Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Smash Report: A New Eye

With a week off because of Mr. President, “Smash” is back, again. Tonight’s episode is called “The Dramaturg.” Don’t know what a dramaturg is? Well according to “Smash”, they’re a parasite. We’ll have more on that soon enough. Let’s get into the episode first. We start with a giant party with Karen crowd surfing. This is not our everyday Karen. This is sexy Karen with pink hair extensions. Wait, are we watching “American Idol”? Nope. We’re seeing what would happen if our new boys’ musical existed. According to Karen, the non-existent musical is about an aspiring pop star. Very close to home Ms. McPhee! Meanwhile, Derek is still unemployed for being a super playa and agrees to meet Jimmy and Kyle about their show. At headquarters, Eileen brings in Tom and Julia to talk about how to fix Bombshell. How you ask? Peter Gillman. A professional dramaturg. Tom and Julia scoff. How rude! “It’s a pretty common practice these days.” Eileen! C’mon! Be nice to dramaturgs. We move onto Ivy’s audition for Mr. Bernie Telsey himself. Cameo! Ivy begs to read for the lead role and Telsey caves. Is that common practice too? And then we move to our third music snippet in a row! This time for V-Mo. Girl got pipes. I mean, we know that already. She did win an Oscar. But did we need to hear her sing “Home”? Nah. McSleazy visits V-Mo in order to con her into bringing him back into The Wiz. They decide to set up an audition for him. Déjà vu. Julia and Tom sneak into their meeting with Peter, played by Daniel Sunjata as the hottest dramaturg in the history of musical theater. Julia believes he’s a parasite because why would anyone not take any credit. Anyway, well Mr. Peter claims he’s a fan of the duo and will be their midwife for their baby, Bombshell. He gives them a list of shows and writers he’s worked with. I’m dying to know who’s on that list! At the bar, Karen announces she got Kyle and Jimmy their meeting with McSleazy. One shot and that’s all they need. And we jump into our title sequence before commercial. I still am not a fan…I miss the simplicity of the old. But remember friends, this is a new “Smash.”
Julia visits the script doctor Peter in his beyond swanky apartment. Damn! I want to live there! Julia sees the notes he made in the script and starts to get snippy. Peter is just trying to help! He starts off with a bang. “Bombshell is not a Broadway musical, it’s a biopic.” Of course Julia gets defensive. “It should live on the page,” Peter says. Oh Julia got ambushed! Julia vents to Tom on the phone on her way to Eileen while Tom concocts an idea. Kyle begins to reorganize the plot of their musical when Jimmy comes in a saves the day. Apparently these two writers are very unorganized. Maybe THEY need a dramaturg (and a stage manager). They're looking for a missing piece but realize Jimmy’s song is in his notebook in some mysterious, forbidden place. Ooooh. Where! Where can’t we go back to! McSleazy brings Karen into work on a song from Bombshell which suddenly turns into Ivy singing the same song on Tom’s tv. He needs to be reminded of the good parts of the baby. Ivy comes over to share her audition news and that she’s competing with Jen Damiano and Jessie Mueller. Name drop! Tom encourages her because that’s who he is. Julia barges into Eileen’s office hours after she said was going to barge in. Julia learns that she had been set up by Peter and Eileen because she’s ready to find someone who will do the work if Julia's not willing to.
At rehearsal, McSleazy bitches to Karen about her performance and then Ivy waltzes in. McSleazy asks Ivy to watch because she’s got a great eye. Oh boy. Peter is at dinner with friends when Julia barges in again. She confronts him on his lie that he never saw the show. Peter begins to lay in on Julia when she begins to defend her work. Peter retorts that her show is not sellable or relatable to a Broadway audience. Dig to Ms. Rebeck again? He continues to critique her, offering her the Michael Swift slap in the face, and gives her the chance to prove it with a pen tucked away somewhere on his body. She tells him to go to hell. I bet they’re gonna do it. Back at rehearsal, Ivy watches Karen and company of a bunch of familiar faces and then breaks into a dream song where she strolls through the action. Karen and McSleazy get into a tiff, Ivy decides to leave but of course, offers her opinion. Instead of knocking down Karen, she gives a piece of advice to McSleazy. He’s doubting himself. How very true. Jimmy breaks into a house where is music is stashed and suddenly gets ambushed by a mysterious person. Who is it!
Well before we know who attacked Jimmy, we see him meet Kyle with a busted lip in a restaurant with the missing music. Karen calls the boys to cancel because her and McSleazy are stuck in rehearsal. Jimmy is pissed. Intent Julia comes home and forces Tom’s butt to the studio to work on their plan. At Ivy’s rehearsal prep with Tom, he yawns through the dull audition. Who is Cecile, the character Ivy wants more than Bombshell? Innocent and nice but then able to manipulate. Karen Cartwright? No, Marilyn! How convenient. At the Bombshell presentation, Julia and Tom drop their own bombshell of a new song for McSleazy to win his audition. JFK and Marilyn’s first time. How enticing! V-Mo and her producer friend come to see the new number which McSleazy wants her to pass up on because he knows it’s not going to be good. McSleazy is sweating! This is a first!
McSleazy sets up the scene. Bing Crosby’s house. JFK and Marilyn are about to meet for the first time. Their eyes lock. The small talk of the scene, is well, short because it breaks right into song and foreplay. Mr. President is a sleaze! Jackie O would be so disappointed. The parallels between JFK and McSleazy are uncanny! As the song ends, the only applause comes from Jimmy who just ambushed a closed and private presentation. But how! McSleazy, despite hearing his music, has no idea who the kid is. Eileen likes the scene. Peter likes the scene. Julia digs it and wants Peter to step out after she’s proved that she can do it without him, but he’s in it to win it. Ivy calls Tom to announce that she got the part of Cecile. Ivy’s gonna be on Broadway as a lead! It happened! Take taht Cartwright! Karen rushes after Jimmy in full costume, wig in hand. Karen tries to defend McSleazy but Jimmy is too stubborn to know that despite the action, he has an amazing opportunity in front of him!
Julia, Tom, and Peter walk through TKTS and vent to each other. Why three Broadway names would do that and not get noticed is wild! Anyway, they banter on actually discussing plot and how to improve it, a wonderful change to our beloved show. Tom tries to play mediator but it’s no use. V-Mo waits in her town car waiting for McSleazy to share that she has announced she’s dropping out to do a one-night only show. Am I the only one who suddenly got “Dreamgirls” in their head? At Jimmy and Kyle’s, Karen and McSleazy surprise the duo to finally discuss their musical. McSleazy is so mean to Jimmy but apologizes for his earlier actions and tries to play nice. They begin their meeting with beer and a run-through of the plot. It’s a musical about an aspiring musician from nowhere who meets a girl he can’t have. As Jimmy reveals the plot, it becomes strikingly clear that we’re receiving some foreshadow on what’s to come on “Smash.” And surprisingly, it’s intriguing. McSleazy agrees to start helping them with Karen as their muse.
So what do you think? Liking Daniel Sunjata’s character? Digging the fact we’ll soon have three musicals, plus a one-night only concert to keep track of? And who the hell was the mysterious guy that jumped Jimmy! And I’ll keep asking, what happened to Ellis!