Smash: Pilot

17 Jan

So guess what! The Smash pilot is available for free on Itunes right now! NBC really wants people to watch this thing, you guys. So I kindly obliged. And I very much enjoyed it! And it had so many exciting people! Christian Borle! Brian d’Arcy James! Mrs. Weir from Freaks and Geeks! Alex Wong! Annaleigh Ashford! With the Broadway/So You Think You Can Dance/characters from beloved shows mix of guest stars/cameos it really was like a better plotted, better written, more adult version of Glee (current Glee I mean–it wasn’t as good as the Glee pilot, but that version of the show disappeared real fast). It also did a good job setting up all the characters, and made me want to know more about them, particularly what exactly happened between Christian Borle’s character and the director, who is obviously a huge skeeze.

My main problem right now is the same problem I’ve had since I first heard about the show: I cannot buy Katharine McPhee as a credible rival to Megan Hilty. I’m sure I’m biased because I’ve seen Megan live and she was amazing and I love her, but even stepping back from that I just don’t think they’re in the same league. There was one part where they were singing the same song at the same time, and Megan’s voice just overpowered Katharine’s. There’s no doubt Katharine is a very good singer, but Megan’s singing is just richer. It also didn’t help that the audition song that Katharine’s character sang was Beautiful, which I can’t stand. I’m assuming at this point that Katharine’s character is going to be the one that gets the part, just based on how the show has been set up, and I just don’t think that’s believable based on looks or talent–but maybe the show will prove me wrong, who knows. Plus, we’re living in a world where Taylor Swift was just cast as Eponine in the Les Miz movie, so I guess anything is possible (not that Katharine’s character getting the part would be anywhere NEAR the travesty that is that decision). And I did like how neither girl is being set up as a villain–they’re rivals, but they’re also both good people. Though based on the preview, it looks like Megan’s character is heading for some poor decisions. I also have one other issue: Debra Messing’s character talked about how she didn’t want anyone else to do the Marilyn musical, basically because she wanted to make sure she wasn’t treated as a joke, but that baseball number seemed pretty Marilyn-as-joke to me. The other songs they sang were better though, so I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve seen more.

I’ll definitely be watching the show when it comes on for real, but I’m very curious to see how they’re going to sustain this past a season. I mean it obviously takes a looong time for musicals to get from conception to Broadway, but I don’t know if “We’re going into previews! Oh now it’s time for some editing based on feedback!” and so on will be particularly fun plot lines to watch in the future. We shall see…

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