Smash is Smashing! Are You Watching?

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Smash is Smashing! Are You Watching?

If you’ve got your finger anywhere near the pulse of queer TV or pop culture, you’ve probably already heard some of the rave reviews about NBC’s new show-within-a-show Broadway drama, Smash. It’s here, it’s queer, and it promises to feature fabulously overproduced, themed musical numbers in every episode—no surprise it’s been called “Glee for grownups” by every critic with eyes, ears and an iPod. If you missed last night’s premiere, don’t worry—you can still catch it on Hulu (apologies to our international readers). But is it really worth sucking another hour from your life each week to add to your mounting pile of must-see TV?

 

Yes. Yes it is. I happened to be high as a kite on migraine meds when I saw the pilot ep, and all throughout the screening, I kept thinking, “Man, this is so gay! It would be so cool if this were a real TV show.” Yes, life is hilarious when you have a prescription for Imitrex; but really, this show is quite gay, in that way that manages to be deliciously subversive precisely because it’s all so normalizing. It makes you forget that gay TV characters aren’t this prominent everywhere, all the time, on every channel. No queer female characters were introduced in the first episode, but creator Theresa Rebeck promises that there will indeed be “something for everyone” as the season unfolds. "And we have lots of pretty girls singing and having sex with people they shouldn't. I think lesbians will like it: pretty girls singing and having sex and all sorts of people having sex with people they shouldn't. It doesn't seem like a narrow field to me!"

Preach, sister. So now that you’re hooked, would you like to know what the show is actually about? Right this way please, and remember, the first three rows will get glitter bombed.

As the giant Lite Brite title screen fades, we meet our first performer (Karen Cartwright, played by American Idol’s Katharine McPhee) as she belts out a gorgeous rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, in a perfectly sparkly dress on a perfectly sparkly stage. And then, just when you’re perfectly entranced—the phone rings.

And it’s not a sparkly stage at all; just a plain, depressingly beige



Comments [10]

Tiff's picture

Just finished watching the

Just finished watching the pilot. Oh. My. God. I think I'm in love. That's really saying something. I was three episodes in before I felt that way about Glee....

Robin Rigby's picture

So Jenny, do you actually

So Jenny, do you actually think they're going to choose or come up with some way to offer it to them both? I'm thinking Katie Mac ends up playing Norma Jean & Megan H plays Marilyn. Discuss. 

Tiff's picture

That's genius! I hope you're

That's genius! I hope you're correct.

Jenny Aisenberg's picture

fuck yes

I definitely didn't think they would choose one and dismiss the other-- this show has two leading ladies, clearly-- but I hadn't gotten as far as imagining a specific scenario. the idea of splitting the role into norma jean & marilyn is ruddy brilliant, tho! I can easily see that happening. I suppose we'll have to wait and see!

"We're all born naked. The rest is drag."
--RuPaul (appropriating Judith Butler for the masses...)

Robin Rigby's picture

It was the first thing I

It was the first thing I thought of when I saw the episode. 

Oh, and for the record, it's Anjelica Huston with a J. I remember that one because I love her in everything. 

Conlite's picture

I was wondering if one would

I was wondering if one would be cast as an understudy (the nicest one) to the other?  With drama as understudy has to take over at last minute or somesuch.

Robin Rigby's picture

I thought of that, too. That

I thought of that, too. That would be the tried and true plot device. What made me think the other was that KM has yet to go blonde (not even with a wig), they say she's not sexy (neither was Marilyn in the beginning), and it could make for an amazing story within the story if they did flashbacks in the stage production or if Marilyn sometimes talked/sang to Norma Jean about being Marilyn.

I'm actually wicked excited about that idea. Call Spielberg. I need to write this shit. 

Tiff's picture

Also, Megan Hilty? Double

Also, Megan Hilty? Double yay! This is fun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkk2sM2hrno&feature=related Clearly, she's my vote for Marilyn. I don't follow American Idol, so I'm not familiar with the other one....

Tiff's picture

Yay!!!

The minute I saw this in the New York Times theatre section, my first thought was, I hope Jenny Aisenberg watches and then reviews this show on VelvetPark. I knew I could count on you! Smile

Jenny Aisenberg's picture

d'awwz! thx dear :)

now I'm blushing...and yeah, I don't watch american idol either (actually I'm pretty much allergic to all reality tv, with the exception of the first season of the real world and rupaul's drag race) so I'm not familiar w/ katherine mcphee, either. but I actually kind if love them both!

"We're all born naked. The rest is drag."
--RuPaul (appropriating Judith Butler for the masses...)