Are “Smash” and “Glee” Alike? Katharine McPhee Says No Way

by on December 15th, 2010
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COMMENTARY | Actress Katharine McPhee says “Smash” and “Glee” are nothing alike.

In fact, the two shows have very little to do with one another, McPhee says.

“I know it always seems like one thing becomes popular and now they do like 50 versions of that. But at least I know ‘Smash’ has been in development for years,” McPhee told Celebuzz. “And it’s not just something that’s like, ‘Oh, OK, now is the time because ‘Glee’ has become so successful.’ That being said, it really is a different show from ‘Glee.’”

“Smash,” which debuted on Feb. 6, is an NBC drama about the production of a Broadway play about the life of Marilyn Monroe.

In the first episode of “Smash,” McPhee played Karen, a finalist for the part of Monroe. McPhee squared-off against Megan Hilty’s character, Ivy, for the part. At the end of the show, the two actresses performed for a second time during casting callbacks, setting up a dramatic finish to episode one.

The drama alone throughout the first episode sets “Smash” apart from “Glee.” Sure, the characters on both shows perform songs, but that’s really where the similarities end.

“Glee” is a comedic show that sees high school singers navigate the challenges of daily life, all while trying to perform well in show choir. “Smash” is a dramatic story about a group of adults who are working to put together a Broadway play.

The premises of the shows lend themselves to different audiences, and thus, even at the most basic level, the shows are entirely different.

McPhee says the shows are different in approach, too.

“‘Glee’ sometimes has like six or seven songs in an episode,” McPhee told Celebuzz. “We have maybe two or three songs, so it really is still kind of a story-driven and character-driven.”

She goes on to say that every episode is different, but that she expects each episode to have one or two “well-known or cover songs” and one original song.

I personally love that approach, as at times, the number of songs performed during a “Glee” episode can be overwhelming.

NBC’sSmash” airs at 10/9c on Monday nights.

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