NBC’s Smash is like an adult version of Glee because singing and dancing is apparently what people like these days. Glee has been fairly successful since it premiered in 2009/2010. ABC just introduced Nashville which I heard is a hit, and then there are all these reality TV shows like So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, Dance Moms, The X Factor, etc. With the success of most of these shows, it is no surprise that NBC would pick up a musical of their own.
Season 1 of Smash follows the life of newcomer and waitress Karen Cartwright (Katherine McPhee) on her quest to make a name for herself on the New York Broadway scene. She auditions for a work in progress of a Broadway show about the life of Marilyn Monroe, gets a callback, and so it all begins. The rest of show follows Karen and her relationships between her boyfriend Dev Sundaram (Raza Jaffery) and her competition Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty) who also got a callback for Marilyn and has the experience on the Broadway show as a member of the chorus/ensemble of Heaven on Earth. The show also follows the lives of Julia Houston (Debra Messing) and Tom Levitt (Christian Borle), the writer and songwriter of the Marilyn production, as well as Eileen Rand (Anjelica Huston), the producer, and director Derek Wills (Jack Davenport) with celebrity guest appearances from Nick Jonas, Ryan Tedder, and Uma Thurman. (I believe Jennifer Hudson is joining the show for season two).
I watched the first season, which was fifteen episodes, in the last three days, and I kind of loved it. I think I fell in love a little bit with Debra Messing . . . As the show unfolded, you keep seeing all these good things happen to/for Karen and all these not so good things happen to Ivy, and that’s really the point of this post. Karen Cartwright is the definition of a sweetheart. She is SUCH a nice person, and that’s not something you see often on TV anymore. Even Ms. Rachel Berry pulled out her claws a few times before going off to New York to ensure that she stayed on top, but Karen (aka Iowa) is SO genuine. I don’t know if that’s the way the character was purposefully written or because she hasn’t been in New York long enough to let it corrupt her, but whatever the reason, Iowa seems to be the epitome of Good things happen to good people. And the opposite can be applied to Ivy. She tried to sleep and connive her way to the top and ended up not getting what she truly wanted.
I’ll admit, Karen’s character does get a little annoying from time to time, mainly because she is so sweet. She never sticks up for herself, but that seems to be changing in season 2 (premiering on February 5th). Needless to say, I am excited! We’ll see if Little Miss Iowa has what it takes to survive the catty, ruthless, and vindictive competition of New York Broadway.