• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Feb 6, 2012
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Feb 6, 2012
    100
    Smash is a triumph.
  2. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Feb 6, 2012
    100
    I've seen four episodes; they're all good.
  3. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Feb 1, 2012
    100
    [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.
  4. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jan 30, 2012
    100
    NBC hasn't had a show this impressive since the first season of Heroes. [6 Feb 2012, p.39]
  5. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Feb 3, 2012
    91
    The real joys of Smash are its performances and production numbers, some fantasized, others part of the bare bones auditioning process.
  6. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Feb 6, 2012
    90
    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.
  7. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Feb 6, 2012
    90
    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.
  8. Reviewed by: Emily Nussbaum
    Feb 6, 2012
    90
    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.
  9. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Feb 6, 2012
    90
    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.
  10. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Feb 2, 2012
    90
    Smash is excellent, a bar-raiser for broadcast networks.
  11. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Feb 1, 2012
    90
    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.
  12. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Feb 6, 2012
    88
    Smash tries mightily and mostly succeeds.
  13. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Feb 6, 2012
    88
    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.
  14. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jan 30, 2012
    83
    Smash is often enjoyable. [3/10 Feb 2012, p.101]
  15. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Feb 6, 2012
    80
    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.
  16. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Feb 6, 2012
    80
    An entertaining drama that sucks you in and gets your toes tapping during several musical numbers.
  17. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Feb 6, 2012
    80
    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.
  18. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Feb 2, 2012
    80
    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.
  19. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Feb 6, 2012
    75
    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.
  20. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Feb 3, 2012
    75
    The show as a whole moves briskly and confidently.
  21. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Jan 30, 2012
    75
    The stereotypes slow down in subsequent episodes, which grew more entertaining with each of the four I watched.
  22. Reviewed by: Don Aucoin
    Feb 7, 2012
    70
    The show works much better when it gives us a glimpse into its distinctive milieu.
  23. 70
    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.
  24. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Feb 6, 2012
    70
    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."
  25. Reviewed by: Michael Landweber
    Feb 6, 2012
    70
    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.
  26. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Feb 2, 2012
    70
    Smash is a case where not bad is plenty good enough.
  27. Reviewed by: Phillip Maciak
    Feb 6, 2012
    63
    [A] starry-eyed, badly acted, occasionally stirring series.
  28. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Feb 6, 2012
    60
    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.
  29. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Feb 6, 2012
    60
    You want to like it, because the rough patches stem more from high ambition than from shortcomings.
  30. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Feb 2, 2012
    60
    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.
  31. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Feb 6, 2012
    50
    You'll be left tapping your feet all right--wondering impatiently if there's any sparkle under this drudgery.
  32. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Feb 6, 2012
    40
    The way things are going, I would pay $100 if the purchase exempted me from having to watch any more of the show itself.
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 122 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 37
  2. Negative: 7 out of 37
  1. jrb
    Feb 14, 2012
    1
    I don't know what show that the positive reviewers are watching but it sure isn't this one. I gave it a second week and that episode was worseI don't know what show that the positive reviewers are watching but it sure isn't this one. I gave it a second week and that episode was worse than the first. The acting is absolutely horrendous. The cast seems to be either bored with their part and walking through it or overdramatizing a dull storyline. Huston an example of the first; Messing the second. I can't tell you how disappointed I am as I was really looking forward to this as a vehicle for McPhee who is a wonderful talent. The plot is absolutely unbelievable, the characters unlikable, just awful. BTW, Glee works most of the time because it doesn't take itself too seriously. NBC should be ashamed and I'm done with it! Full Review »
  2. Apr 3, 2012
    8
    So far in the 9 episodes I have watched they have been good with two hot leads to carry out the drama of what it is like being in the showSo far in the 9 episodes I have watched they have been good with two hot leads to carry out the drama of what it is like being in the show business whether you've been in it for ten years or for ten days and the co-stars are decent as well like Debra Messing, Jack Davenport, and Angelica Houston. The songs which are original by the way are actually pretty good as well even though I am the type of guy who listens to rock all day. You should try giving this show a chance, you might like it. Full Review »
  3. Mar 4, 2012
    10
    I remember watching a sneak peek at this and thought they were just trying to copy Glee. Then I watched the pilot episode, and I completelyI remember watching a sneak peek at this and thought they were just trying to copy Glee. Then I watched the pilot episode, and I completely fell in love with the show. Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty are great actors and wonderful singers. Plus, they're backed up by wonderful actors such as Debra Messing and Anjelica Houston. Full Review »