The show's premise, the creation of an original Broadway musical, is intriguing. Unfortunately, the show does not focus on what would be the interesting aspects of bringing a show from an idea to a fully staged musical. Smash is being promoted as a the story of Katharine McPhee's Karen and Megan Hilty's Ivy competing for a dream role in a musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, but a surprisingly little amount of time is spent with those characters. Instead, there are subplots surrounding adoption, Angelica Huston's divorce, and old grudges.
|Megan Hilty and Katherine McPhee|
Messing and Christian Borle do not believably portray songwriters. Their delivery seems stilted at best, and, at times, downright awkward. The introduction of Angelica Huston's Eileen, though necessary to the plot because she wants to produce the show, went too far into her personal life by diving into her messy divorce and felt like an unnecessary addition. That plot line, along with the Messing character's adoption storyline, serve as proof that the show needs to find focus. It will be difficult to pull along all the disparate storylines that were introduced in the pilot. Here's hoping Smash's writers let Karen and Ivy take center stage.