The second season DVD set of CBS’ Scorpion shows it to be something other than a pure procedural – and combine’s its storytelling flexibility with character development in a way that keeps it fresh even after 23 episodes.
Scorpion: Season Two also has a number of solid bonus features and two of the worst commentary tracks I’ve ever heard.
Smash [NBC, Mondays, 10/9C] is a risky oddball of a series that was developed for cable before winding up on NBC. The story of the mounting of a Broadway play, Marilyn: The Musical, it is a big budget swing for the fences that knocks it out of the park.
It is extremely refreshing to see a series where a courtroom, a hospital, or a crime scene are nowhere in sight. Networks don’t often take chances on a series without one of those popular and successful staples as its foundation. And let’s also get another thing straight – with the exception of the inclusion of songs and musical numbers, there is simply no comparison between Smash and Glee, the first being a serious drama and the latter a comedy that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The good thing about Glee is that its success helped open the door to other shows interested in including music in its formats.
Smash takes us behind the scenes into the world of Broadway giving us views through the eyes of the struggling artist looking for that one break to fulfill their dreams; the creative team looking for inspiration in developing the next big thing along with its music and dance numbers; and the people who can write the checks to pay for it all. The characters involved through each of these views are interesting and engaging, and the talented cast does an excellent job bringing them to life. The musical numbers are richly produced and give a true sense of a Broadway stage while giving us an often-painful peek behind the curtain. But the thing that will keep viewers interested will be the personal dramas associated with all the characters. Based on the Pilot episode alone, Smash appears to be hitting all the right notes.