Smash - Season 1

Starring: Debra Messing, Jack Davenport, Katharine McPhee, Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, Raza Jaffrey, Jaime Cepero, Brian d'Arcy James, Anjelica Huston
Rating: ****

Air Date: Saturdays @ 10pm, Sky Atlantic

Smash, advertised as "Glee for adults"....RUDE! Anyway, it has a really superb cast and the music, story and singing is what really makes the show such a success, and is why I will be tuning in week after week.

The series itself is about all of the aspects surrounding a new musical about Marilyn Monroe and is different from Glee, but it will still, no doubt, get compared to the only other successful musical series on television. Whether the comparisons are warranted or not is yet to be decided, but they will continue to crop untill it has proved just out different it can be.

The range of characters that have been introduced have been set up brillianty, each with their own depth personaltiy and story, also none of them fall victim to sterotypes and are just genuine characters. Ok, so initially there are the typical archetypes: a struggling writing duo (Messing and  Borle), womanizing director (Davenport), a powerful producer (Huston), and a Midwestern girl with hopes of seeing her name in the bright lights of Broadway (McPhee), but none of the characters are ever over the top, which is extremely important.

On top of those characters are a handful of minor characters. All of the characters are in some way connected to Marilyn: The Musical, but they also have plots that revolve around their personal lives. While it all may seem like a jumble now, everything was evenly spaced in the pilot and sets up the series as very tightly-woven drama.

The pilot starts pretty slowly, but eventually a video of Broadway actress Ivy (Hilty) singing the first song that Julia and Tom wrote for the musical hits YouTube, and people start calling it a smash hit. The project catches the eye of Karen, producer Eileen and director Derek and soon all become involved in the future production.

Once all of the characters come together into one streamlined plot, the show becomes something of a heart-warmer. You can’t help but want to root for everyone, and while villains need to be made, it’s nice to actually enjoy all of the characters on a show for once. One thing very different about this and Glee is how much the underdog concept comes up, it is fairly prominent in Glee, but with Smash it is handled with much more subtlety. Smash is age-appropriate and allows viewers to mold their own opinions of all of the storylines.

The musical numbers, well so far, have been really low key and personal to the characters, it certainly seems to be slightly less showbiz compared to Glee, but there is room for both in my life. As well as a couple of covers the show is filled with brilliant original songs which are written and performed to perfection. Each song propels the plot forward and better yet, they’re actually really good. Even the last song, which seems out of place, offers a terrific ending note to keep viewers interested in what happens next.

Smash's first episode lights a fuse for what could be a breakout series for NBC. The cast is amazing, the story is charming and the music is everything a drama about Broadway needs to be.

Smash - Promo