NBC's Smash: What the Critics Are Saying About the Premiere

Katharine McPhee, Karen

Former American Idol runner-up McPhee stars as Karen Cartwright, an aspiring singer-actress fresh off the bus from Iowa as she pursues her Broadway dream. The morally grounded Karen will square off against Hilty's Ivy for the Marilyn part, facing professional and personal challenges and tests along the way.

The Broadway-based show stars Katharine McPhee, Debra Messing, Anjelica Huston and Megan Hilty.

After much fanfare (and a The Voice lead in), NBC's midseason musical drama, Smash, finally premiered Monday night. 

The show, based on a Broadway musical, stars industry heavyweights Anjelica Huston and Debra Messing as well as former American Idol contestant Katharine McPhee and virtual newcomesr Megan Hilty and Jack Davenport

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After it's opening night premiere, the reviews are in ... and they're almost unanimously positive.  

THR's TV critic Tim Goodman calls the show "Glee for grown-ups," saying, "Smash is a surprisingly high-quality drama and entertainment well worth your investment of time and support, and that’s the only thing a viewer needs to be concerned about," but he does also note that the drama may be too niche for network. 

Salon headlines their recap by calling the show "an irresistible take on Marilyn, musicals," before reviewer Kera Bolonik admits he doesn't like musicals: "For a curmudgeon like me, that has skin-crawl written all over it. Except that I was absolutely, instantly bewitched. By the writing. By the acting. By the story and the stories within the story. Even by — especially by — the music."

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The Wall Street Journal highlight's the network's large promotional push, saying, After weeks and weeks of advertising, “Smash” premieres," but then goes on to praise the premier, writing," the show seems to have a lot of promise, and the musical numbers dazzled."

"Based on the premiere, which did the internet version of playing out-of-town try-outs on NBC’s website, I think you’d have to say this was one damn lively show with a lot of promise," writes Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker. "I’m a sucker for behind-the-scenes stories, for how-they-do-it productions, for catty exposes of how dirty one’s hands must get to create a gleaming-bright spectacle." 

"Save It or Sink It?" asks E! Online ... though it's immediately clear what their reviewer wants to do. "Confession: we're crying. Don't worry! It's happy crying!" gushes the recap, calling the cast "amazing" before praising "the musical numbers! The drama! The hotness that is Davenport!"