Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Smash Report: The Good, the Bad, and the Really Bad

What happened to the magical world of music in the mind as the show opener? I miss those. I do. Instead we get Eileen freaking out that her lawyer ditched her. Nobody likes her. And frankly, the audience doesn’t really care. Give us the show! Oh, thanks. Ask you and you shall receive! McSleazy and Karen do some dancing before rehearsal starts. But we’ve seen that tango before. The big news from the opening of the show is the book writer has been revealed: Julia! That sounds like a train wreck. Speaking of, Ivy walks in on McSleazy and Karen doing the nasty-making dance. Rut ro! But wait! Guess who’s on a second date! Tom and John at Brassiere AND Michael and Julia at Westway Diner. Westway? Really? Well, it is the Mecca for theatrical inspiration. Or the place where people go to have affairs with pie. Back on the date that actually matters, Tom is playing the timid card when John flat out asks if they’re going to have a nightcap of sex. Well, saved by the phone ring (which is the same ringtone for every phone for each character.) Moments before, Julia ignored a phone call from an odd number. Well Tom got that same call, only he answers it. Lo and behold, it’s little Leo who was arrested. Rut ro! First question: How did Leo know Tom’s cell number by heart? Second question: Is Julia the worst mother? Talk amongst yourselves.
Tom and John save Leo who was arrested for loitering for drugs. John pulls his lawyer card, which is totally a turn on, and seemingly gets Leo free. Dev and RJ (played by a BU alum!) are discussing how Dev is not the top for some job no one really cares about. Karen goes to pick up Dev from work and gets intimidated by the new sexy competition. I would be very happy is Dev and RJ do it so Deve leaves the show. Am I alone? Possibly. Tom brings Leo home and makes up a fun little song to Leo’s “she’s gonna kill me” mantra. When Julia comes home, she “epically grounds him” because that’s all she can do in the moment. Well, then some Jack drinking. Bad momma! Ellis drops off a book to Eileen and offers to help Eileen with her computer. Eileen flat out asks snoopy Ellis about Julia’s work. Well we know the history between Ellis and Julia, so we know that he’s gonna sell her out. At rehearsal, Tom calls John for a second date and gets introduced to Sam who talks sports. What are these sports you speak of? Ivy then begins to sing “Let’s Be Bad” to McSleazy’s dismay. He calls out Karen to sing the vibrato Ivy is missing. Ivy is P.O.ed! Did you see the scowl? It gets worse for you Ivy. Derek tells Ivy to work WITH Karen. Rivalry is getting tenser by the rehearsal!
Julia talks to Frank (who’s been M.I.A. taking a some teacher test) while Tom taunts her about Michael Swift. She’s babysitting her son while he’s grounded. Getting better mamma, getting better! Meanwhile at the Ivy/Karen work session, Ivy partakes in some verbal sparring to intimidate Karen, the lowly chorus girl. Ivy gives Karen some advice. “Don’t get ahead of yourself.” She tells Karen she basically will never top her. Oh snap! Them fightin’ words! Julia discovers that Leo’s arrest puts a major halt on the adoption process. Michael tries to offer a tender shoulder, but Julia shuts him out. Ivy performs “Let’s Be Bad” again with the ensemble behind her, but to the creative team, something was missing. In a long, and a bit unnecessary moment of Ivy pants, Ivy finally realizes that something is not going right.
Leo Houston is doodling on some red Facebook knockoff when Julia tries to talk Leo about his actions and the repercussions. More pot=no Chinese baby. Back at rehearsal, sans Julia, Ivy has a minor meltdown. Or is it a performance? Could the cold-hearted bitch have feelings? Well, perhaps we’ll find out! Let’s see “Let’s Be Bad” on stage! All the girls are clad in flapper costumes while some actors recite dialogue from the SCRIPT. It’s a first! Marilyn has a script! In this scene, Marilyn admits she’s not loving the film life, takes some pills, and thus dances! The logical sequence of events. For the first time, we see a journey within one of the Marilyn songs, and actually it’s quite good. It works. We get some cool lighting effects and good acting from Ivy. When the song is over in fantasyland, Ivy and the team applaud. The only one absent from the cheer is Derek, who storms out with his phone. Karen attempts to give Ivy a complement only to get her head bitten off. For the firs time this season, we see Ivy terrified for her artistic safety.
At another local stomp, Mr. Biggs, Ivy, Sam, and Michael (the new motley trio) we learn that Sam is not straight. That leaves him to be gay. Yes, the sports lover is gay. That is what we call (gay) diversity my friends. They do exist in society. Dev then appears again. Can’t he go away? Karen tries to dish her feelings about rehearsal but Dev wants nothing to do it. Again. Why? Because he’s under pressure. Whine whine whine. He just wants his arm candy to look hot on a boat. Karen sends Dev off to political war alone. Will she stand him up again? Perhaps since she’s staring at herself in the mirror singing about “A Man’s World.” We broke out into song that has nothing to do with a performance (unless you count Karen singing to herself in the mirror as an audience). Thanks for the diversity creators. This was Karen’s “I know what I bring to the party” moment. Michael arrives at Julia’s house and gets invited to dinner by Leo. Leo and Michael have some sort of connection. Just how involved in the Houston household was Michael? We won’t find out because Ivy drunkenly stumbles to McSleazy’s apartment and goes on a drunken verbal vomit. Ivy does realize she is an employee of Derek’s right? But then she bursts out “theater is about feelings.” Which is so true, but that was not the time to say it girlfriend! At the Intrepid, Karen DOES arrive and learns that Dev is sitting at the hot girl’s table and NOT with Karen. In what world does he think that’s ok?! At dinner, Michael and Leo joke around about pot. It’s very brotherly. Michael admits that Julia smoked pot after rough rehearsals. Leo wants to know what else Julia does after a rough rehearsal. Julia banishes him to his room because loose lips will most definitely spill. At the party, Karen tells her new friends at her table that she’s playing Marilyn in Marilyn only to get hit on by a super conceited guy who tries to seduce Karen to his hotel room. When Karen learns he’s goal is to be press security, apparently the job Dev wants, the wheels start turning. Whatever will you do Karen?
In the luxury car supplied by RJ, Karen tells Dev about his competition and then starts to get all hot and heavy in the backseat. And they’re not the only ones. Tom and John! They did it! They discuss what each other’s “wows” were about. They joke about the bad sex they just had. I think it’s love in the making. Don’t let John go producers! I beg of you! Back at McSleazy’s, Ivy walks down the stairs in the bed comforter to see Derek working. What that has to do with anything? Well, I’m not sure. Maybe it’s the comfort of her knowing that may care about her…or his job. But Michael and Julia on the front stoop. That’s something. Michael starts serenading Julia with a song. Michael’s sweet, sweet voice must be the thing that gets Julia to fall for him. Will tonight’s episode end with a montage? Hell no! It ends with Julia and Michael kissing with Leo watching! Oh shit! Daddy’s gonna find out!
So what did you think? Where you glad to see that Leo’s acting chops get a little better? Are you buying the Michael-Julia rehash? Is it true that Ellis appeared in only a grand total of one scene (despite not knowing if he told Eileen all about Julia)? And who’s in love with Tom and John? I think “Smash” is back on track!