Smash Recap: Dramaturg the Beat Around

smash season 2 the dramaturg daniel sunjataDon’t get me wrong: I love Smash. I love that it’s made me a huge fan of Megan Hilty. I love that it’s employing not one but two American Idol divas. I love its music and its inside-Broadway politics and, yes, even its sometimes inconsistent storytelling.

That said, if ratings don’t improve on the not-so-hot returns from the show’s Season 2 premiere, maybe NBC could reconcieve it as a half-hour comedy entitled Tom & Julia. Picture it: He writes the music, she writes the stories, and together they create Broadway magic with the help of their wacky theatre buddies: Ivy, the brassy triple-threat who speaks before she thinks; Karen, the wide-eyed midwestern gal perpetually aghast at their big-city ways; Eileen, producer extraordinaire who’s quick with a quip and even quicker with tossing cocktails into her enemies’ faces; and Derek, the on-the-make director who’s always dodging starlet-shaped bullets.

Okay, okay, that’d be same cast, different show. I just had that flight of fancy watching this week’s episode — entitled “The Dramaturg” — with Christian Borle and Debra Messing’s Tom and Julia slyly sneaking into a Manhattan eatery to meet the man assigned to fixing the problems plaguing their Broadway musical. Thank goodness the story arc allowed Messing to bring some of her deft comic timing to a role that’s occasionally been too dour. “Russell Crowe is more collaborative!” she complained to Tom of their new colleague Peter (Broadway vet Daniel Sunjata). “North Korea is more collaborative!”

Anyway, before I delve too deeply into sitcom-that-isn’t territory, let’s break down this week’s main plot developments:

A BOMBSHELL DROPS ON BOMBSHELL | With the Marilyn Monroe musical’s fate still murky — and the early reviews pointing to Julia’s book as a major problem — Eileen hires a dramaturg to help with the writing process. Naturally, he’s hot as a thousand klieg lights, but when Julia sees how many Post-Its he’s stuck to the Bombshell script, she goes into angry artiste mode. (No, Peter’s assessment that Bombshell in its current form is a “biopic — and a “two-dimensional” one at that — doesn’t help. Oh, and asked what he likes about the book, he cheekily notes, “I think Marilyn Monroe is an interesting subject for a musical.”) Later, she confronts him while he’s out to dinner with pals (“You have a chatty doorman!” Julia says, explaining how she tracked him down), and Peter demands to know why a musical about one of the world’s greatest sex symbols is so totally void of sex. “Where was the steam on the windows?” Julia takes out her aggression by enlisting Tom and writing a new Kennedy-Marilyn seduction number that they stage the next day for a delighted Eileen. But wait — it’s far from perfect, notes a very astute Peter, who points out Julia’s clichéd idea of “Marilyn as prey” and dismisses those old “shadow selves” from the original script with extreme prejudice. (Huzzah!) I’m looking forward to the duo banging heads (and other body parts?) while breathing new life into the show (Bombshell, but also Smash) for weeks to come.

IVY LYNN SCORES A LIAISON (NOT THAT KIND OF LIAISON) | Our former (and I still hope future) Marilyn takes a chance while auditioning for the chorus of the musical revival of Liaisons and asks to read for the juicy role of Cecile. She turns to Derek for some advice on how to land the part, but winds up being forced to watch his Bombshell rehearsals and offer him constructive feedback. (Ivy’s subsequent fantasy sequence, with her reimagining Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own” as a plaintive ballad, showed how music really can advance the plot, no?) Later, Ivy refines her take on the character — “she sounds like Karen Cartwright,” she says with an evil grin when Tom points out the gal is “innocent and nice and yearning” — but eventually draws parallels to the character with Marilyn and herself, and ends up getting the part. (Finally a win for our hard-trying veteran!) As Ivy thanks Tom, she plants a seed in his brain: Maybe he should consider directing, considering he has a wider understanding of theater, and gets good performances while being a decent human being to his cast. “Art without torture,” Tom muses. “I don’t think it’s possible!” But methinks he doth protest a little too hastily.

THAT IRRITATING SONGWRITER FROM BROOKLYN CONTINUES TO IRRITATE | The episode opens with a purple-haired Karen belting a dance-pop number surrounded by elated nightclub patrons, but it turns out she’s just imagining a number from The Hit List as Derek listens to a demo of one of the songs from Kyle and Jimmy’s incomplete musical. She scores the duo a meeting with the big-shot director, and Jimmy uses news of the opportunity to make an unseemly suggestion about Karen’s recent successes.: “What did you have to do to get your Error: Break shortcode syntax invalid?” Ugh, could the guy be any worse? Actually, yes. After breaking into his and Kyle’s old apartment and getting punched in the lip — in order to retrieve some vital notes on their show…I’m sure there’ll be more on that in future weeks — Jimmy gets into a huff when Karen and Derek have to postpone because of actual paying work. “Let’s bounce!” he says to Kyle, making me dislike him even more. (I mean, really, “Let’s bounce“?) He then busts in on Bombshell rehearsals, makes a spectacle of himself and yet comes away thinking he’s the injured party. Somehow, Karen convinces Derek to head to the fledgling writers’ Brooklyn apartment, where a pitch is made, music is played and a possible collaboration begins. Oh, and also Karen hands a beer to Kyle before she hands one to Derek, so you know that means a triangle is a’formin’! Gawd, Karen needs to see a therapist who can help her stop having terrible taste in men.

DOROTHY DECIDES TO BREAK OUT OF KANSAS | In other news, Veronica, displeased with the tame direction of a proposed revival of The Wiz, drops out of the show (but not before a gorgeous rendition of “Home”). Now she wants to do a (brace for Dreamgirls reference) “one-night only” concert that will go down in history as one of those things so many New Yorkers will regret having missed. She doesn’t want to be a Broadway baby anymore; she’s a grown-ass woman of 30, and Derek is exactly the director who can dirty up her image a little. I know J.Hud sings it in her Weight Watchers ads, but is it wrong for me to want Veronica to belt “Feeling Good” during her concert? If it is, I don’t want to be right, people!

Anyhow, did you think of this week’s Smash? Are you excited about the sexy dramaturg? Were you gasping over how he looked in that brown shirt with the white collar (or was that just me)? Are you excited with the direction Bombshell is taking? And do you sometimes wish someone would drop a bomb on Jimmy? Sound off in the comments!

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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78 Comments
  1. Carola says:

    Strongest episode yet. LOVED it.
    Also really enjoying the friendship that is developing between Karen & Derek. Hopefully someday it will lead into romance because those two have chemistry in spades.. But she will be with Jimmy for now. I also loved how Derek got a bit jealous in the end.. Ha!
    Awesome! Can´t wait for next week!

    • dan says:

      Really? The strongest episode yet? It has definitely improved over last year’s subpar mess, but it wasn’t the strongest episode yet IMO.

      • Juniper says:

        I have to agree – I was a bit bored by most all characters last night except for Megan and Tom
        Jennifer is always consistently spot on as is Angelica

    • marta says:

      it’s only the third episode so Dan, why can’t it be the strongest episode yet? so i agree Carola

      • Annie says:

        It certainly wasn’t better than the pilot and the finale from last season, so while it might be the strongest episode this season, it’s not the strongest ever.

        • dan says:

          That is exactly what I meant. I also thought that the first hour of the premiere was better than last night’s episode. Last year there were a few bright spots besides the pilot and the season finale. I see improvement in the show overall, but last night’s episode certainly wasn’t the best ever.

    • M says:

      I loved this episode. I believe its the strongest this season but not overall. I really dont like Jimmy. Jeremy Jordan is a good actor and great singer but his attitude is awful and like someone else said in the comments, he walks around thinking hes the injured party… you dont just walk in to a rehearsal you were not invited to. I like the dramaturg, and some of his ideas. I dont know if i like his and Julia’s sexual tension yet. Love Ivy and love the fact she got Cecil (she will always be Marilyn to me, she just carries it). The Kennedy number was a good concept. I didnt like the song or the acting in that bit, but its a good “sex” start. I love Veronica and her character. I dont like where Karen is going, i like her, but not her direction. She seems like she knows everything about being on Broadway. Is it sad to say i miss Dev? Anyway, I like where its going, its a great show a great concept and i definitely will continue watching.

    • ArunaAdvaney says:

      I didn’t see jealousy in Derek. To me, he just looked annoyed because he was expecting that first beer.

      Outside of his art, he doesn’t get jealous or develop feelings for people. He only cares about delivering a great production – while having fun along the way – and he’ll use & do whoever/whatever it takes to get the results, feelings & drama be damned. Karen – right now – is the muse for his success, so he needs to focus on her.

      But maybe I’ll be proved wrong.

  2. Josh says:

    It was an interesting episode…I don’t really love Jeremy Jordan’s character. He has an amazing voice and is a good actor, but the writing for the character is pretty bad. He’s a cliche and an inconsistent one at that. First he’s saying “Do this for Kyle” and then when they’re at the door, he’s saying “Screw them Kyle, I don’t want to see them!”

    But besides that, this episode worked. I think Ivy is just a better Marilyn than Karen…I just think she has a more broadway voice. But Karen is great too and I’m excited to see her in this show.

    LOVE the “Dancing On My Own” bit, because like Michael said it REALLY did advance the plot. It showed you what was going on in Ivy’s mind and why she left. It was the best use of a modern musical number that I’ve seen on one of those shows in FOREVER.

    • Amy says:

      I didn’t like Jimmy at first, but he is growing on me. He cares about Kyle, and that is what redeems him. I think it’s important to remember that when he DIDN’T want to see Derek and Karen when they came to their apartment, he had been drinking and was probably panicking about making a good impression—in addition to having to swallow the fact that D&K kept to their word and met after all. Jimmy is a very proud person, which I think shows through very well with his characterization. We are beginning to see some softer sides of him, especially with Kyle, and I am DYING to know the story with the old apartment, etc. The guy he had the fight with seemed to be around his age, didn’t he?

  3. Wrstlgirl says:

    Hmmm, it’s not grabbing me like I hoped it would. I just can’t feel most of these characters. The writing is pretty bad.

  4. AB says:

    If this were the first season I would think it is fantastic but it’s not. I miss the intensity of last season. The creativity. The non-musical related numbers feel like forced filler. I almost miss Ellis compared to obnoxious Brooklyn and his the world did me wrong I don’t need nothing from nobody attitude. At least Ellis brought drama moving the plot this guy just does nothing but complain. I hope it starts to pick up steam again.

    • Kate says:

      Agree, agree – and lord help us both re:Ellis-agree. There is something missing this season that was palpable last season. And that JFK/Marilyn “song” was hor-en-diss.

      • dan says:

        I don’t miss Ellis and I’m glad the show is less campy this year (so far), but it just isn’t as exciting as it should be. I found myself bored during much of last night’s episode. Parts of the show are intriguing (Ivy getting a role in another show, Derek being “humbled” and put in his place, Tom & Julia adding some humor to the drama), yet overall I can’t say that I care about what happens next. I’m not giving up although I assume NBC will yank it from the schedule if the ratings keep trending downward.

    • Danielle H. says:

      I’m with you. This season just isn’t grabbing me as much as the first. Like the sexy dramaturg, but I HATE ths hipster douche. I mean he’s the most obnoxious character to me yet, even over Ellis. At least w/ Ellis we were always on our toes. We need some drama back in this drama! Love Megan though.. her rendition of Robyn’s song was so great. The show needs a huge injection of what the first few episodes of last season had. It’s like they cut out all the great, dramatic moments in favor of filler.

      • Linderella says:

        Who is the hipster douche? Jimmy?

      • Amy says:

        I guess one reason I am okay with Jimmy’s hipster douchiness is because I know a lot of guys like him, so to see him grow and improve as a character/person is refreshing and relatable. Ellis was much more annoying to me because he was so cartoonish in his villainry, so I couldn’t relate to him as a character. I just wanted him to disappear. With Jimmy, I actually want him to become a better person.

  5. TMW says:

    Awful. And who knew it would be Smash which proved that you can shoot scenes smack dab in Times Square but it ends up looking like CGI, anyway? I chortled at Julia mentioning Russell Crowe in one scene (for being uncollaborative? I expect his tweet response by morning) and then in the very next scene Jimmy mentions “the crazy guy in A Beautiful Mind.” Staggeringly clever. That and Daniel Sunjata looking uncharacteristically stiff and ill at ease and that JFK/Marilyn number and…sigh. I really want to love this show but…oh, well. I can’t wait for Sean Hayes to show up!

  6. mdtindc says:

    I know it’s only the second ep, third hour, but I find that I am loving everything EXCEPT Karen, Jimmy and Tyler. KMcPhee is an amazing talent and her work in the 1st season was great, but they’ve tried to turn her into this experienced professional developing a new show, but she’s just NOT. As for Jimmy… what an ASS! At this point I think I’d rather have Ellis back. The way they have written the character does not inspire me to hope for his success. In fact, the way the storyline is going with him and Karen and I actually want them to fail in SPECTACULAR FASHION. I did really enjoy how they lightened Julia’s personality a bit. I do love the show and hope that they work the new kinks out, but I will confess that I actually flip around channels whenever Jimmy comes on screen with that huge chip on his shoulder.

    • AB says:

      I’m so glad to see that I’m not the only one who would rather have Ellis back over this guy. With Ellis you would hope someone would slap him or push him in front of a bus. With this guy I feel nothing but the desire for him to just fade away.

    • pmom says:

      So, what’s wrong with me? I’m totally attracted to Jimmy. Guess I just love bad boys. And, my vote for Karen v. Ivy for Marilyn? Definitely Karen, but I agree that the JFK number was gawdawful.

  7. CB says:

    I think Karen makes the better Marilyn BECAUSE her voice isn’t as traditionally Broadway as Ivy’s. Marilyn wasn’t the kind of singer who could belt notes. I also think Karen’s version of Marilyn is better-suited to the musical because of the innocence/vulnerability she has. Ivy’s version is more of a sexed-up caricature. (I also think Karen does the Marilyn speaking voice better than Ivy.)
    I’m glad they’re making Ivy more likable this season and I’m glad that she got her part!

    • marta says:

      100% agree with CB!

      • Linderella says:

        Ditto.

        • SS says:

          I’ll give you that maybe-MAYBE-Karen has a better Marilyn speaking voice, but Ivy was soooo much better for that part. Karen was too inexperienced to be a lead on Broadway at all, let alone portraying the world’s greatest sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe. And Karen can belt so I don’t know what you are talking about. And Marilyn didn’t sing like a pop singer which is what Karen sounds like to me. I love Katharine McPhee, but I don’t like Karen and she didn’t deserve the part. Ivy is Marilyn to me.

  8. Viv says:

    Loved the episode! I was freaked out that we had to wait two weeks but every minute of waiting was worth it! I want to see some more Tom/Julia. Wouldn´t complain about a sitcom :D
    But…I can´t help myself: I just don´t like the new guy or his storyline. And Karen is somewhat of annoying at the moment.
    I really hope that we see some more Bombshell in the next week, because i really miss this a little bit.
    (i´m very sorry for my bad english.)

  9. Mary says:

    I liked Karen, but she is the weakest part of the show, she seems too perfect, I prefer someone at least a bit flawed.

  10. TheFactsR says:

    The plots are multiplying so that the show can stay at an hour with more to watch. Megan has a great voice but I just don’t like her on the show, she likes to sleep around and play with other girls fellas too much. Every time I see her I think of her frog legged in bed to get a JOB!

    This show is like no other on TV and I enjoy the heck out of watching SMASH.

    I think the ratings will improve from the fact the first episode hour was all over the internet for weeks before and people forgot about the second hour that first night. Tonight I think the ratings rise.

    Fingers crossed

  11. pfitzdc says:

    I am sticking with Smash if the writing continues in direction. Love that focus is turning more fully to theater development…different shows at different stages. Keeping the conflicts within the theater world is another vast improvement. But they need to fix the Jeremy Jordan arc FAST. It’s so weak and obvious and even the”nice” partner is pretty bad. Feels like a plotline pushed by the studio or network or producers…the worst aspects of writing by committee. More Megan Hilty, please!

  12. Jay says:

    What a disappointment! I want my old show back! Yes, it needed some twinks but this episode was just frantic — trying to stuff 6 weeks of changes into one hour. I didn’t think I’d ever say this but I found myself yearning to see Ellis again. And whoever brought in Jimmy has Karen’s new love interest is just plain nuts. He looks like he should be in high school.
    The best part of season 1 was watching the relationship between Karen and Derek change — those two have a natural chemistry that shouldn’t be wasted.

    And I was looking forward to tonight’s show — now I’ll be surprised if it finishes the season!

    • Sierra T says:

      Ditto. Karen & Derek are the natural pairing. Have been from the first season.
      The character of Jimmy needs to be written better if they really plan on using that actor’s talent to it’s full potential. I can take a little less of Ivy please. Sorry but I don’t think Megan Hilty is “all that” like other posters seem to think. Her voice is very brash.

  13. Sarah says:

    Is Jimmy the new Ellis? HAHAHAHA
    Please, someone get rid of him already! Or, at least, change his personality completely.

  14. dan says:

    Jimmy was slightly less annoying at the end, when he showed a spark of passion over his silly musical. He still needs to go, preferably tied to a rocket for Mars with Ellis. Smash doesn’t seem content unless it permanently destroys someones career each season.

    I like Megan Hilty and Ivy, but I feel like her landing a Broadway show was too much too soon, her behavior was awful last season and she’s being redeemed too easily. They also needed to show us her audition, not just hear her say, “I got the part.”

    I suppose it doesn’t matter, the show probably won’t last much longer. We’ll be watching the rest of the season online.

  15. Kristina says:

    I loved the episode, it was great. Can’t wait for the Jimmy/Karen dynamic. This season is better than season 1, not dull and boring. I completely understand why Jimmy is the way that he is. Not everybody is going to love every character but I like him as a bad boy.

  16. Eli says:

    Is Debra Messing pregnant? Because something was definitely off with her figure in this episode.

    • AB says:

      I just thought she was putting on weight based on the double chin she was sporting in the first episode. Maybe she had a baby between seasons and that’s why they wrote that brief possible pregnancy story?

  17. Tagrid says:

    Wow! All this Ellis love is just gross. Who ARE all these people? Ellis was disgusting – I wanted him killed off, not just fired! Jimmy is just a kid with a bad attitude cuz he’s never had a break in his life. I’m hoping meeting Karen and Derek will give him that break and change his life – cuz his music is great! But I’m hoping he’s NOT going to get hooked up with Karen. That would be ugly!
    I love that J Hud is still in the show and is going to work with Derek. I love that Derek is so interested in Jimmy’s “more contemporary” play and music. And I thrilled that Ivy got the part in Liaisons. She’ll still be around, but at least not going after Marilyn anymore. I’ve wanted Karen to be Marilyn since the beginning. Hilty’s voice is too Broadway – and Marilyn was never that hefty. Tho Karen could use some boob help – she’s a bit skinny and looks silly in those bad blonde wigs. Marilyn was never a big girl tho. And I really didn’t like the JFK actor.
    Looking forward to seeing Julia and the Dramaturg develop. In fact, I’m now looking forward to how all of SMASH develps this season! I love how it’s finally getting so Broadway-centric.

  18. I’m really going to miss the severe levels of irritation I get from watching this show when it gets cancelled shortly.

  19. Carol B. says:

    I miss season 1. I feel like they took all oath beauty and all the expectations they built up in season 1 and completely destroyed it before it even started. We didn’t even get to enjoy Bombshell before it “bombshelled”. I hate Jimmy his character is stupid, their play is immature and Karen, once again is being so naive and dumb to fall in love with a low life who looks like a recent high school graduate. She is going to loose her big break on broadway because of this little project. I’m not feeling Ivy’s character again. She gets a huge opportunity on broadway and Karen gets left behind again. I however am in LOVE with the dramaturg. Besides being smoking hot he has a really good chemistry with Julia and does bring out the best in her work. I’m sure Marilyn did have some innocence to her but she’s a sensual icon which is something definitely lacking in Bombshell. I really hope this season gets better because I really love the show but I have a feeling these incomplete storylines and cliche “love for the bad boy” with Jimmy will continue indefinitely. :0/

    • Sierra T says:

      I agree. I miss Season 1. Season 2 has been, as I expected, a huge disappointment. The new show’s producer definitely doesn’t have the same talent as the original creator/producer did. This season seems to be trying to ride on ‘guest star’ appearances. I don’t think I’ll bother watching any more of it which is a shame because the main actors are superbly talented.

  20. kn says:

    Finally we got a reallllllly strong episode! I LOVED it overall, but OMG I don’t think I could dislike Jimmy anymore than I do right now. And then it’s going to annoy me that Karen is going to fall for him? Why?! I thought she was becoming more savvy this season, lol! Maybe I’m still bitter because I’m still all about cartwills, lol! I really enjoyed how this episode focused on the process of writing a musical. Proper behind the scenes stuff, and I too liked comedy Messing. I prefer it to the overwrought crying. I’m also glad Ivy got the part in Liaisons because I seriously couldn’t take any more of her feeling sorry for herself and moping around. Loved Derek in this ep too. Hes been really good so far this season. I’m still not sure about the JHud stuff. Her scenes always feel a little out of place. And hardly any Eileen investor stuff this week, which is always a bonus, lol. Oh and I can’t get that catchy Karen song out of my head. I’ve loved all the Hit List music so far <3

  21. Kirk says:

    Superb episode! One of the best ever! Kat McPhee killed all her musical numbers, and the opening song ‘Good For You’ is addicting; everyone should buy it on iTunes! Anyway, can’t wait for next week. This show keeps getting better and better! Really excited for Hit List to get going, sounds interesting!

    • marta says:

      when ivy was singing, my eyes were only focused on Karen; her beauty, her gracefulness, her movements — KAREN STOLE THE SCENE

      • dan says:

        Your eyes were focused on Karen b/c they had a spotlight on her as she moved around the dancers and her body was the center focus of the camera angle. Did you notice how limp and lazy her dance moves were? The ensemble dancers were sharp and focused just confirming how inexperienced she is (which is what her storyline should be instead of this “I’m an overnight sensation” bs which makes no sense).

  22. JC says:

    I thought this was a really great ep. Only real negative was a lack of a big showstopping musical number, but i did like the songs in the ep, and the way they were used. it made sense. Oh, the other negative was obviously Jimmy! I hope they sort his awful personality out soon because its so off-putting, and DO NOT want karen to get together with him. Especially if that means no Karen and Derek! Sure Derek has jerk like qualities, but he’s charming with it, whereas jimmy is totally charmless. Jeremy Jordan is so talented too. I hope Smash doesn’t destroy another character like they did Dev, Ellis, Michael Swift ……. and kat mcphee keeps getting prettier each week, not fair :(

  23. JK says:

    Great season so far! Much better than the last! Hit List is going to represent this new wave of contemporary musical and Karen would be perfect for it. Too bad they decided to show only 1 minute of Good For You. Dancing On My Own was beautifully staged and I’m looking forward to Liaisons.

    Also very curious about what’s going to happen to Bombshell, Karen is good as Marilyn but she seems to be getting the boot next episode. Ivy not has a real part in a real musical. Hmmm…

    This show will probably not make it to Season 3 but I think it will go out with a bang. Loving the new direction.

  24. A says:

    Is it just me or did the plot for The Hit List sound so similar to the plot of the entire Gossip GIrl series? The guy he was describing was Dan/Gossip Girl taking down the entire Upper East Side (aka the “hit list”) because he hates the world (i.e. the same way Dan hated being an outsider and lonely boy, etc) and the girl is Serena and the drug she couldn’t overcome was constantly being with a man or wanting to be with Dan.

  25. Izzie Duquette says:

    I really liked the ep, except for the whole hitlist shebang. Karen’s still boring and annoying and that terrible Jimmy is doing nothing to improve watching pleasure in their scenes. The only good part about the Brooklyn plotline is Kyle. I LOVE, however, that Ivy finally got a real part. Yay :D

  26. Will da beast says:

    Songs are less Broadway and more pop. You can get those songs on Glee or American Iidol. Get back to Broadway show stoppers. What’s with the time slot? Same time as Snash you have Vegas, Burden of Proof, White Collar. Why not move the show to Wednesday as there is nothing good but Arrow on Wednesday. There is nothing like able about Jimmy’s character.

  27. tngoddess2 says:

    Yes! Please someone drop a bomb on Horrible!Jimmy! Sooner would be better. Thanks.

  28. lizzylovejoy says:

    It’s a crime against the art of theatre (and anyone who actually works in the theatre) that the word dramaturg is used in connection to this horrendous show.

  29. ltklo says:

    I missed the people we saw in the ensemble in season one. They brought a level of realness and comedy. A whole show with no comedy from “Bobby” left me feeling empty.

  30. Kath says:

    Am I the only one who actually enjoys having a character who’s annoyed by all the backstage politics (that is, Jimmy)? Plus, he’s the first male character on the show who 1) can sing AND 2)is allowed to (poor Brian D’Arcy James).

  31. J says:

    I love this show. I love every character. Karen is my favorite and Jimmy will develop. It’s a TV show people!!! Stop taking it so seriously!!!!

  32. Chris says:

    I don’t like Peter. He’s another unlikable male character for this show. He and Jimmy make Derek seem positively cuddly. He, at least, uses charm to get what he wants.

    How am I supposed to take this show seriously when it asks me to believe that Derek would actually still be in the room when he realizes that Kyle and Jimmy’s show is written on a couple of cocktail napkins and a few beer stained notebook pages? Derek’s not that desperate, is he?

    I thought the Kennedy seduction number was awful. The song and the acting. That’s really the first time I hated a musical number in this show. I can’t believe it made Veronica give up the lead role in The Wiz.

    Also that plaid dress on Julia??? Could they have found anything more unflattering? My advice, burn it.

  33. Haie says:

    Loving this season so far. Hating Jimmy so far (and probably I’ll hate him for the rest of the season).
    Kat and Jack have an amazing on screen chemistry, and I kinda need to see Karen and Derek hooking up. Love the way they are developing their friendship, by the way.
    Jimmy. And Karen. No, that won’t work.
    Daniel Sunjata and Debra – I could totally feel the sparks there!
    I also loved to see more of the amazing friendship between Ivy and Tom.
    Still don’t know who I’m rooting to play Marilyn.
    Still believing in this show.

  34. greysfan says:

    Compared to season 1 this show has moved forward with leaps and bounds but yet again America doesn’t seem to embrace it. Ratings last week shocked me and if they get those again say goodbye to a season 3. It sucks too because the cast is very strong and this show is very good. I hope ratings pick up and i look forward to next week. It looks awesome.

    • dan says:

      Ratings were worse for last night’s episode. Maybe NBC will keep it on the schedule if they have nothing to replace it and to satisfy Steven Spielberg, but it would take a miracle for this show to be renewed for a third season.

  35. Butch Fralia says:

    I love the music but the drama isn’t grabbing me yet.

  36. Ashly says:

    I don’t think my heart would be broken if Karen was written out of the show. She doesn’t add much to the show. She has a lovely singing voice, but that’s about it. Derek has become boring this season (possibly due to the fact he spends most of his time with Karen). His most interesting interactions are with Ivy and Veronica. This saddens me because he was my favorite character last season. I absolutely love this Peter guy. He’s got good chemistry with Julia. Tom and Julia are awesome like always:) Good episode overall.

  37. Lynn says:

    It’s sad that Jimmy is a pretty poorly written character, simply because Jeremy Jordan deserves better. But, it is interesting that Derek is being put in his place by a struggling writer of all things. It’s also sad that the show (much like Bombshell) is sort of all over the place. Do we need a new hot guy rattling Julia’s cage? Do we need Veronica Moore (seriously, what is her place in the story)? But, as Julia said last season, “the good is bigger than the bad.” Christian Borle is hilarious, and Megan Hilty is spectacular as always, while showing off her stunning belt and depth. Andy Mientus is cute as a button, and I truly hope that he and Bobby have something going on later in the season. As a Broadway fanatic, I do love this show. I love the actors, I love the references, I love the sometimes unrealistic look on the creative process. But, I think this re-imagined Smash stills needs some work. I think the biggest draw this season is going to be the development/workshopping of Hit List, which I can only assume will have Veronica Moore in one way or another, and its rivaling of Bombshell.

  38. D says:

    If the goal this season is to transition from old to new story lines – they need to speed it up, otherwise this show is headed for the trash pile. Karen is going to fade into the woodwork… without more singing numbers she’s toast since she’s a weak actress. Derek’s role is a hot mess… too many story lines going on for him. Debra Messing is a great actress, but the writers are not helping her. Though this week was better for her. Overall it’s very chaotic and disjointed. I don’t know about the 2 new guys – could be the writing — they are both a bit unlikeable. One is wimpy the other full of himself. JHud is great. She and Ivy could save this show — but the writers need to get on with it. They are taking too long to develop the new characters.

  39. Liam says:

    Great Episode. Smash is definitely moving in a stronger direction. TEAM KAREN ALL THE WAY. Can we get to the new musical already!?

  40. Lisa says:

    I loved the ep except for Jennifer Hudson who remains annoying and over-hyped! Hudson cannot act and I can’t wait for her to go! Glad Ivy got a break but I really loved the scenes with Karen and Derek! If the show wants to boost ratings they should start getting them together because the chemistry with those two is off the charts!!!! Forget any hint of a Kyle/Jimmy/Karen triangle – no one will care! Now, a Karen/Derek/Jimmy triangle would be interesting as long as Derek and Karen end up together!

  41. In our review, we agree that the show is definitely stronger. Julia is suddenly excited about Bombshell again and the backstory on Jimmy and Kyle is interesting (you’re right, Slezak, that Jimmy can be a pain).

    Also, no mention of Ivy’s rendition of ‘Dancing On My Own’?! That number was a keeper!

  42. John says:

    TEAM IVY ALL THE WAY
    Bring Ivy back to the forefront. She is so much more interesting than Karen. Megan Hilty is all voice and I love it. Love her. Love the show. Sick of dull Karen and Derek. Not impressed with new showrunner and his addition of Jeremy Jordan. Snooza roni.

  43. John says:

    Its amazing that Iowa is now the big superstar helping others get musicals off the ground. Last year she was auditioning for her first show. The only real writing is Tom and Julia and Ivy.

  44. Clark says:

    Sadly, this episode was quite boring. Where I loved Smash before, I don’t see that show anymore. I see a splintered story about Broadway, with very annoying new characters that we don’t need. If they find a way to get to a great episode where Ivy takes the lead and Tom&Julia get more attention and they make more fun instead of trying to fix a ‘trainwreck’ (what I thought wasn’t at all true) the show will be the Smash it could’ve been.

  45. Toia says:

    I didn’t like this episode. By the new number I felt like the show was starting to be an inadvertent parody it’s self. The addition if JHud as another voice far superior to MCPhee only serves to show how I’ll suited she is to be a lead in anything even a workshopped show on the rocks. The only good thing is that taking “bombshell” on a sexier direction screams that Ivy be brought back in but she has a better option so they will have to contrive a way to cause Liaison to fail (which I am sure they will do). I will continue to watch as I did last season but I am not loving it. And what was that ’80 Working Girl dress that Julia was wearing is that what they are replacing scarves with?

  46. JAO says:

    Love the show, don’t like Jimmy. Miss the music of the first season.

  47. Linderella says:

    I think Derek had it right – Karen is Marilyn. I see Julia got a wardrobe adjustment – different but not so good. She’s too beautiful to dress like a frump. I just can’t get with the Ivy love. She has a beautiful voice but the character comes across as so desperate it’s hard to root for her. And as always, Angelica Huston is wonderful. Jennifer Hudson has been a special treat – sorry she won’t be with the series for more than a few episodes. Jimmy seems like a guy that will crash and burn at the first sign of rejection. I’m in for the long haul but concerned NBC won’t be if the ratings don’t improve pronto.

  48. Watcher says:

    This season is so much worse than the first season. The last episode was dull. For saying they took so much time to re-tool the show it is in need of a dramaturg.

  49. Carola says:

    I am loving this season and I love SMASH. Hope it makes it to a season 3, maybe when The Voice comes back it will help people get back into it.

    Can I just say I LOVED the moment when Karen forgets about Derek when passing the beers? It was sad, but at the same time I loved watching a jealous Derek! He needs to suffer a little bit to realize what he needs to do right to get what he wants.

    I hope Karen and Derek hook up down the road, those two have serious natural chemistry going on and the show never uses it. Hoep they will this season.
    I can sense the Jimmy/Karen/ Derek triangle coming. Hopefully Karen will wake up sooner or later of this Jimmy crush and remembers who is the one who has supported her all the way since the beginning…

  50. ArunaAdvaney says:

    I like watching snarky, smart-ass Jimmy. He’s hilarious! I don’t get how he’s being compared to Ellis, as they’re completely different.

    Ellis came off as a sneaky, creepy, nosy, evesdropping brownnoser who exploited others’ secrets and weaknesses to get ahead. (That said, I do think that Bombshell was his idea, and he should have gotten something for that.)

    Jimmy is fiercely proud and independent, has his own thing going, and – except for occasional rude comments (“What did you do to get yours?”) – doesn’t get into others’ private business. His weariness of other people just makes him behave like an asshole.

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