Phillip Spaeth, Savannah Wise, Thorsten Kaye, Will Chase, Neal Bledsoe, Michelle Federer, Nick Jonas, Bernadette Peters, Norbert Leo Butz & Uma Thurman

From Executive Producer Steven Spielberg, Smash offers a behind the scenes look at what it takes to create a Broadway hit.

With multiple shows under their belt, Julia Houston (Debra Messing) and Tom Levitt (Christian Borle) team up and create Bombshell – a musical about Marilyn Monroe. Two ladies – newcomer Karen Cartwright (Katharine McPhee) and stage vet Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty) – vie for the lead role.

The show itself features original music from Tony- and Grammy-winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. The numbers are marvelous and benefit from having a cast that features many Broadway performers.

Unfortunately, the drama that happens outside of the Marilyn musical overshadows the amazing series this could be. Karen and Ivy get into petty drama that derails rehearsals, while Julia’s imploding marriage hides Messing’s abilities.

Final say: Not a smash, but not a complete flop. ★★☆☆☆

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