Smash Recap: A Defense of Marilyn Act

smash season 2 megan hilty christian borleThe question posed in the series premiere of Smash — who will play the role of Marilyn Monroe in the fictional Broadway musical Bombshell? — was finally and definitively answered tonight in Episode 7 of Season 2, the aptly named “Musical Chairs.”

If the title wasn’t already a dead giveaway, Smash has been telegraphing changes to its troika of central musicals — Bombshell, The Hit List and Liaisons — for several weeks now, so it’s not as though anything felt particularly explosive. But along the way there were some laughs (intentional and otherwise), some drama, some suspension of disbelief and a couple of really stilted line readings.

Let’s go ahead and check in with the week’s central shenanigans.

LIAISONS GETS DANGEROUS | Sean Hayes’ Terry realized that Ivy Lynn’s harsh guns of truth from last week were fired a little too late to save the show — and propel him to a triumphant comeback — especially when the dreary first preview of Liaisons was met with blank stares, fidgeting and lipstick reapplications. Instead of reaching for the Klonopin, however, the show’s two stars decided they might as well party while the ship went down, with Terry hopefully suggesting, “the mirrors and the sheep and the full-frontal nudity.” (Two out of three ain’t bad.) All we got to see was an unhinged and occasionally unsettling solo of Terry’s — anyone else feel cringe when he repeatedly slapped his costar’s breasts? — which ended with him falling painfully off a swing, then having to resign from a show that would close down at the end of the week anyhow. Ivy Lynn, who’s coveted a breakout Broadway role for years, didn’t seem too upset by the turn of events, but maybe deep down she had a premonition of what was to come? Otherwise, you’d think the working actress in her would’ve wanted Liaisons to continue bringing in the paychecks — regardless of how abysmal the work was, no? (It’s not as if she wasn’t garnering great reviews!)

EAST VILLAGE BASEMENT TRUMPS BROADWAY | Karen, meanwhile, struggled to adjust to Tom taking over from Derek as director of Bombshell (and seemed surprisingly surly/unenthusiastic in the process). “[Derek is] petty and sadistic…ooh, maybe that’s how I should connect with Karen,” Tom naughtily said to Julia. “Or speak with a British accent.” Derek, meanwhile, teased Karen that “Gwen Verdon would’ve bailed if Fosse quit,” prompting one of the few saucy retorts that Ms. Cartwright has uttered all season: “Ohhh, so now you’re Fosse, huh?” The idea stuck in Karen’s head though, along with the insane idea that she’d somehow wronged arrogant Jimmy by not being able to continue with The Hit List (which would probably be stuck in a basement in Greenpoint, Brooklyn if it weren’t for her involvement). “There was nothing to let [Jimmy] down over. You have a job!” cried Karen’s astute (and soon-to-be screwed-over) roomie Ana. “You were never gonna leave Broadway for some East Village basement.” And yet, after attending Liaisons with Tom — and watching Ivy Lynn grasp all of his shorthand (i.e. “you were very Irene Dunne in The Awful Truth“) during their post-show chat, “Iowa” had an epiphany: “I’m not your Marilyn; she is.” Okay, okay…there’s not a wannabe actress alive who’d turn down a lead role in a buzzy, multimillion-dollar musical for a chance to workshop a musical by two untested dudes (one a flighty drug addict, the other with marginal talent at best), but I’m not gonna complain. Ivy Lynn IS Marilyn, dammit. Karen BELONGS in The Hit List. And now they’re paired with the exact right directors and producers. Can we get these productions to the stage already?

THE HIT LIST STEPS OUT OF THE FRINGE | Jesse L. Martin’s sexy producer dude (who apparently has some past experiences with Julia) decided The Hit List might be a better fit for his public theater’s underground space. “I might’ve left Broadway, but I did not do it for 80 seats,” huffed Derek (Evangelista), as Scott pointed out that The Hit List‘s themes needed to be more clearly articulated if it was going to play to a larger/older audience. Jimmy, naturally, pitched a fit, sticking his thumb in his mouth and screaming “You’re not the boss of me!” (Because in the real world, total neophytes with horrendous attitudes are perpetually rewarded and indulged by experienced professionals.) Sensing Derek’s exasperation, Karen dropped in on her playwright pals only to get brushed off by Jimmy. “I just wanna help,” she implored in a voice so void of emotion I wondered if Katharine McPhee was mentally compiling her grocery list as the scene was being shot. “It’s been really intense at Bombshell with Derek gone,” she added, with not a hint of intensity. (Honestly, if McPhee and Jeremy Jordan exhibited any less chemisty in that scene, I think the universe might have created a spontaneous tornado to lift Jack Davenport into the sky, drop him into the middle of the set, and flash a little of that natural Derek-Karen heat that I didn’t even realize I’d been missing. It’s weird because I used to prefer Ivy-Derek, but I’m digging them as friends now. But I digress…)

Karen made a really good point to Jimmy as she exited: “Did you really think you wouldn’t have to rewrite anything, bitch?” Okay, she didn’t use the b-word, but she totally should’ve. Plus, she gave him the theme his cowriter Kyle really should’ve come up with: Reinvention! After her Bombshell exit, Karen was able to team up with Jimmy to present Scott and his creative team with a new number, “Rewrite This Story,” that’s probably among the best two or three ditties we’ve heard in Season 2. And just like that, it looks like The Hit List is moving out of the basement and into the mainstream. Except, oh, Derek essentially threatened Jimmy that he’d better stop trying to romance Karen, because as a director Derek is the one who needs to obsessively focus on the leading lady while the play is rehearsing and he doesn’t need any stinking distractions. (Whoa!) Also, poor Ana has gotten displaced by her roomie — “you just go back to being the sister” — and is probably planning to put peanuts/arsenic in Karen’s smoothie, or some such retalliation. And could Kyle be any more self-loathing? “I will gladly get you coffee any time!” he yipped to a lighting designer who gave him just a smidge of lingering eye contact. Come on, Kyle! You’re a cute kid with nice hair and a promising career. Time to sack up and get some self-respect (or find a good therapist)!

A RAPSCALLION GETS HIS COMEUPPANCE | In the week’s most convoluted (yet satisfying) turn of events, Eileen wrestled back control of Bombshell from ex-hubby Jerry — on account of some old contract Eileen had made with the Marilyn Monroe estate and which Julia had used for 20 percent of the show’s lyrics. Did I buy the fact that the ladies had forgotten said contract even existed? Not for a second! (Eileen is way too sharp for such foolery, even after three martinis!) But Marilyn the Musical has been saved from the show’s Big Bad, and that makes me happy. Oh, well, the contract wasn’t quite enough to send the cad packing — did anyone notice how Eileen’s hand went to the stem of her martini glass as things got heated between ‘em? — but when daughter Katie threatened to cut him off if he didn’t do right by her mother, Jerry relented. Eileen is back in control! And Derek has signed over the rights to his choreography so “National Pasttime” can go back to being crazy sexy cool rather than absurdly manic. Oh and now Bombshell will include sections of the book that Julia wrote about Marilyn’s mother and was really sad about losing from the show. “If you can’t live without it,” said Director Tom, “neither can I. End of conversation.” I love when those two get along, don’t you? Team Tom & Julia!

Anyhow, over to you! What did you think of this week’s Smash? Are you happy that Ivy Lynn and Karen have landed new and different roles? Are you happy Liaisons is dead? 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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115 Comments
  1. Katie says:

    Can Derek and Karen please get together already ? Am I the only one who ships those two?!

    • Rachel says:

      no Ive been dying for them to get together, loved them even since last season. Im praying with everything that the writers put them together at the end and not a Jimmy Karen ship considering this may be the last season with the way the network is handling the show,

      • Anissa says:

        My guess is that Karen will “pick” Jimmy when she learns what Derek told him about her, and then Jimmy will see Karen in a moment w/ Derek and sleep with Ana (because you know she’ll want to hurt Karen for taking the role back). When Karen learns of this betrayal she’ll realize it’s always been Derek and she”ll do the Marilyn scene from the pilot at his place only this time it will end with her staying…and scene ;)

    • the girl says:

      I most certainly prefer Karen/Derek over Karen/Jimmy. That ridiculosity cannot happen.

    • josiej says:

      So many Karen/Derek shippers, ha! I like them together too! I hope they don’t go back to the Derek/Ivy relationship either. It was so unhealthy, plus I like them better as friends.

      • Jo March says:

        Any relationship between Derek and ANYONE would be unhealthy because he is a self-centered jerk. You would really wish him on Karen. I don’t like Karen much (can you say ” smarymy door mat”) but even I wouldn’t wish Derek on her. And Jimmy’s cut from the same cloth as Derek.

    • Gillian says:

      That’s one of the major problems with this season for me. Last year’s finale proved that Derek and Karen have smoking chemistry and they have totally ignored it this season focusing Karen’s attention on a whiny addict with an anger management issue that Karen has zero chemistry with. Makes no sense!

    • Haie says:

      There’s a lot of people rooting for them.
      They’re the largest couple-fandom in Smash, actually. (Cartwills is the pairing name)

      you’re welcome.

    • Joe Ashead says:

      You want to know what is crazy? I have been worried for ,the longest time that Karen and Derick are going to wind up in bed. I know that Derick is going to hurt Karen and she has already been hurt enough. Also Jimmy is going to hurt Karen and all this makes me angry. I guess I’m jealous. And that is crazy, It’s just a TV show. The writers need to give Karen some happiness. Get back to the original them. The story about two actresses trying to go to Broadway. I thin it’s the currant story line that has lowered the ratings.

  2. Maggie says:

    Eileen had a martini in front of her the whole time!!! Why didn’t she throw it?!! And as much as I LOVE Jeremy Jordan, please tell me I’m not the only person who thought he looked like he was going to fall asleep while he was singing tonight? What’s up with that?

  3. Jenny says:

    So Karen is never going to be able to do a show unless Derek is the director? She seems like she is very “my way or the highway”. I feel like this episode didn’t paint her in a very good light. Whatever, I’m SO glad Ivy is back as Marilyn. Megan Hilty is a genius!

    • Ann says:

      I agree. Karen is already acting like a diva and she hasn’t even made an appearance on Broadway yet! If I were director and she had talked back to me during rehearsals like she did to Tom at the beginning of the show, I would have fired her on the spot! I don’t like her diva attitude this season. She needs to humble herself because, apparently, the only person who thinks she is a star is Derek…but the only reason he thinks that is because he wants to sleep with her.

      • smashing says:

        How has Karen been a diva at all this season?! Making some comments to Tom hardly makes her a one. She’s allowed an opinion and was clearly just reacting to the change of style between Tom and Derek. Geez, its ridic how some ivy fans try and make out Karen to be this biatch or something when clearly she isn’t. I guess people always see what they want to see!

    • Jenna Bora says:

      I am over the moon excited that Ivy is now Marilyn!! She absolutely deserves it cause, as you said, Megan Hilty is a GENIUS and I love her so much!!!!

  4. KC says:

    I didn’t see it last year, but this season really has me wanting Karen and Derek together. Which is why it’s a shame that they’re pushing so hard for a Karen/Jimmy hookup (which seems inevitable). Jimmy’s still the worst by the way. Like, did they really think we’d be rooting for this character who does nothing but brood and whine all the time.

  5. kd says:

    Agree that Karen and Derek would be a great couple. I think Jimmy needs to grow up before he can “earn” a woman like Karen. Darek seems to know that Karen is a better person and appreciates how she inspires him to be the man he wants to – and can – be. Especially since there is a sad rumor the show may be canceled, I would prefer “ending” with the thought that Karen and Derek will continue to conquer Broadway together.

    • Rachel says:

      yes please. This tenfold.

    • Chris says:

      Did you not hear Derek say he needs to “focus” on his leading lady in everything he directs? And by focus he meant sleep with. If you like Karen at all, you don’t want her to be another of Derek’s conquests.

      • ace says:

        I actually feel like Karen and Derek will end up together by the end of the season. I’m not sure Karen and Jimmy will be a healthy relationship, and Derek’s going to be there to pick up the pieces. Davenport said himself that Derek acts differently with Karen than he does with Ivy, and tho Karen may be besotted with Jimmy now, I think that will change. And come on, safran loves his love triangles lol

  6. dan says:

    Jimmy is the worst. The best part of the show was when Derek smacked him down at the end and pulled Karen away. I don’t at all want to see Ellis 2 get together with Karen.

    It annoys me that Ivy is suddenly redeemed after her horrible behavior, but it will be fun to finally see her as Marilyn and not having to connive to keep the part, unless they give her an understudy to fight with.

  7. Smashy says:

    Okay, I’m now fully back on board with Cartwills! <3

    Loved the new Hit List number, and really enjoyed this episode, and it did its job of getting us to the conclusion we all knew was coming, with Karen going to hit list and ivy back with bombshell. I'm totally on board with that – I think both actresses really suit the musicals they're now in.

  8. JC says:

    I think Karen and Jimmy have decent chemistry, and I’d be okay with them as a couple if jimmy wasn’t such a jerk. And his attitude doesn’t seem to be improving, aargh!! However, I really do think Karen and Derek’s chemistry is great, and tonight’s ep is the first time it was so obvious to me. I doubt it’s going to happen, but I’m now rooting for Karen & Derek. PLEASE BE ENDGAME SAFRAN! Loved when Karen teased Derek about Fosse!

    • the girl says:

      Attitude NOT improving. Karen was all “I quit a Broadway show” and he’s like “proved me wrong” which was obvious and didn’t need to be said. What DID need to be said was “sorry I was a total tool and didn’t trust you, oh yeah we’re using your idea for the show’s theme, hope you don’t mind not getting credit for it” Jimmy didn’t apologize once for any of his bull. I am super tired of him as a character. I think they are trying to make him seem like Young Derek (and maybe Kyle is Young Tom? remember the two of them used to work together before some falling out…) but Derek has never seemed as reprehensible as Jimmy.

  9. Pam says:

    Last year, Karen, with her kindness and talent, made this a smart and uplifting show. I think that Ivy is amazingly talented, but she did not impress in the workshop. She did sleep with Karen’s boyfriend, and scheme with Ellis. I love this show, always have, and hope it continues. It seems like the show is scripted out, as it was predicted, last week, by a critic, so I hope that the talent continues to be showcased, and it doesn’t spin out of control, and fade away.

    • Ann says:

      It’s weird. Even though Ivy has done those terrible things…an overwhelming majority of people who post on these forums favor her over Karen. It shows you the talen that Megan Hilty has over the terrible acting of Katherina McPhee. This reviewer got it right. She delivers her line devoid of life and emotion….I feel like she’s just reading the script. Can someone give McPhee acting lessons. If not, never put her back on scripted shows….keep her to the reality show realm or just singing pop songs.

      • marta says:

        no, it’s the same 10 people post these same hate comments about Katharine! You know it & McPhee fans know it– get over it–McPhee is the star!

      • ace says:

        Ummm disagree. Of course you’d say that as an ivy fan, but Karen has more support from what I’ve read, if we’re gonna start comparing. Just need to check out smash’s facebook page to see that. I hate this apparent need by ivy/Megan stans to always try and put Karen/kat down, when they’re both super talented. This constant competition aspect is so draining, and just bitchy.

      • Fran says:

        Sorry, Megan Hilty fan. Katharine McPhee is the star of Smash. Katharine has it all – talent, beauty, versatility. She has a voice to soothe the soul and a face that is just so beautiful and luminous.

      • Although you’ll never get most of them to admit it Katherine McPhee fans are mostly carry over from American Idol. They are quite a lot of them and they are rabid and occasionally totally irrational in her defense. I hate American Idol and I had no clue who Katherine was before about episode 3 of SMASH. I went hunting for information because I couldn’t understand why the show was writing the girl with the thinner voice and smaller expressions as the lead in a Broadway show. Not that she is bad, she just isn’t Broadway. After I realized that she was an American Idol girl it made more sense. They figured the girl who had been on a hit TV show would be better as the main character and then cast a Broadway powerhouse opposite her. Hence the split in the fandom. Ivy’s character was never supposed to be real competition for Karen. It’s only Hilty’s amazing talent that made them change directions this season. I think Hit List is much better suited to Kat than Bombshell, even though I want to punch Jimmy in the face in every scene he is in.

      • Sebastian says:

        Ann,
        Dont let these American Idol junkies fool you. You are so correct. Ivy has had more support—even the critics rooted for an Ivy comeback. The Katherine McPhee fans are all about fighting over who is the star. They dont get it. Broadway is the star. Always was, always will be.
        If you prefer Katherine McPhee, go buy an album. But leave the show to its true calling, which is BROADWAY.

        • Lekan says:

          Waa waa waa. No one likes Ivy apart from a bunch of losers on the internet who think claiming to be “theatre geeks” is cool and they can say what is “realistic” for Broadway or not when they’ve never actually been inside a theatre. Megan Hilty is a terrible actress. One of the worst to ever appear on network television. Get over it.

          • You don’t have to be so incredibly rude and dismissive. Yes, Katherine McPhee is more popular with mainstream people but that doesn’t mean that those of us who go to Broadway shows (for the record I have since I was a child) have invalid opinions. I understand it’s TV but when you’re making a show about track runners if one person has obviously better running form then they should be the winner in the show if you want people to buy into your story. SMASH cast itself a problem because the obviously more Broadway actor was cast as the loser in the battle for a Broadway part. It’s also obvious that you have no idea what the difference is between Broadway acting and TV acting. They are two entirley different beasts. When Megan is performing a stage piece she does it like a Broadway actor, when Katherine McPhee stages a number she does it in TV style. That is going to irritate the crap out of anyone who loves Broadway. Broadway requires huge presence, projection that can hit the rafters and the ability to translate a character all the way to the back row. If Karen were in a real theater she’d be lucky if people in the orchestra seating would be able to read her performance. That is why Broadway fans are incensed by Karen winning and people who don’t go to live performance think that Karen’s performance is so much better because it’s “subtle”. Subtle doesn’t read 100 rows back. There isn’t a camera to zoom in and get the minute facial adjustments that is Karen’s acting. Megan Hilty is an incredible live performer and saying that she can’t act makes you look totally ignorant.

          • Patrick says:

            I have seen tree stumps with more emotion than Ms. McPhee so you had best step back. Thank you.

  10. mdtindc says:

    I cannot in any way shape or form stand Jimmy. The writers have not given me anything to like about him. I want this show to do well and stick around so badly, but I just can’t stand to watch Karen and Jimmy. Also… Karen has become so incredibly annoying this season too. I find that I just fast forward or channel surf whenever they are on screen together. Last season I was totally team Karen but this season I want her and Jimmy to crash and burn soooooo bad. Why have the writers done this to me?

    • Thereasonsy says:

      Because they are treating it like Gossip Girl.

    • Whatever says:

      Jimmy is worse than Ellis !
      I am so tired of his childish temper tantrums.

    • If only they gave him a redeeming virtue. Kindness to children, perhaps volunteering in an underfunded inner city school. Saving kitties and puppies from the streets or playing music for little old people to dance to… etc. ANYTHING to not make me violently hate his arrogant smug face while he sneers at opportunities that most song writers would crawl over glass, fire and razors to get.

  11. quang says:

    It’s amazing how you girls can be so invested in a TV relationship that usually only takes up one minute of screen-time. Who cares about the real strengths and faults of this failing show when we can just settle for moar Cartwills!

  12. APB says:

    First things first: THIS SHOW HAS GOT TO GET A NEW SET OF WRITERS IF IT HAS ANY HOPES OF HAVING A PROSPEROUS THIRD SEASON. I mean, my God! There are still dialogue lulls that need to be omitted in the scenes, characters whose exits need addressing and follow up (if not just for closure purposes), and lines that need to sound more believeable and realistic – PERIOD. The element of drama and surprise is lacking. Where are the affairs (paging Peter for Julia please!), the backstabbing, the lying, the hussling, the compulsion to root for the underdog? WHERE? It seems like all the heat was wasted in Season One and Season Two has snuffed out. But I digress. This episode was alright. Jimmy is a whiny little bitch. And GAY. Come on – we all know that’s the REAL reason why he and Karen have no chemistry. There’s just no sugar coating it. And NO, a working, up and coming actress would NEVER leave a multi-million dollar Broadway workshop for a hole in the wall mash-up musical. However, Ivy is finally getting what is due to her so, I have that to look forward to. I could care less about Karen and Derek or Karen and Jimmy. Katharine McPhee can’t act so no matter who’s she’s with, I doubt the relationship dynamic will be interesting. Plus, Derek would only break her heart. He’s a player. EVEN IF she is his muse. He screwed Ivy over, he’ll do the same to her. It’s only a matter of when. Jack Davenport, Angelica Huston, Megan Hilty and Debra Messing are the actors who make this show. They carry the show. The day this show loses any one of them, is the day it gets cancelled (regardless of ratings).

    • the girl says:

      This show has no hopes of having a third season.

      • Matt says:

        As much as it breaks my heart, the girl is right. Unless we get some unlikely 11th hour reprieve (a la DirectTV – Friday Night Lights), Smash is a goner after it burns off the 17 episodes of this season….

        That being said, I agree with APB to a degree. While the 2nd season started off stronger, there just seems to be a lack of… energy… in the show now. The primary conflicts that drove the first season, flawed as it was at times, have been completely eliminated in favor of:

        – Jerry: Who sneers like a cartoon villain as he tries to win Eileen back by… taking over her musical (oooh, so devious!), but then immediately giving it up when called out on the Ellis connection
        – Jimmy: Who is surly and rude to everyone in his life, yet they all fall over themselves to continue working with him.
        – Terry: The comically misguided “superstar”, who immediately backs down on his outrageous demands when Ivy tells him the show is bad.
        – And now they’re setting up Derek as a comically bad villain, who despite being called out in the first episode of this season for being sexually aggressive with his female leads (and he seemed to get the hint at the time), will now be making everyone miserable for looking at Karen the wrong way.

        It all feels very watered down and makes me long for the days of manipulative Ellis.

    • Lekan says:

      This is like questioning how Hollywood actors can turn down big budget studio projects for smaller films with respected and award winning directors attached to them. Don’t be stupid.

      • Hollywood actors get paid anywhere from 10 to 100 times what most stage actors get paid and Hollywood actors will be the first to tell you that they will take crappy big budget parts to give them enough money to live off of while they do the small indie parts they love. Karen is a total unknown who has no money, no savings, almost no following and a roomate. She isn’t in the career position to turn down a role that would give her the money and exposure she needs to be able to do little projects like Hit List. That is how Derek is doing it. Because he has been making huge money for years he can afford to take a small project. She can’t. It was a stupid plot device. Karen is an idiot to do this. Not that I’m complaining because I think it’s a better part for her and I like Ivy better as Marilyn but it would have been way more realistic to have Tom fire her for her attitude

  13. Jules says:

    Dearest Slezak, I don’t mean to be one of those people, but it’s actually just Hit List, so please stop calling it The Hit List!

  14. Morris says:

    I still don’t buy that Karen would leave Bombshell for Hit List, even if she was struggling to work with Tom. COME ON GIRL!!! Having said that, I’m really glad she did, lol, cos I’m loving the potential of Hit List and I def think it really suits Karen. I liked her as Marilyn, but I love her in this new show. And oooooh at Derek suddenly getting all territorial over her. Is he developing proper feelings for Karen now? I could definitely invest in that, especially if jimmy continues to be a major douche. I’m glad Ivy has gone back to Bombshell now, but I really don’t like what they’ve done with her character this season. Where’s the sparky bitchiness etc, which made everything so interesting. I just feel that now, without conflict, the whole Bombshell going to broadway storyline will be less than compelling. Looks like there’ll be lots of ivy mom drama in upcoming episodes but is anyone really interested in that? Oh and I loved the crazy liaisons song. Sean Hayes was hilarious! Finally, LOVED THAT NEW HIT LIST SONG SO MUCH! The imagined set was great too, and both kat mcphee and Jeremy Jordan sounded awesome on it.

  15. Jody says:

    Cartwills ftw. Great episode. Maybe not enough music but loved the 2 songs they did have. The Hit List song was sooooooo good. What does Kyle do again, seriously? Oh jimmy, I want to like you.

  16. Anna says:

    I just really, really hate Jimmy. Also, I think Derek saying over and over again that Karen is his muse is extremely weird. I don’t even know why I’m still watching the show… probably because of Ivy, Tom and Julia. And Derek, whom I love, when he’s not all creepy-obsessed with Karen. I know Season 1 had issues, but I kinda miss it.

  17. forwarddad says:

    Slezak your disdain for Kat Really clouds your recap.

  18. Phil says:

    Finally an episode that delivers on the promise of how good this show could actually be! For me, the corker would have been to have seen Eileen throw her drink into Jerry’s face at the restaurant. Sadly, this is an episode that should have happened much earlier in the season. Oh well, SMASH you tried – and crashed.

    • dan says:

      Really? I guess opinions will vary, but I found this episode to be dull and boring. I spent more time surfing the internet on my smartphone than paying attention to the show. I fast-forwarded through most of the Liaisons number (even though some parts were humerous I felt myself feelin sorry for Sean Hayes) and I couldn’t wait for the show to end so I ff’d through most of the Hit List song at the end. Speaking of the end, the episode’s ending was completely predictable. I was ticked off that the writers didn’t put Ivy in the scene near the end with Tom, Julia and Eileen. She should’ve walked in as they were toasting and said to Tom “I got your text, what’s up?” and then she could’ve shared in the Bombshell rebirth. Once again the writers shafted Ivy in favor of propping up Karen for the big finale of the show. Ugh…how much more of this “Karen is Awesome and everyone else is just OK” must we take?

      • Lekan says:

        So you expect your opinion on the show to be taken seriously when you yourself say you weren’t paying attention? Please.

  19. AJ says:

    The last few weeks talked about how Eileen couldn’t be the producer for Bombshell becasue of her association with Nick and his criminal activity. I get that the contract she signed with Marilyn’s estate allows her and not Jerry the rights to that material, but how does that allow her to become the producer again? Don’t get me wrong, I am glad she is the producer of Bombshell again, but I wish they would have explained how she was allowed to be.

    • Chris says:

      They did say she was going to talk to an ADA about returning to Bombshell but never said what the outcome was. Basically the show just wants to ignore the criminal nature of Eileen’s actions because they want her to be likable. When Jerry says he wanted Nick out of Eileen’s life because Nick is a criminal, he’s still painted as the bad guy.

  20. Steve Z says:

    No… an up-and-coming Broadway actress would NEVER leave a lead role in a musical; however, an actress with a shred of self-respect and dignity may leave a role when she saw the writing on the wall.

    While we may not buy it, that has always been Karen’s strenght… her “character.” That is why she didn’t sleep with Derek to get the part in Season 1, and why she has left for Hit List this season. It may not have been delivered with much believability by an actress that can count the” House Bunny” as one of her only building blocks, but I blame the writing more.

    • smashing says:

      I found it a little hard to believe Karen would leave Bombshell. I mean you just wouldn’t turn that opportunity down, but then thinking about it, it makes sense. Karen’s never been a desperate actress – she’s too green still for that – and like ivy has a deep connection with bombshell its the same for Karen and hit list. Plus, she knows she’ll be working with derek again, and he’s the one director who so far has ever apparently believed in her absolutely, and she seems to trust him implicitly.

  21. Fan says:

    I was really surprised that the episode skipped what would have been, for me, the “money shot” – Ivy being told she got the Marilyn role. I couldn’t believe they didn’t show that. Ivy’s the emotional center of the show.

    • smashing says:

      That surprised me too. I saw a still of that champagne scene and ivy was there celebrating with tom & co so they must have cut the scene which is weird. All this time showing us how much Marilyn means to Ivy and then they don’t even bother with her reaction.

    • Josh says:

      Good point. Hopefully we’ll see it in the new episode. But this season has skipped a lot of the happy emotion for the over the top drama and Jimmy scenes.

    • Lekan says:

      Er….maybe they didn’t show it because contrary to your silly assertion that “Ivy is the emotional centre of the show,” Ivy actually doesn’t matter that much?

  22. smashing says:

    I’m loving how s2 of Smash is coming together, although I’m not sure it needed 7 eps to get to this point. Excited to see more Hit List especially now that Derek’s on board, and add me to the list of people who want Karen & Derek to get it on. I like their relationship and chemistry – maybe I only noticed it more tonight when I found myself as usual getting annoyed with jimmy when he’s rude to Karen and she takes it. There was a lot of great humor in the ep as well. The Sean Hayes number was pretty darn fun, as was the horrible choreography Tom did for National Pasttime. I’ve never been a big Ivy fan, and actually preferred her last season when at least she was fun bitchy, but I am glad she got back Marilyn and Karen’s now in Hit List. Good fit for both. Eileen’s also growing on me this season. I kind of love her don’t give an eff attitude and her ‘oh dear’ reaction when tom was doing the bend and snap to Karen was priceless!! The new Hit List song was also great with the staging and for the first time I felt I was watching 2 characters when Karen and Jimmy were singing, rather than just jimmy and Karen singing the hit list songs, lol. Kyle’s cute, but at this point, why is he even still there?! He adds nothing to hit list. I’m guessing they’ll explore this further as s2 goes along. Excited!

  23. Chris says:

    Did anyone else know that Derek was Bombshell’s choreographer? I mean shouldn’t a choreographer like–know how to dance? When has Derek ever demonstrated an actual dance routine? Also why is Tom not a good director? First Julia isn’t a good writer and now Tom’s credentials are questioned. It’s as if Bombshell is being used as a way to comment on season one of Smash. It seems very mean spirited to me. For all its faults, season one was good enough for me to look forward to another season, something season 2 is failing at. Personally, I think they could improve the show by letting Ivy sing in every episode as well as Karen.

    • Josh says:

      Basically..Safran things he’s the shows savior, when honestly he was it’s executioner. Sure the last one was horrible too but he didn’t save a dying show, he smothered it with a pillow.

      • Lekan says:

        Thinks*
        You might wanna learn how to spell before taking shots at people more talented and successful than your sorry ass will ever be.

        • Amanda says:

          Right Lekan, you are the only one allowed to make unfounded ridiculous claims about how terribly untalented the people YOU don’t like on this show are. Get a life and stop being a pathetic troll already.

    • marta says:

      Broadway snobs think they know every thing! They (all 4 of them) spend their time on these blogs knocking McPhee in hopes of making Hilty better.

  24. dsm says:

    Smash: Season 1 was so bad I COUDN’T stop watching….
    Smash: Season 2 is so bad I HAD to stop watching!

    • SylwekG says:

      I agree. Season 1 was bad, but it at least tried to pretend it’s not so horrible and it kind of worked sometimes. Season 2 is just terrible.

  25. Kate'shomesick says:

    I wish we could have heard more of Krysta Rodriguez (Ana)…as far as I’m concerned she could have kept the lead role in Hit List. Katherine McPhee is a good singer and I think she’s gorgeous and everything but she is very stilted. Rodriguez made it look natural, McPhee always seems like she’s trying but most of the time it just feels stiff.

    • josiej says:

      I like Krysta and she’s really talented but I’m not a massive fan of the tone of her voice. I don’t want to say it’s too Broadway as I’ll get shot down, lol, but I personally don’t think she has as beautiful or layered voice as Katharine McPhee, but just my opinion. I’m really looking forward to hearing more performances from her though, as she’s a lot of fun. Apparently there’s a great sing-off dance off number coming up between karen and ana’s respective Hit List characters in a future ep, can’t wait!

      Reading these comments is just so depressing btw. Why do the Megan Hilty obsessives always feel this need to put Karen and McPhee down. Always the same people posting the same thing, and it especially makes me laugh when they say that the support for Ivy is overwhelming. Yeah since when?? Not from what I’ve seen. I like both Megan Hilty and Kat Mcphee, and both are fantastic singers, so why does it always have to be this horrible competition.

      • Kate'shomesick says:

        I don’t try to put anyone down. I criticise. I have the right to have an opinion and as long as I’m trying to be objective and do not insult anyone, I don’t see how that is wrong. I’m studying opera. I know a tiny bit about singing and acting. In my opinion (and that doesn’t mean that it has to be yours) Katherine McPhee is a solid singer (too breathy from time to time) and a beautiful women with a very limited amount of acting-talent. Maybe she could to brilliantly with something else. I just don’t find her to be charismatic or expressive enough (naturally) or skilled enough for this kind of thing. Maybe with lots of training (I don’t know how much she’s had acting-wise) she could improve vastly but right now I don’t see her as the leading lady for anything that is asking for a lot of acting chops. I’m sorry. I know that is harsh criticism but that’s the way “our” business (the arts) mostly works. I can assure you that I’m being equally hard on myself if not more so…

      • Sebastian says:

        Nice try Josie. But I was depressed reading your comment. You attempt to sound so diplomatic, yet in the process accuse the Megan Hilty fans of singing her praise at the expense of slamming Karen/Katherine, thereby committing the same fault that you accuse others of doing.
        Re-read the posts darlin, and you will see plenty of Karen/Katherine fanatics slamming Megan/Ivy and those who support them. Quinessential manipulation……look so innocent while you slam others. Sick of people like you.

        • Missie says:

          Except you don’t like McPhee either, nor are you free of bias. And the circle continues.

          (And yes, you’re allowed to have a negative opinion on her acting. Just saying – the boy doth protest too much.).

      • Lekan says:

        They do it because they know Hilty is a horrible actress who will soon be forgotten.

        • Patrick says:

          Really? I’m pretty sure this is the first major thing Katherine has done since American Idol in 2007ish? Since then Megan has starred in three Broadway musicals and guest starred in numerous television series. Oh and sang at a little venue called Carnegie Hall.

  26. Adrian says:

    Honestly, can’t we all just get a normal recap. Not this article/recap/snarkfest combo? I couldn’t even follow the story. It’s all commentary. Not a recap. C- for the recap. Sorry

  27. PutAForkInIt says:

    wow. a lot of comments for a show that will not see a 3rd season.
    wastin your time watchin.

    • josiej says:

      btw, do you guys think they’re going somewhere with this kyle storyline? I mean right now he’s not contributing anyhting to the show. Even the new storyline ideas for songs are coming from other people – Derek, Scott, Karen. I feel like this is going to be a factor further into the show, with Kyle maybe worrying about his role, and having feelings of worthlessness. Especially if Jimmy hooks up with Karen, taking his bestie away from him as well.

  28. Evan says:

    Surprised with Slezak’s love for “Rewrite this Story.” I hated the lyrics, the way they were timed to the chorus, and found it far too on-the-nose. Blech.

    Also, no drama with the roommate, plz. Nobody cares about her character– it’d just be a drag on the show.

    • Amanda says:

      I loved the song. I thought it was a cool clash between what would be a radio hit and what could work as a broadway song (it was more radio hit but that’s kinda been the whole point of Hit List). I also think Jimmy has an amazing voice (although I could do less of the immature whining crap they’ve given him)

      As far as it being too “on the nose” that’s what songs in musicals do. They’re super literal, and they’re supposed to be because they are meant to further the storyline, not just exist around it and sound pretty.

  29. I’m glad Karen left Bombshell and Ivy is back at Bombshell I seen this already since the start of this season but for some reason now, I don’t care for Bombshell, I’m more into the hit list. I think tom has become a diva these last two ep., and i’m I the only one who wanted julias new bombshell and not the old one from tech.

  30. Tina says:

    I don’t care about Bombshell or Ivy. I’ve never liked her…she’s such a scheming, needy little manipulator. Plus, the way she slept with Derek for the part of Marilyn is just nauseating! I’m glad Karen is on Hitlist and we get to see her with Derek! I love the two of them together and hope we see a romance before the end of the season! Actually, NBC should hope we see a romance too because no one will buy season 2 on DVD to see Karen and Jimmy together!

  31. charissa29 says:

    I miss last year’s energy and joy. Sigh. Ehhh, whatever maybe Safran just hates Karen which is why he has her whining and mooning over douchie-drug boy. Derek, stalkery director, what the hell is that? I just miss Smash.

  32. J Bernard says:

    Could have been and should have been the series finale.

  33. LauraLee says:

    If this is to be the final season, let Karen and Derek end up together. And let Katharine sing and dance on every episode.

  34. DT says:

    How did Katherine McPhee get this role anyway? When she say her lines, it’s emotionless and monotonic.

    • Sebastian says:

      Spot on. Its finally dawning on me…..Katherine McPhee is a really bad actress. I think she was better suited to the wide-eyed girl in the city of last season, who was taking knocks but also moving forward in her quest for Broadway stardom. Not sure she is doing as well with the queen of Broadway they want her to be in this season.

  35. Alisha says:

    Can’t stand Jimmy, and I don’t buy Karen just dropping the Broadway role she worked so hard for last season, especially since she is essentially just handing it over to Ivy, but otherwise, this was a really strong episode

  36. Mark says:

    It’s all working well for me, I think. I’ve always thought Megan Hilty *far* superior to Katherine McPhee for the Marilyn role, Hilty is simply miles ahead of McPhee as a singer and actress. Can’t stand the Derek character. Can’t stand “Hit List” (which is about the most unmemorable musical I could imagine). Can’t stand the Jimmy character. Sequestering them all off in one neat little bundle of scenes that I can buddoop-buddoop right over works well for me.

  37. robinto says:

    So, the hints about Marilyn’s mother – do we see Bernadette Peters making a return visit to the show? Some nice stunt casting for sweeps.

  38. Nikki says:

    Aren’t there enough shows for young people with young music? Can’t we have just one show about actual Broadway and leave the other to the Voice and X Factor. That is not why I started watching Smash. i hate that!

  39. Does anyone even like Jimmy – except of his great voice? The character is such an ass and there is no chemistry at all between him and Karen…but I have a feeling that they will be endgame after what Derek said to him in this episode. When Karen finds out she will be so pissed and fall right into Jimmys arms and then I suppose the season (and the show) is over…I really hope I’m wrong and Karen/Derek are endgame – they have great chemistry and I love them together! I mean come on: Jack Davenport should always be the first pick, right?!

    • Oh you are so right that Jack should ALWAYS be picked first :) I do believe they will give us Cartwills…what Derek said may seem harsh by others but it may just be what Karen needs for her to see that he truly cares for her. cuz she already knows he doesn’t just WANT to sleep with her, he apologised for that mistake once already…so now hearing what he said to Jimmy (if she does hear) she will be thinking differently :)

  40. Sebastian says:

    Is it too much to ask for some songs……other than from Karen and Jimmy? I dont know, I heard a rumor that Megan Hilty can carry a tune…:)
    Tom or Ivy or Julia for that matter. Ivy gets Bombshell back and we cut to another scene of Jimmy and Karen singing? Boooorrrrriiinnnggg. Where is the fun in this show? Love Eileen and Jerry…….throw some drinks? Where’s the sex? So many neat songs were worked into season one. Wake up already Safran. Are you even awake at the helm?

  41. Dahlenk says:

    Adieu Liasions, RIP

  42. SMASH is really just getting good. It’s too bad it’s too little too late.

  43. Kit says:

    I am frustrated with the focus shifting to Hit List. Agree with other posters about Meg Hilty being robbed of a celebration scene. I feel like Safran disdains Broadway. He’s marginalizing & condescending to traditional Broadway at every turn, from his treatment of Bombshell & Ivy to the Veronica Moore arc to Julia’s inconsistent support of Tom.. Katherine McPhee is not a good actress & Jimmy is so unlikable. Her devotion to him is just about as believable as Derek’s devotion to her. I just do not see the excitement the show runner wants the audience to have about either character. The preview for next week clearly showed Karen in bed with Jimmy & only showed the back of Ivy’s head. As a Bombshell & Ivy supporter, I am encouraged by the release of the very good Bombshell album which foretells the return of Berndadette Peters & Sam (as Nat King Cole). I think Kyle might attempt/complete suicide in a future episode. Good call poster who made the analogy with the Jimmy/Kyle and Derek/Tom dynamics.

  44. Pat W. says:

    Just started watching Smash this year so I speak from a position of never having seen the big Derek/Karen “smoldering” relationship. From my perspective, Derek is at times likeable and then at other times, not likeable. People complain about Jimmy, but he is SUPPOSED to be a lost sould with a troubled past, so you aren’t supposed to like him. But darn it, he is so cute! And I think all of his songs, either alone or with Karen, “This could be our year”, “Heart shaped Wreakage” and “Rewrite this Story” were great songs. Of course we are headed for a showdown between Derek and Jimmy. You’ve gotta love it.

  45. Amaia says:

    They’re killing “Smash” little by little but at least, thankfullky, it seems Ivy will be Marilyn and that makes me very happy. Thank ypu Karen for doing something right for somebody else!

  46. Jen says:

    Anyone that thinks K McPhee is a superior singer to M Hilty needs to youtube “They just keep movin’ the line” from earlier this season. Nuff said.

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