A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
One of Smash's recurring themes is striking a balance between getting what you want and staying true to your own ideals -- and some characters do it better than others. There's also a subtler message that true talent will take you far if you work hard enough and that it takes a team of talented people to make something great.
Positive Role Models
Characters have a variety of motivations, but most share a strong passion for what they do. Characters must also collaborate and make compromises as part of the creative process.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Regular scenes of simulated intercourse without nudity (visible bare shoulders under sheets, sides of breasts, etc.). Post-coital scenes of same-sex couples in bed. Use of terms like "sexy" with a few provocative dance moves. Some degree of sex appeal is essential to the Marilyn character.
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Products & Purchases
The show goes out of its way to change familiar brand names (subbing YouLenz for YouTube, etc.), but a few slip in, including iPad. Songs from the series are available for purchase via iTunes, with plans to launch a full-scale musical in the future, depending on the series' success.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some social drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the main concern in this musical drama is sexual content. Expect to see implied intercourse, some kissing, and seductive dancing in the style of Marilyn Monroe. Language and social drinking are barely present, but songs from the show will be available for purchase via iTunes, with a possible full-fledged musical to hit Broadway should the series perform well.
Is It Any Good?
Sprung from the mind of execustive producer Steven Spielberg, this carefully produced primetime musical with a big-name ensemble cast certainly wants to be taken seriously -- and it makes a convincing case. Less certain, however, is whether the series will have broad audience appeal that will make it the Smash it means to be. After all, musicals aren't for everyone, and convincing the masses to watch week after week can be an uphill climb. (But, hey ... it works for Glee.)
The difference, of course, is in approach. While Glee dives right in with zippy dialogue, zagging plots, and autotuned pop songs, Smash asks more of its audience by doling the action out at a much slower pace and building most of its soundtrack from original songs, with just a few Top 10 hits thrown in to keep things familiar. It's a quality show for sure, but at least initially, it lacks the magnetism of the Hollywood icon it pays homage to.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.