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Thread: Smash (NBC- Tuesday 10/9 C)

  1. #11
    FORT Fogey Florimel's Avatar
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    Re: Smash (NBC- Mondays 10/9 C)

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post
    OMG, I LOVED the first episode! Now I have to wait an additional week to get a new episode!

    I like Megan Hilty and she's got a lovely voice, but there's just something about Katharine McPhee. I thought she should have won AI and maybe I'm right since look at where she is - starring in a heavily promoted show on network TV - and look at where Taylor Hicks is - dropped by his record label (I think). I guess if she'd won, her career would be different and she wouldn't have been able to take advantage of the opportunities to act, which I think she's pretty good at.

    All in all, I thought the cast was terrific and I liked the pacing. Based on the beginning of the preview at the end of episode 1, it looked like
    Click to see Spoiler:
    they were setting up Karen as the one who gets the part, but then they showed more of
    Ivy.


    I'm a big musical theater fan, but I don't know much about the development stage. Realistically, how long could they have two actresses vying for the same part?
    It depends really on where they are in the process. From what I could tell, the book isn't finished yet, nor are the songs, which then have to be arranged and the choreography done. Looks like there will be issues with the financing and there are still out of town trials, and there are almost always rewrites and recasts after that so it could theoretically go on for quite a while -- and there are all the personal stories to tell, too.

    There is always at least one understudy for the lead roles and the understudies often also have supporting roles to do when the star is performing. Sometimes the understudy will do a matinee for a number of reasons. It's how many start get discovered.
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  2. #12
    FORT Fogey
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    Re: Smash (NBC- Mondays 10/9 C)

    For All My Children fans, I read that Thorsten Kaye ("Zach Slater") will be a love interest for Anjelica Huston's character, but I don't know how much air time he'll have.

  3. #13
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: Smash (NBC- Mondays 10/9 C)

    Nice review in The Daily Beast (newsweek):
    ‘Smash’ on NBC Is a Love Letter to Broadway and Marilyn Monroe
    Jan 23, 2012 12:00 AM EST

    Fifty years after her death, the mention of Marilyn Monroe conjures up familiar imagery: that whispery voice, the platinum hair, her vulnerability. From Michelle Williams’s recent embodiment to yet another reissue of Monroe’s last photo shoot, she’s still inescapable, and always exerting a gravitational pull on popular imagination.
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    NBC’s upcoming series Smash is many things—a backstage drama, the brainchild of creator and executive producer Theresa Rebeck—but it’s also a loving paean to Broadway, and to the enduring legacy of Monroe.

    Following actors, directors, producers, and writers as they scramble to produce Marilyn: The Musical, the premise of Smash smacks you across the face—why hasn’t this been done before? The result is intoxicating and imaginative, The West Wing for the Broadway set. This could be more than a show—it smells like a franchise. Future seasons, should Smash become a hit, would tackle other musicals.

    Steven Spielberg is on board as an executive producer, but the real secret weapon is Rebeck, an award-winning playwright, who has a foot on Broadway this very moment with Seminar, starring Alan Rickman. She’s no stranger to television, having written for NYPD Blue and L.A. Law, but cop and lawyer shows don’t exactly align with her Broadway roots or her own creative ambitions.

    Yet Rebeck was at the top of a very short list of writers that the producers felt could tackle the subject matter. “There aren’t many Aaron Sorkins out there who have an actual voice,” says executive producer Craig Zadan. “She does, and you see it when you see her plays. It’s so specific and that’s what this needed.”

    Smash brings a rarefied world to life through a panoply of diverse characters. “Even though there’s a lot of pain and difficulty, I wanted to tell the story of how these people put so much of themselves on the line for this very ephemeral art form,” says Rebeck. “People in the theater have a great passion for the beauty of making that magical thing that’s just going to evaporate as soon as it’s finished. The dream is big and the lives are rocky.”

    Struggles, angst, and drama bleed from the characters’ messy work lives into their messy home lives. In her return to network television post–Will & Grace, Debra Messing plays a lyricist attempting to adopt a child. American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee and Broadway staple Megan Hilty duke it out to play Marilyn. British actor Jack Davenport portrays a slimy director, a homophobe whose presence throws others into dizzying panic. But the scene stealer is Anjelica Huston as a vengeful producer eager to stick it to her lecherous ex-husband. “[Marilyn] was all things to all people,” says Huston. “She was a lost little girl, she was a bombshell supreme. She is this endlessly fascinating balance of brilliance and dumb sweetness.”

    One of Smash’s strengths is its unabashed, overt ambition. Dreams are achievable in this little universe. The desperation of Karen (McPhee) and Ivy (Hilty) to step into Marilyn’s shoes is palpable, yet the show never veers too far into wish-fulfillment territory. “We didn’t want it to be Entourage,” says executive producer Neil Meron. Ultimately, Smash reflects the balance between everyday life and the struggle to create art. “When you finally get to do the thing that you dream of, it’s quite, quite magical,” says Rebeck. “Then you have to go home and live your life, and for a lot of people in the arts and the theater, there are long dry spells in between these moments. There’s something haunting about that ebb and flow.”

    Rebeck spares no detail about Broadway: the cutthroat competition, seedy casting couches, chorus-girl ennui, and the pure joy of performance are all mined for drama. The producers admit that Glee broke the glass ceiling for the musical drama on TV, after the genre endured a particularly unsuccessful history. The graveyard is littered with casualties, dating back to Steven Bochco’s infamous Cop Rock. But Smash is less manic than Glee; the songs are adornments to a larger and more sophisticated story, not the other way around.

    It’s NBC’s hope that Smash will help propel the fourth-place network back to its glory days—or at least give it a fighting chance. Should it soar in the ratings, there are rumblings the producers could take Marilyn: The Musical to Broadway in real life. Lyricist-and-composer team Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray) have written 15 original songs for the show-within-a-show, enough for the spine of the musical’s book.

    But it’s still very early. “That’s a romantic notion that we all think about,” says NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt, who brought Smash with him from Showtime and helped translate the workplace-comedy film 9 to 5 onto the stage a few years ago. “I don’t think you’ll see a real Broadway version of Marilyn: The Musical for a long time, if ever. I hope I’m not a dream killer.”

    If Smash proves anything, it’s that dreams are worth fighting for, even if the outcome is entirely uncertain
    ‘Smash’ on NBC Is a Love Letter to Broadway and Marilyn Monroe - The Daily Beast
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

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  4. #14
    FORT Fogey Ellen's Avatar
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    Re: Smash (NBC- Mondays 10/9 C)

    I watched the pilot on On Demand. For me it was a bit gimmicky, predictable, and boring. Then again, it could've been my mood. I like Huston & Spielberg, so I'll have to give it another chance.
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  5. #15
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    Re: Smash (NBC- Mondays 10/9 C)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ellen View Post
    I watched the pilot on On Demand. Meh.
    Really? Dang! I was hoping it was good.I cant stand Glee, oh well maybe I will tune in to see.

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    Re: Smash (NBC- Mondays 10/9 C)

    I'd say watch it and see what you think. I really loved it even though, of course, it's a bit predictable. Most TV is. What you hope for is that the ride is enjoyable and I thought this one was.
    Florimel, Katydyd and Fanny Mare like this.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  7. #17
    Live-Love-Laugh Fanny Mare's Avatar
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    Re: Smash (NBC- Mondays 10/9 C)

    Oh good to hear! thanks.

  8. #18
    FORT Fogey Ellen's Avatar
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    Re: Smash (NBC- Mondays 10/9 C)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fanny Mare View Post
    Really? Dang! I was hoping it was good.I cant stand Glee, oh well maybe I will tune in to see.
    If you can't stand Glee, this will likely be worse. Or not, depending on what you hate about it.
    If you watch it, I'm interested in reading your insights/opinions.
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  9. #19
    Live-Love-Laugh Fanny Mare's Avatar
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    Re: Smash (NBC- Mondays 10/9 C)

    I just dont like the players in Glee.Something about all of them turns me off. I did tune in for the MJ show, but even then I couldn't listen to it all.

  10. #20
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: Smash (NBC- Mondays 10/9 C)

    If you're not a musical theater fan OR don't like people singing, you probably won't like this show no matter how good it is. I will say that Glee is very camp and over-the-top, while this show isn't. Of course, musical theater is almost always campy, but Smash comes across more like a musical drama than a musical comedy, if that makes sense. For me, the ONLY thing these shows have in common is that there is singing.

    I like the premise, I think the writing is good and I pretty much like everyone on the cast. I'm, admittedly, a theater geek, so I'm their target audience. Still, I thought it was really well done, especially for a pilot.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

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