"Smash" is more than just great music
Published: February 5, 2012 08:52PM
Updated: February 5, 2012 08:52PM
The cast of "Smash," from left: Brian d'Arcy James as Frank Houston, Jaime Cepero as Ellis, Anjelica Huston as Eileen Rand, Jack Davenport as Derek Wills, Katharine McPhee as Karen Cartwright, Megan Hilty as Ivy Lynn, Debra Messing as Julia Houston, Christian Borle as Tom Levitt, Raza Jaffrey as Dev Sundaram. Mark Seliger/NBC

I've called Smash (9 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5) “Glee” for grownups, but there is one major difference.

The musical numbers in “Smash” are great. But so are the scenes between the musical numbers in this really entertaining new series about the making of Broadway musical.

I'm here to praise “Smash,” not bash “Glee,” so I'll let it go at that. But to be perfectly clear, “Smash” is a really good drama (with humorous elements) that features some really good musical numbers.

The producers of “Smash” have compared it to “The West Wing,” and that's not as crazy as it sounds. Clearly, the stakes aren't the same. But “Smash” is populated by interesting, smart, ambitious characters who are good at what they do.

As is the case with all scripted TV, this is heightened reality. But the characters ring true.

Truth be told, I had very high hopes for “Smash,” and that's often just a way to set myself up for disappointment. But I've seen the first four episodes an enjoyed each one.

I'm rooting for “Smash.” I hope it succeeds.

I can't wait to see more episodes.</