(Vidar is sorry for that Variety-like opening line.)
While it is a pretty good show – better than most (once you get past the first painful ten minutes where everyone is trying too hard) – not very many people will watch it.
NBC and the creators have worked incredibly hard to produce a show no one will care about (outside of the families of the people working on the show).
In interviews, they call this an authentic show about what really happens during the making of a Broadway musical.
There is nothing authentic about it.
From the Earth tone color palette of the apartments and clothes, to the noiseless, clean streets of New York, to the very simple auditioning process, “Smash” is as much about the real Broadway as “Miss Saigon” is about the real Vietnam.
(Vidar knows Broadway – oh, yes.)
But Vidar – Norse God of Silence, Stealth & Revenge – you said it was a pretty good show?
But it is a fantasy – a dreamland depiction of Broadway – and doomed to fail much like Loki was doomed to fail at Ragnarok. Ha!
The Cast – All very able doing what was asked of them – with Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty in star-making performances.
The small scene with Megan Hilty alone in her tiny kitchen talking to her mom on the phone was the best and most realistic moment in the entire episode.
The Songs – They all worked well even though Vidar is completely sick of Marc Shaiman. Is there no other composers available to write shows for Broadway?
However, the best musical moment in the “Pilot” was when Katharine McPhee sang “Beautiful” – not written by Marc Shaiman.
More moments like that and less “show tune” moments might turn “Smash” into a marginal hit – but then, it would be “Glee.”
The Writing – Clunky set-ups, jamming way too much information into the Pilot. The characters are decent though all very vanilla.
Katharine McPhee’s overly perfect boyfriend knows more about Marilyn Monroe than anyone else?
Everyone was praising Marilyn Monroe so much one would think the estate of Marilyn Monroe told the producers they couldn’t say anything bad about her. Too much of a love letter – not enough resistance to a corny idea for a musical. Debra Messing’s adoption scenario is too forced and unbelievable. Angelica Huston’s divorce proceedings is too forced and unbelievable. etc. etc. etc.
The Production Design – Way too clean. WAY TOO CLEAN! Who in the world has lighting like these people have in their apartments? And every street in New York – would it kill someone to throw a piece of trash in the streets?
NBC – Vidar believes the network has put too much behind the show which is so obviously not going to be watched by a large enough audience to justify the cost. A broadcast network only gets the Super Bowl once every four years and “Smash” is the show you would like to launch given that enormous platform? Yikes.
Vidar admires the conjones but questions the judgment.
All that said, Vidar will watch every episode and write faithfully about them.
Vidar, not an evil God, would like this show to succeed (but knows it won’t).
Good luck “Smash.”
Vidar – The Norse God of Silence, Stealth & Revenge
P.S. – For an accurate depiction of Broadway and actors trying to make it in New York – please see “All That Jazz” and “Fame” (the first movie – not the crappy remake)