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Smash - S01E14

Drama . Music . Musical

"Bombshell" faces its first audience just as a major crisis hits Rebecca Duvall. The team of Tom and Julia scramble to fix the show when the first preview falls short, and Frank must adjust to the unwelcome return of Michael Swift to his life. Dev seeks reconciliation with Karen, but explosive information about Ivy lurks just beneath the surface.

Episode Title: Previews
Airs: 2012-05-7 at urday
  • James Poniewozik

    As an actual network drama--for me, the most important test--it relies too much on conventional showbiz plotlines and characters for me to get invested in it.

    Time Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    You want to like it, because the rough patches stem more from high ambition than from shortcomings.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • David Hiltbrand

    If musical theater gives you goose bumps, congratulations. You just got a front-row seat. If it doesn't enthrall you, Smash will strike you as almost unbearably tedious and pretentious.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Phillip Maciak

    [A] starry-eyed, badly acted, occasionally stirring series.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    Smash is a case where not bad is plenty good enough.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Michael Landweber

    If Smash lacks the benefit of Aaron Sorkin's hyper-literate and unmistakable dialogue, it follows Studio 60's format, observing the producers, writers, and actors who collaborate on a show, particularly what happens backstage.

    PopMatters Full Review
  • Neil Genzlinger

    It's unlikely to achieve television greatness like "M*A*S*H" did, but by Episode 3 it shows signs of becoming an addictive pleasure along the lines of this season's "Revenge."

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    These subplots aren't inherently dull, but they're not as compelling as the sight of a singer belting a new ballad while its authors and their patrons look on.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Don Aucoin

    The show works much better when it gives us a glimpse into its distinctive milieu.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Lori Rackl

    The stereotypes slow down in subsequent episodes, which grew more entertaining with each of the four I watched.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Linda Stasi

    The cover songs are great and McPhee does a fine job with them, but the original tunes are very much of the overdone show-tune variety.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    The show as a whole moves briskly and confidently.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    Though clunky in places, at its best the series captures the essence of what the movie version of "A Chorus Line" didn't, providing an illuminating window into the creative process.

    Variety Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    An entertaining drama that sucks you in and gets your toes tapping during several musical numbers.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    The first few episodes after tonight's sensational pilot struggle to find the right balance between the musical and the dramatic, but by the fourth hour, as the new leading lady makes things difficult for the also-ran during the tense rehearsal process, Smash finds its footing.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Glenn Garvin

    Smash doesn't dabble in sociology: It's pure greasepaint melodrama. Sneer all you want, but if you sneak in a secret smile now and then, that's OK, too.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    Smash is often enjoyable. [3/10 Feb 2012, p.101]

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Curt Wagner

    Smash tries mightily and mostly succeeds.

    RedEye Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    Unless you're allergic to musicals in general and Broadway in particular, you should find that a compelling central story, a strong cast, an out-of-the-procedural-mold premise and some rousing, roof-raising numbers more than compensate for any lingering problems.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    Smash elegantly and energetically draws you into the orbit of a dozen dreamers and schemers at various stages in their Great White Way careers, and, like a true pro, the show makes it all look easy.

    The Huffington Post Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    Smash is excellent, a bar-raiser for broadcast networks.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Dorothy Rabinowitz

    The cast is crowded and uniformly splendid. There's little about this captivating fusion of music, dance and potent storytelling of which the same couldn't be said.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Emily Nussbaum

    Smash does a very satisfying job of merging the pleasures of "American Idol" and commercial Broadway, placing the "hummable melody" dead center and prioritizing fun over absolute authenticity.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    They're fully realized characters, not freakishly talented pawns, and their stories--and choices--reflect a real-life awareness I only wish "Glee" could muster.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • Joanne Ostrow

    The cast, from Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty to Debra Messing and Angelica Huston, is superb. The subject matter is a carefully blended mix of artistic and accessible.

    Denver Post Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    The real joys of Smash are its performances and production numbers, some fantasized, others part of the bare bones auditioning process.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Tom Gliatto

    NBC hasn't had a show this impressive since the first season of Heroes. [6 Feb 2012, p.39]

    People Weekly Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    [It's so] good you can't help wondering why no one thought of it before, a compelling mix of credible real-life melodrama with a fictionalized approximation of what it takes to get a Broadway show from the idea stage to opening night.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Mary McNamara

    Smash is a triumph.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    I've seen four episodes; they're all good.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    You'll be left tapping your feet all right--wondering impatiently if there's any sparkle under this drudgery.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Troy Patterson

    The way things are going, I would pay $100 if the purchase exempted me from having to watch any more of the show itself.

    Slate Full Review