TV review: Smash

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From the February 2, 2012 edition

NBC really needs a hit, and “Smash” — a “Glee”-like musical drama — might be it. Maybe.

Starring “American Idol” runner-up (and pretty face) Katharine McPhee, Debra Messing (“Will & Grace”) and the legendary Anjelica Huston, the behind-the-scenes look at a Broadway musical has star power, too. Even the narrative takes an admirable approach — giving each character involved in the musical a backstory and motivations, fears, etc.

But I still have doubts.

The success of “Glee” is twofold: There’s the pop music and the high school drama. “Smash” has neither. It’s nearly all Broadway-style music, with only one pop song in each of the first two episodes, and the cast is all over the age of 20. Also, the musical is about Marilyn Monroe — who’s an icon — but does she still resonate with today’s audiences?

NBC really needs this, and even though it’s not for me — a “Breaking Bad” and “Justified” fan who despises “Glee” — I recommend people give it a shot.