• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Dec 7, 2016
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Daniel D'Addario
    Dec 8, 2016
    60
    It’s hard to say this broadcast was far from what it might have been when so many elements were as well-turned-out as they were--not just Sykes’s, Hudson’s, and Baillio’s performances, but also Ariana Grande’s, redefining her nascent pop-star image as a game day-player. The production itself was as good as could reasonably be expected for three hours live on broadcast TV.
  2. Reviewed by: Vicki Hyman
    Dec 8, 2016
    50
    Uneven performances and technical issues stopped the show connecting with viewers like 2015's superior "The Wiz."
  3. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Dec 8, 2016
    50
    All in all, it wasn’t an unpleasant revisiting of a great musical; it just wasn’t a particularly coherent or revelatory one.
  4. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Dec 8, 2016
    50
    Hairspray Live! is forgettable.
  5. 50
    There was a lot to enjoy, but also so many wrong-headed choices as to make viewers sometimes wonder exactly why we were bothering.
  6. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Dec 8, 2016
    40
    It's a serious problem when secondary characters in a musical far outshine the leads ... The imbalance turned what has always been a tremendously entertaining musical into a lumbering vehicle, made worse by awkward '60s-style "live" commercials and deadening segues to an over-enthusiastic Darren Criss with the studio audience.
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 18
  2. Negative: 5 out of 18
  1. Dec 7, 2016
    10
    My now all-time favorite movie is the 2007 film version of Hairspray. I love the era and the concept against discrimination. I eagerlyMy now all-time favorite movie is the 2007 film version of Hairspray. I love the era and the concept against discrimination. I eagerly anticipated the Hairspray Live TV version airing on NBC 12/7/2016. I watched tonight and was very pleased. Most of the songs from the movie were used plus ones that I understand were cut from the film. The order of events was different from the movie as well. However, as a musical performance it was excellent. My favorite number was "Timeless". I do have to wonder how Harvey Fierstein had such a convincingly realistic cleavage in the final song and dance number. LOL. Overall, an excellent and very enjoyable performance by all. Full Review »
  2. Dec 7, 2016
    10
    Unlike some of the previous live TV musicals, this one had a cast overloaded with experienced Broadway talent. The period art direction andUnlike some of the previous live TV musicals, this one had a cast overloaded with experienced Broadway talent. The period art direction and costumes are dazzling, practically every song is a winner, the jokes are plentiful, and the message of acceptance is powerful. This was by far the best live musical of the past few years, and sets a standard that will be hard to beat. Full Review »
  3. Dec 23, 2016
    10
    NBC FINALLY HAS GOT IT RIGHT THIS WAS BY FAR THE BEST LIVE MUSICAL THEY HAVE AND TV HAS PRODUCED. I don't have the musical movie to compareNBC FINALLY HAS GOT IT RIGHT THIS WAS BY FAR THE BEST LIVE MUSICAL THEY HAVE AND TV HAS PRODUCED. I don't have the musical movie to compare too however I have never seen the musical period. What did I think of the musical and the cast? the cast was perfect. This musical was everything grease live strides to be. Better leads an excellent soundtrack a near perfect supporting cast an excellent story, well written characters, fantastic moral messages and even better energy in the dancing and choreography, wow was I surprised. Kristen chenoweth did fantastic as the villain Velma von tussle and her daughter amber von tussle played by Dove Cameron were a perfect evil mother and Daughter couple. Newcomer Maddie Baillio was absolutely wonderful as Tracy turnblad. Harvey Fierstein was great as the cross dressing mom. I thought the two had great chemistry together. Derek Hough was incredibly good as the Charismatic tv host of the Corny Collins show. Jennifer Hudson was an excellent singer and an equally excellent actress. I thought it was ironic that she is a celebrity playing a celebrity. The combination of her stage presence energy voice and acting were out of this world. The only cast members I thought were miscast was ariana grande as penny and Garrett Clayton as Link Larkin. The two suffered from the problem of having zero chemistry With their lead counterpart. Ariana sang way too quietly and had zero stage presence. Garrett Clayton had good stage presence when he was not talking but I felt he did not deliver enough emotion when his character had to. Over this is easily the best live musical has ever produced and has set the bar very high for future live musicals. Full Review »