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'Smash' Premieres Tonight: 5 Reasons You Need To Watch (And Keep Watching)

Mon, February 6, 2012 12:22pm EDT by Andy Swift 9 Comments
Courtesy of NBC

Watch the full ‘Smash’ pilot here, then find out why you should keep tuning in every Monday night.

The curtain rises at 10 p.m. tonight on NBC’s new musical drama Smash, but considering the many ways people have already been able to watch the pilot — iTunes, Hulu, On Demand, etc. — it feels like the curtain has already been up for a while. And just in case the flood of promos during the Super Bowl wasn’t enough to convince you to tune in, allow me to try.

And now, my five reasons why you’d be the dumbest ever to miss out on Smash:

1. Katharine McPhee: Not only is she the biggest surprise of Smash, but Kat’s Karen is also responsible for much of the show’s heart. If you’re wondering why promos for Smash say “introducing Katharine McPhee,” despite the fact that we already met her years ago on American Idol, it’s because we really are meeting her in a whole new light on Smash. She’s compelling, she’s vulnerable — and damn it — she can put on a show!

2. It’s not Glee: Yes, Smash is a show about performers. And yes, some of the musical numbers happen to come about spontaneously, eventually leading the singer(s) to a stage. But the Glee comparisons end there, I promise. The bulk of the songs on Smash are original works written for the show-within-a-show, Marilyn; and even when the occasional Top-40 hit sneaks its way into the mix, the level of talent far exceeds those McKinley High ragamuffins.

3. Every character is worth caring about: Even on some of my favorite shows, there’s usually someone whose scenes are fully deserving of a bathroom break — but that’s just not the case with Smash. From the ladies vying for the lead role in Marilyn (Katharine and Megan Hilty) to the assistant fetching them coffee (Jaime Cepero), you will find yourself immediately invested in absolutely everyone. It takes a village to bring a musical to life, and I’d happily live in the village that is Smash.

4. It’s a great behind-the-scenes look: This isn’t the first show to give viewers a peek into the inner workings of show business, but where others like Studio 60 failed by being “too insider” and making the average person feel excluded, Smash invites viewers in and gradually introduces them to the ins and outs of the theater. Debra Messing‘s Julia and Christian Borle‘s Tom make it looks so easy that by the time the pilot is over, you’ll probably think you can make your own Broadway show. You’ll be wrong, but you’ll still think it.

5. It keeps getting better: Like with most shows, Smash‘s pilot sets up the drama to come — and trust me, what’s to come is epic. The drama intensifies, the musical numbers get bigger, and the plot gets all kinds of twisted.

Did I convince you?! Good, now watch the pilot in its entirety below! (But, you know, also watch it when it premieres at 10 p.m. tonight on NBC):

— Andy Swift

Follow Andy on Twitter for more Smash updates