‘Smash’: Season One Video Debut Jan. 8: Let Me Be Your DVD

I’m stoked and also frustrated by the news of Smash: Season One making its home video debut on Jan. 8 from Universal. I’m stoked because, while still a hard-core Gleek, I respect much of what Smash has done and am eager to see the set’s many extras. (More on those later.) But I’m frustrated because its video launch, like that of so many series, is geared to the show’s TV return and should have come earlier.

Smash hasn’t aired since May 14, when its 15-episode first season (not quite a full season) left us seeing fictional Broadway-bound musical Bombshell get its feet wet on the road. Making fans wait eight months or more for any new Smash material is making them wait too long. And those who missed Smash’s original run but are curious would have far more time to savor it and catch up on DVD if the series was issued earlier than on the verge of its 2013 premiere date.

I realize it’s a studio decision involving cross-promotion of both the DVD and Season 2’s premiere with the momentum of a unified publicity push. But I still wish full-season DVDs of TV shows would allow more breathing room between their release and the next season’s premiere, when the earlier season suddenly becomes old news.

But at least  Smash is coming to home video, where we can linger over much of its music, if not all of its subplots and characters. Keep in mind discs will be DVD only, with no Blu-ray, though Season One sets also will include the streaming and downloading cloud of UltraViolet.

As for those extras, they are:

  • Deleted and extended scenes (always welcome, in my book — if only Glee offered more of them)
  • Gag reel (again, love these)
  • “A Dream Come True,” a featurette with an in-depth look at Smash’s triple-threat cast (acting, singing and dancing)
  • “Song & Dance,” another featurette showing Smash composers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman at work behind the scenes, and choreographer Joshua Bergasse putting the cast through their paces.

As for the series itself, granted, Smash hasn’t been a ratings smash, but its network (NBC) is on the upswing, and its new show runner, Gossip Girl’s Josh Safran, is sure to make some needed changes.

I won’t divulge my qualms and delights about those 15 episodes here, except to say they’re worth a look if you’re new to Smash or if Glee has made you appreciate having TV series in the mold of movie musicals. And if you’re new and get hooked, I hope you have time to catch up before the show’s return in this TV year’s second half.

Smash’s view inside the world of Broadway is a worthy one, even if its characters’ soap opera lives aren’t always that compelling. But the show within the show, while a stuffy concept (how old of a story is that of Marilyn Monroe?),  at least has some solid if not outstanding material. I want to hear these songs on stage, and I think they belong there. Theme song Let Me Be Your Star is a show-stopper waiting to stop shows.

Now everyone can see Smash’s Bombshell to date and see if they agree with me. Either way, break a leg!

— Bruce Westbrook

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