She’s by far the best person to play Marilyn. Everything that Megan Hilty gives to the part, the vulnerability, the incredible vocal range, the strength and the sexual power that she evidently holds over Derek. It’s as if the role was made for her.
For me, Ivy Lynn was the most interesting character in the show, written as being emotionally honest. She might have made more than one bad choice, sleeping with Karen’s fiancee, speaking without thinking about Kyle after the car accident, and other decisions, but she is at the core a very likable character.
I think that her musical numbers are the most memorable ones, and have to say that personally, when Hilty’s performing as Marilyn, or doing the numbers from the show, that’s when I really feel like the show has the most emotional depth.
Being tone deaf, I have no idea of the technical ability of the two singers, whether Hilty is more accomplished than Katherine McPhee, but I know that I prefer listening to Hilty. There’s more similarities in her performance, to the ones that Monroe delivered in her films, than McPhee seemed able to offer.
I couldn’t hold back the tears when I watched this for the first time, Hilty’s closing number as Marilyn, and it still affects me emotionally when I rewatch it.
I did like Smash as a series, but looking back at it, I think it was purely because of Hilty. She was so vivid and expressive, and the character was multi layered, that the rest of the cast seemed to be bland and forgettable in comparison.
I will keep her character in mind, trying to create someone with depth, humour, and emotional strength to exist within my novel, and whatever else I create in the future.