Smash Producers Weigh In on Season 1 Backlash and the Plan to 'Correct' Any Mistakes

“I’d say good riddance, but we’re still stuck with him.”

Those words, spoken this week by Smash‘s Julia to Tom in reference to the cartoonishly conniving Ellis, seemed all but written by disenfranchised fans of NBC’s musical drama. Or perhaps the snarky sentiment was envisioned as a meta nod to one of Season 1’s shortcomings.

But the fact is, the bulk of Smash‘s 15-episode freshman run was already in the bank at the time of the show’s February bow. Meaning, any elements that quickly struck a sour note with viewers must be lived with, for the time being. Come Season 2, though — and there will be a Season 2 — things could change, presumably for the better.

Smash Recap: The 10 Most Cringe-Worthy Moments from ‘The Coup’

Presented by TVLine with a recounting of Smash‘s less popular storylines — Ellis the omnipresent eavesdropper, Julia the impulsive adulterer, the intermittent but entirely superfluous adoption saga — executive producer Neil Meron said, “It’s common for all first-season shows to go through a shakedown, and for a show to kind of find its footing. And I think what’s happened [with Smash].”

The ray of light, he offers, is that “as the episodes continue, you’ll see certain things slip away, and focuses and emphasis shifted.”

EP Craig Zadan, who with Meron was honored at the GLAAD Media Awards this past weekend, echoed that the promise of a second season is “to analyze what worked and what didn’t work, and then … correct it, put it on course, and hopefully make it bigger and better.”

NBC’s Smash Is Renewed for Season 2 – Minus One Key Player

Of course, as reported simultaneously with the show’s Season 2 pick-up, Smash will raise the curtain on its sophomore run with a new showrunner in place, as series creator and Broadway vet Theresa Rebeck steps away to return to her stage endeavors. (She currently has Seminar playing on Broadway, plus at least two others works in circulation.)

Asked about the succession plan, Meron said that given the recent nature of the Rebeck news, “We’re just kind of figuring that out right now.” But both he and Zadan stressed that Rebeck, who will retain the titles of creator and executive producer, will still have a hand in the show’s future.

That said, the matter of filling the vacancy is a critical one, especially given how Smash wraps up its maiden run.

As Phillip Spaeth, who plays Marilyn chorus member Dennis, tells us, Season 1 “ends in a place where I’m curious to see who’s coming in and what the writing team will be like next year. Because the way it’s left… is very exciting. Season 1 definitely ends on a ‘Now what?’ note.” (With reporting by Alyse Whitney)

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123 Comments
  1. Are they going to change the fundamental flaw of Ivy being portrayed as awesome and entitled to her fame, when she basically slept her way into the lead role?

    • Mark says:

      This is essentially my entire problem with the character. Screwing your way to the top is trashy no matter who you are.

      • Josh says:

        I get what you’re saying, but she still outshines Karen in just about every way. They needed to cast someone who could play ball with a broadway actress

        • Tarc says:

          I think McPhee is plenty awesome enough to fill the role. To me, Ivy is so needy, it’s pathetic and off-putting and the need to address that (Hilty is amazing in the role, though). Karen is ridiculously naieve, but embodies a youth and an innocence (not to mention a more accessible voice) that is very appealing on every level. Ivy, on one level, *should* outshine Karen on stage – she is the pro, after all. But she doesn’t always, and Karen outshines Ivy off-stage. I’m actually hoping they end up splitting the role – early Marilyn and later Marilyn.

          • davey says:

            Karen does not belong on the Broadway stage. She’s much better off as a pop singer.

          • mooshki says:

            Davey, there’s your problem – this is NOT Broadway, this is television. If it were Broadway, of course Ivy would win out, but this TV show is supposed to appeal to a wider audience.

        • KevyB says:

          Please, this show was miscast almost throughout. Debra Messing is not a good dramatic actor, that director dude couldn’t be more over-the-top if he tried, neither of the Marilyns make you root for them, the assistant boy is just ridiculous, and so on. But they certainly aren’t being helped by the writing. The out-of-nowhere adultery, the ever-present eavesdropper, the boring gay dude and his even more boring new boyfriend and his even more boring gay friends, the increasingly unstable diva, the increasingly blah understudy. The only character they have bothered to make the slightest bit likeable is Anjelica Huston. So unless Season Two finds her producing a completely different show with different people involved, I don’t plan on watching them turn this around.

    • Ivy is the best! She is great as Marilyn. So she also slept with the director and got the part for the workshop. !!!

      The show is SO good when it does the Broadway song and dance – Originals and oldies ( like Howl, Let me Be Your Star, and Bernadette Peters). BAG all the rest, including but not limited to the dull, dull and already done-to- death elsewhere Court stuff, the city hall chats, the family night at Julia’s, and Dev, AND especially the karoke. Just show us the Great White WAY- on stage, behind the stage, and in the studio!!3/27/2012 3:47pm ETReply

      3/27/2012 3:53pm ET

      Reply

      • jericho says:

        I don’t disagree with you on a vast majority of stuff, but honestly I do not mind the karaoke, even though it was a bit cheesy, this type of show needs a little cheese every now and again.

        What I do agree with you is that they need to stop most of the side stuff. I really do not care about Dev, I do not care about Julia or her family. This show is at its best when they are doing the actual singing and dancing or when they are showing Karen and/or Ivy with her friends. If I were to change the show for S2, I would focus on Ivy and her relationships, Tom, Derek and her gay friend and Karen and her chorus friends. We do not need Eileen, Julia, or Ellis. We want to see the two “leads” and the talent around them, not the dialogue writer, the producer and the assistant.

        We want to see the talent not the stuff we could see on an episode of The Good Wife…which btw has more Broadway talent showing up than this show does half the time.

    • twee says:

      The biggest issue is that people think this is true. Most of the characters have been painted with the 2D brush, and fans are seeing them through those lenses instead of watching what the characters are actually doing and saying.

      Ivy only partially slept with the Director to get the part, and was unhappy to think she got the role because of sex. She wants to earn it. If she wanted to be entitled, she would have told people 10 years ago that Leigh Conrad is her mother.

      Derek would never have given ANYONE the role because they slept with him. That would undermine a fundamental truth about his character – whatever he does, it’s to put out the best possible show.

      I could point out some pretty awful stuff about our “big hearted” Karen, and how she’s really insanely jealous, lazy, truly self-entitled and self-righteous, but I’ll throw those words out there and leave it at that.

    • Taylah says:

      “She slept her way into the lead role”

      Seriously. No. We SAW the casting decision. Do people even pay attention to the show? She did sleep with Derek, yes. And I never said that was the smartest decision, but we SAW Tom, Julia, Derek and Eileen cast Marilyn and they all reached and agreement. Even more, in the scene we saw what Derek said about both of them and he was COMPLETELY HONEST about both Karen and Ivy’s talents. He never pushed for her to be chosen any more than he did for Karen.

      Plus really, she didn’t even have to sleep her way into the role. By saying “Leigh Conrad is my mother” she would have had a pretty good chance, and she didn’t. Again, I’m not saying sleeping with Derek was the smartest decision, but we never saw her thinking she was entitled to the role because she had sex with him. Just look at her face when she thought she hadn’t been cast right before Tom told her the news. It was not the look of someone angry because the sex with the director hadn’t got her the role, it was the face of someone who thought didn’t have the talent to get it.

      If you don’t believe this please watch the episode where she was cast again, because seriously I think some people are blinded by their slut-shaming and don’t even watch the show. You are just saying Ivy got the role by sleeping with Derek because this is what Karen thinks and the show is brainwashing you to root for her and agree with everything she says.

      And, seriously, you think Karen didn’t take advantage of the fact that Derek wanted to get on her bed to get the part? What was the “Happy Birthday” scene on the Pilot? For sure singing on top of him wearing one of his shirts wouldn’t keep him interested at all, right? ;)

      • twee says:

        +1
        Also see the bit where she joins Derek in post-sex work-talk, he responds to her request to work on Marilyn with “well that’s what we’re doing” and she becomes uncomfortable, both then and later, walking to work with a friend. Props to her as well for not entirely believing him when he said it was a joke – she does this a lot, covers sharper perception under her bubbling “perfection.”
        You also bring up a very interesting point – Karen and the audience mirror each other in their condemnation of Ivy, because Ivy jumped into bed with Derek, and continues to do so. Karen even stated that she was brought up to look down on girls like Ivy, who display sexuality. Not like I’m a feminist, really, but this is a 3rd wave feminist beat down, and it’s rather disappointing.

      • Mark says:

        lol slut-shaming? I’m a huge slut. I just don’t screw people in positions of power over me, because I’m not a trash bag. Social justice warriors are hilarious. Go back to Tumblr.

        • Taylah says:

          Oh Mark you’re so classy and well spoken, please tell me more about how you think sexually active women who sleep with whoever they want to are trash bags, I haven’t heard enough!

    • Alice says:

      More than that, what always bugged me was that Tom essentially gave her the part before any auditions took place! She was his friend, so he said “This part is Ivy’s.” He got in a hissy fit at the thought of auditions. The attitide, was, Ivy is being such a big person for even auditioning like everyone else. And people think Karen is entitled? That was it, Tom was never going to endorse anyone else. So in addition to whether or not sleeping with Derek played a role in casting, nepotism from the composer most certainly DID! And yet she whines CONSTANTLY about Karen getting things so easily. HELLO! You got the part because your friend essentially said- Here you go. So her incessant martyrdom and “Poor Me” bouts of insanity just make her seem selfish and spoiled, even though she’s supposed to be the vet who already paid her dues.

      • twee says:

        Re: Tom: This is a very good point which keeps being overlooked. To redeem his attitude a tiny bit, aside from loving her, I believe he was writing the part for her from the beginning (the song they were working on together said this, basically, and songs in this show are very literally related to the plot.) She was his muse.
        But – Julia had no particular love for Ivy, and Tom is only one vote of four. And Ivy’s dedication and acting on that scene turned Derek, who would never, ever cast someone because Tom wanted them. Well, not in a lead role. So no Ivy did NOT get the part because of Tom.
        Ivy worked every bit as hard as Karen for the auditions. She does not whine constantly about Karen getting things easily, she has moments were she mentions it, and these are moments when Karen HAS gotten things easily, all at once, right at the start of her career. I can see the argument for being selfish, but what’s the argument for being spoiled? If by “insanity” you mean “on steriods,” don’t even go there please. If Ivy never had emotions, that would be highly unrealistic.
        Contrast: Karen. Who believes she should get to act how she likes in the ensemble because she believes Derek is into her and she’s been tapped as brilliant. Spoiled, much? Her incredibly supportive family, boyfriend, and now Julia and the music producer all fawn, so if anything, SHE is the spoiled one.
        Open to rebuttals.

        • Megan says:

          I don’t get why we have to compare the two women. This fallacy of one or the other, frustrates me. Ivy has her faults and so does Karen. Why is it that we have to do a Venn diagram on them? I enjoy the show for what it is. I like Karen because she has an amazing voice and when she starts singing some songs I get goosebumps. I like Ivy because the indapendent woman aspect of her is right on! She has a dinky apartment but richy parent dating a well known director but he’s always over at her apartment. She sticks up for self and seems fearless. I would so watch Megan on broadway but I wouldn’t buy her cds. I have the phantom of the opera cd but I really don’t make a point to buy musical soundtracks, I like the more modern song usage in Katherine songs. I think the show needs to step it up a notch on the song and dance numbers and the story lines of both of them women. I don’t need them to be best friends but a more empowering strong women can co-exist would be nice.

    • jeanannhandunlimited says:

      1. Are you twelve?

      2. Would you like me to list the many, many stars you know and love who have used sex as a tool in moving up the ladder.

      3. It’s obvious Ivy and Derek had a full-on relationship.

      • twee says:

        *blinks* … -Had- ???

        IDEK if they weren’t initially meant to last, I think they’re fascinating together and past tenses have no business anywhere near them. D:

    • jabbathewocket says:

      Ivy *IS* marilyn is the entire reason she is there.. her story is meant to parallel marilyn’s IE the drugs, the being hard to work with, the overbearing mother, the implication that she had no talent and was merely sleeping her way to the top..

      Season one ends with Ivy doing the most marilyn of moves..

      If I had to guess.. at what the story book says that they pitched this show on.. it was that the 2 girls where meant to represent the different aspects of her life and personality..

      Also the show ends when “Marilyn: The Musical” opens on Broadway in the real world..

  2. susela says:

    I’d love it if the producers could also stop the karaoke tunes already. I cringed when the DiMaggio character began singing to Julia on her doorstep—it was ludicrous and embarrassing. Just stick with music that’s related to the show. Even if there’s less music that way, at least it will be seamlessly integrated. And yes, let’s dump Ellis. Or at least have him admit that he’s gay.

    • Pedro says:

      I agree wholeheartedly with the constant pandering to the iTunes crowd. If it’s not part of the show or absolutely conducive to the story, there is no reason to have it. All those karaoke numbers, and more specifically, the embarrassment that was that bowling alley dance-a-thon, have no place in a show like this. Leave the pointless iTunes pandering to Glee.

  3. sarah says:

    I am still enjoying Smash. I think sometimes people forget this is a “musical” show so at times if there is a song in an episode it may not be realistic but it fits and works with the theme of the show.
    That being said I do find Ellis annoying but shows need a character like that and I think Ivy is a mean girl but it all works. I am glad it will be back for season 2!

    • Donna says:

      I agree with u, it makes for a very interesting show. I love all the music and the story lines. I even think Julia should dump her boring husband that she cringes when he kisses her, for her true love Michael. They have so much chemistry together. Now if they could just get rid of her son who is the worst actor ever and make Ellis a better person. He is such a sneaky, sleasey person and has no redeemable qualities right now. I look forward to each new episode and I am sure next season will be even better.

  4. Kate says:

    I haven’t watched yesterday’s episode yet, but can I beg the producers to not ruin Karen and Dev’s relationship? I love their through-thick-and-thin romance, and it’s one that reminds me of one of my TV favorites, Ghost Whisperer’s Melinda and Jim. Just for once, can we have a couple to root for, a couple that makes things work, and works at their relationship, instead of giving in to every impulse? That’s one of the main things that keeps me watching every week. That, Christian Borle, Debra Messing, and Megan Hilty knocking it out of the park. (I totally am on-board with ditching Ellis though. Great actor, terrible character).

    • jenna says:

      Agreed! I love Karen and Dev’s relationship, hoping the show won’t break that up so she begins one with Derek :(

      • Ann says:

        Dev and Karen have absolutely no chemistry together. I don’t know why they’re together other than the shacking up part. He has no real interest in her job and she has absolutely zero interest in his. They practically live separate lives other than their bedroom romps. Even during those scenes, it’s cringe-worthy because they have no chemistry. Either recast Dev or break them up so that Karen can move on and introduce better characters to the show.

        • Megan says:

          I just don’t think Karen is that bright to even get politics. Dev seems more interested in that reporter, because she seems to understand what’s going on around her. I like Karen but she does seem a bit ditsy. She has no real substance, nothing that she cares about that’s bigger then herself. She doesn’t have any interest in politics, science, philosophy, or even psychology of the people around her. It’s all light hearted and in the moment which is great but I like a character that has some depth and thinks about how they aren’t the center of the universe.

    • diane says:

      Dev and Karen must break up ASAP. They are terrible together. Zero chemsitry and he is mysogenist pig ()letting her sit at the separate table while lounging with VIPs and that Indian chick). Only her Mary Suish “oerfectnss” keep them together ebcause she won`t say anything.

      The actor is terrible and the character is entirely superflous because:

      a) nobody cares about his mayor office drama

      b) he has no one among main cast to interact with but Karen and they have no chemsitry, their romance is cringe worthy.

      I get that razzie Jaffery team is shaking in their boots so they sent plants to post pro-Dev posts but nobody likes Dev. he`s boring. Ditch him and ditch the painfully boring romance. Watching paint dry is more exciting than Karen and Dev or dev alone.

      • Ann says:

        I agree. The scense with Dev working are BORING. I still don’t really know what he does for a living. If I wanted to watch a political drama, I’d rent the West Wing…this is a show about Broadway. Have Karen interact with more Broadway folks, like that ensemble group. I’d like Karen to dump Dev and move out of that apartment and move into an apartment with the members of that ensemble group…at least the conversations would be more interesting.

        • diane says:

          I love your idea to have her move in with the chorus cast. Bobby and Sam are far more interesting and likable characters than total dud of Dev. They should dump Dev and Ellis and promote Bobby and Sam to regular characters instead. After all, they aren`t superflous to the musical itself and they are liked by fans unlike Ellis and dev.

          Moreover, living with a posh politician (whose idea was that?) kills sympathy for well-taken-cared-of “struggling” actress Karen. She isn`t struggling at all. Look at her apartment. Look at where her sugar daddy works and what salary he`s receiving. Ugh. Seriously, talk about kiss of death. On top of complete lack of chemistry and her overly submissive, eager-to-please-him-even-when-he`s-a-major-jerk persona. No doubt, she`s sacred of being evicted if she doesn`t stoke his ego at every turn even when he humiliates her in public (separate table, yelling at her at the restaurant,etc).

        • fromthepagesof says:

          You really still don’t know what he does??? I think that is more to do with you not paying attention to the show rather than the writers not giving enough explanation. Personally I think we see TOO MUCH of him at work

          • hurricansmith says:

            I agree that we see too much of him at work but I personally think that`s much better than absolutely horrid domestic bliss or lack thereof stuff. And since work itself is terrible but better than uber-terrible romance, I`m with the “break them up” crowd.

      • ryan says:

        I find it funny that when someone may have a differing opinion on a character there is the automatic assumption that a publicity team is at work. Heaven forbid people actually have different tastes……

  5. BetaRayBob says:

    If this season doesn’t end with Ivy overdosing and dead in her bedroom, I will be sorely disappointed. That seems to be where they’re leading her.

    • Anna says:

      I really can’t believe you said that.

      • BetaRayBob says:

        Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mean it like that. I just meant that Ivy seems to be getting too into the Marilyn thing, and they’ll probably end up mirroring her to the very end. Like, Ivy tried so hard to get the part perfect that she ended up dooming herself to repeat history. Know what I mean?

        • twee says:

          That’s kind of horrible. But I could dig it. So long as they treated the journey with a certain amount of respect. After all, they’ve been hitting up the parallels to great effect, for those who don’t wholesale hate Ivy too much to watch (esp with the recent revelation about her mother’s treatment.)

          But in all seriousness, all this trashing on Ivy is getting incredibly old.

  6. Michael says:

    Oh, don’t change a thing!

    The whole show is cheesey and craptastic in a great way! Call if Glee for adults or a real guilty pleasure — just keep it!

    Ivy was born to play Marilyn!

    • I agree! and I love the phrase “craptastic in a great wasy. did you invent that
      ?

      • Michael says:

        Angela,

        No, I did not. I stole it. I’ve also seen before ‘cheesetastic.’

        Are there things to change on shows like Smash and Revenge? Sure, but sometimes the total pieces come together in a way that makes me say: “I don’t care. The show is what it is and it entertains me.”

        M

  7. Temis says:

    This week’s episode was painfully bad. I wanted some clever, devious scheme from Derek but instead he presents a wretched generic autotuned monstrosity. Tom and Julia should have just fallen on the floor laughing and told Derek not to quit his day job and leave the composing to people with talent and taste. And Eilleen should have realized that Derek has just demonstrated a crippling lack of good judgment in music and fired him on the spot.

    The whole sequence made Derek look like a prize chump. Apparently the Smash writers thought the song was “great” (WTF??) because none of the characters mentioned how terrible and off-target it was. The other songs to date actually have some relevance to Marilyn Monroe, but that monstrosity could have been about any tragic star, such as Whitney Houston or whoever. And that is a crippling indictment of the Smash writers that more than explains why the showrunner got the boot, just as Derek should have gotten the boot.

    • Tara says:

      Honestly, I didn’t find Karen’s song to be as horrific as some others think. It’s not the best song, by any stretch of the imagination, but it is catchy. Not right for Marilyn, but it would make a pretty good single. How great would that be? The song is released as a single, Karen becomes famous enough to get the role of Marilyn. :)

      • twee says:

        She does already have ties to that music producer guy, who will be back in the country in a month or two.

        If she finds wild success as a pop star and Ivy can pursue theatrical roles, I’d be happy.

  8. DreamRose311 says:

    Soooo characters should never be mean or make mistakes?

    • whyohwhy says:

      Of course characters can be mean and make mistakes. Some of my favorite television characters have been mean and/or made mistakes (see: Spike, Malcolm Reynolds, Giles, and even characters outside the Whedonverse like Severus Snape, Brenda Lee Johnson, and Christina Yang) But characters need to be compelling. Ellis isn’t compelling; he’s just annoying. Realistically, he should have been fired already. Perhaps many people are complaining about mean/mistake-making characters because the writing for those characters hasn’t been compelling.

      • DreamRose311 says:

        It warms my heart that you started with Whedonverse characters :o)

        I’m more concerned about people ragging on Julia. And she even fought pretty hard (harder than most tv character adulterers) against it happening… I think she’s pretty compelling. Plus… she’s Debra Messing… I could see that clouding my judgement a bit >.<

        Ellis isn't compelling or have a reason to like him, but I still understand them having a villain who is only concerned with finding ways to get ahead. I guess Warren might be a good comparison, he's not compelling, and absolutely nothing other than detestable, but he still has a very important part in the show.

        • DreamRose311 says:

          Oooo I guess one thing I’m trying to say about Ellis, is that I would think people would want to see what’s coming to him from all this… being an ass… type… stuff. But they’d rather just not have a completely hateable character at all.

          • whyohwhy says:

            Funny you should bring up Warren… never did like him or much of that storyline. I wanted him gone far before it happened. However, I will grant that when the Big Bad of Season 7 took on his form to manipulate Andrew, I found the character much more compelling. That wouldn’t have been possible without the prior ground work. I think you can have evil characters who the audience loves to hate, without that character being as annoying as Ellis. Regina on Once Upon a Time is the first character that pops into my head, but I’m sure there are others. (P.S. I can’t believe I somehow missed Jayne from my earlier list, but he’s a favorite of mine as well.)

            As for Julia, I understand your concern. I regularly get disturbed by the backlash directed at female characters who make sexual mistakes. The things some people were saying about Mary Margaret after her one-night stand with Dr. Whale on Once Upon a Time were really awful. If a single woman having sex people disapprove of causes that kind of stir, what happens when it’s a married woman? That said, I am a firm believer in marital monogamy, so I didn’t like where the show took Julia’s plot. I’m not hating on her character; I just wish that plot line hadn’t come up. There was already so much going on, I’m not sure it was necessary. There could’ve just been a lot of tension between Julia and Michael. Hmmm… not sure where my point was going, but I seem to have lost it. Hopefully you got my general drift.

  9. jenya says:

    As love as it’s more focused on Ivy, Tom, and Derek, you can’t go too wrong. Cut out the Karen Sue crap, and ax Julia’s subplots. And if you have to keep Ellis on as the evil schemer, at least give him something to actually do. He hasn’t made one whit of difference yet.

    • twee says:

      “Karen Sue”

      Perfect. Thank you for that, I’ve been trying to find a succinct way of describing how she comes across to me, and that is precisely it.

  10. Ashton says:

    Julia is my favorite character despite her flaws. Let’s be honest, adultery happens everywhere, and quite a bit in show biz so I’m not complaining. It gives her character depth, pretending it never happens would be unrealistic.

    But yeah get rid of Ellis.

    • DreamRose311 says:

      And she did try to tell him no several times…

      • dan says:

        She told him no several times, then she walked from her brownstone to the rehearsal space at 10 pm in her pajamas to schtup him on the couch used during the show. Yeah, that made a lot of sense for somebody who loves her family and wants to keep it together.

    • danielle says:

      Agreed on both accounts. The affair storyline added depth to what I previously thought was a flat character. And the complexities between Julia and Michael’s affair is one of the few things on the show that I actually found to be well-written. There are so many layers to that relationship and to both characters that getting rid of them would revert the show back to its two-dimensional status. Ellis, however, I couldn’t care less about.

      • veronica lodge says:

        i agree with your description of the julia-michael affair. my problem with it was that the storyline was that it was so rushed. i would’ve preferred more build-up – more times with their quick glances at rehearsals, and struggles not to give in to their attraction, etc., then a much lengthier time for their affair, with the nuances playing out. they aren’t bad people, but they had so much chemistry. let us see the guilt, desire, dizzy-ing happiness of being in love, the thrill of working together, the burden of having to be secret. then let the reason(s) for the ending of the affair be sown over several episodes – maybe even a whole season, so that when it happens, it doesn’t seem so abrupt, and the viewer can be torn between grieving the loss of their love and yet understanding the hard place they are caught in. (and yes, i thought i would play out over a much longer period of time and with the depth they started the storyline with…)

        i should say – i was also drawn to this storyline because not only do i love debra messing, but i love will chase ever since seeing the film of the final production of ‘rent’ – he’s amazing and gorgeous in that role.

  11. Barb says:

    It was nice to see Meryl” Streep’s daughter on the show as Eileen’s daughter. Guess she won’t be on it a lot…going to Alaska now. But it was fun to see her..

  12. Michael Sacal says:

    “It’s common for all first-season shows to go through a shakedown, and for a show to kind of find its footing. And I think what’s happened [with Smash].”

    And Terra Nova, and Alcatraz, and Stargate Universe, and Caprica, and…

    • TV Gord says:

      That’s exactly what I thought. It’s NOT that common…among shows that SUCCEED! This whole season has no focus or direction, and it’s glaring! I really can’t believe it got a second season, especially considering the flat ratings. I feel as though I’m watching How To Succeed In Television Without Really Trying.

      • Lacey says:

        Love your “How To Succeed In Television Without Really Trying” comment! NBC just wants a hit so badly they seem to be sticking with train-wrecks like Smash in hopes they eventually become hits. Smash is never going to be Glee, and thank goodness for that since one is bad enough. But you also have to realize Glee appeals to a different crowd, mainly teens. Whereas Smash is a show you force your teens to watch as punishment, lol.

  13. danoregon says:

    First, nice to hear a producer address complaints and not dismiss them (like whomever is in charge of The Killing).
    Thought the “new song” wasn’t bad – it didn’t fit the show they were doing, but I figure some broadway shows in development do try and throw stuff at the wall, change creative personnel etc. And maybe the production could get a little darker. Plus – it gave us the answer to the Tom/Derek feud.
    That said – I don’t’ think it pushed the thing forward much. I wonder if Ivy has an agent, because whoever is representing her is doing a crap job.

    • dan says:

      Was anybody else waiting for Tom and Derek to kiss at the end of their fight? My immediate thought was “wow…serious sexual tension between these two.” Maybe that would be an interesting story to explore and could explain the hate between these two.

      • twee says:

        Yes.
        I’m not opposed to it in theory, but if they’re going to introduce a story with a guy who’s been in denial about his sexuality into his 40s, this is a much darker show than I thought it was, and I’ll be really surprised at NBC.
        Makes for interesting fanfiction though.

  14. kd says:

    Fire Ellis

  15. JD says:

    I’m waiting for a “Who’s going to die on Smash” headline!

  16. gemapet says:

    I gave this show a chance but it didn’t hold my interest. I thought it was said this show wouldn’t have song/dance just because, that it would be part of the actual musical, so when they started breaking into song and dance in dreams etc. I thought they went off the mark. Promoting Katharine too much at the start was bad for the show, as the first couple of episodes I did see didn’t have her shining as much as NBC believed. That episode where Karen bullied her chorus mates into helping her ended it for me – the whole point was to teach her how to work with others and then they have her doing a solo?! Why would Julia disclose this ‘secret’ knowing that the assistant she doesn’t trust is still in the building!! After hearing it got a second season I thought I should have gave it more of a chance, but reading this, it seems that this show just got worse and worse.

  17. J. Norman says:

    I lost interest in this show after the 4th episode.

    I hated the character of Ellis. But what really annoyed me on that front was Julia’s appararent lack of anything resembling a backbone concerning a scheming subordinate.
    I mean – no questions on the mysterious disapearance of her notebook and its equally strange materialization in the hands of the same sleazeball assistant that “leaked their show on you tube”
    And while I’m a long way from a prude, I didn’t see the necessity to have Julia commence an affair with her old lover. Both of whom were presumablly happily married.

    Nope, the show got too soap opera-y way too fast. I quickly returned to Castle.

  18. daviduter says:

    Count me as one of the many disappointed tv viewers. Was really looking forward to this show and hoping it would accurately portray the high pressure and demanding work of Broadway. Instead, I am getting horrific story lines, unlikeable characters and an adult version of Glee.
    Can’t stand Glee and if I wanted to watch it, I would watch it. Give us something original and dramatic for crap sake. Epic fail for now.

  19. Superhero says:

    Honestly, it might be too late by then, for me anyway. Look, I genuinely enjoyed the pilot, in spite of myself. I allowed myself to get excited by all the praise the critics were throwing at it and the ambitious concept. But the shows had far too many abysmal – not bad, abysmal – moments to make me want to keep watching. Last night’s episode was absolutely terrible. I’m probably gonna suck it up and watch the rest of the first season, but I’m not sure I have it in me to stay with it beyond that, unless it gets significantly better.

    And seriously, who the hell thought this kid playing Leo was qualified to be playing such a significant role? I honestly believe that I could, today, with absolutely no acting experience or training, give a better performance than he’s been giving.

  20. Kira says:

    I feel like I’m the only one who finds Katharine McPhee’s character boring and unrealistic. I’m from the Midwest, and we’re not naive or “scared of the sex” or so nice it’s at our own expensive, and the portrayal is so cliched, it’s almost offensive. It wasn’t inspiring or amazing that she showed up to an audition out of character and unprepared. I didn’t feel bad for her that she didn’t get the lead when she had never been in a Broadway show before.

    Ivy is far more talented and deserved to be Marilyn over Karen. It’s crazy for people to hate her because she does what tons of celebrities have done and will do to get a big break. It happens, why gloss over it?

    I like how resourceful Ellis is, but he’s a little too upfront about all he knows. I don’t mind him though.

    My problem is more with the drama and dialogue. It always feels like a play.

    • Superhero says:

      At this point, I just focus on the fact that I like looking at Karen more than I focus on the fact that I don’t care about what she has to say.

    • twee says:

      Word. I’d find Karen less annoying if she wasn’t so self-righteous about it all – heck, we’re supposed to be behind her need to get handed everything and her jealousy of Ivy even though Ivy has spent 10 years earning her skills and her friends?

      But technically, Ivy didn’t sleep with Derek to get the role and she didn’t get the role because she slept with Derek. People are hating her because they fail to pay attention to what happens onscreen. IDEK.

      Yup, Ellis is his own brand of horrid, but at least he does something, and he is repeatedly acting as catalyst, which is as valuable in real life as it is in a drama.

      • McFudge says:

        Where does this idea that Karen has an entitlement issue come from? In what way has the character demonstrated that? Because she dreams of being a star? Because she was angry that the casting director took a phone call in the middle of her audition (in the first Smash scene)? Because she was bummed out that she didn’t get the Marilyn part, especially after finding out that Ivy was sleeping with Derek? All reasonable reactions, I think.

        • dan says:

          Didn’t Karen say that Ivy was incredible in the workshop? She doesn’t seem jealous at all. Maybe she is a bit too goody two shoes, but I still like her as a character.

          • twee says:

            Yep. The thing is, at the heart of it Karen wants to respect Ivy – I mean, the first she heard about Marilyn she was singing to Ivy’s demo. No matter what you think of them, Ivy has experience, knowledge, and a social circle that Karen is aspiring to. The problem is that one moment of praising Ivy does not negate all those other moments when she was, in fact, jealous. Just means for that performance she was -in- the performance, instead of just performing it.

            I wrote an overly long thing below, so I’ll just roll with : I don’t want to come across, in any way, as saying anyone shouldn’t like a character, or cheer for them, or hate a storyline etc. These are they ways we all experience media. But I find the lines between emotional response and more “logical” responses confusing in the larger fan community, so props to posters previously for making me think through my arguments, which I personally find the most fun of all :D

            … And now I sound like a dorky lit student, but what can you do, eh?

        • twee says:

          Individually, many of her reactions are reasonable, and frankly, I wouldn’t have much of an issue except that I am repeatedly being told through the meta-message of the show, interviews, and advert, and an alarmingly high percentage of fans that Karen is a “big hearted Iowa girl” and yet what i see onscreen is not-so-much this. “Naive,” I’d buy.
          “Entitlement” may not be precisely the right term for all of my objections, so don’t hold me strictly to it, but my issues stem from instances such as:
          (I’m letting these just because all spacing disappears D: making everything even harder to read.)
          —–a) She doesn’t take the Bar Mitzvah gig seriously enough to make sure she can get there, on time, fails to learn the obvious song choices, and spends half the night on the phone rather than doing the job she is being paid relatively well to do.
          —–b) Whenever she is moved or removed from a number, she tends to whine “why?” and fume. It is her job to do as told, not to hold up production. Note that this is not merely Ivy “trying to get [her] fired”, but dovetails into at least one note given to her independently by the dance guy to “tone it down.”
          —–c) She has a whole self-righteous speech about how the other dancers should be helping her because she’s new, which is good sentiment but questionable tactics, and goes downright fishy when she tries to get them to agree that Ivy is a diva bitch out to get her.
          —–c.1) FIne, she’s new, but how did she miss the part where she should be taking acting/dancing/singing classes?
          —–d) She found out Ivy was sleeping with Derek, and went straight to the “I could have slept with him and thus gotten the role.” Borderline indicating she believes she is better than Ivy. Worse when you place this in the context of her continual flirtation with Derek, which I read as her believing that he wants her, only he wants her more than he wants Ivy, who is just sex. (I admit, this one goes a little iffy because heart of hearts I’m Ivy/Derek. *coughs*)
          —–e) She explicitly stated that she was brought up to look down on people like Ivy, who display their sexuality. In a way, notably, that is not slutty. She was using the remark to both put down Ivy and make herself feel morally superior.
          —–f) RJ. Karen goes full-on jealousy whenever RJ is around, even though I can’t figure out why she should feel threatened, unless we’re going to a weird “she’s not Indian!” place. Esp. her pouting when RJ was in the apartment. I mean, when I want to steal someone else’s boyfriend I invite two friends to come and watch us…
          —–g) After Ivy gets Marilyn, Karen -never- gets over her disappointment, to the point where she can’t be happy for Ivy. Not saying she should be “yay Ivy got the role!,” but she could be happier, or even happy, when Ivy nails a song and everyone else in the room is clapping. She’s not taking the role in the ensemble as a stepping stone or learning experience, which offends me as Ivy spent 10 years there and never found it beneath her. (This begs exploration, it’s a simplification, but I’m already running super long and about 0.01% of the population actually might care to discuss this deeply.)
          —–Etc. This is why I feel the way I do towards her character, which would of course be a little different if she wasn’t being overly-praised, Ivy being overly-dissed, and the message the show projects wasn’t undermined at every turn by… itself. But I think the overall picture is still valid, even once my emotional perspective is removed.

          • Guest says:

            Where do you get the idea that Karen is jealous of Ivy? How come Ivy can whine, act like a bitch, cries and falls flat on her face and is always given a pass. Some how when Ivy does it, it’s okay, when Karen does it she’s the devil.

          • twee says:

            In response to the guest below: I think I’d need to be convinced that Karen -is not- jealous of Ivy, because I’m not sure how an argument that she’s not would work. I mean, it’s a natural reaction, her voice intonation, facial expressions, actions and subsequent behavior support jealousy. And yes, Ivy is jealous of Karen, it’s a two way street.
            Excuse me, but:
            -I was listing the evidence I, personally, saw for why I found Karen entitled.
            -I was not listing evidence for Ivy being whiny, bitchy, or really, anything at all. I can hardly be faulted for this, it’s impossible to say everything all at once without being an absurd reductionist.
            Clearly, Ivy does not get a free pass, as you have failed to respond to my reasonable points about Karen, and are now making unjustified ones about Ivy.
            I too will be unreasonable, and note that Ivy is given this pass because I find it amusing to aggravate whiny, annoying, and bitchy online fans.
            I don’t really. But oh god how I wish I did.

          • Taylah says:

            This post is perfect.

          • guest says:

            hey twee, your post is freaking verbose. will try to read it tonight to help me sleep.

  21. Eppu says:

    I actually love the show and while last night’s episode wasn’t the best, I LOVED the confrontation between Derek and Tom.

  22. Angel says:

    NOOOOOOOOOO i don’t want Michael and Julia to end, this news piss me off, I just can’t believe it, it’s not just only an affair, if only people can see that. I’m really sad if they get rid of it.

  23. Joseph says:

    I had not thought of Smash as similar to Glee , that is until last night where we had a singing / dance moment at a bowling alley , REALLY ,, A BOWLING ALLEY :)
    ++
    Not sure what I would change with the story but , I would have liked to see Grummer stick around for more then 1 episode.

  24. Joseph says:

    BTW would love Anjelica Huston to see if she can get an old flame to show up for an extended arc , would love to see Jack Nicholson show up as an old flame / friend of Eileen.

  25. Liz says:

    Well, I love Katharine’s work in the show–think she shines as a great singer, but the character she is playing is boring and unrealistic. I was so hoping this would be the “West Wing” of Broadway–a show that would really depict the inner-workings of professional theatre–the demands and pressures, etc. Instead, it has relied on soap opera scripts and over-used characterizations. The inside view of Broadway is reduced to the trite and cliche elements that have been worked for years. I also strongly dislike any inclination to burst into song during a regular scene! I don’t think that happens in the lives of real Broadway folks! Keeping the music where it belongs would help, but don’t do it for me…I don’t think I can get to Season 2.

  26. Angelica says:

    I actually love the Michael/Julia subplot. Someone above said it’s one of the few well-written storylines on this show and I agree with that, but also Debra Messing and Will Chase are two of the best actors/performers on this show and my interest is always piqued when one, the other or both are on screen. I love their dynamic and, really, I’m not watching this show for moral integrity. Adultery aspect be damned; I’ll take flawed and complicated characters/relationships over boring ones any day.

  27. CJ says:

    Haters aside, I am really enjoying Smash. At times I do find it to be overly cheesy, but if I think of the show as if it were a Broadway show itself, then the out-of-place musical numbers no longer seem out of place. The over-the-top, cheesy dramatics are VERY Broadway (to me at least) and I really do enjoy the show. Not perfect by any means, but a nice alternative to Castle (which has gotten cheesy, predictable, and even annoying, which is sad as it used to be one of my favorite shows). I will stick it out and see how season 2 shapes up (and hope and pray that Ellis gets run over by a cab while trying to get across town to give Eileen the latest gossip!)

    • Linderella says:

      You wrote exactly what I was thinking! I was beginning to wonder if anyone writing on this blog has ever seen a Broadway musical – songs pop up all over the place in a totally unrealistic/unnatural way so that part doesn’t bother me. My only gripe is about the casting of Michael, Frank, and Leo. Leo’s part would be better cast as a female; Frank is b-o-r-i-n-g and Michael was a borderline stalker. As for Ellis – someone has to be the jerk – every cast has one. I haven’t given up on Castle – I DVR both shows. BTW, on Castle the jerk is the Captain.

  28. Keep Ellis but make him gay, i mean we all know hes in the closet.

    Bring Nick Jonas as a series regular

    Make Karen Marylin

  29. Pedro2 says:

    I happen to love the song ‘Touch Me’, and I’ve been having it on repeat since the first time
    I got my hands on it. I enjoy both Broadway and pop songs but seriously the bowling song and dance got me laughing and not in a good way. It was so bad. Ellis is a little snot who’s gotten ahead of himself and I eagerly await his fall from grace. Please Smash writers, please make it come true.
    Didn’t think that the Coup was all bad. Didn’t like the Dev in the office thingy, Julia’s outburst in the courtroom and Katie’s poor musical taste ;-). Dev please have an affair with RJ so that you can cast Karen out of her comfortable living quarters and Karen has to fend for herself and finally grow a much needed spine.

  30. Pedro2 says:

    PS. and I also wanted to add, I want to see Karen (with a spine) whack Ivy and flatten her nose the next time Blondie disses her.

  31. JJ says:

    The Ellis situation can’t be ignored. The actor is clearly gay in real but isn’t able to portray a straight character but then again what young hetero man dreams of being an exec asst and future Broadway producer? Bad character, bad casting, get rid of him.

    They also need to give Angelica Huston more to work with. She’s so amazing but is stuck with dialogue and a plot that has her telling someone she’s fine living with less. We get it, the husband has money. Zzzzz

    The big miss for this show is the musical numbers. The original songs are good but when they do a cover it’s a random disaster. The bowling alley scene. I barely know who those characters are and the song was lame. Also when you’re positioning McPhee to be the one I should root for its tough when someone like Hilty is leaps and bounds better.

  32. Wish that they were able to address some of these issues before the end of the current season. I guess we’ll just have to wait (and continue posting bitchy recaps) until they finish up and prepare for season 2!

  33. Nikki Y. says:

    Ellis DEFINITELY needs to go. I LOVE the Michael/Julia affair and want to see what happens with all that, so IDK what people are talking about with hating that–it’s so juicy! And I don’t care how stupid the moment is, Michael can sing whatever he wants, whenever he wants, wherever he wants, with that voice. And if Angelica Huston and the hottie bartender don’t get it on soon, I’m gonna die. Super looking forward to their dynamic. But yeah, last night’s episode definitely fell flat. I’m looking forward to them working things out, though. One of my new fave shows, so I’m glad it’s coming back so they have a chance to do that!

  34. Salsa Girl says:

    I really wanted to like this show and I’ve stuck with it thus far but I’m giving up. There is no focus and the storyline wanders from week to week. Get rid of Ellis already – he is ridiculous. Katharine McPhee has a great voice but no rhythm at all. It’s painful to watch her. I enjoy her better when I close my eyes whilst she is performing. And her naïveté is offensive to those of us from the Midwest. Love Tom, Derek and Anjelica’s character. As for Megan Hilty – too annoying for words. I am shocked that the show was renewed for a second season.

  35. Eric Payne says:

    Karen is going to release a single (all the “record producers” that have been introduced in the last two weeks) – possibly even one of the songs from the show (my bet: this week’s “Touch Me” or “Let Me be Your Star)

    That single is going to hit big… think “You Light Up My Life” or “My Heart Will Go On” big.

    Earlier in the season, Eileen said, of Karen: “That girl is a star.”

    This week, she said, for the role of Marilyn: “We need a star.”

    After the single hits, they’ve got they’re star.

  36. The Kaibosh says:

    I am a firm believer that writers should tell the public (myself included) to go to hell when it comes to influencing stories. The writers should write their stories and the producers should have the guts to produce them. More often than not when creative people are free to be creative and daring; the results are positive. I doubt very much that the writers of the Wire, Justified, Sons of Anarchy or Mad Men just to name a few give two spits about what people say on blogs and message boards. AND THAT’S HOW IT SHOULD BE. The problem with the majority of TV viewers is that they’re fickle and stupid (myself included). When you pander too much to “what the people want” then you lose direction and the plots become muddled. GLEE for example is a mess and the writers have admitted that they turn scripts out far too late and it puts stress on production schedules when time lines are too tight. And it shows. The show is all over the place and its a bad show. Heroes suffered from that too. It started with a decent story arc and then in the second season writers started responding too much to what was cool in the news and started slanting their writing in that direction. Milo Ventimiglia and Hayden Panettiere started dating so they continued to throw in aspects Peter and Clair (“I always loved you Peter” said future Clair) etc. Fans were appalled by the cancellation of Veronica Mars so when Kristen Bell showed up they were all “yeah lets get Sylar and Elle together because they’re friends in real life” That was cool. Never mind that Elle was a terrible character and Sylar was a cool bad guy that got watered down when his character was written all over the place. And we all know what happened to Heroes. If SMASH needs a course correction then fine but let the writers decide on that based on what THEY think would be good story telling. Not one what the 60 plus morons (myself included) on this board say.

  37. David says:

    Face it the show is one big trashy stereotype. It sucks. It will be interesting to see if after picking it up, NBC renigs and cancels it.

  38. diane says:

    Katharine McPhee is not a star, NBC folks. Fact. Sorry that you were duped into thinking she is because loud but not so numbered McPhans led you to believe. Go to any unbiased forum like Ew.com, imdb.com,etc and you`ll see that her complete lack of charisma and inability to carry the show are cited as the main reason why Smash is barely getting by with mediocre ratings. Ellis is a good scapegoat and he sure is annoying but like Marilyn the musical, your show needs a star and McPhee ain`t one. Heck, scratch that, your show is ensamble show and doesn`t need focus on just one character especially the one who is such a boring Mary Sue. You know very well that writing made everyone unlikable, especially Ivy, so that fans of the show have no choice by root only for Mary Sue Cartwright. Episode after episode someone on the show was gushing over mediocrity that Karen is, bar mitzvah screw up that landed her a major producer`s number being a major offense.All that backfired.

    It`s easy to scrap Ellis but that doesn`t solve your main problem – your “star” is not a star and characters who are related only to her and no one else on the show (her dull as a dishwasher boyfriend, ridiculous parents, those offensive Iowa friends) are just as bad and unpopular as adoption and Julia`s family and Ellis if you will. Want to clean the house? Than take McPhee off the leading lady, star of the show, whatever that she failed to deliver in expectations, and make her just a member of the cast like Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Jack Davenport, Megan Hilty and Angelica Huston already are. Ditch her after work stuff like boring boyfriend and fancy digs and have her develop more bond with chorus and star behaving like a real struggling actress. She isn`t struggling. She`s handed everything on the plate even when she screws up. That`s ridiculous and worse than anything Ellis does, really.

    Spekaing of Ellis and Dev. Why are these characters part of the main cast and appear in every episode? Do they create the musical in any way? No. So dump them totally or makew them occasional guest stars if you don`1t want to fire them completely. But having them as regular cast was a huge mistake. They bring nothing to the show but tons of unnecessary filler and are annoying or boring because they don`t have rapport with anyone and their individual arcs don`t work. The show has hands full with 6 characters who matter so develop them and ditch unnecessary baggage.

    • twee says:

      As far as rants go:
      +1

    • Taylah says:

      *bows down*

    • just a wannabe says:

      My Dear Diane, she may not be a star, but she does have a job that pays her well. Not a star, never mind, the money is still there. She’s still being featured in magazines like Elle, GQ, soon to be Vanity Fair and more to come. She has also met with Anna Wintour and who knows where that will lead. While she may be a loser to you, to the people that matter most, she’s not. I wonder who has the last laugh.

      • not a wannabe says:

        McPhee, aren’t you supposed to be in Africa right now? Please stop going around the internet defending yourself!

    • Siria says:

      Thank you. Totally agree. Smash has an incredible cast (Angelica Houston, Christian Borle, Jack Davenport, Debra Messing and the Broadway Star Megan Hilty). Make them the main focus!!!

    • liz says:

      Yes yes yes yes to all this!

      Kat McPhee is an average singer and a mediocre actress and dancer. Also, way too bland to be the star that NBC and the show’s awful writing keep insisting she is. Ivy may have her diva side (and so what? She actually has talent!), but Karen Sue has an annoying entitled side to her. I just “loved” that episode where she made friends with the other ensemble dancers, and they told her she was behaving like she was the star when she wasn’t, and they even taught her how to dance like someone in an ensemble instead of stealing the spotlight, but then during their big number at the karaoke bar, Karen Sue starts showboating again, like she learned nothing at all.

      I hate Ellis but the biggest problem for me, is Kat McPhee as Karen Sue. Nothing against the actor at all but Dev does not belong on this show. He is only there so that Kat McPhee can have more scenes to do, as “the star” of the show. Don’t forget – she is at the top of the pyramid in all the promo posters! And enough with the “Isn’t Karen talented and special and look how horribly Ivy and other people are treating her” browbeating already. Kat McPhee is as bad an actor as the one playing Debra Messing’s son, and totally out of her league on this show.

      • twee says:

        To be fair, I don’t think the show itself ever intended to be the “Karen.McPhee” show, except perhaps in the way that as the new entrant in the world, the audience experience can be framed through her experiences.

        The problem is that when it came to advertising, someone decided they needed one “star” to sell it, and McPhee was their best bet. This creates preconceptions which, more than anything, force fans to polarize – if you love Karen, you need her to win against her “enemies”. If you love Ivy, you need her to triumph over the her “second class” citizenship, while all along you know she’s going to have to lose…

  39. hurricansmith says:

    Breaking News! Season 2 secerts leaked! All cast but Karen and Dev fired! Season premiere title pegged to be All About Deve! Here`s the leaked portion of the script:

    Karen to meet super producer who takes over Marilyn from the old team. Dev cooks curry. Karen gets diahrrea, spends 3 hours in the bathroom, is late for the audition.

    Karen: “It`s so good to be a Mary Sue. Mari. Sue. Mari. Lyn. It`s just 3 letters off. Such a good omen. This lateness is almost as bad as my not uttering a syllable of Hava Nagila that landed me super producer`s number. So everyone`s gonna be blown away by my screw up cause they always are.”

    Producer:”Sorry hun we already have Marilyn”

    Karen:”But that isn`t possible. You should have fallen to your knees and declaire to be in love with me!”

    Producer (rolls eyes):”May I present you…”(dramatic pause)…”Marilyn….Miss Deve Harrington!”

    There`s silhouette of a woman walking exactly like Marilyn with a bra so perfectly stack that Lohan`s old boobs died of envy. It`s…

    Karen:”DEV?????”

    Dev (flutters his fake eye-lashes):”B****, please. It`s Deve. Show some respect.”

    Karen:”You backstabbed me! You are a trannie!”

    Deve:”Whoa,whoa, wait a minute! I clued you in in the pilot. Remeber my expertise in Marilyn walk and how to wear a bra like a real woman? What planet are you from to not have put two and two together?”

    Karen:”Iowa”

    Deve:”Anyway, I walk like Marilyn, I wear a bra liek Marilyn, I came to claim what`s mine.*I* am Marilyn”

    Karen:”But I`m Mary Sue!”

    Producer:”They cast for that show across the street.”

    Karen (enthusiastically):”Really?”

    Producer rolls his eyes:”No, not really. What rock did you just crwal from under?”

    Everyone:”Iowa”

    There`s all that`s leaked but boy what a shake up!

  40. Muffy says:

    I don’t understand all of the bashing of Katherine McPhee. Yes, I think the character needs to develop a little backbone and the Midwestern nativity is overplayed, but I really like her. However, I think Ivy acts like a spoiled brat. Just because she has been in the business for ten years doesn’t make her more entitled to the role.

    • twee says:

      For me it’s because you need to be predisposed to like Karen – there’s little in the writing or character to convince me to root for her or make her particularly intriguing, and since she’s been pimped as the star, that’s an issue.
      Partly, I had no idea who McPhee was coming in, and whenever there’s a new/brilliant/beautiful young character coming into a mix, I’m always a hard sell as to why they’re immediately on part with or better than those with the experience and refined skill. She’s got a lovely voice, but does she understand the business well enough to carry the role?
      See, I don’t necessarily see Ivy’s overall behavior as spoiled, so much as intensely insecure, and given how long she’s waited for this break, how close she was to losing out to a newbie, and how that newbie is not constantly right there, making herself stand out and getting all these opportunities and fans…
      Not that this justifies all of what Ivy does, but Bernadette Peters evens said in an interview that this situation would be horribly stressful. And I have to imagine that if Ivy were truly spoiled, she would have used her mum as leverage. She less thinks she’s entitled than she thinks she’s earned it, needs this, and does work as hard as she can to do it to the best of her ability.

      • guest says:

        oic, ivy insecure, karen spoiled. why not both insecure.

        • twee says:

          I’m sure they are, but I was describing separate opinions on the two characters with some explanation for why I have the perspectives I do, and since it’s all my person experience and opinion, there’s nothing much I can, or will, do about that.
          I simply find Ivy’s insecurity more sympathetic given my own life, and the way they are fighting with her professional trajectory, and the show has not been successful in convincing me to identify with Karen to the same level. Far as I can tell, they’ll be giving Karen more to do shortly, which should give her agency and growth through which her insecurities can play out. Until then, I vastly prefer Ivy.

  41. Bud says:

    Megan Hilty has more talent than Katherine McPhee. the end.

    • guest says:

      correction, both have talent. THE END.

      • twee says:

        That’s not a correction, technically, since “A has MORE X than B has” does not mean that B has NO X.

        Talent is not a binary state, under the implicit conditions Bud set up, so what was initially said was, indeed, that Hilty and McPhee are both talented, though Hilty has comparatively more.

        I am now left wondering: THE END of what?

  42. Jeri says:

    I like this show, sure it has flaws but is still better than 99% of whats out there. People seem to expect perfection on every level immediately. No wonder so many good shows get cancelled.

    Watch Jersey Shore, you’ll think that’s perfect. LOL

    • diane says:

      Jersey Shore was never overhyped as the second coming of quality TV. It promised trash starring a bunch of nobodies and delivered gallons of it. Didn`t try to fool anyone and, most importantly, it exceeded expectations about the advertised content. Smash didn`t deliver squat. They promised amazing new star. LOL.That didn`t happen for sure. They promised an authentic look at Broadway since the crew are Broadway vets. LOL again. The show is panned for being bunch of cliches that seem like some amateur`s bad fanfic about Broadway, not a slice of real life. They promised awards-worthy performences since the cast is star-studden with awards winners and nominees from movies, TV and theater. Now this is a really sad part. These actors and actresses are all so horribly underused and their characters so badly written that they are giving their worst performences ever. Finally, they bostered to be anti-Glee thanks to original songs, but very episode features at least one damn cover just like on Glee. It`s an absolute failure on all levels – writing, acting, star-making, songs, depcition of Broadway and NY life.

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