Smash Season Finale Recap: Hello, Norma Jean...

megan hilty katharine mcpheeSmash‘s inaugural season may have had more irregularities than a dollar-store t-shirt, but at least its season finale gave us a little bit of suspense, some interesting inside-theater intrigue, and plenty of soap-opera shenanigans.

Things kicked off with the show’s most dynamic duo — Tom and Julia — finishing a new closing number with only 15 minutes till curtain. And then we got a Marilyn’s eye view of the backstage insanity, with everyone wishing good luck to the last-minute replacement for movie star Rebecca Duvall. But would it be Ivy Lynn, who originated the role in workshop, or understudy Karen, who hadn’t yet rehearsed the part?

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Flash back to 12 hours prior, with the entire cast eavesdropping as Eileen, Derek, Tom, and Julia — wait, who forgot to invite “producer” Ellis? — tried to figure out how to proceed following Rebecca’s abrupt exit, not to mention an opening night of previews that ended with tepid applause for the show ending in Marilyn’s death by overdose.

Here’s how our major characters’ story arcs wrapped up (until we meet up with them again when Season 2 kicks off in 2013):

* The night’s most satisfying moment came when Ellis confronted Eileen and insisted the lead role must go to Ivy Lynn, not Karen. “OK,” responded the power producer, using a single word to remind the bowtie-wearing creep that he had about as much say in the matter as a gnat trying to direct traffic in midtown Manhattan. “Why don’t you do a Starbucks run for the creative team?” she purred, winning my heart forever, before Ellis hissed that he was a producer, that he was the one who laced Rebecca’s smoothie with peanuts, and that Eileen was never to call him an assistant again. (Is dude really dumb enough to think that job-title change was in any way his to make?) “You’re fired is what you are,” lobbed back his incredulous boss, before Ellis insisted she’d live to regret it. What’s he gonna do? Offend Eileen’s eye in another tomato-colored velvet suit? With a new showrunner coming in for Season 2, let’s hope TV’s worst character is destined to either exit stage left, or wind up working the concession stand at a dilapidated off-Broadway theater.

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* Derek used his power of hallucination — remember when he visualized Karen as Marilyn in that purple dress, singing “Our Day Will Come” — to make the call that “the Cartwright girl” was getting the job, not his part-time lover Ivy. Naturally, this led to an avalanche of emotional turmoil. “If it was going to be a nobody, why not me?” asked Ivy, making an excellent point, seeing how she clearly possesses the bigger Broadway voice and Marilyn-esque physicality. “She just has something that you don’t,” responded Derek, typically awful.

This indignity led Ivy to a dark and unsavory decision (that seemed like the show’s writers trying to make the entire audience feel good about heading to CafePress and ordering their “Team Karen” t-shirts): Ivy Lynn left Karen’s engagement ring on her dressing room table, then admitted to her rival that she’d slept with her fiancé Dev. Ivy rambling that Dev’s unfaithfulness was “very Joe DiMaggio” signaled her emotional instability, but frankly, Karen didn’t fare much better, tearing off her Marilyn wig and hiding in a storage room. Bobby summed it up nicely by declaring, “She took the wig off. In this production, that’s paramount to ‘I quit!'” But Derek tracked down his leading lady via discarded bracelet — “Oh darling, you dropped bits of Marilyn along the way like breadcrumbs.” — and told her that her newfound heartbreak was the final piece of the Marilyn puzzle. (So wait, was he worried she didn’t have that aspect of her character nailed down when he decided to put her on in front of the Boston theater audience?)

And there we had it: Karen rising above her personal problems and scoring an onstage triumph, Ivy Lynn getting sucked into the undertow of her disastrous love life and career trajectory, and eyeing up a huge handful of prescription pills as Bombshell‘s closing number played on. Megan Hilty delivered another great moment breaking the news that she wasn’t going on as Marilyn to her stage star mother (Bernadette Peters). More Mama Ivy Lynn in Season 2, please! And for the love of all that’s Broadway, let’s hope Ivy picked up those pills so she could flush ’em down the toilet.

* Tom and Julia — the 2012 answer to Will & Grace? — hilariously struggled to concoct a closing number worthy of Bombshell, a terrific musical at risk of disaster all becuase of some last-minute cast changes. This exchange pretty much sums up my adoration for the dynamic duo:

Julia (hearing Tom add some organ): No, no, no. No Gospel. There’s nothing Gospel about Marilyn.
Tom: It has to be triumphant. But she just died. And Gospel is triumphant.
Julia: Oh, I hate it when you get literal.

My only note on Julia is a prayer that a new showrunner will ignore that maddening revelation that she’s got nausea and stomach cramps — which she hasn’t had since she was pregnant for her lugnut teenage son Leo — and just attribute it to a poor decision to choose the olive loaf at her local deli. That could happen, you know. And it’d make for much better TV than a Julia-Michael love child.

* I’ve really adored almost everything we’ve heard from Bombshell — to the point where I’d buy tickets for it tomorrow if the show actually existed — but that final ballad Tom and Julia cooked up for Karen was downright embarrassing. The music sounded like it came from a pile of rejected Disney princess theme songs, and uff da, those lyrics? “When you sing happy birthday to someone you love/ Or see diamonds that you wish were all free/ Please say that you won’t, I pray that you don’t forget me”? Where’s Derek when you need someone to scream, “Rewrite!”?

Okay, your turn. What did you think of the Smash season finale? Would you have chosen Ivy or Karen for the lead role? And on a scale of 1 to 10, how much did you love seeing Ellis get his just desserts? Sound off in the comments, and for all my TV recaps and interviews, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Christine L says:

    Although I”m usually Team Ivy, I did think Karen was very good in this episode. But I thought it was entirely unbelievable that she could learn all the dances, script changes, and a new song in an afternoon. She should have had a few stumbles, right? I kind of hope Ivy gets an offer for another musical that rivals Bombshell so Karen and Ivy can vie for a Tony.

  2. I am so happy Karen got the part, Yes Ivy was better but Karen has played fair since the start and has always been sweet to ivy and everyone. Ivy Didnt play and only was friends with Karen to get closer to the role. I loved Ivy at first but when she showed her true colors,I turned to team Karen. I hope season 2 brings Ivy back to the girl she was before she truned ugly.

    Juila is preggos with micheal baby.

    I was shock Ellis didnt come up or showed up after he got fired,I guess they saving his revenge for season 2,when I had seen Karen shows on the floor,I had though Ellis kidnap her haha but then it showed Karen hiding.

    I needed more of Tom & Sam but I hope season 2 has a whole lot more for them.

  3. Karen is a good singre but she’s not Marilyn, and she’s to innocent, to dumb sometimes, she gets on my nerves most episodes, i am TEM IVY all the way, and seriously Ivy would have rocked Bombshell, i hope they come to their senses in seaosn 2, let Ivy show them how awesome she really is!

    And more Momma Lynn please!

    • ramification says:

      I thought this too but I don’t know, Hilty is clearly the better singer / Broadway performer, but there was something genuinely moving /touching about McPhee’s performance in the final 20 minutes of the episode. I can’t say she hit it right out of the park all the way, but she did a much better job convincing me of her being a ‘star’ than I expected. It wasn’t a home run, but at least a solid RBI double.

  4. Jess says:

    I enjoyed the finale immensely and loved the final song as well. Yea it might be a bit disney-esque but i love disney songs. And lyrics like “for a kiss they paid a thousand/yet they paid 50 cents for my soul” and “they didn’t buy me when they bought my name” was much bettern than the “don’t forget me” bridge. My only beef is the whole julia throwing up thing. I agree with you, please no affair baby Smash!

  5. ramification says:

    I think they will have Ellis sue the production next season as the production was ‘his idea’ in episode one, maybe team up with Eileen’s ex

  6. EveatEden says:

    Eileen needs to tell the cops about Ellis before he actually kills someone to get his revenge for being fired!

  7. Michelle says:

    In the first episode, I felt for Ivy after her call from her mother and was Team Ivy all the way. As the season went on, they made her into a heinous, self-serving cow. I don’t like Katherine McPhee but I do consider myself Team Karen now.

  8. Shary says:

    Team Karen, she was great tonight! I do wonder how the show moves on next year, there has to be a continued battle between Ivy and Karen but I would hate another Who’s Marilyn season.

  9. k says:

    Love that you used uff da in your recap! As for the show, I much prefer Karen as Marilyn. I know it’s broadway and all, but I think her voice not being a huge broadway voice is more suited to playing Marilyn. Looking forward to season 2, just bummed it won’t be until January.

  10. Sid says:

    I am sure NBC is not a happy camper for the money they spent on the media blitz for this show. As far as the show spending all their money and the best writing on the pilot is not a good thing, when the the rest of the episodes suffered. This was the show I was waiting for this season, but next year not even bothering.

  11. Jane says:

    First, Team Karen all the way! She did fantastic! Loved how she pulled it together for the show. Second, am I the person who wouldnt be upset if Julia and Michael were to have a child, I would prefer she was with him over Frank, I feel the chemistry between them so much more! Can’t wait for season 2, even though it is going to be a LONG wait!

  12. CJ says:

    SO excited for season 2! I was not sure what to expect from this show when it started, but I am happy to say that I really enjoyed its first run. Hoping they squash some of the stupid Julia story lines, kill off Ellis, and make Ivy more emotionally stable next season.

  13. Ruby says:

    It was Awesome epic!!The part rightfully went to Karen and she knocked it out of the park.. You kind of seen a dif side of Derek too !! Cnt wait for season 2!! Buying the Soundtrack today ! :-)

    • Lori says:

      Ruby, be sure you buy the Deluxe version of the soundtrack from Target. They have an exclusive with lots of extra songs!

  14. Lisa says:

    Team Karen all the way !
    Ivy’s own negative karma got her.
    Ellis will find his way back somehow even if he has to work for Eileen’s ex.
    Perhaps next season Julia won’t be so freakin annoying.
    I really like Smash, I’m looking forward to next season.

  15. Benchley says:

    For everyone on Team Ivy, it’s the fault of the writers/director that we don’t see why Derek thinks Karen is better as Marilyn. If Karen is supposed to have more “star quality,” why does Ivy do such a great job when she sings? If Karen is supposed to have “so much of Marilyn at her fingertips,” why is her character written as someone who is rarely flirtatious, looks down at women who use their sex appeal to get ahead and has a declared distaste for ambition? For that matter, why cast Megan Hilty — a Broadway superstar — as the chorus girl who doesn’t have enough personality to be a star, or if you must, why not direct her to mute her vocal power and exuberance as a performer? Or why cast Katharine McPhee in the role of the newcomer with obvious star quality? Not to be mean, but despite an excellent voice, she was runner-up in American Idol years ago — and even then, I remember a recapper, maybe Michael Slezak, saying that she looked uncomfortable performing and as if she wished to be anywhere else. Since then, she has had a modest career — couple of movies, no monster hit songs. Again, if you must have these two actresses playing the opposite of who they really are in terms of success, then they need to be written/directed into projecting what they’re supposed to be.

    • I’ve thought this often. If they wanted it to be a believable battle between Ivy and Karen they never should have cast a pop star as the one who wins. Megan Hilty is Broadway from her head to toes. Casting her as an underdog ensemble girl against a pop star with beautiful but weaker vocals was destined to create outrage and conflict in the fan base. Every time she sings she blows Karen out of the water with the power and depth of her performance but the way the show is written we’re supposed to be rooting for Karen. Anyone who wants realism or is going off of performance only is going to be upset that Ivy doesn’t get the part. The casting created this problem and the writing just made it worse.

  16. Lori says:

    I disagree with a lot of what you wrote! I think Kat McPhee has a better voice than Megan Hilty and is a better actress. I think Karen was the right choice to play Marilyn because she was amazing! Great vocals, lost of star power and the right dash of vulnerability!

    I don’t think Derek was awful in what he said to Ivy – he was honest. He treated her like an adult and a performer. It’s not Derek’s fault that Ivy couldn’t handle it. I thought this was a great ep for Derek! I loved the way he fought for his Marilyn and for what was right for the show and the interactions between Derek and Karen were phenomenal. Talk about chemistry!!! I hope these two get together in Season 2!

    Glad Ellis got fired and happy that manipulative, desperate, pathetic Ivy didn’t get what she wanted. Sorry for us because we have to wait until January for SMASH to return and that is much too long to wait!!!

  17. Angel says:

    YES I want Julia to be preggo with Michael’s baby, these two are adorable together and she truly loves him when Julia said “I’m running away from myself” it’s obvious that the real her want to be with Michael. Let’s be honest Julia stay with her hubby only because of Leo (it was obvious last night) and Josh Safran better be NOT messed up with my two OTPs: Michael & Julia and Karen & Derek, I WARN YOU SAFRAN

    • This is sickening on a lot of different levels. You think it’s not only acceptable but “adorable” for a woman to cheat on her loving supportive husband for no other reason than she’s attracted to another guy. Also Michael has a wife and a little baby that he is aggressively betraying. At least Frank knows, Micheal’s wife is still totally unaware that her husband is stalking a married woman. If Julia really loved Michael or respected Frank she would have divorced Frank to be with Michael. It’s not “true love” it’s Julia wanting to have her cake and eat it too. She is too much of a selfish coward to honestly leave her husband for Michael and she is too needy and weak to put a restraining order on creepy stalker Michael and protect her marriage. This is the kind of story line that gives Hollywood a bad name. It also gives women and artists a bad name. I swear if she’s pregnant with that selfish creeps baby I’m going to throw something at the screen.

      • Lime says:

        Did you even watch last night? Michael told his wife about the affair, and she left him and took their child to Seattle to get away from him. At least be informed when you’re ranting.

        • No, I haven’t watched last night’s yet. I bumped it from my TiVo and I watch it on Hulu. I was referring to the whole story arc being sickening and even if Michael finally copped to the affair it’s only what, 5 episodes later? Still skeezy and disgusting.

          • Angel says:

            WHO CARES? It’s TV show, I prefer a good dramatic relationship like Michael and Julia rather then this poor and boring relationship between Julia and her boring hubby. And julia is in love with Michael and the finale was pretty clear about that, she stay with Frank ONLY because of Leo. The REAL HER want to be with Michael. And Michael is single now so if he want win her back, he has the right, and all I can say is: GO FOR IT MICHAEL

          • Um, I care. I find the whole story line nauseating. Generally speaking when I despise characters for being weak willed, dishonest and selfish I don’t get invested in those story lines. Which as a TV show,it’s probably their goal to get as many people emotionally attached to a story as possible. This slimy self serving infidelity “romance” is more than a little off putting. If you want sex and chemistry without a good story line, rent a porno. I expect my TV to do better than that.

          • Missie says:

            No, I’m with you, Lauren. Michael’s been written as a creep and the idea that his behavior should be rewarded just because it’s “fiction” is icky. TV doesn’t have to emulate real life but it’d be nice if it didn’t actively promote horrible stereotypes as well (on both Michael and Julia’s part.) It’s discouraging that someone’s first reaction is “how romantic” instead of “you stalker.”

  18. A says:

    What are you talking about? Katharine McPhee killed that last song. It was really good. The season had its ups and downs but its only its first season so it needs time to grow. Here’s to hoping that its only upwards from here. That was a great season finale.

  19. A says:

    Also, Tom & Julia keep reminding me of Will & Grace, especially when she yelled at Derek to let Karen make a phone call. Flashback to Grace’s yelling :)

  20. Robyn says:

    First of all, Tom & Julia did not bring Ivy back after the drunken debacle incident at Heaven on Earth. If I remember correctly, it was Derek who suggested they bring Ivy back, that she had paid enough. Next, Tom, Julia and Eileen could have pulled rank and demanded that Ivy be put in, just as Derek, Eileen & Tom decided to bring Michael back against Julia’s objections and threatening to quit. However, If Derek opted to quit for whatever reason, that would do more damage to “Bombshell” than a newbie getting the lead. Investors, press and the Broadway community know and respect Derek’s reputation. Since he ws so adamant about haaving Karen in the role, they may have opted not to risk having him bolt. Besides, it’s out-of-town previews, not Broadway previews. A lot can change between then and opening night on Broadway.
    Someone commented earlier that they loved that the show kept having the audience switching sides from Karen to Ivy or vice versa from week to week or something to that effect. I agree. They did a good job showing that either could be a good Marilyn. I’m Team Karen, not only because I love Katherine McPhee’s voice (not a slam on Megan Hilty who is fabulous in her own right), but it really would have annoyed me that after all the underhanded crap Ivy pulled that she should get rewarded. Everyone worried that Karen couldn’t handle the pressure? When Ivy HAD THE PART in the workshop, she was so insecure and needy that she had outbursts every week – talk about unprofessional! Plus, when she lost the role to Rebecca, she went on a bender, destroyed her credibility and even after she got a second chance, she went on a bender, knowingly hooked up with Karen’s boyfriend (not all blame on Ivy, Dev equally responsible), then let Karen know about the tryst in what Ivy thought would be the worst possible way so that Karen would be destroyed and unable to continue.
    Season 2 should be interesting. Just because Karen has the role now, doesn’t mean she’s going to be starring opening night. Also, as far as Ellis goes, part of me would love having him get run over by a taxi in Times Square during rush hour with Jerry/Leo driving the vehicle. However, I think Eileen’s boyfriend Nick (so glad Thorsten Kaye got a job after All My Children got cancelled), with his questionable associates, may have a hand in Ellis’ downfall.
    Finally, let’s remember, this is fiction. They’re not real. Dial down the vitriol. Everyone’s entitled to opinions, don’t have to be nasty about it. Separate characters from the actors portraying them.

  21. syb says:

    I didn’t think the last song was so terrible, although it’s probably my least favorite of those we’ve heard from the production. Best thing about this show is this particular little conflict–how to end a musical where the lead character kills herself.

    I’ve got two problems with the show. First, the cliche and predictable mini-dramas, from Snidely Ellis to Julia’s husband walking in right during the emotional heart to heart with Michael, to the engagement ring caper. There’s such better fodder for drama, why make it Days of Our Lives, Theatre Unit?

    Secondly, as much as I admire Kat’s talent as a singer, dancer, actress, she’s obviously inferior to Megan Hilty when it comes to this role. Sparks fly when Hilty is centerstage as Marilyn. Kat looks pretty and earnest, but a bit sleepy or at least more langorous. So why can’t this great director see that? If he’s just trying to get in her pants, then fine–make that the story. But to pretend that Kat breathes new life into the role? It’s an insult to the viewers intelligence.

  22. Fernanda says:

    I don’t like Joshua Safran will become the newshowrunner of Smash. Even this season have a few boring episodes Theresa Rebeck did a great job and the finale was awesome.

    I don’t think Ellis would return to the show.

    Maybe in 2nd season, Smash is going to be Off Broadway for a while and other things could happen, like Eileen’s husband would join the production and one of his blondies could be the new Marilynn. Or maybe Karen would get sick and Ivy would replaced her and recieved more ovations than her.

    This is the previews, the real show is still coming

    Can’t wait to see it.. on TV and someday in Broadway, for real this time

  23. B says:

    A decent finale – I’d love it if Ivy went through with her overdose. She’s a wretched character (and the musical is about Marilyn Monroe, not Cass Elliott).


  24. Dennis says:

    I love Ellis. I wish everyone would quit ragging on him. If you must rag on someone, rag on the annoying character played by Zoey Descanel in that droid commercial.

  25. Ali says:

    Im sorry, but I will never buy Karen as Marilyn. When she was singing “Wolf” I kept thinking how wooden she looked when she is supposed to be sexy. Ivy may not be a wonderful person, but she is the perfect Marilyn.

  26. Jake says:

    Best episode of the season, in my opinion, with the perfect mix of behind-the-scenes Broadway stuff and personal issues. Also thought the last song was the perfect ending.

  27. DT says:

    Listening to the last song again, the line ”When you sing happy birthday to someone you love/ Or see diamonds that you wish were all free” reminded of “Part of Your World” from Little Mermaid…

  28. ana says:

    What I really don’t get is how they are going to justify Ivy staying in this show instead of pursuing something else after not being cast as Marilyn.

    • Maybe they aren’t planning on having her stay. She has been written as the villain all season so perhaps season 2 will be a triumphant Karen dealing with her new status as “star” of the show and life after Dev. It’s only Megan Hilty’s amazing performances that have made this show seem like it’s about both characters. The finale made it crystal freaking clear that this is Karen’s world and we’re all just living in it.

      P.S. If that is the plot they have in mind for season two I won’t be watching. Megan Hilty’s incredible voice is the best part of this show.

      • Ana says:

        That makes two of us. Megan Hilty is so amazing that even though she was the villain and made some awful choices, people would still be rooting for her to play Marilyn. And I’m sure that was only because the actress is that good.

  29. madmediaman says:

    Some of these comments are funny. Just because you’ve worked hard in the chorus for years and “paid your dues” does not automatically mean you DESERVE to have your ticket punched for a starring roll. I went back and rewatched the pilot and yup Ivy even has a conversation with Tom early on how much she DESERVES to be the star in a musical because of her years of service.

    I think many Broadway fans have a hard time separating the real life Megan Hilty from Ivy and wonder how this wonderful Broadway actress can lose out to an “American Idol” runner-up who doesn’t have near the theater chops that Hilty has. Well, that’s not the point of the show.

    The show present two women who are reflections of Marilyn at the beginning and end of Marilyn’s career.Karen, the small town actress with big dreams is Norma Jean at the beginning of her journey and ready for the spotlight. Ivy is Marilyn toward the end of her run, full of diva-like behavior with a personal life that’s a mess (largely due to not being able to live up to her mother’s expectations) and is eventually consumed by her inner demons and the pills she can’t put away.That’s what Derrick sees and why he chooses Karen over Ivy. In Derrick’s mind Ivy’s ship has sailed… maybe she could have been a star, but Karen’s future on Broadway has just started.

    Ivy is an emotional trainwreck and unstable, and in real life would be lucky to be working again following her drug induced performance on “Heaven On Earth.” The character clearly has issues separating herself from the real Marilyn… just go back and watch the pilot. There’s one scene where she in front of the mirror giggling like Marilyn and commenting on how Marilyn talked… One of her friends is creeped out, and frankly the moment is creepy. Her comment that Dev is like Joe DiMaggio further accentuates that she needs to step away from the role.

    As for those who claim Megan Hilty is a better singer than McPhee… nahh pretty much a wash. Both have strong voices and can hit power notes. Hilty has a little bit of a more naughty quality in her voice and may be a little more Broadway sounding, but McPhee definitely conveys innocence and longing very well through her singing. Her performances of “Beautiful” “Let Me Be Your Star” “Run” and “Don’t Forget Me are particularly strong.

    And to those who suggest Hilty looks more like Marilyn… well maybe her blonde hair, which in Marilyn’s case was dyed anyway.The real Marilyn was almost 5’6″ (Hilty is 5’3″ and McPhee 5’8”), but McPhee is built far more like early Marilyn/Norma Jean than Hilty… Go Google pics of “early Marilyn Monroe” and look at some of her modeling pics before she got big in Hollywood. She had a 24″ waist and in the early stages of her career was quite skinny with a bit of “junk in the trunk.” By the mid-late 50s she had developed the voluptuous figure we are used to. But in her later career when she was attending the Actor’s Studio she was back to more of skinny look. Neither actor is a perfect match for Marilyn, but they are both fairly convincing.

    I thought the show has gotten a lot better as the season has gone on. Smash had kind of lost it’s way mid-way through the first season, but the last 3-4 episodes have been particularly strong and the season finale might have been the best yet.

    • Ivy may act entitled but at least she has some sort of reason to. Karen acts entitled and she hasn’t done a single thing to deserve it. She is wide eyed baby who wants to run a marathon. She is too green to handle the lead in a production the size of Marilyn. Her best performances on the show so far have all been contemporary music and her rendition of Howl was truly pitiful next to Hilty’s. As I’ve said in other posts, the fault is with the casting. People are confusing Hilty’s ability with Ivy… because she IS Ivy in the show. If they wanted to make Karen this budding superstar that triumphs over the bitter not quite as talented basket case then they should have cast someone who wasn’t as talented or at least wasn’t an amazing Broadway performer.

      • madmediaman says:

        Sorry gonna disagree with you on that one. I’d really like to know where the character of Karen acted entitled once. She’s had two scenes during the season where she really defended herself. One in the second episode where she wasn’t acting entitled, she wanted to be treated with respect by other members of the ensemble… that’s not really a lot to ask. And finally she stands up for herself when she confronts Ivy in the dressing room and gives her the stare down when she comes back on stage.

        Ivy on the other hand is a petulant child who is coddled by Tom and Sam. Tom’s boyfriend even comments at the time that he needs to stop treating her like a child. Sam even comments later that they may be enabling her… duh… ya think??? Her final straw for me was when she used the stage manager’s cell phone to text Karen that she was not needed at rehearsals the rest of the day and could go home… all so she could sing “Second Hand White Baby Grand.”

        And sorry Hilty and McPhee are completely a wash when it comes to singing. I frankly found Hilty’s “wolf” number a little annoying as she tried to emulate a “Marilyn” pouty voice. Sounded more like a Marilyn impersonator from a Casino show. McPhee’s “Wolf” number was fine… probably not as spectacular as some of her other numbers but to suggest she can’t nail the “Broadway” tunes is very disingenuous. Her opening and closing performances are brilliant and what little we heard of her version of “Seconhand White Baby Grand” was great… and her “20th Century Fox” is equally amazing..

        • Apparently we are living in two different worlds because I thought the last song was horrible (not entirely her fault since the song itself wasn’t great) and her 20th century fox was extremely thin. She doesn’t even try to act like Marilyn. Occasionally Hilty does go a little overboard on her impression but McPhee doesn’t even try. That entire last number nothing about her says Marilyn, nothing. Not her voice, mannerisms and certainly not her intonation. It’s Marilyn, not Karen that the character should be portraying. And, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the rest of the ensemble have to stage an intervention because Karen is so much of an upstaging diva that she couldn’t even manage to do her job which is to be part of the ensemble. She protested because that’s the only way she should have to do it because she’s a star. ::gag:: I never said Ivy was a stable, functional human being. I just said she is a better singer and actor than Karen.

          • madmediaman says:

            Actually the intervention was because she had never been part of an ensemble… not exactly her fault and she certainly never acted like a diva about it and dutifully complied. As for acting like Marilyn… which Marilyn would that be? The screen legend or Norma Jean Baker… I would contend what Derrick was going for in “Bombshell” was Norma Jean… that Marilyn was a character created to comply with a studio system that ground young asipiring actresses into oblivion.. Derrick even talks in detail about how she exudes the vulnerability and innocence that made Marilyn sexy. There was enough of Marilyn to convey the character in McPhee’s performance of “Never Met a Wolf.” And frankly Hilty sounded more like she was doing Betty Boop during that number than anything.

            Guess if I want to see a Marilyn impersonator on stage I’ll go down to Casino McDowell and watch their Marilyn Monroe Tribute.

          • madmediaman says:

            Oh and I suspect the creators of the show have Hilty doing more of a paint by numbers Marilyn impersonation to justify why Derrick prefers Karen in the role… he wants new and fresh. And honestly McPhee is more than capable of channeling Marilyn if you like. Her performance of Marilyn in the dream sequence before “Our Day Will Come” was spot on.

          • yeah, definitely two different worlds. All I see is an actress who can’t hack a real impersonation so she doesn’t really try. Oh and when she is singing a song that represents Marilyn performing in her “Marilyn persona” it should be done like Marilyn, not Norma Jean. I don’t see delicate, I see wooden expressionless delivery. I guess she’s so subtle it’s almost like she’s not even acting, right. Katherine McPhee can do the ethereal vulnerable Marilyn but she can’t even hold a candle to the vivacious sexy Marilyn numbers.

          • madmediaman says:

            To each his own then. Hell, frankly the best performance which actually channeled Marilyn wasn’t even a number in the production/ “Our Day Wll Come” was far and away the bext Marilyn performance of the series capturing Marilyn’s fun and naughty yet innocent style.

  30. Carla says:

    This was awful. I still don’t understand how you could pass up Ivy for Karen. Looking at Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty, it’s just ridiculous. I loved Ivy, but I hope Megan Hilty gets off the show and takes “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” to Broadway. She deserves so much better than Smash.

  31. Ellen Evans says:

    Megan Hilty as Marilyn: a cream -filled, Krispy Kreme doughnut. Fat and sugar, empty calories and waaaayyyy too many of them, the sugar is sticky and the cream is oozing, but ooohhh, it tastes soooo goood! Katharine McPhee as Marilyn: a slice of Wonder Bread in a Ziploc bag.

  32. Titina says:

    The finale was fantastic! I enjoyed it so so much.,
    I am so happy Karen got the role, it went to the right girl. Derek was absolutely right, that last sign gave me chills! Sorry Ivy but you kind of did your own ongoing. I am not feeling sorry for her anymore.

    BTW I agree with all of you that say Derek and Karen have sizzling chemistry! I got HOT just by watching them interact in the finale. Oh my! I am glad Dev is now out of the picture so they can explore that relationship! Bring in the Karen/Derek train in season 2! Those two will pump up the ratings I am sure! Talk about sparks! Jack Davenport and Kathatrine Mcphee together in one room is fire.
    Cannot wait for season 2!

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  34. sella says:

    Could anyone tell me what is the titleof the lastsong?

  35. Darinda says:

    I think they should both do it – Karen Norma Jean and Ivy as the shapely marilyn – there you go sorted!