• 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: Robert Bianco
    Dec 8, 2016
    88
    Those [recurrent technical glitche] may be the inevitable by-product of an effort to do a live show this complex. And when it comes to live musicals, this one may be hard to beat.
  2. Reviewed by: Darren Franich
    Dec 8, 2016
    83
    With Hairspray Live!, more was never more enough. There were pleasures to be had from all the much muchness.
  3. Reviewed by: Kevin Fallon
    Dec 8, 2016
    80
    This, folks, was a very good production of Hairspray!
  4. Reviewed by: Alex Abad-Santos
    Dec 8, 2016
    80
    Despite these [technical] flaws, Hairspray Live tapped into a rare kind of joy that’s hard to produce on television, let alone during a live broadcast--a kind of undeniable glee that happens when great songs, talented singers, and sparkling dancing collide.
  5. Reviewed by: Meredith Blake
    Dec 8, 2016
    80
    It’s one thing to put on a show that’s professional and lacking any glaring mistakes; it’s another to do so with visual inventiveness. Zadan, Meron and Leon have raised the bar by figuring out how to do the latter.
  6. Reviewed by: Sonia Saraiya
    Dec 8, 2016
    80
    The kinetic energy of the production wasn’t quite at the level of “Grease Live”, but the vocal performances and wonderful dance numbers made up for most of that. And most importantly, Hairspray Live! in the main was genuinely entertaining, even amid some messy moments of a huge production that seemed to be striving for a lot of different emotions all at once.
  7. Reviewed by: Bethonie Butler
    Dec 8, 2016
    70
    It wasn’t perfect, but everyone seemed to be having a good time.
  8. Reviewed by: Sophie Gilbert
    Dec 8, 2016
    70
    If The Sound of Music Live! was unconscionably awkward, and Peter Pan Live! felt bad by design, the soundstage/live audience hybrid approach gave Hairspray a sense of theatricality and dazzle that patched over some of its weaker moments. And although the show’s tackling of racial prejudice felt clumsy at times, its strongest performers were more than capable of compensating.
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 »