If you watched the Super Bowl, you just might have heard of Smash, NBC's new drama about the making of a Broadway musical. It premiered last night, and critics are (mostly) giving it a standing ovation:
- The buzz has gotten so intense that the conversation isn't even about whether it'll be good. "Good? Darling, it's great!" gushes Mary McNamara of the LA Times. The creators have "managed to capture the grand and sweeping gesture that is musical theater and inject it with the immediate intimacy of television," an impressive, unprecedented feat.
- Smash "looks and feels like a well-written, tightly focused adult drama more likely to be found on cable than anywhere else," observes Tim Goodman of the Hollywood Reporter. "That doesn't mean it's going to be a hit, nor even acclaimed … But it's a hell of a start."
- But be warned: "Smash has enough cheese to feed all the rodents in Disney World and Washington combined," writes Glenn Garvin of the Miami Herald, though he still found its cavalcade of clichés entertaining. "It’s pure greasepaint melodrama. Sneer all you want, but if you sneak in a secret smile now and then, that’s OK, too. "
- But all the stock characters and situations ruined the show for James Poniewozik of Time. "Smash is about sophisticated people, yes, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually doing sophisticated storytelling," he writes. "For all the talk of its ambition, it was pretty much exactly what I'd expect a middlebrow, adult-oriented NBC show about Broadway to look like."