Smash: Glee + A Chorus Line - McPheever ÷ Spielberg = ?
Posted Jan 17, 2012 @ 7:10 AM
Posted Jan 17, 2012 @ 7:30 AM
Of course they'll keep both potential leads. One will be cast as Marilyn, and the other will be the understudy.
Posted Jan 17, 2012 @ 8:40 AM
Posted Jan 17, 2012 @ 9:17 AM
Felt fresh to be looking at the theatre as a place of work, rather than another law firm/hospital/police department.
And everyones so pretty :)
Posted Jan 17, 2012 @ 10:38 AM
The show has potential to be great but at the same time, be predictable. Casting couch? Really? If they had casted anyone other than Jack Davenport for that role, it would have been ten times more awful that it was.
I've been checking some blogs on the internet and the reception for Ivy is good, better than Karen actually. It would be interesting to see how the dynamic of those two would play out and who would be the fan favorite in the end. I can't stand McPhee and the focus on her in all the show's publicity so I'm rooting for Ivy. It's funny how in reality, Megan Hilty is the fresher one.
Since obviously, Karen will be finding her sexier side and learn dance and all that, I wonder if the show will actually focus the rivalry in the other perspective, Ivy finding her raw talent and showing her meeker self.
Edited by Freeze Ray, Jan 17, 2012 @ 10:49 AM.
Posted Jan 17, 2012 @ 12:44 PM
I've never watched Glee but it seems like they're going for Glee for adults. I'm actually surprised I liked this show because I really dislike musicals. I tuned in for Huston (love her!) so I hope the role isn't one-note and that she'll have more to do in future eps. It's a bit corny and cliched overall but it still works. I can do with less product placement (everyone uses Macs!) and I'm not buying McPhee as 24. She looks 30 so it undermines all the "green" comments. (How old is she IRL?)
First of all, thank-whatever, this is nothing like Glee.
Posted Jan 17, 2012 @ 1:12 PM
Edited by CapsChick, Jan 17, 2012 @ 1:12 PM.
Posted Jan 17, 2012 @ 1:24 PM
OK, I had a feeling that she might look older than she really is. That's unfortunate for this particular role. I don't recall her being so thin on AI; some under-25 babyfat would be useful here. That said, I like her better than her blond rival as an actress.
Edited by Numb Nut, Jan 17, 2012 @ 1:29 PM.
Posted Jan 17, 2012 @ 2:27 PM
Man, it's going to be a long wait on episode two now, haha.
Posted Jan 17, 2012 @ 5:37 PM
Would be great if it catches on, NBC really needs it and you can see the work that's gone into it. Loved the duality in that final song and if the NYMag article is right and they keep that up with most of the originals going forward, then well done writers. The songs in the extended promo at the end sounded great too.
It might sound like I'm raving about it, but it's rare these days to see a show that's reasonably intelligent, really well produced, performed, with star power behind it while still having potential widespread appeal (okay, they'll never get young males en masse) - Downton Abbey is doing it in the UK but there hasn't really been anything like that on US TV since the days of The West Wing/Law & Order etc etc. Mad Men is still growing in popularity (I've watched it from the start, but noticing it's now trickling down into the less-hipsterish young twenty somethings) but it's not consumed in a way that makes it event tv.
But yeah, the assistant's speech sucked.
Also it deserves a mention, McPhee was banging in that dress at the end. And that piece in the preview where she goes '5,7,8 Action'... damn
Edited by boewyr, Jan 17, 2012 @ 10:10 PM.
Posted Jan 17, 2012 @ 10:11 PM
I don't recall her being so thin on AI; some under-25 babyfat would be useful here.
She was definitely curvier on Idol...much like Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, etc.
Posted Jan 18, 2012 @ 2:42 AM
Posted Jan 18, 2012 @ 4:23 PM
I liked what Shaiman has written, though.
Edited by Kaoteek, Jan 18, 2012 @ 4:29 PM.
Posted Jan 18, 2012 @ 4:48 PM
McPhee's Beautiful sounded like a poppier? Pop-ed up version of Amber's despite some of the lovely runs she did.
This. I pretty much logged on to ask if it was too early to strongly root for Ivy Lynn. Especially after watching the previews. And I've only seen McPhee in Community, so it's not like I'm tired of her.
I've been checking some blogs on the internet and the reception for Ivy is good, better than Karen actually.
I quite liked the episode an definitely the assistant was the weakest link in the cast. I keep picturing Jon Groff in the role instead and shivering.
Edited by romantic idiot, Jan 18, 2012 @ 5:45 PM.
Posted Jan 18, 2012 @ 5:21 PM
I liked the pilot, but I definitely felt more drawn into Ivy's story than Karen's. I think part of that is I saw her sing, dance, and act and do an amazing job at it all whereas neither of Karen's songs showed off her Broadway chops well. McPhee's "Beautiful" was well sung, but I thought her body and face were awkward, and I'm not sure about the choice of a pop song for a Broadway audition (truly not sure--part of me thinks it was inspired for the Marilyn audition because of how well the lyrics worked and part of me thinks it showed off the wrong singing ability). It was a good number, but not so good that I can see why the director would be so pro-Karen and anti-Ivy after seeing Ivy in the baseball number.
Typing this out, I realize it boils down to Karen feels like a Mary Sue-type of character right now whereas Ivy feels real. I cringed when they expositioned Karen is from Iowa... it's such shorthand for the girl from the small town with the big voice and the bigger dreams. Then she handled the casting couch scenario with too much poise and wit for my taste--if they had to go there (which I don't think they should have) I would have preferred if she'd ran out in tears or otherwise ended in the still flustered state and had the director mock her at callbacks in some way.
My main complaint is that I felt like too much was crammed in, which is pretty common with a pilot. I can see where the pieces will fit, except for the adoption subplot... the couple has a high school son and their lives are potentially busy. I don't have any sense for why they want a baby.
I'm kind of rooting for a Tom-assistant hook up (since I'm not sure if the assistant is straight or not)
Edited by Zuleikha, Jan 18, 2012 @ 6:28 PM.
Posted Jan 18, 2012 @ 5:43 PM
The assistant does seem, as Couch Baron used to call Logan, just a bit fey, but hey, he turned to be straight so I don't know.
It's definitely too early but I agree. I'm not able to see that Karen is so much better than Ivy, so when the director dude is pushing for her, compared to Ivy who's actually already put in a lot of effort by working for free on the dance number and in cutting the song with them, that I feel Ivy is getting shortchanged. And for once I'd like for the part not to go to the wide eyed small town ingenue and instead go to the wordly wise, mature Broadway veteran, you know.
Typing this out, I realize it boils down to Karen feels like a Mary Sue-type of character right now whereas Ivy feels real. I cringed when they expositioned Karen is from Iowa... it's such shorthand for the girl from the small town with the big voice and the bigger dreams. Then she handled the casting couch scenario with too much poise and wit for my taste
Maybe it's just because Kat is not that stong an actor, but Karen also doesn't come across as that fresh and innocent to me. She's not jaded and cynical for sure, but she's just more blank right now, so I'm not blown away yet. I'm open to be, though. I really do like her singing - she's got such a lovely warm voice.
Edited by romantic idiot, Jan 18, 2012 @ 5:44 PM.
Posted Jan 19, 2012 @ 2:30 AM
Posted Jan 19, 2012 @ 2:52 AM
I liked Kat's performance, but her best spots were definitely the singing and the bits with the boyfriend. I think for it being the pilot that everyone was pretty good. Although, the assistant needs to be dialed down a bit, just his enthusiasm. I don't think he's gay because I thought I saw him stare at a woman, but it doesn't matter either way to me. I just wish his performance had been better, like the guy playing Karen's boyfriend. He had some not so good lines, and they almost came off as cute, so props to that guy.
Posted Jan 19, 2012 @ 8:51 AM
Also, the assistant... I don't trust him. Maybe it's just because of the "What's coming this season!" bit they played or maybe it's because his acting is so bad. I suppose I'll have to wait and see. Looking forward to the next episode.
Posted Jan 19, 2012 @ 5:19 PM
I am not hugely interested in Marilyn Monroe either, but there are so many other elements I like about the show that I don't mind.
It makes sense that the subject of the musical within the show had to be a somewhat recognizeable story that the audience can become invested in, but the show wants them working on original material, so it makes sense that it would be a biostory of someone. It also makes sense why finding the right actress to play the part would be so important. For instance, there's a musical about Judy Garland's life that is about to move to Broadway from London, which an unknown actress is supposedly doing a phenomenal job. Why they chose Marilyn as a subject I'm not really sure, but I'm glad it's not something like Princess Diana.
I watched the pilot and I loved it. I was a little apprehensive about McPhee but I liked her more than I expected. I was a little disappointed in the cliche moments like the casting couch scene but there are other parts of the show that I enjoy that far outweight any of them.
A few gripes:
-I still don't understand Beautiful as an audition song for this show. It's not unusual to sing a pop tune for an audition, but the style and the lyrics don't fit Marilyn at all. Perception of beauty was not something she was ever denied in her life. A song about being misunderstood or underestimated intellectually would fit better. The style of her singing did not reflect the score for which she was auditioning at all. I will write it off as creative license in order to have a popular song on the show.
Things I liked:
-The nuances and insider broadway references. I hope this isn't too alienating for viewers but as a broadway fan, I loved them. All the mentions of Michael Reidel at the Post, Anjelica Houston part of a Barry/Fran Weissler type of marriage, Spider-man jokes, mention of workshops, all of it. I can't wait until they tackle a sitzprobe.
- The cast. Aside from the assistant I love the involvement of Broadway actors like Megan Hilty, Brian D'Arcy James, Christian Borle, etc.
Edited by OptimisticCynic, Jan 19, 2012 @ 8:40 PM.
Posted Jan 19, 2012 @ 6:07 PM
Posted Jan 19, 2012 @ 8:43 PM
Posted Jan 20, 2012 @ 11:57 AM
Speaking only for myself, the problem is not that he is overzealous, but that he delivered his 'love of the theater' speech with a completely flat affect, which makes me wonder if the assistant is secretly evil or if it's just bad acting by the actor playing the assistant. . But it's a minor quibble for now.
People who are put off by the over-zealous assistant must never have attended a high school thespian conference.
Posted Jan 21, 2012 @ 6:31 AM
I liked both girls in the pilot (though they clearly reshot Megan Hilty's scene about wanting a part... in the upfront previews she was far more aggressive 'being in the chorus is like being a nobody') but very do get the 'she's feels like Marilyn' line about Karen/McPhee. Hilty is better in a lot of ways, but there's something magnetic about McPhee... this is my first exposure to her. Maybe it was the tight dress. Regardless of what way it goes (eg. talented unearthed talent who gets her big break but winds up letting it go to her head and losing to the girl who's honed her skill/put in the work vs veteren who's trained, gotten her hands dirty, tried her best and done everything right who gets passed over for the hot new thing) the decision should be dramatically interesting.
Posted Jan 21, 2012 @ 3:32 PM
As for the pilot itself, not much to say other than:
I liked it a lot, and I thought it held together well for being the first part of a very long musical. It seems more mature and coherent then Glee, though Glee did have a strong pilot too.
Posted Jan 22, 2012 @ 11:25 AM
Posted Jan 23, 2012 @ 7:23 AM
I didn't really take note of Karen and Dev's, but Ivy's kitchen looked small and sad. It seemed realistic to me, or even a little too cramped, if anything; she's supposed to be a working actress, and her place looked crummier than the NYC apartments of a non-working actor friend of mine (at least, not working as an actor) and my working-journalist sister.
Everyone I know complains about the size of NYC apartments(who aren't millionaires at least), funny how amazingly spacious they always are on TV. I wanted to live in every one of the ones we saw.
The same thing occurred to me, but then I was thinking that would be too cerebral for a Broadway musical. What I want to know is, if they really do stage Marilyn, would it be on Broadway or would it tour like American Idol and Glee, and would they use the show's leads or would they cast it from scratch?
They could divide the role. Karen plays the young innocent Norma Jean, and Ivy plays Marilyn the star.
Posted Jan 23, 2012 @ 10:22 AM
What I want to know is, if they really do stage Marilyn, would it be on Broadway or would it tour like American Idol and Glee, and would they use the show's leads or would they cast it from scratch?
You could try emailing Speilberg to find out :p
I agree with the idea that Karen "feels like Marilyn." Somehow, when she did her hair like Marilyn in the director's bathroom, even as a brunette it felt more Marilyn-y than Ivy. So at least that's not being "told not shown."
I think it's a combination of clever casting and clever make-up. I think McPhee resembles Monroe more facially than Hilty, whereas Hilty obviously has the 'typical' Marilyn look in terms of body. Don't get me wrong, I think Hilty has the better voice, but in that last sequence I thought McPhee/Karen 'felt' like Marilyn whereas Hilty/Ivy felt like someone going to a dress up party/working in a theme park.
Then again, it's not like Marilyn had the greatest voice in the world.