Smash Season 2 Premiere Recap: 'Someone's Always Waiting to Take You Down'

smash ivy lynn the only true marilynGood news for folks who loved Season 1 of Smash — and for those who loved to hate-watch it.

The show’s Season 2 premiere (as previously reported) flushes away the unholy troika of Ellis-Michael-Dev (and sometimes Leo), but gives us a young composer so full of Brooklyn-hipster loathesomeness that he thinks he can woo a gal by telling her she “could actually be cute” if she weren’t so dang clenched.

It’s got several dazzling new ditties — Prediction: You’ll still be humming “They Just Keep Moving the Line” come Thursday afternoon — but yet indulges in a baffling musical fantasy sequence that looks like found footage from a decades-old Robert Palmer video shoot.

RELATED | Smash! Josh Safran on What’s New for Season 2, Karen-Vs.-Ivy, Derek-as-Fosse and the Ellis Tease

And it gives us plenty of great Tom-and-Julia bonding, delicious Derek-and-Tom sniping, a feroshe dash of Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson, and (thank goodness) more sassy bon mots (i.e. “Everybody knows Rebecca Duvall would sleep with a followspot operator if it meant more light on her downstage!) from chorus boy Bobby (a minor character whose patented brand of bitchery is worthy of series-regular status). The only thing truly missing, really, is Eileen tossing a cocktail in rat-fink Jerry’s face. Yet for all its heightened, thee-ay-ter goodness, Smash still serves us an occasionally cornball groaner like, “Bombshell is under investigation, and as such, is frozen — along with the remaining funds.” Uff da.

Nevertheless, while Smash may not yet merit a Cats-like, now-and-forever run, I’m undeniably hooked on its inconsistent charms. So here’s hoping initial ratings for the Season 2 premiere give Smash a chance to let all of its myriad stories play out — for at least a few seasons, yes? Speaking of those stories, let’s get to recapping ’em…

VIDEO | Musical Smash Preview: For Karen and Ivy, Is There No ‘Moving On’ from Their Feud?

A BOMBSHELL FOR BOMBSHELL | Okay, let’s try to condense the exposition, shall we? Bombshell‘s got problems — and not just because it didn’t cast the right leading lady for the role of Marilyn. (Sorry, Karen fans, you know I’m a rabid Ivy-ist!) Actually, okay, Ms. Cartwright won raves in Boston, and so did Tom’s score, but Julia’s book got eviscerated by the critics. (If you didn’t have time to press pause, the New York Post‘s damning article noted, “Perhaps the biggest problem, more than superstars, sex scandals or money woes, is [Julia] Houston’s diagrammatic book. In her unfocused hands, what should be a peek behind the curtain becomes an inch-thin picture show.” Ouch!)

Back in New York, Eileen worked on securing the St. James Theater for Bombshell‘s Broadway run, while the creative team tried to figure out how to approach fragile Julia (who claimed she hadn’t read the reviews) and deal with the show’s plot woes. Jerry, naturally, wanted in on the promising project, but when Eileen told her ex she’d rather slap him in the head with a martini, he sent an ominous text to one of his minions: “Time to move forward with the plan.” Dun dun dunnnn.

Later, at a cocktail event to drum up press for Bombshell‘s Broadway run, the St. James’ owner was a no-show, and while a duet between Karen and Beautiful star Veronica Moore (Jennifer Hudson) provided a nifty distraction (and an Idolgasm for fans of Fox’s reality singing competish), Eileen soon discovered the production was being investigated by the authorities for taking dirty investment money from her bar owner boyfriend. (Whoops!) Oh, and if that wasn’t enough bad news, departing moviestar Marilyn (aka Rebecca Duvall) accused Derek of making unwanted advances, then a half-dozen dancers came out from Derek’s past to claim he’d sexually harassed ’em, too. The latter scandale has some interesting potential: Derek, in his eternal arrogance, approached one of his accusers outside the gym where she teaches pilates, and pointed out he’d never touched her, only asked her for a date. “You don’t get it: You’re a big-shot director,” Daisy astutely snapped back. “You’re in a position of power from the minute you wake up in the morning, and you don’t treat that power with respect. Or did you really think women said yes because they actually like you?” Way to torch his ego, girl, and point out the central conundrum of Derek’s standard operating procedure: It’s not okay to mix business and pleasure — at least when you’re still in the hiring stages.

Bombshell‘s mini-collapse led to another of those Tom-Derek-Eileen meetings, and some choice sniping between the colleagues/enemies: “Boys, there’s nothing to be gained by turning on each other!” Eileen pleaded. “But it feels good!” retorted Tom. Later, though, Derek got in the last (and most delicious) barb: “Oh Tom, did you pack something warm for your trip to the moral high ground?” (Derek is really at his best when he’s P.O.’d, no?)

But like the leper in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the Marilyn musical is “not dead yet.” Despite being dis-invited from an American Theater Wing gala, Eileen decided to crash the party with her creative team, and engage in some gloriously between-the-lines bitchery with ATW’s Miriam Abramson (Margo Martindale, please be recurring!). “I’m so sorry no one in New York will get to see what you lost everything for,” smiled Margo, asking Eileen to hit the road. And hit the road Eileen did, but not before calling on Ivy Lynn to take the stage and give an “impromptu tribute” to Miriam via an incredible song from Bombshell, “They Just Keep Moving the Line.” Ivy’s performance (embedded below) was downright revelatory — when she belted “make friends with rejection, straightened out my spine,” was I the only one getting Liza-in-Cabaret vibes? — and come to think of it, Eileen will take that check from Jerry. “I’ll have my lawyer draw up a contract,” she told her ex. “I don’t want to owe you anything but money.”

“SOMETHING ELSE” HAPPENS | With Bombshell in jeopardy, Derek encouraged his muse Karen to find “something else.” After a meet-obnoxious with bartender Jimmy and a meet-awkward with his gay pal Kyle (“I have this collection of programs from failed musicals…”), Karen returned after closing and overheard the former playing an intense and catchy tune, “Broadway, Here I Come,” then promptly dialed Derek to let him hear it over the phone. (Shades of Nashville‘s Rayna listening to that Gunnar-and-Scarlett duet?)

Jimmy is handsome but all kinds of awful. “If you stop clenching your jaw like that, you know, you could actually be cute,” he said directly to Karen’s face, during their first extended conversation, right before trying to get her to “hang out” with him. (And yes, I think he was using “hang out” as a euphemism.) Long story short: Jimmy’s a serious artiste who doesn’t want help from anybody (because Broadway shows tend to spontaneously grow out of cracks in Manhattan sidewalks, fertilized by pigeon droppings and old bits of discarded Shawarma.) Nevertheless, Kyle leaked some of Jimmy’s A Beautiful Mind-like “sheet music” (scrawlings) to Karen; Karen’s new roomie figured out how to play one of the tunes; Karen and her posse headed to Jimmy and Kyle’s party at their Brooklyn loft (do they make six figures as waiters to afford that place?); and after some hostile flirting, Karen belted out Jimmy’s “Caught in a Storm” to the delight of everyone — except the cranky composer. “I don’t need your help! I write for myself!” he screeched (yep, that bartending gig has to be paying him $100K minimum) but Kyle reminded his childhood pal/”selfish prick” that it had taken two to write their musical. (You see, Kyle is the Julia to Jimmy’s Tom.) And thus, the two-hour extravaganza ended with Jimmy dropping off recordings off the entire unfinished score at Karen’s apartment.

A couple of questions: There’s no way Karen — coming off such lousy treatment by Dev — is going to go for a guy that disses her looks, mocks her musical tastes, and seems interested in only a hit-it-and-quit-it kind of relationship, is there? And how come Kyle was so curious to know if Karen might’ve thought it seemed like he and Jimmy actually were a couple? (Please, writers, don’t give the out, gay, twentysomething New Yorker an unrequited crush on his straight roomie!) I leave the discussion to you.

JULIA AND TOM | Julia’s marriage to Frank crashed and burned — spectacularly — after stage-manager Linda told Frank she was happy the duo was trying to work things out, Frank realized everybody on the show’s creative team knew of his wife’s affair, and he loudly slapped a scarlet ‘A’ on her chest (so to speak) in front of the entire Bombshell press event. I liked how Julia laughed through her tears telling Tom she thought he’d wanted to tell her about the Bombshell reviews (which she’d secretly read), not that he’d spotted Frank getting cozy with some brunette in the street. This led to a sweet exchange about Julia’s Bombshell book/her entire life:

Julia: What if I can’t fix it?
Tom: I’ll help you: I’m your partner.

Sam, meanwhile, got a gig in the Book of Mormon touring company, and so even though he and Tom had started coordinating their outfits (Tom in navy and violet plaid shirt, Sam in a violet blazer — dazzling!), Tom encouraged his boyfriend to take the opportunity and run. So now Julia is homeless. Tom is flying solo. Why not move in together? It’ll be like old times. Or a sitcom! (Does Will & Grace exist in the Smash universe? Discuss!) The whole Tom-lying-to-Julia-about-a-speech-to-get-her-off-the-foldout-couch subplot was ridic, but so what? These two are the heart and soul of the show, at least from where I’m sitting. Plus, Tom offered this piece of crucial advice/brutal honesty: “It’s time to retire the scarves.”

I’LL TAKE “BROADWAY SHOWS THAT BEGIN WITH ‘B'” FOR $100, ALEX | Derek brought Karen to a showing of Beautiful, starring his old pal, Tony winner Veronica Moore. (Interesting how the show transitoned from Ivy asking Sam, “What’s a star?” to Hudson/Veronica’s rip-roaring rendition of “Mama Makes Three.”) Alas, though Derek’s bad press bumped him out of consideration for directing Veronica in a revival of The Wiz. But either way, Ronnie had some advice for Karen that sounded like it might’ve been a metaphor for Smash‘s very existence: “Protect the work: Someone’s always waiting to take you down, but if the work’s good, they won’t be able to.” Oh, also, their duet on “On Broadway” was a delight for an Idoloonie like me: Kat McPhee all breathy seduction in that insanely hot red dress with massive front slit; J.Hud roaring and growling her way through the familiar pop oldie. Let’s hope that’s not their last pairing!

KAREN AND IVY | Look at Karen, growing a backbone and getting Ivy fired from Bombshell. (Well, if there was a Bombshell to be fired from.) Ivy Lynn, though, was cool with it. She finally apologized (at Julia’s advising) not just for what she did, but why she did it: She was jealous. And petty. And Karen was right to get her ousted, even though said rival was about to get kissed by Derek as Ivy Lynn walked into the room. It seemed like Karen bought the apology — and was about to tell Derek to take Ivy Lynn back before news of the Bombshell money scandal interrupted her — but all is not totally kosher. Nuh-uh. Did you notice how when Ivy showed up at Derek’s apartment in that final scene, and her performance at the ATW gala came up, Karen sneakily noted, “I was on the subway when they called me.” Oh BURN! Ivy Lynn might’ve suspected she wasn’t Eileen’s first call, but now she knows for sure.

Still, Ivy Lynn’s entitled to being on the receiving end of a little coldness, having slept with Karen’s fiance just a few weeks back. It doesn’t look like the ladies are headed for another love triangle, though, as Ivy shut Derek down hardcore when he showed up for sympathy on the stoop of her apartment. “I don’t think you’re a monster,” she offered, before Derek leaned in for a kiss. “Nope,” she snapped, “Not gonna happen!” Way to show some self-respect, sister!

Anyhow, what did you think of the Smash Season 2 premiere? Grade it in our poll below, then hit the comments to expand on your thoughts!

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. Bobby says:

    I really enjoyed the season premiere and it made me excited again like when I saw the season one pilot. Love the changes the new showrunner went with, but my favorite part had to be when Julia was talking to Tom towards the end and (of course) my eyes go straight to the scarf thinking “I thought I read they were done with this?!” Then Tom cracks the joke which was perfect and it all made sense. Obviously it’s not going to reach the level of the pilot in terms of greatness, but It got me amped for season two and I can’t wait for it to be next Tuesday already! So glad Smash is back.

  2. Mark says:

    Loved Jennifer Hudson. I think she’s just great. Mama Makes Three was a super fun and catchy song.

    Loved Debra Messing’s GAW when Ivy said it was her at the door. Totally reminded me of Grace from Will and Grace. Was like I was watching her character there for a second.

    Glad that there was no Leo. Hate his character.

    The music from the guy from Newsies and that great Joyful Noise movie was sadly a lot better than most of the songs from Bombshell. I really enjoyed both those songs a lot.

    It’s a shame that it always feels like Glee beats Smash to the punch because they did Don’t Dream It’s Over just recently. I did however really like this version. Megan Hilty has a great voice.

    I don’t really like Derek still.

    Was kinda confused about why Angelica Huston’s ex was helping her like with giving his table to her?

    Didn’t like the annoying gay guy partner of the guy from Newsies.

    Pretty good season premiere. I wasn’t bored and that says a lot. The coming attractions look good. I’m looking forward to this season of Smash :)

    • RUCookie says:

      that guy from Newsies started in “Bonnie and Clyde” and his name is Jeremy Jordan… completely amazing on stage… what a voice! His song and Ivy’s show stopper “Moving the Line” were my 2 favs (with JHud’s Mama a close 3rd)…

  3. B says:

    Show still looks awful

  4. Kevin says:

    The plot progressed more in this one episode than it did in half of the first season. I thought it was great! I like the storylines that seem to be developing for each character and I think I’m going to really enjoy this season.

  5. Mick says:

    Brilliant How Josh Safran used the show within the show to fix some of the core problems of Smash. Also I love how they are using Julia’s character who was based off of Theresa R. to voice some of the frustrations people had with the writing on the show. Another good aspect is how Derek may want Karen in her naive purity but may need a woman like Ivy.
    I still like the Karen/ Derek chemistry more.

    • dan says:

      Derek’s admission to Karen that she was “his Marilyn” sounded like an admission from the writers that in the “real” Broadway world the part would’ve gone to Ivy. I thought there were many subtle (and some not so subtle) references to the show (tv) losing focus last season just like Bombshell did. I’m holding out hope for this season because I want to like this show. Knocking Karen down a few notches, giving Ivy a backbone, keeping Derek off guard and not so cocky, and allowing Tom to celebrate his success (while supporting Julia) are just a few ways to keep this show from going downhill again. Lets make the characters real (as real as they can be for a tv show) and the Broadway stuff somewhat realistic and this show could make it to season three.

      • JoMarch says:

        Well said, Dan. And Mick, I’m sorry, but Katherine McPhee is too bland to have chemistry with anyone. Maybe it’s the way she’s playing Karen, but she seems like a little girl next to a real man like Derek.

  6. Josh says:

    A little Karen heavy for me(I like when the show is more of an ensemble) and I don’t really like the douchey guy but it’s a marked improvement. Hopefully next week focuses more on the cast as a whole….I hope Karen never hooks up with Derek or this new jerk off. Let her find a nice guy who deserves her(but who isn’t boring like Dev). One thing is I don’t get why this writer so hard up on bad boys..Gossip Girl and now this insulting jerk? Come on dude…It might be your fantasy but stop trying to force it onto television.

    • gregk says:

      Karen is the main reason I watch. Katharine McPhee was gorgeous, especially in the early scene talking to Eileen where her face was so radiant I kept freeze-framing it. A polar opposite was Ivy, who looked positively corpse-like in her opening outdoor scene. The makeup and lighting was so unflattering and her combed back hairdo was cringeworthy. Whoever was responsible for this look/scene should be shot or maybe it was on purpose?

  7. ben says:

    I agree, Michael, I hope we get several seasons of Smash. It’s never going to be “great tv”, in the critical sense. It’s pretty much a soap with music, really. But although I’d pass on nearly every soap, Smash keeps me coming back for more. It’s escapist TV, and I love it.

  8. CMG says:

    Someone will have to help me out and explain what is a “groaner” about the line Slezak refers to (““Bombshell is under investigation, and as such, is frozen — along with the remaining funds.”) I don’t get it.

    • Meg says:

      A groaner is a line that is so indubitably cheesy or obvious that you can’t help but physically/audibly groan when a character speaks it.

  9. mani says:

    They really need to get rid of Katherine McPhee – Jennifer Hudson left her in the dust, & she can’t hold a candle to Megan Hilty for believability as a real star or chemistry with Jack Davenport. And the stuff with Jimmy (is that his name) was so cringey, he’s the new Dev.

    • astrid says:

      so true. i loved the actor as jack kelly – but why would anybody talk to – let alone stalk in order to work with – that A-hole? is he so freaking talented that you instantly lose any self respect while gazing at his stupid face?

  10. Shannon says:

    They Just Keep Movin’ the Line was SPECTACULAR! Megan’s Hilty is awesome. More like that, please!

  11. Eric says:

    Love Smash!!! Way to go season 2!!! Give me more!!!

  12. AB says:

    If Eileen doesn’t throw a drink in hewer ex’s face this season, I will be highly disappointed. I like where things are going but felt some of the musical numbers were forcefully thrown in there like Derek and that drunk hallucination. Regardless, it was all around good.

    • Larc says:

      I thought the hallucination thing was the low point of an episode that had more low points than it needed. Overall, it was a bit disappointing, IMO. I expected more from the new show runner.

      • Kate says:

        Cringe-worthy. Actually had to change the channel when it was on. Also that JHud/McPhee duet. Love Jennifer but it was just painful to watch for me. Show didn’t take off for me until Ivy sang “They Just Keep Moving the Line”. Up until that point I wasn’t sure it still had legs – and I was a forgiving fan last year.

    • Meg says:

      BUT what do you think about Eileen throwing the drink at the title card?

  13. Joe says:

    Loved it. They fixed many of the season 1 problems. The music is fantastic too. Whoever said the music for Joyful Noise is better than the Bombshell songs needs to be put down.

    • Amy says:

      I believe Mark was referring to the actor/character as (paraphrased) “the guy from Newsies and Joyful Noise.” He said the MUSIC (written by said character—what we heard him play on the piano, and what Karen sang at their apartment) is better than the Bombshell music.

  14. Katie says:

    Wait is Julia not pregnant anymore???

  15. Mike says:

    I hope this show does well, haven’t watched tonight’s ep, but I love Katherine McPhee and whoever plays Ivy.

  16. susela says:

    “There’s no way Karen — coming off such lousy treatment by Dev — is going to go for a guy that disses her looks, mocks her musical tastes, and seems interested in only a hit-it-and-quit-it kind of relationship, is there?” Actually, isn’t there a whole pick-up method that trains men in exactly that kind of dismissive and belittling behavior in order to hook the woman? The idea is to keep her off-balance and a little insecure. In any case, it was all rather horrifying; I already hope the character has a piano fall on his head. (Yes, he’s worse than Ellis!)

  17. Margaret says:

    shoutout to Mara Davi as Daisy, who was AMAZING as Maggie in the most recent revival of A Chorus Line and most people might know as Bianca Sanfino from Blue Bloods (the mob boss’s daughter who got involved with Jamie Reagan), for putting Derek in his place! loved it!

    • dan says:

      Also, Annaleigh Ashford (Hair, Legally Blonde and Wicked) played the frenemy who ran into Ivy and Sam on the street. Last year she was one of the actresses shown auditioning for Bombshell.

  18. KCC says:

    Jennifer Hudson was amazing! Can’t wait to see more of her

  19. Domenica says:

    Megan Hilty is perfect. If Karen gets the role of Marilyn, I might die laughing. She should just star in the new musical because Ivy was born to play Marilyn, and that was painfully clear tonight.
    I hope Derek wakes up REAL soon.

  20. Para says:

    Lets just hope the annoying assistant doesn’t appear again. He is soooooo awful

  21. dan says:

    Karen’s new love interest is just awful. He’s only slightly better than if they had paired her with Ellis, though he does have a great voice, so there is that.

    Smash season two is much better, overall. I hope there is season three.

  22. Viv says:

    Loved the season premiere. It was great and every minute waiting was worth it. Loved the Julia and Tom scenes and I totally agree that they are the heart and soul of the show. The “Broadway here I come” Song was great, but I am not sure if I like the new guy. (as always: sorry for possible bad english)

  23. Knut says:

    Great recap. Nice first 2 eps. Smash I am back on board! And thank you Smash people for not having Karen instantly forgive Ivy. I kind of liked her coldness to Ivy. Girl finally grew a spine, yes. Some great songs too. I like the fresher younger feel with the new characters too, although geez Jimmy is a jerk! I can see some serious chemistry brewing between him and Karen tho. This is not looking good for cartwills :( ….. Tom once again showed that he really is the only sane character on the show! Also, officially now obsessed with the song Karen sang at the party!!

  24. JC says:

    Okay please please let Karen move to this new musical and Ivy back to Bombshell. Karen singing that song in the party made me realise how well suited her voice is for the more contemporary songs, and it really showed off her vocals. I loved it! And I liked Karen as Marilyn last season, but i do think a younger more contemporary show suits her better. I just wish this new guy wasn’t such a div. But he sounds fantastic. <3

  25. Nessie says:

    Did anyone else notice in the interview posted earlier with Josh Safran, Matt says ‘In the premiere, someone texts Ellis’, and realize that’s probably who Jerry’s minion must have been?

  26. Lea says:

    I feel that the new season also won’t achieve what season 1 failed to do: Turn Karen into a three-dimensional character. Granted, McPhee is a good singer, but the character is milquetoast and her acting doesn’t make it any better.

  27. Naazneen says:

    Love love love this show. I think Ivy and Karen are both talented and really great singers. So glad Smash is back. Plus, im all Cartwills, all the time. Love their chemistry!

  28. Matt says:

    Ivy proved last night why she is Marilyn. Karen’s voice fits better with Jimmy’s music.

  29. Jackie says:

    What an amazing way to start the season. I think we wont be disappointed at all! I loved a lot of things for this episode. Definitely enjoyed Jeremy Jordan, I think hes a wonderful addition to the show and his character as Karen’s potential love interest makes a lot more sense them Dev. Struggling bad ass producer with nice actress with a dream to save him. (Although I am still banking on Derek and Karen falling in love haha) This will be an amazing stepping stone. Ivy Lynn you have grown a lot! I love the detail they added to the character and I look forward to seeing how it turns out. Karen also delivers a wonderful performance but I can’t help but wish her success on this new musical in the works it seems so much more in her comfort zone. Overall great job and I look forward to more!

  30. forwarddad says:

    Another epic fail by NBC scheduling. No Smash next week won’t be back until 2-19. Way to build an audience NBC.

    • dan says:

      Is the “State of the Union” address next Tuesday? That may be why NBC showed two episodes last night because they knew the President would be speaking next Tuesday. If I’m wrong about the State of the Union being next Tuesday, then I agree the scheduling was a bad move.

  31. ltklo says:

    The show needs more Bobby!

    There were more plot points than all of last season. I guess they wanted to show time passing.

    I missed them rehearsing numbers for the show. I enjoying watching the ensemble dancing.

    • McFudge says:

      Yes yes yes, more Bobby! He is a riot…..”what is that?” as he practically races away from his friends at the party and makes a beeline for Kyle. Love him.

  32. Love the show, and all the actors. Move over Glee!

  33. Jill says:

    I did like the show better than last year. However, Jimmy is annoying & it bugged me that they upstaged the gala like they did, not classy. I don’t know why, but I was uncomfortable watching that part.

  34. Shannon says:

    I was glad to see Derek getting a bit of a commuppence about his sexual predator behavior and hope it continues. As a stage director myself, his behavior set my teeth on edge. Just for the record, not all directors are sexual predators.

  35. champmav says:

    I know musicals require some suspension of reality, but what was with the sudden entrance of an entire orchestral backing at the end of Ivy’s ‘impromptu’ dinner theater performance? Have to say, sometimes over-the-top stuff like that really takes me out of the story; would have preferred to hear it finish with just a trio accompaniment.

  36. crys says:

    I liked the premiere. I think they cleaned up the mistakes from last season pretty well. The trailer for the whole season was awesome though. I’m so excited it’s back and hopefully I wont have to pull it from my DVR this season. The only problem seems to be that only those of us who watched last season came back. They are going to have to pull in new viewers or this will be the last season. I most appreciate the new staff listening to us viewers who were Team IVY and let go of the whole antagonistic villain Ivy became last season and made her more well-rounded. The last she sang was exceptional.

  37. bobbie says:

    Involuntary enthrallment with Megan Hilty’s singing of “They Just Keep Moving The Line” –
    I think anyone who doesn’t appreciate this and respond totally to it is dead! Must be dead. Did you at the very least get goosebumps?
    What *are* the writers thinking giving the Marilyn part to Karen? Of course, Karen looked so hideous in the Marilyn wig & getup, that maybe they do realize their error? Was this on purpose? Well, as plots go, it’s devious and delicious, just keep showing us how wrong Karen is for the part!
    I agree, there was too much focus on Karen. But I suppose, a lot of people like her, she is the favorite of many, and I can understand that. She’s just not Marilyn. She’s beautiful with her long brown hair, with flattering makeup, a good singer, one can admire that. And there the difference lies. Megan Hilty is absolutely riveting. On her best day, McPhee can’t do that. Some people have “it”, and Hilty does.

    I would like to see more Tom & Ivy palling around (pal – ing), more Ivy altogether, more Angelica Huston, Ivy and Dev as meant for each other, and, yes, to more Margo Martindale.

  38. JoMarch says:

    Jennifer Hudson’s “show” further highlighted how god-awful “Bombshell” is. The songs are not memorable (no, I won’t be homing “Moving the line” or whatever it’s called, Michael”) and the production numbers are uninspired. Listening to Jennifer Hudson sing, as well as Megan Hilty also highlights how “meh” Katherine McPhee is. Eileen, who has everything riding on the show, is somehow strangely complacent and uninvolved. She lets Derek put Karen in the lead, even though she (and anyone with any eye for talent) preferred Ivy in the role, and she hasn’t fired or even given a verbal thrashing to Julia for the terrible reviews. I guess you can say, “Smash” could be better IMO.

  39. Danielle H. says:

    I have a bit of mixed feelings about this 2 hr block. It still flew by and I couldn’t believe it was over when it was over (which was a huge appeal of season 1 for me that I wasn’t constantly looking at the clock wondering how much time had gone by). I have a few issues though:
    1) Karen is really starting to bother me. She’s not the girl next door now; she’s a bitchy “almost was someone”.. and she needs to get back to either being more innocent or totally going for the bitch all the way. There can’t be a middle ground with the character.
    2) Just …No… to the new hippie boys. Not that the one doesn’t have an amazing voice, but he’s just such a dick that I cannot see the jump where Karen falls for him.
    3) Maybe not enough camp. This show perhaps is taking itself a tad too seriously. I think season 1, for the most part, rode the right line of camp and fun. I didn’t have too much fun watching this. We need more things like Eileen throwing drinks and making out with her super hot guy who needs WAY more screen time.
    What I liked that was different:
    – the focus on cleaning up Derek. They did it in a way to give the character lots of depth and growing room. I like Derek and his antics, but I also like what they’ve intro’d here.
    – The little engine that could mentality of the whole creative team. It was kinda there last season, but I really like seeing them banded together to fight for this show.
    – Different sides of Ivy. I just love her. I really hope that her not being in Bombshell at the present doesn’t take away a ton of her screen time because she’s so damn talented the show needs it.
    Bottom line:
    The ratings slide has me scared to death, but if the show doesn’t get back to being more fun that I don’t know that I would be super upset that it was gone. I love this show to death but only when it’s fun, exciting, and fresh. That is a hard ratings hit though. It just depends on how much the big names behind the show have NBC in their pockets in regards to it getting a 3rd season (I figure this one will play out… they won’t just cut it)

  40. Nicole says:

    I don’t think I ever really appreciated Jennifer Hudson’s voice until seeing this episode. Her recording style doesn’t really appeal to me, so I’ve never really checked out her albums, and I’ve never seen “Dreamgirls,” bu she is truly amazing. Granted, that “Mama Knows Best” song was kind of corny if you listen to the lyrics, but JHud nailed every song she sang. More, please!

  41. Dave in Alamitos Beach says:

    Katharine McPhee was pretty convincing as a cold expressionless entitled “star.” They really should follow that story line. Kat doesn’t play warm very well at all, but she’s quite good at the stuck up bit. I’m serious about this. Everyone loves a good bitch and it really would possibly make Kat the star she wants to be.