Monday, April 16, 2012

Smash Report: Duvallapalooza

We begin with the much-anticipated first rehearsal with our fictitious movie star, Rebecca Duvall. Will she be a Katie Holmes or a CZJ? Time will tell. We learn that she’s past her prime, I mean past the age of 36. And as we learn more about Ms. Duvall, we get yet ANOTHER hidden gem featuring our favorite composer paying homage to a favorite webskit performed by a certain blonde bombshell. But before we get to fall out of our chair laughing, Julia sets up a dinner date for Sam and Tom. And then before progress can be made, Rebecca jumps into the scene. Ms. Movie Star says she doesn’t need to warm up (because she’s a pro), so Rebecca sings a quite breathy version of “Let Me Be Your Star.” It’s well, a trainwreck. In the words of Randy Jackson, “pitchy dawg.” I think the majority of the room wants to burst out in laughter while the others want to slit their ears off. And then there’s a game of “let’s play nice to the star.” A game I’m certain we’ll see quite a lot of. At Headquarters, the team tries to figure out what to do with Rebecca. Eileen realizes that she is to blame for the Team Rebecca caravan, because she had a charismatic performance on SNL. A decision has to be made. Julia suggests group suicide. McSleazy suggests bring back Ivy. Is this because he’s in love or is it truly for the love of the show? Julia and Tom walk out of the office discussing Tom’s date with Sam. NO! Then, either later that day OR the next day (hard to say) McSleazy’s suggestion waltzes into the room. Hmmm…what does this mean? Tom and Rebecca work on a song which Ivy calls “the sound of a thousand ticket holders demanding their money back.” And I would have to agree. At the end of the song, McSleazy calls Karen over to chat. McSleazy ends up having another hallucination. This time Karen, in her best breathy voice, sings to McSleazy with full out Marilyn-esque seduction. McSleazy, stay out of Ivy’s stash! Well, at least the lighting was cool during the song. Wait! There’s our faithful stage manager breaking up the song with the token “and that’s lunch.” After rehearsal, Karen catches Dev in a lie, which also includes no response to her “I love you.” Dev! You devil! At a fancy restaurant, Julia and Frank have an awkward meeting. Frank thrusts out his best Shrek anger at his “wife” while Julia attempts to have a conversation about flunking Leo. At least she’s trying to be a good mother for once. Back at rehearsal, Rebecca has some thoughts about the musical. Rebecca suggests more scenes and less singing and dancing. Is she driving McSleazy crazy? You bet! At the Tom and Sam date, Tom whines about his new star as they walk through Times Square because clearly that’s the only place theater people hang out. Instead of eating, they go to Tom’s place for some Sondheim-inspired foreplay. TOM! When Tom kisses Sam, Sam claims it’s moving too fast. We learn that sex is holy for Sam. From Republican to religious! Tom thinks no sex is weird to which Sam asks his age (37ish) and his longest relationship (5 months) because his idea of holding off is way is better. Tom, we are no longer friends. You betrayer of John/love!
At the office, Eileen listens to her messages, first from the lying, scheming manager, and then from the hot and steamy Nick. Someone’s getting smitten! Snoopy pops in with Rebecca’s list of demands. Eileen tells Ellis the rules of the trade: keep your enemies close, your celebrities even closer, and their assistances the closest. Eileen pops into Nick’s “files” and learns he’s a crook. What kind of crook? At Leo’s parent-teacher conference, Frank lies about the marriage woes until Julia drops the bomb of the affair. She divulges way too much to the teacher, as if she’s a psychiatrist. That’s next episode, right? At rehearsal, Rebecca has a scene with the super nice Henry Stram. It’s well, closer to parody than impression. She stops the scene because she doesn’t know why she must break into song. Girl, have you never seen a musical before? She redeems herself by inviting the entire company to a screening of her latest movie at the Bryant Park Hotel. How thoughtful. Snoopy pops in to ask out Rebecca’s manager to the movie, and then some. But then the scene erupts into hilarity (for us the audience) when Colin, Rebecca’s former lover pops into the closed rehearsal (which our faithful stage manager put on break.) Eileen threatens him with pepper spray as McSleazy restrains him. THIS is what is going to set everyone on edge with Ms. Duvall? Seriously?
At Headquarters, the team lays down because they’re tired of Duvallapalooza. Eileen threatens the team that whatever Rebecca wants, Rebecca gets. Karen goes and surprises Dev to learn that the weasel got press secretary and not him. Meantime, he’s flirting with RJ. Bad boy, bad bad boy. When Karen asks for a date to the screening, Dev shuts her down. Eileen reads some Page 6 gossip about Rebecca, and then calls Nick because he’s a crook and she can’t be with him. Rebecca pops into Eileen’s office to say thanks for another great day and to offer her two-cents on fixing Bombshell. She wants to have another work session to which Eileen obliges. I smell a diva brewing!
Tom hosts the work session where Eileen claims she’s going to say no to Rebecca’s demands. At the screening, Sam and Dennis spread some gossip about what Rebecca is demanding. Ivy offers to go inside with Karen but she’s waiting for the famous boyfriend whom Ivy has yet to meet. Ellis is on the phone with Randall as he’s hurrying to meet his new plaything, but when he thinks Cyn is calling, he accidently doesn’t switch over and admits he has to suck up to that loser. Poor Randall. Meanwhile, during the movie, Karen gets a text from Dev, which makes her sad. Karen goes to the bathroom and shares another moment with Ivy. Weird. At the work session, Rebecca arrives late and asks for honesty from the team. Rebecca suggests lowering the key, more back up support, and hiring a vocal coach, which gets an astounding yes from the entire team. At the bar, Karen and Ivy hate on Rebecca. Ivy pretends to be interested in Karen’s trouble in paradise, but Karen walks out after a chord is struck about hot RJ. At the Houston’s, bad acting Leo says he does his homework while Shrek yells. Julia somehow turns into the voice of reason in the moment. Is she on Ivy’s mellow pills too? Leo, with a sinister smirk, strikes a deal, he gets a B+ and he gets to meet Rebecca Duvall. Karen goes home to find Dev is out…with RJ. Dun dun dun. Could this be the end of Dev? Fingers crossed.
At the breakup, Eileen cuts to the chase with Nick. She knows about his skeletons to which Nick lays down a laundry list of “felonies.” Eileen doesn’t want baggage or a fast relationship. So Nick offers to slow it down. The straight couples know it’s not about the sex. Ellis tries to apologize to Randall but he doesn’t like users. Eileen bursts into rehearsal to see what’s been going on. And what do we have? “Dig Deep” is a jazzy little number with a half-assed performance by all. There’s absolutely nothing to the song, but that could also be the blandness of our new Marilyn. This would totally be one of those cut numbers from the show. Rebecca thinks it went great and has lots more ideas. Please no.
Was this the worst episode of the season? Is Dev a goner? And what’s with all these couples wanting to take it “slow”? But the big question: Team Karen, Team Ivy, or Team Rebecca?

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