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post #1 of 397 Old 02-06-2012, 10:41 PM - Thread Starter
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So after all the hype what did everyone think? I enjoyed the show, found it interesting that they are weaving several plots within the show. I like seeing the writing interwoven wiht the search for a lead. I don't belive for a moment that this type of thing happens, but I'm going to enjoy the ride, will be tuning in to see where things go.
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post #2 of 397 Old 02-07-2012, 04:56 AM
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Will definitely tune in for awhile, no bad for a first episode!

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post #3 of 397 Old 02-07-2012, 05:01 AM
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The music was great especially the last song.

People were comparing this show to Glee but the only thing these two shows have in common is some people singing otherwise they are nothing alike.
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post #4 of 397 Old 02-07-2012, 05:42 AM
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I enjoyed it quite a bit. I've never watched AI so this was my first exposure to McPhee. She has a nice voice.
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post #5 of 397 Old 02-07-2012, 05:49 AM
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It was good, but it will need to continue to throw in popular music to keep my interest. I also hope Mcphee grows quickly as an actress, because she was really lacking compared to everyone around her in the pilot.
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post #6 of 397 Old 02-07-2012, 06:27 AM
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Rather enjoyable. Will continue to watch.

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post #7 of 397 Old 02-07-2012, 07:03 AM
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I saw this episode on Comcast On Demand a couple of weeks ago. I was very impressed and looking forward to new episodes. I decided to watch the pilot again last night On Demand, before the broadcast premiere. Both the McPhee rendition of "Beautiful" and the final number brought joyful tears to my eyes. Which doesn't happen very often on a major network.
But while watching a basketball game during a timeout, I switched over to the live SMASH premiere broadcast. It happened to be at the Beautiful audition scene, but the sound seemed like it had been mixed differently, not nearly as much presence, much more echo effects and reverb. I was shocked. I can't decide if the suits at NBC decided to try and make it sound more like GLEE by remixing, or if my local NBC affiliate had poor sound broadcast.

I'm hopeful that this was a one time issue. I'll probably watch later episodes On Demand in order to avoid any local station issues.
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post #8 of 397 Old 02-07-2012, 07:06 AM
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Here's a review after the first four episodes...

http://www.usatoday.com/life/televis...iew/52974100/1

It helps, however, if you believe in the competing Marilyns and on that front, McPhee is an unexpected godsend. The former American Idol contestant, who sounds much better here than she did in that contest, turns out to be a surprisingly appealing actor who holds her own on screen with Messing, Huston and Borle, who are quite the terrific trio.

As of yet, unfortunately, Hilty does not keep up, mostly because she's missing one essential element of Monroe's appeal: the way she came alive on camera.

Hilty is a talented, skilled performer with a strong singing voice, but four previewed episodes in, she and the camera are not having the kind of love affair the role requires.


I agree with their review outside of Hilty it was very good. I could have done without the late night bootie call however... seemed rather forced.
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post #9 of 397 Old 02-07-2012, 07:20 AM
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I think Hilty is kinda pretty, but outside of the hair I don't see her as Monroe. She's built more like a bowling ball than a bombshell.

Based on that review of the first 4 eps it sounds like McPhee gets better as it goes along. My wife's invested already, so I'm in by default. Hopefully it doesn't crater as fast as Glee did.
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post #10 of 397 Old 02-07-2012, 08:57 AM
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Well, I got goosebumps during McPhee's rendition of "Beautiful". The baseball number was rather adult for network TV - a good thing. We're sticking with it.
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post #11 of 397 Old 02-07-2012, 11:56 AM
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Looks like they "borrowed" more than just the lighted title from Rob Marshall's Chicago, with the fantasy stage elements interspersed over the reality of the auditions and rehearsals. I liked those elements in Chicago and it's working for me here too.

I do wish they'd grow some stones and do the singing "live" instead of lip syncing it. McPhee is more than capable of doing a live performance and the lip syncing was so painfully obvious that it took me out of the show. And, IMHO, the performance would actually be improved by being a little grittier and not so studio-squeaky-clean. Plus, it'd save them a ton of money and time to not have to ADR all those scenes.
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post #12 of 397 Old 02-07-2012, 12:29 PM
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Saw the 1st episode a week or so ago on iTunes. I was surprised at how much I like it. I'm rooting for both Marilyn's. I like that there is not really a bad-guy per se. Looking forward to more of this.

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post #13 of 397 Old 02-07-2012, 12:36 PM
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The closing number "Let Me Be Your Star" was wonderful from both the pure vocal and the film shooting/editing perspectives. I have it on my MP3 player and can't listen to it enough.
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post #14 of 397 Old 02-08-2012, 10:04 AM
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That closing number duet was just fantastic. As soon as McPhee started singing it, I told my wife, "this needs to be a duet" and when they started juxtaposing two leads, it was truly a goosebump moment. I am not sure when was the last time I felt that way watching a TV show.

That number alone was worth the price of admission.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/326840/sma...e-be-your-star

Will be watching this show closely and hope for the best.

I do agree that Hilty is not lighting up the screen with the sort of charisma needed to become a true star. McPhee is pulling her weight but, Hilty needs some help.
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post #15 of 397 Old 02-08-2012, 11:12 AM
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I wonder if the "elevator pitch" for this show was "it's a mash-up of Chicago and All That Jazz. We have our versions of Velma and Roxy competing for the same job. Plus we have the conflict between the choreographer and the writers and producer."
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post #16 of 397 Old 02-08-2012, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gameboy View Post

I do agree that Hilty is not lighting up the screen with the sort of charisma needed to become a true star. McPhee is pulling her weight but, Hilty needs some help.

Give Hilty time. She was good enough to pretty much step out of college and right into Wicked on Broadway as the third Glinda. She's done some guest shots on TV but this is her first "heavy lifting" role.
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post #17 of 397 Old 02-08-2012, 12:52 PM
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It's going to need a lot of word-of-mouth. The perception - at least from my experience - is that it's another "Glee." NBC needs to change that to get more sampling.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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post #18 of 397 Old 02-08-2012, 02:47 PM
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I really liked the way they decided to end the episode (with big enthusiastic duet building to a climax and then cut to black.) I think the On Demand version cut to black and then a silent SMASH logo began to glow. Then they went straight to what's coming up. Unfortunately, here in Houston, the broadcast version cut to black and a couple of seconds later the evening news was previewing a fire occuring somewhere in the city. Didn't have the same effect. Then they came back with previews.

Presentation is so important sometimes, but the broadcast network paradigms of commercials and coming next can't be broken.
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post #19 of 397 Old 02-08-2012, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal1981 View Post

Give Hilty time. She was good enough to pretty much step out of college and right into Wicked on Broadway as the third Glinda. She's done some guest shots on TV but this is her first "heavy lifting" role.

I really think she needs to tone down the "theater" stuff. When you are on stage, exaggerating your movements help you convey more information through vast space between you and the audience, but TV is much more intimate and you need to be more subtle.

Case in point, I cannot believe how large her mouth is when she is belting the high notes. Her mouth is so big (and accentuated even further with VERY red lipstick), everything else just fades away. And it is not that appealing.

Or look at how Hilty hails the cab in the above link. It is just WAAAAAY too theatrical. No one would ever hail a cab like that in real life.

Compare that to McPhee hitting the same notes and you can see she looks much more natural, she just fits into her surrounding and they compliment each other instead of clashing like Hilty is.
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post #20 of 397 Old 02-08-2012, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by gameboy View Post


Case in point, I cannot believe how large her mouth is when she is belting the high notes. Her mouth is so big (and accentuated even further with VERY red lipstick), everything else just fades away. And it is not that appealing.

Wow. Tough critic. Maybe they can tone down her mouth and make it more TV friendly. And, while we're at it, Angelica's nose is HUGE. Way too distracting for those TV close ups.
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Or look at how Hilty hails the cab in the above link. It is just WAAAAAY too theatrical. No one would ever hail a cab like that in real life.

Oh, I dunno. I often hail a cab belting out a song and dressed as Marilyn. Beats a whistle. But, seriously, c'mon. It was part of a production number, for Pete's sake.

This is a show about theater and theater performers. Of course they're going to be broad. What do you expect? If there's contrast between the two leads, it just highlights that one is less seasoned than the other.
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post #21 of 397 Old 02-08-2012, 04:27 PM
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I thought it held promise, Season Pass for now
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post #22 of 397 Old 02-08-2012, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce73 View Post

This is a show about theater and theater performers.

I agree it's about theater and that's why I have an issue with Hilty. For me she has very little it factor. So little I have little interest in her performing. After watching the show I read the review I linked and found their review right on. I guess the rest was so strong she stood out... in a bad way. Very much like the late night casting call was out of place... I thought it was awkward and stuck out like a sore thumb.

Hilty is a talented, skilled performer with a strong singing voice, but four previewed episodes in, she and the camera are not having the kind of love affair the role requires.

If she wasn't playing a performer and a possible lead one at that I would probably wouldn't have even noticed. She might be terrific on stage and might come around on TV... here's hoping. Digging around I see...

Megan Hilty as Ivy Lynn, a veteran actress who was favored to land the Monroe lead until Karen came into the picture, and finds herself competing with the newcomer

Maybe she isn't supposed to be good or they wouldn't have a plot.
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post #23 of 397 Old 02-08-2012, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce73 View Post

Oh, I dunno. I often hail a cab belting out a song and dressed as Marilyn. Beats a whistle. But, seriously, c'mon. It was part of a production number, for Pete's sake.

This is a show about theater and theater performers. Of course they're going to be broad. What do you expect? If there's contrast between the two leads, it just highlights that one is less seasoned than the other.

If this is supposed to be all production, they might as well show the entire show performed on the stage with wide shots (like Great Performance showing Opera) so that the exaggerated movements make sense.

But this is not a stage production. The production numbers within the show (like the one with the baseball song) are, but rest of the show is not. It is supposed to be like real life, like a normal drama on TV. For that, Hilty is just wrong. What she is doing just makes no sense for the TV closeups.

Don't tell me that it is supposed to be exaggerated, McPhee does it just fine, why can't Hilty? McPhee looks so natural, it makes Hilty look even worse. Every time Hilty is saying a line I expect her to start doing jazz hands. She is going to get REAL old real quick if she does not tone it down a notch. It just looks like she is over-acting everything.
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post #24 of 397 Old 02-08-2012, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gameboy View Post


Don't tell me that it is supposed to be exaggerated, McPhee does it just fine, why can't Hilty? McPhee looks so natural, it makes Hilty look even worse. Every time Hilty is saying a line I expect her to start doing jazz hands. She is going to get REAL old real quick if she does not tone it down a notch. It just looks like she is over-acting everything.

Lea Michele made the transition from stage to screen brilliantly and manages to still incorporate a lot of her stage presence and training to her film/TV work. Hopefully Megan can do likewise.
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post #25 of 397 Old 02-08-2012, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Got to agree Hilti does not do it for me. In reflecting on what I saw it seems as if she belongs in a different show. Quite honestly I could never see her as Marilyn, her body type just feels off- unless they can perform some stage magic via lighting and costuming or she is a superb actor I don't think I could ever see her in that role.
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post #26 of 397 Old 02-08-2012, 11:53 PM
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It's not really clear how much of a future she has on the show. While there's plenty they could do to keep her involved, they could just as easily send her off. Maybe she'll be Smash's Mandy (The West Wing), assuming it gets renewed. Although, with NBC pushing the Team Ivy vs. Team Karen nonsense, I suppose they'll be forced to keep her if that takes off.

It'll also be interesting to see what NBC does with the show if it finds a stable audience. It's clearly better suited for 9pm, which I'm betting is where it will go next fall. Probably on Tuesday.
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post #27 of 397 Old 02-09-2012, 09:40 AM
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There is an easy solution if the show takes off. I believe the plan is to stage the ACTUAL production of "Marilyn: The Musical" on Broadway. If that happens, Hilty can star in that show for sure.
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post #28 of 397 Old 02-09-2012, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gameboy View Post

There is an easy solution if the show takes off. I believe the plan is to stage the ACTUAL production of "Marilyn: The Musical" on Broadway. If that happens, Hilty can star in that show for sure.

That seems to be high risk strategy if it's accurate. The TV show could reveal so much of the concept and production numbers that potential ticket buyers might shy away because they didn't like what they saw or had a "been there, done that" feeling.
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post #29 of 397 Old 02-09-2012, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

It's going to need a lot of word-of-mouth. The perception - at least from my experience - is that it's another "Glee." NBC needs to change that to get more sampling.

I guess that depends on what "another Glee" means. If it means a niche show with lower mass appeal out of the gate, then I agree. If it means similar to Glee in concept and execution, I don't. Smash, while still only 1 episode in, appears to be deeper story telling woven through the music. Hardly something you could ascribe to Glee. I like Smash, but then I'm a fan of both its music and most of its cast. Glee is much more hit/miss for me. Only time will tell if Smash keeps it up or turns into Glee for the elder set.

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post #30 of 397 Old 02-09-2012, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal1981 View Post

That seems to be high risk strategy if it's accurate. The TV show could reveal so much of the concept and production numbers that potential ticket buyers might shy away because they didn't like what they saw or had a "been there, done that" feeling.

The success of Glee and American Idol concerts suggests otherwise.
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