Photo Credit: Will Hart/NBC
Smash, this winter's most anticipated new TV show, doesn't premiere until Monday -- but why should you have to wait? The NBC musical drama, starring Debra Messing and American Idol's Katharine McPhee in a performance that's got everyone talking, is streaming online for a limited time. Watch the premiere episode below!
Smash stars McPhee as Karen Cartwright, a small-town Midwestern girl who's waiting tables in New York City as she pursues her Broadway dream. When she auditions for a new musical about Marilyn Monroe, written by a famous songwriting duo (Messing and Christian Borle), she hopes it could finally be her big break. But she's got some stiff competition from another actress: a seasoned Broadway veteran named Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty).
If you're already comparing the show in your head to Glee, it's understandable: They're both based around dynamic young actors and big musical numbers. And both have some seriously high-profile guest stars; this season, Uma Thurman, Nick Jonas and Bernadette Peters will all appear on Smash.
But in many ways, that's where the similarities end. Smash is written by Broadway insiders, who are committed to making it both dramatic and realistic ("realistic" being something that Glee is decidedly not). And though it has its share of familiar covers (like "Beautiful" from the pilot episode), Smash largely uses new original songs, composed by the team that wrote the catchy tunes from Hairspray. As Smash moves through its first season, viewers will watch the show-within-a-show come to life -- and hopefully, the Marilyn Monroe show will actually be headed to Broadway. How's that for reality TV?
The anticipation for Smash has been building for months; back in June, it won a Most Exciting New Series award at the Critics' Choice Television Awards, along with shows like Fox's New Girl. McPhee is getting rave reviews and is poised for major stardom. And Hilty's performance as Marilyn is so convincing, she's just been cast in Marilyn's role in a spring revival of the 1949 musical comedy Gentleman Prefer Blondes.
Smash premieres on NBC on Monday Feb. 6 at 10 p.m., immediately following The Voice.