Smash Recap: A Tale of Three Musicals

smash season 2 jeremy jordan jimmySomewhere buried not far below the surface of Smash‘s second season lies an addictive TV musical.

It’s got a great cast, some fabulously catchy tunes, and a really compelling story. And yet, six episodes in to the proceedings, Anjelica Huston’s Eileen seems to have forgotten how to toss martini bombs into the faces of insolent troublemakers, Megan Hilty’s Ivy Lynn has gotten herself stranded in a most peculiar sitcom, and Katharine McPhee’s Karen has become hypnotized by one of the most unredeemable, thoroughly repugnant wankers in small-screen history. And no, the show’s writers don’t seem to view the ingenue’s unlikely love interest Jimmy with any of the scorn or apprehension he deserves; au contraire, they seem to be painting McPhee’s smokin’ hot Broadway baby as the dunce for not sacrificing all of the dreams she’s worked so hard to achieve on the altar of a borderline abusive, borderline nonexistent relationship. GAH!

I know, I know, I’ve kvetched, moaned and complained about Jeremy Jordan’s Jimmy in every Smash recap this season. But come on: Without Karen and her A-list theater connections, dude’s musical would be playing nowhere but the bottom of his desk drawer. How is it possible that he continues to treat her with profound ingratitude and an utter disregard for her own career, and yet she’s the one who’s always apologizing? My inner feminist doesn’t know how much more she can endure.

With that complaint on the record (again), let’s jump to this week’s proceedings:

A SHAKEUP AT BOMBSHELL | Rehearsals for Marilyn: The Musical continued — yep, in the concusion to last week’s cliffhanger, Eileen sided with Tom and Jerry (!) and chose the older Bombshell script over the one Julia and Derek preferred. Julia considered abandoning ship and joining the hot dramaturg for a job in London when Jerry insisted on cutting “Never Give All of the Heart” from the show, but Tom retooled the number into a cautionary tale rather than a lament — and everyone loved it…except for Derek. The bad boy director bade good riddance to the project and exited with a huffy monologue.

In other news, Karen (who’d run into Ellis’ ex-girlfriend) shared shocking intel with Eileen that her former sneaky assistant was in cahoots with Jerry; Eileen found out her ex had been behind exposing her ex-boyfriend/investor’s criminal history; and the plot to reclaim her producing power began. First step? Eileen and Julia decidicing that, in Derek’s absence, Tom should direct the show. (Um, yeah, that got telegraphed from 20 city blocks away, but I’m not mad at this particular plot development.)

HARSH TRUTHS AT LIAISONS | Ivy Lynn continued to marvel at the broad, comic awfulness of Terry Falls’ (Sean Hayes) performance in the lead role. When Ivy Lynn then stole the show with her light comic solo at press day — what girlfriend can do with a feather and some cleavage! — Terry had the number cut from the show. But Ivy Lynn later won the Hollywood star’s respect (and won back her solo) when she broke down and told him the play — and his performance — were terrible. Ivy Lynn’s courage spurred the rest of Liaisons‘ cast to spill their own bowls of beans, and a newly humble Terry (and the show’s pushover director) took notes on how to save the sinking revival.

GOOD FORTUNE HITS THE HIT LIST | The Hit List readied for its rushed debut at The Fringe Festival, but when Jerry discovered Karen’s participation, he gave her an ultimatum: Choose her buddies’ underground, unproduced musical or her role in a multimillion dollar Broadway musical. Karen (obvs) opted to keep her paying job, but instead of being gracious about her predicament, Jimmy lashed out: “Your career is more important than your friends!” Opening night turned out to be a disaster, but Karen showed up for Night Two (after Derek quit Bombshell and she simply stopped caring) — and her duet with Jimmy (“Heart-Shaped Wreckage”) caught the attention of Jesse L. Martin’s producer dude. Oh, and Derek’s back on board as Hit List director, too, but Jimmy’s not holding a grudge against him because, well, he has a penis, and only female characters need to be brought low on a weekly basis. (Ugh, sorry, I’ll stop complaining now and turn things over to all of you.)

What did you think of this week’s Smash? Are you ready for Jimmy to meet the front end of a city bus? And how about this week’s big, booming ballad “Heart Shaped Wreckage”? 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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  1. J says:

    You can complain about Jimmy all you want. He deserves it. The writers deserve it.

    “Without Karen and her A-list theater connections, dude’s musical would be playing nowhere but the bottom of his desk drawer. How is it possible that he continues to treat her with profound ingratitude and an utter disregard for her own career, and yet she’s the one who’s always apologizing? My inner feminist doesn’t know how much more she can endure.”

    My thoughts EXACTLY.

    • Annie says:

      YES. There is NOTHING to like about this guy! Worse than Ellis – and boy there’s three words I never thought would be possible to say and mean.

      • Bill Weeden says:

        Jimmy is the most unlikeable character I can remember, anywhere–small screen, large screen, footlights–anywhere. And I’m sick of letting Jeremy Jordan off the hook for the repugnance of the character. Jordan adds absolutely nothing, except his (arguably) excellent singing, to mitigate the horror of Jimmy. Jordan is cold and unlikeable himself. The character is a disaster. Get rid of him. Worse than Nick on “The Good Wife.” Worse than Iago. Worst. Ever.

        • Rob says:

          Ok, I think deciding you know an actor’s personality because of a part he’s playing is ridiculous. He’s playing the part as written and as he’s being directed to play it. He was warm and engaging in Newsies on Broadway. Is he supposed to play Jimmy as a warm jerk?!

          • J says:

            He doesn’t have to play the character with such petulance. He’s very over the top in his choices. I do think it’s partially an acting issue because he isn’t “giving” in the scene. He makes the scene all about his character. When Karen tells Jimmy she can’t be in the play, Jordan offers nothing but anger and bratiness, which makes Karen look like a prop for “his” scene. He could have read those same lines and put some sadness and sincere disappointment into the reaction, which would have shown at least a little respect for Karen as a character and helped humanize his character to the viewers.

          • Bill Weeden says:

            Did not mean to imply that Jeremy Jordan the person is cold and unlikeable. He may be the sweetie-pie of all time for all I know. But the way he plays Jimmy is cold and unlikeable nonetheless.

          • Chris says:

            To answer your question, yes he is supposed to play Jimmy like a warm jerk. Jack Davenport does it every week.

          • Evan says:

            Yes, Jack Davenport manages to play a likable jerk, but let’s not kid ourselves: Jeremy Jordan is given nowhere near the multi-layered character that Davenport has been given. Derek is mean to Tom and minor characters on the show; Jimmy is mean to the central character, Karen. When he’s not with Karen, the writers have given Derek moments where he’s asked to be kind and supportive to his Bombshell co-workers. When Jimmy isn’t with Karen, we’ve only seen him being hateful toward his best friend or running off to do drugs. Jeremy Jordan hasn’t had a chance to play Jimmy as a likable character– which is a problem indeed, but not Jordan’s fault.

    • RUCookie says:

      He is an amazing talent, but this character is HORRIBLE. Yes, when your half done musical has a shot at being noticed, what do you do… you light up and announce that you are going to get high and not show up… very professional, very grown up, very responsible. Getting hit by a bus would be too kind for his character.

  2. charissa29 says:

    The things that made last year so great; the sense of joy and hope, the working together to bring the musical out, the sacrifices etc. have all been tossed overboard as this has been turned into a generic soap filled blah fest, albeit with songs. Bah!

    • Josh says:

      I think you hit that nail right on the head. There really isn’t the “struggle”..Last year, no matter how bad the writing got, I still felt a sense of urgency, of truimph and failure…I was with the crew..I was rooting for Ivy and Karen to both get Marilyn(Ivy as the Marilyn persona, Karen as her “real” self)…I cared..

      And now they’re bombing Bombshell and trying to getu s to care about hit list.

      I blame this on the new showrunner. The whole Hit List reeks of CWness. We’ve got a bad boy, a girl who bends over backwards to please the bad boy, the bad boy treating the girl like dirt and yet the girl is the problem. We should have listened to Gossip Girl fans. None of them were happy about this change. And you’d think that NBC wouldn’t hire someone who sunk one of the CW’s biggest shows.

    • Alienate says:

      Yes! During this episode, I turned to my wife and said ‘This show is no longer any fun” She agreed and we stopped watching it and cleared our DVR schedule. Buh-Bye Broadway! Sad…..

  3. kat says:

    i mean, let’s be real here. are we really surprised that this show is trying to make a repugnant, unredeemable, borderline abusive man a love interest for one of the main character’s? the new showrunner, after all, is the man who gave you gossip girl and all the horrific abusiveness that was chuck/blair.

    • J says:

      I’ve never watched Gossip Girl. Glad I never wasted my time since this guy has ruined Smash to point it will almost certainly be cancelled.

      Clue to the show runner: People actually like strong women characters. You can have interesting flaws without being a doormat, which is exactly how Jimmy treats Karen.

      • layla says:

        It was most likely going to get cancelled no matter what. The ratings were very low for the season 2 premier. A lot of veiwers gave up last season and never had the chance to see how bad it is now.

        I’m not defending the current creative team. They haven’t done anything that would generate positive buzz. They’ve turned a show that was an ambitious mess with potential for greatness into a mundane unimagitive soap with a few songs thrown in.

      • Josh says:

        And Julia has become a pathetic mess who is two steps away from a breakdown and always needs a man to talk her off that ledge and reassure that she is a good writer and oh so pretty. Poor Debra Messing!

        Ivy seems to be the only one who has a backbone and her head on straight and even then, I miss our spicy Ivy. The one who was a bit cutthroat and had some great lines. Last night was the first time she wasn’t some super nice Karen-like character.

    • Sammy says:

      Nup. You cannot compare Jimmy/Karen to Chuck/Blair. The fact that Chuck was abusive in the early seasons was integral to their relationship. Chuck began to realise what an arsehole he was and went on this amazing rebirth. He realised there were certain aspects of his personality that he would need to change for Blair. Jimmy is just a selfish tool who lacks the abilty to look at himself and say, “You know what? Maybe I am an arsehole and maybe I should make some changes.” Karen is just a very weak person who is more than happy to take his crap. Blair would never allow herself to get in hat position.

      • j says:

        uh you missed the part where Blair kept going back to the guy who abused her?

        • Josh says:

          And didn’t he throw something and cause glass to cut her in the face like two seasons before the finale? And didn’t he try and rape a bunch of girls? And kill his uncle?

      • AngieD says:

        I agree with you about Chuck. He was an arrogant creep when GG started. However, Ed Westwick was eventually able to portray Chuck’s inner demons, which he fought due to his love for Blair. While Chuck wasn’t always successful at changing himself, he, at least, recognized his own flaws and inner demons. Chuck did change at the end.

        Jimmy is too new a character to have had any self-revelations. The way he is being written makes us wonder why Karen cares about him at all. It would’ve been better if the 2 of them had been in antagnostic relationship for longer and built up some sexual tension – as written, she just looks like a sap and he looks like a complete jerk. Why would anyone want to see this romance play out??

  4. mdtindc says:

    I actually prefer Ellis over Jimmy… he’s a total douche and I do not see ANY redeeming qualities whatsoever. If Smash gets cancelled, there is only Jimmy to blame.

  5. ABC says:

    yeah no season 3 for this show.

  6. katie says:

    so i completely agree Jimmy is the most annoying character on television. I don’t understand why karen is putting up with this. i kinda wish they got rid of the hit list all together. It just doesn’t add anything to the show. I just feel like the writing is not as good as it was last season. Although I was glad to see most of those characters go in the first season, I don’t like their “replacements” much more. I am just very disappointed in this show. It has a great concept and a great first season and is just completely lacking in execution in this second season. Honestly there are others shows on TV that have already been canceled that deserve to stay on the air more than this right now

    • Josh says:

      Exactly! Hit List brings down the show and the song at the end wasn’t very good and I hated Derek’s vision…ergh…it takes a lot to make Karen McPhee not look gorgeous and they did it…She looked like she just crawled out of an 80’s music video.

      • Danielle H. says:

        I think she actually looked pretty for once.. and I liked the song. This show is shot though. Definitely not getting renewed.. at least we get to see it played out on Saturday nights. Interesting move.

  7. Tina B. says:

    Michael, you have to read between the lines when it comes to Jimmy and how he treats Karen. He is less upset that she is choosing her career over their play and more upset about losing the only connection he has with her while he thinks (thanks to that back-stabbing roommate of his) that Karen is dating Derek. If Jimmy can’t have her romantically, he wants to keep any connection he has with her. Also how is the way Jimmy treats Karen any worse than how Derek treated well everyone in the 1st season?

    I don’t like Tom as director and I barely like Tom at all. I like the new book of Marilyn better than the old, and Eileen has been toned down this season and I don’t like that either. I like these different musicals they are showing, Bombshell isn’t the only big production on broadway or coming to it. I am happy that Derek quitting bombshell after being treated so terribly (he IS the director) frees him up to do a production he feels passionate about.

    About Karen and her dreams, she feels passionate about broadway, not just bombshell. Bombshell was something she loved before, but now she has fought for the part tooth and nail, playing dirty with Ivy, and now there are problems with it, she might not feel the same way she did about it and see it the same way much like Derek doesn’t. Sometimes pursuing your dreams is about taking a chance on something that only you see as good and she needs to trust her instincts. I think Jimmy and Karen are a good fit, and I see through his bad boy acting out, only because he thinks that Karen is taken by a director that they want to produce their show ( and he has the dreams of his roommate friend who has always stood by him to consider too) Honestly I think Karen could make both Derek and Jimmy better people and that’s what love is all about, making each other better.

    • Will says:

      I like the new book of Marilyn better than the old

      As we haven’t actually seen more than tiny snippets of any of the BOMBSHELL “books,” not sure how you’re judging that.

    • marta says:


    • Josh says:

      Wow….BRAVO…You’re a murderer of feminism and are probably think the Edward/Bella relationship in Twilight is true love. Seriously, defending the bad boy is only okay when you’re 14 and don’t know better.

  8. Maggie says:

    The thing that made Jeremy Jordan’s “bad boy” character in Newsies believable is that he had something to fight for, the newsboys strike. His character in SMASH does have something, Hit List, but he just doesn’t seem to care which makes him even more unlikeable. I liked Heart Shaped Wreckage, there is something there, but I’m about at my rope with this show, they need to decide what type of show they want to be.

  9. Finch says:

    I agree with everything. Jimmy is THE WORST. Jeremy Jordan has a remarkable voice and is a true Broadway star, so it’s really a shame that Jimmy is such a disgusting and unredeemable character. This whole show is just a disgrace.

  10. Chloe says:

    I can’t stand Jimmy and his little dweeb friend, Kyle. Could it be a big bus & could it take out both of them, please?
    I really enjoyed Season 1 & looked forward to Season 2. But what a disappointment. Karen is boring, Ivy is being wasted on that dopey show that she’s in. And “wasted” is too kind a word to use on the time spent on Jimmy & company. I watch the show to see what’s happening with Bombshell & instead, we’re being ping-ponged between 3 different shows & I don’t give a flying fig about the other two. I agree with mdtindc – I, too, prefer Ellis. I actually sort of enjoyed watching Ellis. Not to say that he was a nice guy, but at least he was entertaining and kept things interesting. Jimmy is just an obnoxious bore.

  11. dan says:

    Speaking of telegraphed moments, at least we’re finally going to see Ivy take over the role of Marilyn once and for all, which will rid us of her ridiculous Liasons musical. I actually find Hit List to be kind of interesting, if Jimmy would only sing and not talk. Imagine how pouty and annoying he’ll be when Karen and Derek finally get together.

  12. Viv says:

    Annnddd… nope. I want Ellis back! I really really really want Ellis back. The thing is: We weren´t supposed to like Ellis. He was evil and not trustworthy and… irgh. But we are supposed to care about Jimmy and like him and care about his musical thing. Doesn´t work. The only thing that I like about the Hitlist storyline is Kyle, because he is somewhat adorable. So, I want Ellis back. At least I knew that I didn´t had to like him to enjoy the show.
    Where is the Smash I fall in love with? Where is the strong Eileen and whats going on with Karen?

  13. Alice Blue says:

    Dear Season 1 of Smash – I’m sorry i complained about you and made fun of you. I didn’t appreciate you; please come home and I’ll treat you with more respect. It’s true I wanted to wrap Julia’s husband and son (and lover) in her scarves and drop them off in China (with the baby girl they were adopting until they got really busy – I expected her to show up looking for revenge in season 3). And i hated the forced quality of Derek’s obsession with Karen – those fantasy Marilyn segments seemed as embarrassing for the actor as everyone else. But, but…
    you gave me an actual show about Broadway – with Angelica H being awesome, some truly great songs, the fun and snark of the team putting the show together – I’ll admit I even enjoyed hissing at All About Ellis. And IVY! Megan Hilty was a revelation – watching her break out of the one-note villain role they had planned for her was amazing. And if Kat McPhee wasn’t the best actress (and rather low on star power) she was convincing as a talented, clueless ingenue (loved her initial Bombshell audition)- and there was so much else going on she wasn’t a make/break factor. I loved the feel the second tier of actors/dancers in the the studio gave the show – and they gave great excuses for impromptu musical numbers (good and bad). Naively, I thought the Julia plot mess was the worst that could happen to us but then Season 2 proved Josh Safran was the worst thing – ever. Suddenly Karen is getting all the screen time (and is apparently being given the direction to whine every line – derrrrekkk, pleeese and oh, jimmy, i’m so sorrrry…wtf?) and Ivy is relegated to an incredibly small, baaaad subplot. And all the actors now have to pretend Karen is a dazzling, charismatic talent and the songs in Hit List aren’t a complete cheese fest – that scene tonight was like a boring parody of Moulin Rouge. (If we needed a pop alternative, couldn’t we have brought back Ryan Tedder for the love of god?) Even the new Bombshell song was boring.
    Well, this show looks to be on the road to cancellation which is really too bad – I wonder why someone will hire Safran to kill another show? Anyway, I will mourn you Smash – and pray that Megan Hilty gets another tv role (but what show would allow us to see her perform – sigh). And Mr. Safran, I hope every aspiring B’way performer currently waiting tables spits in your food.

  14. A says:

    While I still prefer JImmy over Ellis, I am getting sick and tired of his royal douchiness. Heartbreak Wreckage was indeed beautiful and Jeremy Jordan has a great voice but seriously they better start making this guy likable soon because he’s a complete jerk.
    The problem I think with why the anger of so many viewers towards this character is with the show’s scheduling is structured. For example, in the Good Wife, the Kings decided to cut out Kalinda’s husband after receiving widely negative criticism toward the character. However, with Smash I think by the time the season premieres the show they are already more than half way through finishing filming for the season and therefore it’s too late for them to respond to poor ratings or any criticisms from fans or reviewers or make any changes in the show. I may be wrong but this is what I was thinking.
    Anyways, I still enjoy the show and I hope it gets better and doesn’t get cancelled.

    • Chris says:

      While I understand your point, it doesn’t excuse the producers. They shouldn’t need audience feedback to know Jimmy is a repugnant character and that Jeremy Jordan can’t cut it. He may have a good voice but he cannot make his character likable, something Jack Davenport does with Derek every week.

      • dan says:

        You called it. Jack Davenport shows everything that’s wrong with Jimmy. He takes a horrible character and make him likable and appealing. I’m not sure if it’s possible to do that with Jimmy, but if feels like Jeremy Jordan is only bringing a great voice.

      • J says:

        Such a good point, which is partially what I was trying to say in my post above. You can read a line more than one way. Jordan doesn’t seem to understand how to humanize a character that is unlikable on paper. He should pay attention to Jack Davenport.

  15. Ann says:

    Karen is the most unrealistic Midwestern girl with big dreams ever. Last season she was plucky and determined; this year she is a doormat. The idea that she would even BE torn between “Bombshell” and Jimmy’s little ditty is ridiculous. The way Karen is portrayed this year, Ivy would have eaten her alive by callbacks, and would now be the star of “Bombshell.” Last year’s Karen would have demanded that Jimmy have as much respect for her big break as she has for what he is trying to do. I have taken to recording it and FF through the Karen/Jimmy scenes.

  16. Jo says:

    I thought it was a good episode because it focused almost completely on making theater. The ridiculous subplots of last year – particularly with Julia’s family – was what dragged the show down.

    Frankly I’m surprised to see this complaining about unlikeible characters and the mistreatment of women coming from the last site on the Internet that thinks ‘Girls’ is a quality show.

    • marta says:

      AGREE 100% WITH YOU TOO, JO!

    • Kate'shomesick says:

      …but “Girls” is at least somewhat realistic…. “Girls” shows the way that SOME women in their unsure-of-who-I-am-and-what-I-want-phase let themselves be treated and treat others. It’s pretty multidimensional…none of the characters is a completely weak one…also the men on “Girls” are all just as screwed up. Almost all of the characters have redeeming qualities about them and we -most of the time- get to understand why they make stupid decisions…the “Smash” writers this season are just not making wise decisions…the actions of some of the characters are very incoherent and we never get to understand them properly…they don’t have enough backstory/depth. Plus I really have to say Katherine McPhee and Jeremy Jordans acting is cardboard acting 101…

  17. Kristina says:

    I agree with everything you said Tina B. my thoughts exactly. Tom is starting to get on my nerves and now as a Director of Bombshell it is going to get worse unless Ivy steps in and plays Marilyn. Hit List I love because its not your typical musical, it reminds me of RENT. You can’t have SMASH be just about one musical, once Bombshell runs its course what are they going to do next? Having another musical like Hit List is what the show needs. Seriously don’t care for Liaisons at all, the whole plot line and Sean Hayes character is pointless. I can’t wait to see Jerry get his, total jerk!! I am actually really glad that Derek quit and will be directing Hit List. I am probably the only person that likes Jimmy and yes, I ship Karen/Jimmy. I was really hoping for a hook up in this episode but still have my hopes up for next week. I completely understand why jimmy acts the way he does. Sick of all the haters, if you don’t like the show than quit watching cause your negativity is irritating.

    • Sarah says:

      hey look on the bright side – since you get misunderstood Jimmy, think of the thrill you’ll get if he actually hits her next week when he ‘hulks out’ and sends everyone scurrying with his bratty temper. maybe they can co-star in ‘Carousel’ when Hit List is laughed off off-off-off Broadway.

      • A says:

        I highly doubt they would go so far as to have him be violent towards. I think they’re just going to stick to the temper tantrums.

      • Josh says:

        Oh romance! He’ll Hulk, punch her in the face, and she’ll apologize. Kristina and Tina will practically swoon!

      • kristina says:

        WOW!! If you actually think I agree with Domestic Violence you are totally wrong and don’t know me, you are very rude and disrespectful of others opinions. We don’t know his back story and I really hope we get to see it. I really don’t believe for one second Jimmy will lay a hand on Karen at all but you must know more than I do obviously.

    • A says:

      Yes, Tom really is annoying. He’s never been my favorite character at all.
      And I too, like the fact that there is more than one musical in the show because SMASH doesn’t have to be exclusively about Bombshell. It should be about Broadway and theater in general. Although the could lose Liaisons and while I like Sean Hayes, his role in the show is boring and pointless.

    • marta says:


    • RUCookie says:

      The point of Liasions is that it is a revival… and Broadway is doing a ridiculous number of them (well those and show based off of movies)…Revivals are the reality of Bway and “new interpretations” can either be great for doom a show to failure – Megan Hilty took a comical note with her song and it worked, so maybe the funny idea could work. The problem with Liasions is that Sean Hayes’ character is going exactly what Uma did last year, asking the show to bend to their will… I have hope that things will turn around now that they had their truth-fest.

  18. Margo319 says:

    Christ, Jimmy is an angsty artist type in his 20’s. Since most guys are assholes at some point in their 20’s this totally fits. Karen thinks he’s talented, no one is forcing her to hang out with him! Stop bitching about him in every damn recap, it’s ridiculous. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jeremy Jordan and he is warm, sweet and incredibly talented. Just shut the hell UP.

  19. Be says:

    Wow. The comments here really sum up a lot of what I have been feeling about this show. In response to some of the awkwardness of season 1, they have turned this season into a just as awkward bland predictable flat mess. I mean the writing at times is unimaginative and cringeworthy. Every once in a while there is a moment when the show shines. And it usually involved music. When Megan Hilty sang her song tonight we got to see a pro shine. When Jordan and McPhee sang I had images of early Rent workshops. This is why I tune in, to see the drama involved in putting on a musical for broadway. But it seems that rather than play to their strength they thwart us at every moment and derail the show. Such a bummer to see a good idea be wasted. Josh Saffrsn doesn’t seem to love what the show is supposedly all about. Oh and I used to love Katherine McPhee and have rooted for her since idol. But her performance on this show has really soured my impression of her potential.

  20. John says:

    I agree 100% that the show has taken completely wrong turns this season. So I’m not defending the show at all, BUT: is it possible that the writers are trying to make the female characters of the show like Marilyn? I mean, remember when Julia realized she only found Marilyn interesting because of the men in Marilyn’s life, and that every scene in the play should be from a man’s point of view? Could that be what the writers of the tv show are trying to do? (Trying, not succeeded. Like I said, I’m not coming to the show’s defense. If this is true, then they’re not doing it well at all.)

  21. Olive says:

    How come no one is mentioning the obvious? Katherine McPhee is beautiful and can sing, but she has no chemistry with anyone and no charisma. Yet, the show is centered around her perfection? Meanwhile, they have shipped the off character anyone actually likes (Ivy) off to an unrelated musical where she gets to interact with no one. The number one mistake of this show was to get rid of the characters that weren’t clicking, but fail to notice Karen was the main one.

  22. Josh says:

    This show is sort of falling apart. The director thing was predicted weeks ago by EVERYONE and they’re really making Karen unlikable. Last year, we were right by Karen’s side as she fought for this role, now after a weeks of hard times she’s ready to give it up for some guy? And I don’t care about “Hit List”…I’m not invested in it. So this “Hit List” vs “Bombshell” storyline that is obviously coming up just won’t work for me. They’re obviously doing all they can to make Bombshell a bomb and “Hit List” a hit(in other words, saying “new” Smash is better than “old” Smash, but it isn’t working. Jimmy is repugant, Kyle is whiny, Karen’s roommate is blah and Karen has become an ungrateful 17 year old.

    Yes last year had more eye rolls and outrageous writing but it at least gave you something to root for(or against), now i’m mostly rooting for lights to fall on people’s heads.

  23. RichieS says:

    How about a Smash spinoff starring Sean Hayes and Uma Thurman?

  24. jaq says:

    It was much better than past episodes, if only for the fact that Jeremy Jordan’s character had less screen presence. The worst thing this show has done is make his character completely repugnant and the lead female to role over and play dead. While Katherine McPhee’s character stood up for herself a bit last night (thank god!) there is still a long way to go for me to truly enjoy the Smash viewing experience.

    Next week it looks like Megan Hilty’s character will return to Bombshell and McPhee will descend to the douche’s play. I hope Derek kicks Jimmy’s a**!

  25. Randy says:

    I may be in the minority, but I like the Karen and Derek relationship. Hated his character in season 1 until he started seeing Karen as Marilyn. I think its funny that Tom and Julia blamed Derek for all the problems. They have become the least likeable characters besides Jimmy. As far as Ellis goes, you wanted to hate him. He was manipulative and when he got fired you felt justice was served. Jimmy on the other hand is just a drug addicted a**hole who acts like a spoiled child. Previews for the next episode look great. Derek telling Tom, ” You have what I want and your wasting it”. I hope this show is not as transparent as it seems, Karen choosing Hit List and Ivy becoming Marilyn.

    • dan says:

      During last night’s episode there was a moment when I thought “hmmm, maybe my predictions are wrong; maybe Ivy will help fix Liaisons and Karen will stay with Bombshell.” Then Derek quit Bombshell (which everybody saw coming for weeks now) and Karen showed up for night two of Hit List. My hopes for a surprising twist in the plot were dashed! Clearly the writing has been on the wall for weeks that Karen goes to Hit List with Derek while Ivy returns to Bombshell with Tom directing. I was hoping for an unexpected twist to the obvious predictions about the rest of season two, but no twist is coming based on the way the episode ended and with the previews for next week. I guess I’ll stick it out until the end just to see what happens at the Tony Awards (“will it be perfect newcomer Karen or experienced, troubled Ivy taking home the Tony for best actress???”). By the way, could Kat McPhee’s acting have been any worse last night? She has a great pop singing voice and she can dance, but acting is definitely not her forte.

  26. Erin says:

    I disagree with all the negativity about Jeremy Jordan’s character. The point of him is to be a counterpoint to Karen’s happy-go-lucky, sweet small town girl. Yes, the director has overdone it quite a bit, but I’m interested to see where Jimmy’s character goes. I think Hit List is the most interesting part of this show, and I look forward to seeing it develop. Jeremy Jordan has an amazing voice, and when he and Karen sing together, the show is at its best. Hopefully the next few shows will give a little more complexity to Jimmy’s character and allow its hypercritical audience to develop an ounce of sympathy for him, which seems like it was the show’s intent (even if they haven’t quite succeeded).

    • marta says:


    • Jordan says:

      Hypercritical is the perfect word to describe the audience. While I understand irritations with Jimmy, I feel their frustrations are just being exaggerated by the sheer numbers. And I highly doubt that many people would think that about him if it wasn’t the only thing they could find when reading about the show. I personally loved last night’s episode. It felt back to the way things were when I loved the show the most, and I’m excited to tune in again next week. Let’s hope some odd miracle happens and we get a 3rd season where they make more changes that hopefully will finally please this always unhappy fan base. Although to do that every character would have to be without a single flaw.

  27. Tina says:

    Karen was strong and feisty in season one but new showrunner is intent on destroying her character. Jimmy is a nightmare and that whole relationship doesn’t work! SMASH needs to listen to the viewers! They want to see Karen with Derek and they want to see Karen succeed! Josh Safron, the new showrunner is HORRIBLE! Steven Spielburg made a HUGE mistake (possibly the biggest in his career) by hiring him! They need to fire Safron (or if he had one shred of integrity he would quit) and get the show back to it’s roots! It has an audience! It doesn’t have high ratings on Nielson but most professionals (and that is SMASH’s audience) don’t watch live TV. In fact, I would like to know – how many of you watch live and what field of work do you do?

  28. Tina says:

    Heart Shaped Wreckage was amazing!

  29. Tina B. says:

    Josh, if you are just going to insult people on here for our opinions, perhaps you can’t handle having a civilized conversation. Judging that Kristina and I would swoon over physical abuse is disgusting. For your information, not that it is ANY of your business but I have been volunteering in a domestic violence agency for over a decade. I have heard stories that would turn your stomach and keep you awake at night! So don’t you DARE judge me or presume to know me from one opinion I had. If you don’t like what I have to say, don’t read, if you don’t like the show, don’t watch. As far as YOUR “inner feminist”? I am a woman, you are not. I do share some values of feminism and equality but I am not OTT feminist like some others and I don’t deserve to be attacked by you or have you question my feminism either. Women want equality, we are strong, we have the right to make our own decisions, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t ever take a “man’s” opinion. If you are looking for me to say women rule and men are scum, go find an OTT feminist discussion because everyone posts here to have fun and share opinions with each other. I definitely don’t post here and expect to be abused by someone like you!

    • RUCookie says:

      You are warping your ideas of feminism. This political/social movement has been hacked and your have lost sight of what it actually mean… Feminism is simply the idea of advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men. There is NOTHING to be ashamed of in calling yourself or anyone else a feminist. As for your views on the Jimmy/Karen relationship, it is fine that you like it. But as someone that works with conflict too, there are warning signs all over the place there that many people see. He is selfish, short sighted, quick tempered, an addict, and shows signs of rage. Your choice… but I see bad news.

    • Josh says:

      You do really there is sch a thing as emotionally abusive relationships? Like when a guy treats a girl like crap, degrades her, tries to control her, puts his needs before hers, yells at her for choosing her career over his, pushes her(he’s done that), and all around treats her like she’s dirt. You can make excuses for Jimmy’s behavior, that he’s crying out for help, but that doesn’t change the color of their relationship. If you do work with domestic violence, you should know that.

      And whenever is a guy is referred to as Hulk and a girl is warned “Don’t awake the Hulk”, that’s not a good sign in any relationship. Think, if someone came to you and told you about this relationship in real life, would you support it or would you call it dangerously unhealthy and risky? As someone who says she works with domestic violence, aren’t those the warning signs? Or are you supposed to be okay with them because it’s a front(you assume, it’s a front at least).

      And feminism has nothing to do with being male or female. Ask Joss Whedon. It’s about having a woman be seen as an equal, which Jimmy does not. He seems Karen in the way he needs her, which you even say. That he’s angry because Karen is his muse and he needs her to make his music, because she inspires him. What about what Karen wants or needs? What about her career or her happiness? You can’t blame Kyle for why they aren’t together, when he brought a girl over knowing she’d be there. Karen isn’t a person to him, just an object to use the way he sees fit, and if the object becomes a person and tries to do her own thing, he gets angry, degrades her, says things like “get out of my way” in a near threatening tone. He takes drugs…Would you suggest to anyone you work with “Yeah go for that beefcake!”

      Every single line of your posts reads “excuses”, you are making excuses for his emotionally abusive relationship and emotionally abusive relationship can be just as bad as physically abusive one.

      And that anyone would want Karen to throw away her dreams, her goals for this jerk is upsetting. Last year was all about how much Karen wanted this part, how it was her part, how she connected with the role and now we have her basically throwing that away because of Jimmy. Sure Hit List has had good music, but where is any of the emotional connection to it? It’s basically an episode of Glee and the whole plot is sexist(an evil woman steals a man’s songs and he lets her because he’s enamored by her beauty…which funny enough is sort of like Karen and Jimmy’s relationship, except she lets him abuse her)

      And I never said I don’t like the watch. I don’t like most of this season but I like this show…I love most of the cast(except anyone involved with Hit List..excluding Karen who’s inbetween).

      So yeah, as the poster below you stated, you have some pretty warped ideas of feminism. What is feminism too and why do you need to separate it into categories?

      • Tina B. says:

        I have read everything you have posted, and this last post of yours is a little more acceptable. I just don’t like ott feminists, male, female whatever attacking me for sympathizing with men. I was hurt and personally disgusted when all Kristina and I were doing was commenting ON THE SHOW and you personally attacked us both by making a snap disgusting judgement that we would “swoon if Jimmy got all hulk like and punched Karen in the face” Would you like it if someone said that about you? I do work with domestic violence, it is not just something I say, it is something I live. I don’t mean to come off rude but I don’t know what you think you know about domestic violence. What is your experience? From the way you are “talking” it sounds like either you or someone around you, maybe close to you has been in a domestic violence situation.

        I can’t explain all about domestic violence cause I don’t know everything, no one does. It is true that there are more types of abuse than physical, most common to happen first are psychological (making someone feel crazy and degrading them so they feel like nothing) and verbal (swearing at them, calling names over and over again until you mentally beat them down to be made to feel like nothing. I get that like RU Cookie pointed out that Jimmy is showing signs of possibly being abusive but here is the difference between Jimmy and the abuser. An abuser is almost always in a position of power and control over the victim. Jimmy is not, Karen is. Karen is a big time actress in a big time show that has a lot of buzz, tony winning director, the best of everything including producers. She can leave Jimmy anytime she wants to but she might sense something in him and want to help him and that’s ok because here is the thing. Abuse is about a cycle of violence and to stop abuse, you have to find a way to stop the cycle. I have noticed that Jimmy and Kyle come from an abusive background, they are scared of someone, and a life they lived before that they don’t want to go back to. Karen came in and gave them hope and told them she can help them achieve their dreams, now even though we (the audience) understand that Karen is contractually obligated, Jimmy doesn’t seem to be all that sophisticated or intelligent, doesn’t seem like anyone cared enough about him to educate him. Yes he has pushed her, and yes he has yelled at her, and said mean things but so has a woman to a man. I have, other people I know have. It is okay for people who are friends or maybe more to fight, even if it is one sided, Karen feels guilty and maybe she should, they were without hope working in a no nothing job and singing to themselves and not sharing anything with anybody else, they weren’t pursuing their dreams until Karen walked into the bar and overheard them and told them she could help them with her, Derek and other connections.

        So Karen is in a position of power here and Jimmy knows it, and it’s uncomfortable and he hates it. Just to be clear if they are headed to Jimmy is abusive and he punches her I will hate it NOT SWOON. I will keep watching to see if Jimmy can overcome the cycle of violence and stop himself. Abusers are not always write offs, they can get counseling and go to jail, pay for their mistakes and become different people. I have seen it happen. I used to think abusers should be put in jail and throw away the key but I have learned they are people too, and once were decent people, but something happened, no one cared about them or they did something to them and this is how the abuser learns to behave with others. If you show them a different way and make them aware of what causes the abuse, it could help.

        I know you say strong words and hate Jimmy right now, and you have every right to, it is just a fake show that isn’t real after all, but maybe stick around a bit and see where they take this character. I didn’t enjoy watching Ivy bully Karen last season and everyone team up on Karen last season but I did respect Ivy for her talent and thought it was sad she was so insecure. Thanks for this conversation either way.

  30. Brandy says:

    I dont like Jimmy,dont care about Liasions & only am soso on Hit List.I think having three musicals in one show is too much.I like Kyle ok and Anas ok I guess im not sure.I dont like Julia and the guy completley rewritting Bombshell, I liked it the way it was in season one.Im glad Elileen knows about Gerry and Ellis and cant wait to see her take them down and take Bombshell back.

  31. Smash comment boards are the funniest thing I’ve seen since Twilight comment boards. Everyone’s so invested whether they enjoy the characters or not. I still have hope that the show explains Jimmy’s back story. Not to say his behavior will then suddenly be excusable, but it would be nice to know why he’s such a douche. I don’t even really have a problem with the way his character his written. I have a problem with the way Karen reacts. Actors will always find some sort of bi-polar, super dramatic asshat in the entertainment business, but that doesn’t mean she has to lie down and take it. I’m hoping Karen snaps back in a forthcoming episode (sooner rather than later) and tells both Jimmy and Kyle that it’d be good of them to remember that she’s the only reason their show is being seen by theatre professionals. Also, I saw someone write something about Julia always being on the edge of a nervous breakdown. In last night’s episode, I think she was actually quite strong and determined. She didn’t back down from preferring the new script, and she wouldn’t let go of her song. I like her like that. Apart from character flaws, I can’t even begin to express how happy I am that the show re-tooled the way songs were introduced. Instead of putting on full-on fantasy/dream sequences while people are walking down the street, they incorporated each song into a musical they were performing and I love love LOVE that. Stick with that please.

  32. TT says:

    And now for two points which may sound like nitpickng but typify this sbow’s sloppy disregard for accuracy and logic. 1) OK, so The Hit List is in the Winter Fringe Festival. Why does it look like early October in all the exterior scenes, then? And 2) Liaisons did its press day using full costumes, make-up and wigs. This is never done. Ever. The writers obviously never watch NY1 Onstage which has press day clips on it on a regular basis.

  33. Ellis Finn says:

    There’s nothing wrong with this show that Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff couldn’t fix.

  34. Tina B. says:

    RU cookie, I don’t need you to give me a lesson in feminism. You can butt out, this is about Josh making a disgusting judgement about me and Kristina, it’s not about you. Everyone has a right to his/her own opinion, personal feelings shouldn’t be involved cause no one knows anybody on here. I don’t appreciate being bullied.

    • Josh says:

      First, learn how to reply and second you aren’t being bullied. I’m just stating my opinion of you :). It’s very low.

      And you telling someone to “butt out” isn’t exactly allowing people to have their opinions and it sorts of being a bully.

  35. coral05 says:

    The writers have totally disempowered every female character. I am very sorry, because I loved the show, still love the actors, and had very high hopes. I will keep watching til the bitter end because of the actors playing Ivy, Tom (who is brilliant), Derek, and Eileen. I initially liked Debra Messing, but her character has been so badly trashed by the writers this season that I just feel pity and empathy for her. This season I’ve actually begun to root for Kat McPhee because of the way the writing has subjected her to the potential abuse by Jimmy. She’s not a terrific actress, but nobody deserves to be treated this way.

    I prefer the weirdness of Season 1, with all its disarray, to the horrible sexism and predictability of Season 2. Will never watch another show run by Josh Safran.

  36. Dahlenk says:

    Ok, everyone just chill. Remember it’s just a tv show! Obviously there is something in the show that’s keeps you watching, or reading recaps, and leaving comments. I frankly enjoy the show, faults and all. The singing is great so are the original songs. I enjoy all three of the shows. I think Kat Mcfee does a reasonable job as an naive just learning the ropes, and it is interesting to see the comparison of Karen vs. Ivy and the experienced broadway choirs
    girl with a lead in Liaisons (which the actions of a bi-polar off his meds was quiet funny).
    Hopefully, all the shows will come together and be a “Smash”, and be renewed!.

  37. Ana says:

    Ok, so I’m not the only one that thinks that Jimmy is one of the most unlikeable, petulant and self-centered characters, ever! He has made me dislike Karen. I want to fast forward him every time I see him on screen. What an ingrate! I don’t know.what happened to this show. The women have become weak, insecure and utterly unappealing. I very much doubt that there will be a season 3. Honestly, I will only miss Ivy who is the only character that has remained honest.

  38. Tim says:

    This show’s fans have always treated it as a reality show competition between Katherine McPhee and Megan Hilty, rather than enjoying it as a drama. It looks to me like the writers are yielding to this reality by creating a plot-line where Karen gets the lead in an upstart musical, while Ivy gets the lead in Smash. Derek going over to “Hit List” and fighting for Karen makes this a little more plausible. (I have no spoilers, just projecting from the coming attractions.)

  39. LauraLee says:

    Katharine Mcphee and Jack Davenport are fabulous and Hit List shows promise but they need to get Karen and Derek together soon.

  40. Kate'shomesick says:

    I think Jimmy could only be redeemed if they gave him a REALLY, really good backstory…why he’s a drug addict, why he is so lonely and so on… if there’s a big trauma behind it and he is willing to change that might be actually a nice character developement

  41. Joanna says:

    I thought Ivy would replace Karen in “The Hit List” since she was so unhappy with her own production.

  42. fantod says:

    Season 1 Karen, though a relative newcomer to New York and to performing, had a strong sense of self-worth. She turned down Derek because she didn’t want to get the role of Marilyn that way. She dumped Dev for his indiscretions. She hectored members of the ensemble into helping her succeed (clothes shopping, advice) and shifting their loyalty from Ivy to her. While Karen was still in the ensemble, she got in Ivy’s face during rehearsals to make sure Derek would notice her. In short, she could take care of herself and did — but now we’re supposed to expect that the same person would even look at an underemployed substance abuser who’s rude to her and throws temper tantrums, let alone fall in love with him? Someone who writes this show is trying to appeal to a very odd group of female viewers, who would identify with that. Are they trying to go downmarket, with the assumption being that the original “Smash” viewer came from a small, more sophisticated group who know better than to relate to this unhealthy dynamic? Yes, it’s just a TV show, but this is a creepy example to set for young female viewers — raging addicts are desirable by beautiful, successful, together women. To make this right, they’d have to send Jimmy to rehab, and Karen would have to stay just friends with him until he’s well into recovery.

  43. Pamela Dengate says:

    People are watching and complaining I have rarely seen this many comments following a review – we really want to love SMASH. NBC wake up and smell the coffee and get an adult writer and stop trying to be Glee!

  44. Jean says:

    I just don’t get the Jimmy angle at all. So we ended the first season with Derek clearly obsessed with Karen, seeing this thing in her that no one else really saw, which allowed her to pull off a great performance and surprise everyone. They had this really hot chemistry, and there was a really interesting quality to their relationship.

    At the beginning of this season, it looked like they might explore that. Then all of a sudden, that’s all over, Derek just treats Karen like a buddy, and Karen falls for this total douchebag?

    I thought it would be great if they dropped the bad parts of last season, like annoying Ellis, and the weird son, and focused on the good parts, like the Derek/Karen angle, and Ivy’s struggles.

    Instead, they ditched the interesting stuff, and just replaced the bad stuff with different bad stuff. Out with Ellis, in with Jimmy. I actually think I’d take Ellis over Jimmy.

  45. Lana Carey says:

    Well I really like this program and I am willing to take all the ups and downs because I think real life is that way. You have all of this raw talent that wants to be seen and heard. I like all the players the good ones and the bad ones. I realize it is trying to find solid ground and with all the remarks on this column alone,I am sure the producers are thinking of how to spin this show. I hope it continues because I enjoy all of the skits and of course the music. Cheap way to get a little Broadway in my life.

  46. Dave Strong says:

    What is there to like about anyone who does drugs? If I knew someone who worked for me got high I’d show him the door and tell him to try doing it on unemployment.

  47. As says:

    Is Megan Hilty pregnant? Why is there a coat or bag blocking her view in every scene?