I liked the production values and the fact that they took a big chance by having the majority of music be new an specifically written for the show on Marilyn Monroe that Smash is supposedly developing (and I like that they hired actual Broadway composers--the Hairspray team--to compose the tunes). I thought the baseball number and the song that closed out the episode could easily get some I-tune hits. If they do, it could help the show survive. I also appreciated that they had a number of roles for women that were central to the show. In fact, more often than not, it was the men who were in supporting roles to the women in the pilot. Since I suspect they were looking at women as a significant portion of the viewing audience, that makes sense.
I would agree, though, that the plot points thus far are rather predictable and that there are ways around that I wish they'd taken. The biggest groaner for me was that Debra Messing's character was supposed to be taking a break from show business while she and her husband pursued adopting a second child (their first being a teenage boy who was predictably sullen) and that her husband kept reminding her of that repeatedly as she became more interested in doing the Marilyn musical. I've seen far too many shows where the big conflict for a major female character was work vs. children. Instead of making Debra's character face that conflict--if they had to make anyone face it--why not make her gay male writing partner be the one looking at adoption and his husband be the one with the concern that if he returned to working crazy hours that it would affect their ability to adopt? At least that would be a new angle on an old sawhorse of a conflict. Or have the agreement be that Debra's character's husband was the one who was supposed to be cutting back on hours to facilitate the adoption, only he was backing out on the idea of being Mr. Mom. Why does it have to be the "bad" working mom who's the problem in the adoption, because she won't choose a new baby over a big creative career opportunity(assuming they're looking at adopting a baby--that hasn't been established, so far as I could tell)? Haven't we all seen that plot line enough at this point? If they need secondary plot lines at this point, at least go for something more original. I'm kind of hoping that storyline goes away quickly and that it won't just be the musical that gets in the way--maybe something like Debra's character getting into it with her husband about the adoption being more his idea than hers and admitting that she isn't sure, musical or no musical, if she really wants to go back to being a mommy of a baby when their older son is already a teenager. Not being sure you want to start all over again as the older child is getting ever closer to adulthood doesn't seem like an unusual or unreasonable real life situation to me.
I also find myself rooting for the older, more established Broadway actress who's been waiting ten years for a break too, though at least, thus far, she isn't the "villain" preventing the new, young ingenue from getting the role. She's certainly talented (she ought to be--she's a real life Broadway musical actress) and it's understandable that she could feel frustrated that she had helped sell the musical to backers on a completely voluntary basis only to see her big role possibly slipping away.