|Katherine McPhee on the left and Megan Hilty on the right as the two main contenders for Marilyn Monroe|
So the highly anticipated musical/drama series Smash premieres tonight and if you're like me, you couldn't wait to get into the Broadway spirit and watched it on your computer last night on Hulu. Here's a rundown. Katherine McPhee (from American Idol fame) plays a down and out actress/waitress originally from the midwest who has the talent but doesn't have the luck in the show business game, until two quirky lyricists (Debra Messing and Christian Borle) decide to milk the idea of a musical based on the life of one Marilyn Monroe. Sound corny yet? Hang in there.
There will be a baseball number, and a lot of glittery pink dresses, it's going to be that Marilyn story that everyone has been waiting for since her untimely demise back in 1962, and there's already a favorite for the lead; a busty, buxom, center-of-attention blonde named Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty), she looks the part, and she can sing, but enter mousy, brunette Karen Cartwright (Katherine McPhee) and now the show has some competition on its hands.
It takes them no more than one episode to show the 'seedy underbelly' of this business we call show by introducing a tyrannical sleaze bag director (Jack Davenport) who loves to proposition young naive auditionee's promising them a meaty part if they blow him (like that never happens).
Over all, the pilot was actually a bit underwhelming; I was expecting it to be this huge middle finger to Glee which it kind of was, but wasn't anything we hadn't already seen, and seemed just a tiny bit clap trap. But then again, it is a pilot, and we should give it just a bit more time to develop.
What's more important is that considering this is a show about the theater, there is a lot more creative license allowed with the suspension of disbelief that is created when putting on something like a musical based on the life of the biggest pop-culture icon of the 20th century next to Charlie Chaplin. You don't have to get her exactly right is what I'm saying, and that's a good thing, because most attempts at that fall flat (I'm talking to you Michelle Williams!). Ivy and Karen both seem like interesting contenders for Marilyn immortality on the stage. Ivy's got the boobs, sultry voice, and unbridled sensuality, while Karen has the vulnerability, charm, and heart.
This one has a really stellar cast and an interesting premise, I'm excited to see what kind of sexy fun everyone brings to the table in the upcoming weeks. Here's a clip from the pilot featuring the first song written for the musical 'The National Pasttime'.