What is it? Give me the set up. It's behind the scenes on a big scale musical: a group of writers, producers, directors, musicians and actors come together to try to put together a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. Fabulous rivalries, diva tantrums and cast complexities ensue.
Who's behind it? Done anything good? The seeds of the idea behind Smash actually come - bizarrely - from Mr Steven Spielberg, who has stayed on to executive produce the she along with a host of others. Show creator and writer though is Teresa Rebeck, who was worked on programmes such as NYPD Blue, Third Watch and Law and Order (and she is also a playwright). Still not getting the singing and dancing background here... Perhaps the biggest influence comes from the composers, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who wrote and composed the music for the Broadway and film versions of Hairspray. Smash will be a mixture of both original and covered songs led by the duo.
And is it any good? YES! Everyone bloody loves it. The first few episodes have been available online for quite a while now, so it may seem strange to some that this is only now getting its premiere (NBC wanted to wait for the new series of The Voice so they could team the trillsome pair up with each other on Monday nights for mega ratings win). I myself have not indulged but by all accounts the pilot is solid enough, but the show gets better and better each week with interesting characters, soapish storylines and lots of amazing performances. It's already secured a 15 episode season order and has been picked up internationally all over the world (it will air on Sky Atlantic over here, giving it a credibility kickstart already).
Anything else to intrigue me? What you see is what you get with Smash so if you're tuned out by the first episode there's gonna be no big twist to lure you back in down the line. But the writing is smart and it's had comparisons to The West Wing of all things so let it hit its stride. But all things considered, it's probably gonna be a girly pleasure. And in the long run, hopefully later seasons - if it does so well - will each focus on the production of a new musical, perhaps with different characters. And hell, if it does really really well, perhaps we'll see this musical jump onto the famous boards in real life. This show definitely has legs.
Um...it's not Glee is it? Apparently not. This is real showbiz life, doll, not high school. Plus, songs that actually make sense within the confines of the story and original ones at that. And maybe an actual structure.
OK you've sold me - when's this thing on then? Smash starts tonight at 10pm on NBC in America (that's our "Tuesday schedule").