Smash First Look Video: Can Julia's Husband Sing Her Troubles Away?

Brian D’Arcy James thus far has been a bit quiet on NBC’s Smash, but this Monday he finally pipes up — by letting loose with a song — and TVLine has a first look at the Tony Award nominee’s performance.

The set-up: Julia is in a funk, fresh off a so-so workshop presentation of Marilyn: The Musical and, more critically, having just given illicit lover Michael Swift the heave-ho (perhaps in more ways than one). And that’s not to mention the drama involving her teenage son!

So, what can Julia’s husband Frank do to assure his Mrs. that “every little thing gonna be all right”? Well, I just gave you the answer. Now press PLAY and ask yourself anew: Really? Julia deserves this supportive of a husband?

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  1. Oh Frank. So oblivious right now. And next episode you will be going around throwing punches and making Julia pay. Not really a “don’t worry, ’cause everything is gonna be alright” scenario, right? Sorry but I really don’t see, or ever have seen, any chemistry between Julia and her husband (clearly, it’s supposed to be that way). Waiting for the drama to unfold and for Will Chase to be back in the final two episodes after the absence from epi 10 on…

  2. nyguy says:

    This show is just a train wreck. I can’t remember the last time I watched a show just for several episodes because it made my jaw drop with how bad and wrong-headed it is at every turn.

  3. Trina says:

    I’m sorry – very lame indeed. The songs on this show are great but the storyline is just badly written and I dislike the fact I have no one to cheer for!

    • Donna says:

      I feel the same. There is a difference between having characters who you “love to hate” and having characters that you just plain dislike! Aside from Kat and Anjelica, I dislike them all! True….badly written storyline. Too bad, it could have been a great show!

  4. daviduter says:

    Show had some serious potential. I can’t hate Debra Messing, so two weeks ago was the last episode for me. Sounds like its only getting worse. Oh well.

  5. jc says:

    Cheesy in the extreme! I’m still definitely enjoying the show, but its not what I signed up for after watching the pilot which I thought was fantastic. There have been some terrible moments but also great ones, which keeps me watching. Ivy hallucination scene was a real low point!! My main issue is the bad writing. It’s as if the writers want us to dislike all the characters when they were so likeable (ellis not included) in the pilot. And please no more Ivy whining. She acts like she didn’t actually get the part of Marilyn, and spends every episode feeling sorry for herself instead of just getting on with it. But I guess the fact that things about the show annoy me and I’m still watching shows I’m invested! Oh Smash :(

  6. Angel says:

    OMG OMG OMG so funny to watch, this is sooooooo not like Michael singing to her, I mean COME ON GIRL, make your choice right now because your husband (excuse me) is a little bit ridiculous here xD and I WANT MICHAEL BACK RIGHT NOW

  7. Emily says:

    I can’t remember the last time a show had me sitting there feeling so annoyed for the entire 42 minutes, as Smash did during Chemistry. I am fairly certain I now hate everyone on this show except for the chorus kids and Eileen, because she gave Ellis a verbal dressing down. And Tom, but even he has those awkward, awkward relationship arcs. And Derek, but only because I can’t hate Jack Davenport. But the Michael-Julia fiasco, witnessed by Leo, played by an actor whose blandness makes me uncomfortable; the sniping Ivy and Karen the wide-eyed look-at-my-$300-credit-card-bill-blame-NY-public-transportation doe; and Ellis. Ellis, the most one-dimensional antagonist ever, because his sole purpose is hiding behind walls listening in on other people’s conversations. Besides an overinflated sense of entitlement, I don’t believe he’s shown a shred of personality. If Smash gets renewed over Awake (which is likely), I will have to go back to ignoring NBC, which has been easy since Friends went off the air.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Its times like this when Smash veers into the Glee area: just singing a song that is well know to sing a song (probably for iTunes $$$)

    Like pretty much everything they give Darren Criss to do (just sing – it doesn’t matter if it has anything to do with the plot or would make an ounce of sense) – Smash has done this too – and its SUPER annoying. A Florence + The Machine song at a bar mitzmah? When Michael serenaded Julia outside? Huh?!

    I can stick to American Idol if I want the velveeta, but if you want me to take you seriously, be realistic.

    PS: not everyone from the midwest is an ignorant bumpkin, FYI

    • Jamie says:

      Most of Smash’s covers don’t even end up on iTunes, usually only the originals and a few exceptions. Not necessarily for the $$$.

  9. max says:

    ”worried about your sanity” lol same

  10. chris says:

    I agree with almost every aspect of everyone’s criticism about Smash. BIG disappointment for me. I love musical theatre and was hoping for a smart, witty, song induced show. Instead its like watching a high school drama pretending to be a broadway bound show. I mean really. Why Debra M. character has to have an affair with a married man is just plain sophomoric. It is an overused tool to create drama. Also, Ellis. My god could there be an antagonist that is more annoying? He is light over cooked spaghetti. Get it off my plate. Give me an antagonist that I can like. Someone that reflects REAL life and the drive one has to succeed and will do unscrupulous things to get there. I am so disappointed in this shows lack of intelligence. Fire the writers, get some smart gay people writing this show, keep the actors, except Ellis, as they are all doing a great job, but allow them to be more dimensional. At present they, non of them are very complex. Due to the words…not the acting. AND PLEASE STOP THROWING IN SONGS WHERE SONGS DONT BELONG. Keep the singing organic. IN the studio rehearsals. These moments where characters break out in song is like a music video. And in case you producers haven’t heard, music videos are not very popular on tv shows. We want STORY….smart scenarios. The dramas should not come from affairs and weasel type employees. It’s not a sitcom its a drama. STORY needs to be less surface and more complex to hold my interest.

  11. groucho says:

    Ivy probably acts like she didn’t get the role because she’s sort of like a girl who had pudgy teen years, then blossomed, and never gets over thinking of herself as fat. Ivy has trouble thinking of herself as a winner, even if she is. That’s kind of the definition of neurotic. She spent years wanting Mommie Dearest to tell her she was a winner, didn’t get it, and by the time Mommie finally gets around to it, Ivy has internalized the criticism to the point where she doesn’t believe it even when she hears it. She is, in short, a mess. – I’m wondering how much of this Theresa Rebeck is actually writing. If I ever knew, I forgot.

  12. Dusty says:

    OMG are all you people 15 years old? I guess this appeals to an older audience who have been there. Yes, some of the songs appear in places other than the studio, but have you NEVER had a song pop up on the radio that takes you to a place or time?? That is artistic license. The actors are great. Who knew that Will Chase was so versital. i’ve seen him on ABC, CBS and NBS all in the last month and only here did we see his broad range of talents. Megan is sensational as Marilyn, Kathryn was the best contestant from Idol ever, that is talent. Stop sitting there with a pen and paper jotting down little snipes, lose yourself in the whole experience, it’s worth it.

    • Emily says:

      That last part is what I say to people who describe Mad Men as boring. But alas, Smash is not Mad Men.

    • Renate says:

      I so agree with you…I love the show and the actors and the songs…it’s entertainment!

      • JAO says:

        Yes, It’s ENTERTAINMENT … stop taking everything so seriously folks. SMASH is like watching a guilty pleasure for me. I truly enjoy it , and yes I’ve been in the Theatre. I can honestly say that the number of affairs and liasions happening in an ensemble – especially the big musicals – are mind-blowing. So Debra having an affair fits right in…

    • MARY ANN says:

      I totally agree. I loved the musicals in the 1940’s where for no reason, the guy or
      Girl break out in song. I like all the actors, except Ellis. he can’t act and he is totally
      Annoying. I love the show as is, and can’t wait for the second season.

  13. Richard says:


  14. Carla says:

    That was slightly terrible, but also very cute :) Come on Julia, you have such a loyal, loving husband at home- forget that stupid affair! Also, I don’t get why so many people say there are no likeable characters. Of course they’re not all nice and do only good things. Yes, Ivy was pretty b**chy to Karen, and Julia cheated, but that’s what makes characters interesting. If all they ever did was good deeds so you could approve, that wouldn’t make them “likeable”- that would make them boring.

    • Rebecca says:

      I agree! I think that’s part of what makes the show brilliant – that you aren’t necessarily rooting for one person over another because they are ALL multi-dimensional; they all have good sides and bad sides to them, all struggle with different issues, etc. Ivy is a good person who has been through a ton, but she’s b**chy to Karen in part b/c of her own insecurities. Julia likewise is a good woman trying to do her best, but she can’t help her feelings, etc. It’s not about making them “good or bad”, it’s showing how you can both like and dislike the same character for all of their personality traits. And it’s a musical show, so I think it’s only natural that some songs are going to come at times that aren’t in the studio, but there to express someone’s inner feelings (or something of that nature). Maybe some transitions aren’t as smooth as others, but musical theater has a mix of songs coming in at awkward and appropriate moments all the time. Is this really any different? I think it’s fun entertainment and I’m definitely engrossed enough that I want to see what’s going to happen next, plus I enjoy the loads of talent that each actor brings to the show. What more could I want? :-)

  15. MicheleDerleth says:

    Brian D’Arcy James is an awesome actor/performer. Wish we could see more of him- like couldn’t he take Michael’s place in “Marilyn”? He would outperform for sure! Give the guy a chance!

    • I so agree. I believe I read a review that compared Brian James not singing on this show to Mandy Patinkin not singing in Yentl. I’ve been so disappointed with how little screen time they have given BDJ. Why didn’t they cast him as Michael/Dimaggio? Why the convoluted adoption, affair storyline? It is so expendable. Concentrate on the play itself. (And I cannot stand the eavesdropping assistant–what a stereotype.) As a teacher, I’ve never heard of going on “retreat” as part of renewing a certificate????

    • Barbara McDade says:

      I agree…hope this is not the end of Michael,,,he can out perform them all!

  16. Simone Fox says:

    Wow ok seriously people? I love how you all take the time to read this and then take the time to comment only to dramatically declare “OMG LAST WEEK WAS THE LAST EPISODE FOR ME I JUST CAN’T TAKE THIS MEDIOCRITY ANYMORE!!!” BS. Seriously here you are complaining about unimportant 10 second clips in the show that are MEANT to stir up people because its a DRAMA. You obviously care enough. This show is entertainment about the making of entertainment. I think its a unique storyline, great actors, and great music. Appreciate the show for what’s good about it, not what annoys you. Because what annoys you doesn’t make it a bad show. It’s just part of what keeps you interested.

    • Emily says:

      I didn’t even watch the video. I just complained here because it was the latest article on Smash. If I’d been browsing this site later that I did, I would’ve complained in the renewal article instead. The fact is, Smash has been widely criticized since its pilot. And showrunners tend to “step down” when they are, well, not doing a good job. Now, I’m incredibly tolerant of shows. It takes a lot to annoy me enough to stop watching something I’ve started, and it would seem that painfully blatant manufactured drama with unlikeable characters does just that. Yes, unlikeable. It’s a fine line between being multi-dimensional and just plain contrived, and Smash is missing the mark. The Walking Dead annoys me almost as much but I’m still interested, because they display a deeply human idiocy. But Smash annoys me and I don’t connect with their motives at all. Their personalities are one-note and I feel that the context is not being effectively executed; sure, I’m being told why, but I don’t particularly care. It’s like… the show is trying so hard to be real, but it doesn’t translate, because those efforts are consciously noticeable. But hey, to each their own.

  17. dianaprince says:

    This show sucks. But I keep watching, hoping it’ll get better. I feel so manipulated. Dumb Ellis character hiding behind walls — dumbest character ever. Its laughable. And stop with the “fake” will Ivy be replaced with Karen scenario. There’s no way — Ivy is so Marilyn. Just focus on Karen’s solo singing career as they’ve started too. And maybe show Karen taking acting lessons. It’ll help both character and actress. Theresa Wright is a great playwright, so I just don’t know what is going on here. It seems as if the writers are more focused on putting in cliched theatre stuff and inside theatre stuff (for the theatre fans/members) than actually writing a good story.

  18. Joanna Wayne says:

    Absolutely LOVE the show and can’t wait for it to come on every week. Lots of drama and I feel like I’m watching a Broadway show within a Broadway show!

  19. Jan says:

    After a full day at work , Smash has been a joy to come home to. Its pure escapism , light hearted entertainment ………..and I could take Jack Davenport home any night of the week ……bring on Season 2