1. It feels so real. Despite its showy, musical theater trappings (which we love) the characters at the heart of this story are so real and heart breaking. Anybody who knows people in the theater world, has seen A Chorus Line or has auditioned for a high school musical understands how hard actors work and how difficult and emotional that kind of life is. While watching the pilot, we wanted both Karen (Katherine McPhee) and Ivy (Megan Hilty) to be cast as Marilyn because they both have compelling stories, and are phenomenally talented. (Okay, secretly, we wanted Ivy to be cast a little bit more than we wanted Karen to be, but that is just because one of us maybe saw Megan Hilty as Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked on Broadway…. ) In the actual show though, it feels believable that they’re having a hard time making the choice–there’s not one that’s demonstrably a better fit than the other.
2. Debra Messing: We are just so happy that she is back on television! She plays Julia, the likable, married, working woman who is trying to adopt a baby and write a Broadway musical at the same time. Along the way she has to deal with the overly dramatic personalities in the theater world, her husband nagging her about her job, and it appears that she also has a teenage son. Mostly Debra Messing is just delightful even (especially?) when her life is out of control.
3. Everyone loves musicals: Don’t front! We know you do! Broadway is just as American as jazz music, reality TV, baseball, and fast food. In creating a plot around a Broadway musical, “Smash” has tastefully built on Glee’s success and made a sophisticated show for an older, more mature audience. It also gives people insight into the difficult, political, emotional and dramatic behind the scenes process of putting on a Broadway musical! The potential for drama is endless AND (unlike in normal television shows) it will always end in a SONG AND DANCE!!! What is not to love about that?
4. Anjelica Huston: First of all, with an Academy Award under her belt, this woman is by far the most legit film actress on the show. Secondly, her character on this show is BOSS, and in the preview for the rest of the film throws drinks in people’s faces like 3 separate times! Drama! We love her so much! She is also one of our favorite actresses from one of our other favorite films – 50/50 where she played Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s overbearing mother and was superb, as usual. She is just an all around exceptional actress and choice for this show!
5. Lastly, dear God, NBC needs this. We want to encourage NBC to continue making quality programming, rather than exclusively focusing on reality TV. So let’s all watch it. Please.