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'Smash' Series Premiere Recap: Who Should Play Marilyn Monroe?

Mon, February 6, 2012 11:50pm EDT by Andy Swift 6 Comments
Courtesy of NBC (2)

I’m already shamelessly addicted to NBC’s new toe-tapper. Are you?

The series of premiere of NBC’s Smash introduced us to two very different girls with one very similar dream: Broadway vet Ivy (Megan Hilty) and theatrical newbie Karen (Katharine McPhee) both have their hearts set on playing Marilyn Monroe in a new musical, appropriately titled Marilyn. The stage, and season, is now set for an all-out brawl — but who will be left standing when the curtain finally rises?

That answer will be determined by the brains, and wallets, behind Marilyn: co-writers Julia (Debra Messing) and Tom (Christian Borle); director Derek (Jack Davenport); and über-producer Eileen (Anjelica Huston). And as each member of the team takes sides — Tom is pushing for his old friend Ivy, while Derek (and his man-parts) are clearly Team Karen — tensions are beginning to mount.

And the drama of Smash is hardly relegated to the stage. Between Julia and her husband Frank (Brian d’Arcy James) facing a potentially difficult adoption process, and Eileen taking her soon-to-be-ex-husband Jerry (Michael Cristofer) to court, their home lives are deserving of their own audience. Karen, fortunately, has boyfriend Dev (Raza Jaffrey) to help her handle the insanity of it all.

From the beautifully understated “Never Give All The Heart” to the show-stopping numbers “Let Me Be Your Star” and “The National Pastime,” Marilyn seems like a show I’d pay good money to see. And while “Beautiful,” isn’t an original song, I have to throw kudos to Katharine for belting out a rendition better than Christina Aguilera‘s.

I initially checked out Smash because I’m a sucker for all things song-and-dance — but it turned out to be the show’s personable characters, whip-smart writing, and overall engaging story that kept me wanting an encore.

Smash, welcome to my DVR.

What did YOU think of Smash? Who’s your favorite, or least favorite, character so far? And of course, who do you think should play Marilyn?

— Andy Swift

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