Last year I fell in love with NBC’s Golden Globe-nominated, hit new series “Smash.” A show within a show, this scripted musical drama follows the journey of a Broadway musical about the life of big-screen icon Marilyn Monroe in the making.
Created by playwright and TV writer Theresa Rebeck and her team (producer Steven Spielberg and the award-winning lyrical duo of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman) have managed to capture the world of musical theater and combine it with the intimacy of television, giving the home audience a peek inside the tumultuous daily grind of those working in the world of Broadway with genuine Broadway talent, original songs and top-notch choreography.
The show’s freshman season began as Julia (Emmy Award winner Debra Messing, “Will and Grace“) started the process of adopting a child with her husband Frank (Tony Award nominee Brian d’Arcy James, “Shrek the Musical“). Julia quickly shifts her focus on family when she had the opportunity to team up with Tom (Tony Award nominee Christian Borle, “Legally Blonde: The Musical“) to write another Broadway hit. Producer Eileen (Oscar winner, Anjelica Huston, “Prizzi’s Honor“) discovers the project and eagerly jumps on board with acclaimed director Derek (Jack Davenport, “Pirates of the Caribbean” films) to help make the musical a reality. All they need now is a star of the show. Not an easy task for this creative team as their torn between two leading ladies and a decision must be made whether veteran Broadway actress Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty, “Wicked“) who’s determined to leave the ranks of the chorus line and get her big break or newcomer Karen Cartwright (Katharine McPhee, “American Idol“) should play the blonde legend.
And then there’s the music. Shaiman and Wittman exceeded all expectations with their genius by succeeding at writing a credible music. Episode after episode, the songs are simply superb, the musical numbers (which magically transition from rehearsal spaces to Broadway stages) are spectacular and the vocal performers are all best-in-class.
Despite a few bumps in the road (did anyone else hate Ellis?), season one was a triumph wrapping on an anticipatory high-note.
“Smash” returns for its second season February 5 and 9 p.m. EST with a two-hour premiere on NBC. The second season is poised to be even bigger than the first with guest appearances by Liza Minnelli, Jennifer Hudson, Bernadette Peters and a slew of Broadway stars like Nikki Blonsky (“Hairspray“), Jesse L. Martin (“Rent“)and Daphne Rubin-Vega (“Rent“).
The Verdict: Love a good rivalry, all things Broadway, the Big Apple and indisputable talent? Look no further than “Smash” and put it on your weekly must-see list.
Airs: Tuesdays at 9/8 CT
Starring: Debra Messing, Jack Davenport, Katharine McPheee, Christian Borle, Megan Hilty,Anjelica Huston, Leslie Odom Jr.,Wesley Taylor, Raza Jaffrey, Brian d’Arcy James
SMASH DVD GIVEAWAY
Want a free “Smash” Season 1 DVD? Five lucky fans will win a free copy right here on Miss A!
Enter using the PunchTab widget below. The giveaway ends Monday, Jan. 21 at 11:50 p.m. EST. Good luck!