Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Smash Report: The Claws Are Out!

And for the second week in a row, we don’t start in fantasy musical mode, but instead on day one of the workshop. But before we begin, shout out to Ann Harada playing the stage manager! Yay! When Karen enters, the rest of the ensemble gives her the cold shoulder. Jealous or just catty bitches? And then Michael arrives. Of course leave it to Julia to think that Michael’s “don’t be nervous” is about them and not about the workshop. But they can’t start the workshop until Eileen arrives. Where is she? Why she’s at her office because lawyer Eisa Davis tells her her money ain’t there! Eileen is mad! But we need a happy moment. So cut to Ivy’s entrance where she gets a grand applause lead by McSleazy. He then informs them of the goals of the workshop: some staging, some singing at the music stand. But they have to fix the book. My question is who wrote the book?! If they need a script doctor, I’m up for the task! After they rehearse “20th Century Fox Mambo”, Sam, our new ensemble friend who has a past working relationship with Ivy, tells Karen she has a great voice. Of course she humbly doesn’t believe it, but wait, here’s Ivy to smash her hopes and dreams. Is Ivy’s friend fraternizing with the enemy or trying to get comfy with her in hopes he can get her in the sack. We’ll soon find out!
Eileen and Julia have a drink in Eileen’s office to recap day one of rehearsal. They discuss the Marilyn as a dramaturgical exercise for the audience. Like we really care. We want the show! We get back to the workshop where Ivy and the ensemble rehearse a new song called “I Never Met a Wolf Who Didn’t Love to Howl.” It’s upbeat and fun and Karen is dancing along, but apparently Ivy’s just not having it. She stops the number and claims she can’t hear her sing above the chorus (or ensemble as Wesley Taylor’s Bobby snidely responds) thus allowing her to call out Karen. This then leads to our friendly stage manager to have her token “it’s lunch” line. Let’s flesh out our stage manager more please! We’re real people too! Anyway, Derek tells Ivy he’s throwing a party for Lyle West, the boy he discovered. Tom and Ivy chat about Lyle, this is after she moans about Karen being a part of the ensemble without her knowledge. Ivy tells Tom that Derek discovered Lyle. Tom tells Julia (“Telephone Hour” much?) and Julia has the line of the day “what, does he think he planted a flag in the kid?” Ok. I know it’s not meant sexually, but McSleazy has a history, so perhaps…Or not. He was eight. After lunch we head back to our token new song of the show, “I Never Met a Wolf Who Didn’t Love to Howl.” Can’t we just cut the title of the song down to “Howl”? Ivy whines that she can’t focus so Karen gets shoved to the back. Try again Ivy! No luck. So Derek sends Karen and Bobby out of the number. Suddenly Ivy is back in action. What a conniving bitch! Someone brought their claws out.
Karen talks to Dev about what happened at rehearsal. Dev has absolutely no interest in the conversation. “Keep your head up.” “Just breath.” Dev, you are a bad supportive boyfriend! Karen, move on to Sam! Julia tries to get Tom to go to Derek’s party while walking in Union Square. Tom claims he has a date that his mother set up which of course Julia belittles. Eileen goes to the art gallery to try to sell her Degas sketch to get some money, but art dealer man says she can’t sell it because it’s not under her name but Jerry’s. Sad Eileen leads to rehearsing a new song. Tom stops it only so Michael and Julia can have another awkward scene, which makes Julia run out of the room. Julia just can’t control herself. When we start up the song again, Ivy again gets Karen kicked out of the number. Karen just doesn’t understand why. Karen is about to have a melt down until she is rescued by one of Ivy’s drones. Jessica, as Mother Theresa, takes Karen dance clothes shopping and teaches her the ways of high school, I mean theater. My Fair Lady much? Eileen whines about her financial woes to Julia who invites her to Derek’s party for Lyle. Eileen doesn’t want to go. That is until Julia informs Lyle just sold his tv series into syndication for 80 million. Light bulbs go off. How will Eileen get Lyle to invest with her? I smell an answer after the break!
Before we head back to the show, we had a skillful commercial plug. A commercial for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Does this mean that star of H2$ and guest star of “Smash” is coming up after the break? You producers. You got us!
Well, not yet. We start with Sam and Ivy at her apartment where Sam calls Ivy a diva for her devious ways. I mean, it is true. When he sees her in her getup, it is confirmed he is straight because he goes gaga for boobies. At Karen’s apartment, Karen enters with her three new besties, none of whom introduce themselves to Dev. Well that is until Bobby enters. He informs him that they’re there for an intervention. I wonder if it’ll be like the A&E series. But wait, we don’t have time for that because Nick Jonas has appeared! He sings Michael Buble’s “Just Haven’t Met You Yet.” And before we continue, a special shout out to my dear friend Megan Rucidlo who you can see in the scene at the piano (and later on seated NEXT TO the littlest Jonas Brother)! Ok, back to Nick Jonas. I mean Lyle. He then introduces himself to Ivy and proceeds to invite her to the bedroom. She thinks he’s joking, but alas he’s not. He’s just a womanizer as well. Then we get a glimpse of Tom’s date with Mr. Cutie. I see sparks! Recurring role por favor. Eileen and Julia arrive at the party, a cocktail waitress attempts to introduce herself to Eileen to only be shut down, proving that all actors are cater waiters. And then shocker to Julia, Ellis and his “friend” Cyn arrive. Julia is P.O.ed! And leave it to Ms. Rashad to look fierce. Eileen then tries to win over Lyle for some money. Looks like it’s going to work cuz the drinks are coming. Or does this mean Jerry is coming because when Eileen and a drink are together it usually ends up in Jerry’s face. And we haven’t seen him all episode. Back at the intervention, now with Chinese food, we get our token moment of pop song with the three musketeers dancing to Adele’s only good song, “Rumour Has It.” We will then see Karen learn the routine to the song. But not before Eileen gets monetarily seduced by Lyle. He won’t invest in Marilyn until he sees a performance. Really? Really? Contrived but fine, I’ll allow it. Just make sure next time you tell Julia to call Michael, make sure we see how awkward the conversation was. Once the “Reinforcements” arrive at the party, including Tom and dreamy date John, Lyle is ready to be wowed.
Lyle announces to his party goers that a gift from Derek was a song sung by the cast of the not even close to being ready show, Marilyn. Ivy sings “Howl”, which we learn is the USO number, with the help of Julia, Michael, Dennis, and Ellis?!? What business does that boy have being in this number? He is just the assistant! Well the party people don’t really care because they’re eating it up. Bopping around in mildly choreographed fashion. Ivy does a fantastic job at seducing every man in the room, including Tom’s date. Hands off, girlfriend! She has no shame does she? But it doesn’t matter, everyone loves it including waitress and Lyle who grabs a guitar, even the foxy lady McSlezy eyes. Uh oh. Ivy’s jealous. What to do, what to do. Oh, invite yourself back to Lyle’s bedroom. Ladies and gentlemen, regardless of how old Lyle is, the actor, Nick Jonas is nineteen. Are you as weirded out as I am?
Eileen has a moment with her Degas sketch as Lyle and Ivy are ready to do it. Well if that’s not a boner crusher! Michael shares a moment with Julia. Oh wait. No, she ran away. Ok, will someone have a romantic moment?! Yes! Tom and John! Tom serenades John on the keys. But we don’t get a kiss. Lame! Fine. Segway to the bar where the intervention leads to shots and singing? Really? That’s the best we can do? Again. Is it really that difficult to integrate music into this script? Before we can take the performance in question, Ivy calls out Derek for putting his hand on foxy lady’s ass and for casting Karen. Derek basically threatens Ivy back to the chorus if she doesn’t oblige to the bedroom. Of course she does. No. We don’t get to see them again because we have to watch “the Intervention Dance.” Karen is a quick learner! In the span of like an hour, she learned the entire routine of hand clapping and quick feet. Wait. She didn’t learn the bridge because she has to sing it! And now we get our montage. Ivy and Derek and fantasyland Karen. Rumor has it Karen is the one Derek’s leaving Ivy for. (See what I did?!)
Tonight’s episode was getting closer to being back to hit the pilot was. Partially helping the episode was the very limited screen time of Ellis and Dev. Though not so subtly, the rivalry between Ivy and Karen is back in action. That’s what we loved about the pilot. We wanted to root for one of the girls and based on the promos for next week’s episode, we’re going to see more of the battle of Marilyn. So? What happens next? Will Ivy be pissed that her besties betrayed her for Karen? Will Julia be able to stay in the same room as Michael? Will John stay in Tom’s life because frankly, Tom needs some lovin’ too!