NBC's new musical drama "Smash"premieres

This NBC musical drama put a bright, sexy sheen on one of filmdom's most timeless tropes: Hey, kids, let's put on a show! Which "Smash" did, embedding songs and dance into the story of how a Broadway musical comes to life. Sure, "Smash" took knocks for unbelievable plotlines, cardboard characters and trite show tunes. It gave new life to the term "hate-watch" (that act of watching something solely to delight in its awfulness). So what? With a show-must-go-on defiance emblematic of Broadway, "Smash" never flagged in its unique charm and meticulous artistry. And if anything about it seemed over-the-top, its naysayers should consider the recent cockamamie real-life fraud that sank the Broadway musical "Rebecca." As "Smash" knows and demonstrated proudly, nothing is too wacky for Broadway. By AP TV Writer Frazier Moore. Will Hart

Katharine McPhee as Karen Cartwright in NBC's new musical drama "Smash."
Will Hart/NBC

(CBS) Smash, NBC's midseason musical drama starring Anjelica Huston, Debra Messing and former "American Idol" contestant Katherine McPhee, premiered Monday night to fairly positive reviews.

The show revolves around a musical adaptation of the life of Marilyn Monroe, with character's Ivy, played by Megan Hilty, and Karen, played by McPhee, as the top two contenders to play Marilyn.

Originally, because the show is musical, there had been a lot of comparisons to "Glee," but many critics have dispelled that notion.

"'Smash' is surprisingly high-quality drama and entertainment well worth your investment of time and support, and that's the only thing a viewer needs to be concerned about," says the Hollywood Reporter, calling the show "'Glee' for grown-ups."

"It is more adult and it is darker...It's about Broadway instead of high school," says cast member Hilty to E! News about the show's comparisons to "Glee."

Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker said, "Based on the premiere, which did the internet version of playing out-of-town try-outs on NBC's website, I think you'd have to say this was one damn lively show with a lot of promise."

The Wall Street Journal's show recap agreed with Tucker, saying "The show seems to have a lot of promise, and the musical numbers dazzled." 

Tell us: What did you think of "Smash"?

  • Camille Mann

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