Saturday, April 6, 2013

Smash Report: All About Love and Liza

Welcome friends, to Saturday night! Watching a non-rerun on a Saturday? Shocking! But that’s what NBC decided to do to us, so without further ado, “The Surprise Party.” We begin with tech for Bombshell. Ivy is still bitter at Tom and takes everything out on him, which is very unprofessional. A little note, did anyone else notice the lack of designers or tech tables or, frankly, anything in the theater? Tom tries to get Julia to listen to his rhetorical questions on why no one’s listening to him, but she answers them instead. She then reveals that long lost Leo is checking out colleges with Frank. How does she know? She stalks him on Facebook and Instagram. Weird! Eileen and Richard are in the balcony with Eileen begging him to run another Bombshell story. He doesn’t budge so she shows him Riedel’s entry about the Bombshell family drama. Did you notice the pictures? All from the “Smash” website! Meta! The scene ends with Richard agreeing to take out Eileen on an old person date. Before we gag over that thought, we gag over the makeout session between Jimmy and Karen. It ends abruptly as McSleazy calls for her. There’s a scene between McSleazy and Jimle but it’s a wash. Back at tech, Ivy whines to Sam that Tom forgot her birthday. When a bouquet of flowers arrive, Tom finally gets the hint that he forgot. How does he plan to make it up to her? A surprise party featuring his pal Liza, as in Minnelli, as in the Broadway legend who will be returning to TV, or rather computer, revising her role as Lucille 2 in “Arrested Development on May 26th. But something tells me this surprise party won’t go over well because Ivy is having a get together without Tom. Someone’s party is going to be a bust!
Over at Hit List, Jimmy and Karen begin with some heinous dialogue, which leads into a poppy song and dance. It’s got a bit of a country twang to it. It has shades of a Taylor Swift ditty, only McPhee has a much more superior voice to Country’s overrated Princess. The songs over at Hit List are starting to be a lot stronger than Bombshell’s. If only that’s how “Smash” began. Alas. After the song concludes, Richard tries to get McSleazy to cave and admit he and Karen had a fling. He denounces this thought. I mean why would Broadway’s sleazy director screw around with his leading lady who jumped from show to show with him? Crazy thoughts. Julia is at Mr. Artistic Director’s fixing Hit List, coming up with her solution to mend the Diva situation in the script. She doesn’t want to be the official dramaturg, but something tells me she’ll cave. It’s called love. Ana and Karen discuss why Jimmy wants their love to be a secret, to which Ana believes he’s got a secret. Ana is brilliant! She’s onto him! Karen receives a text from Jimmy. Since we’re on NBC, it was a rated G sext. Tom finds Ivy to wish her a happy birthday and drop the bomb that he’s got a party ready for her. Ivy realizes she’s screwed and goes to her chorus pals asking them to push back her party. When Tom pops over they all immediately get into sitcom mode and pretend they’re not talking about him. Awks! Eileen calls Agnes her publicist…Agnes…to find out if they’re getting any buzz from the Times article, but they’ve got nada. They decide to tip off the press on Ivy’s surprise. Code red! At Mr. Artistic Director’s office, Kyle is ambushed by Julia the dramaturg. Poor Kyle. He’s gonna get screwed. But before we see that, Jimmy and Karen are kissing in wardrobe. Then Karen drops the “please tell everyone about us.” Jimmy declines to which Karen gets pouty and says she’s done playing. Subtext: don’t sext me until we make it Facebook official.
At dinner, rude Ivy keeps her phone out during the meal. We segue over to Eileen and Richard on their gross date. She peers over and sees the reporters ready for Liza and publicity. Dirty. Kyle is in fact getting ambushed by Julia and Mr. Artistic Director. Julia reveals that she wrote an Amelia Earhart play. Ummmm…what? Kyle smells the sexual tension and asks if they dated. Both have a different answer, which begs the question: when will they get it on this time around? I bet by the end of the episode. Ivy tries to get her pals to stay later at the party via the phone, until Liza waltzes in. Ivy is starstruck and finds out she’s there for HER! What a birthday treat! Was this how they get to be friends again? Well not yet. Ivy thinks Tom set up the reporters so Tom confronts her, which ends her date with Richard. Michael Reidel pops up to spoil the party. Gross. Ivy is disgusted, ready to leave, until Liza stops her because Tom has written her a birthday song for her! Liza sings with the aid of Tom on piano. Liza does her best Liza impersonation. Say what you want about her, but girl’s still got it. Ivy is glowing in happiness. I mean, if I had a Broadway legend singing a song for me on my birthday I would be equally as thrilled! Hint hint. My birthday is January 20th. Just tell me where to show up next year. Inquire within for my dream list.
McSleazy walks in on Karen studying the show and asks for some help. A drunk McSleazy obliges and begins starring into his leading lady’s eyes. He confesses that he cares about her, which is code for: I’m in love with you. Karen reveals that she’s seeing Jimmy and hopes things won’t be weird between them. And guess what, it is. Ivy and Tom are jovial after the Liza surprise, patching up their friendship. See! Strong friendships can endure anything! Even surprise visits from mother! Tom puts Ivy in a cab to go home, but soon discovers that she left her keys at the restaurant. Like a good friend, he is off to return them. Kyle is trying to fix his story and then gets ushered out of the room so Julia and Mr. Artistic Director could talk about their potential future love. Kyle returns with an amazing idea. But we won’t find out until Ivy’s second birthday party. Ivy tries to get Sam to lighten up on Tom because he is really a good person, but that won’t be happening anytime soon. Tom, on his way to Ivy’s, finds the chorus kids outside of the local bar, goes in to discover Ivy ditched him. A heartbroken Tom returns the keys and realizes his presence isn’t welcomed. Well that will be a fun next day of tech. Poor Tom!
Karen and Jimmy rehearse a scene while McSleazy hate watches. He gives a dig to the actors mostly because he’s pissed and jealous at Karen and Jimmy’s love. McSleazy gets in Jimmy’s face, even putting his hands on him. McSleazy drops the boyfriend card. Jimmy drops the you told me to stay away card. Karen is pissed at both of them. 1) Because McSleazy did the same thing with Dev and 2) because Jimmy wasn’t honest with her about what McSleazy said. She will never find a real man. Ivy runs out to talk to a disappointed Tom. They try to figure out if friends and boss-employee relationships can be mutually exclusive. It can’t, really. So Tom goes home, leaving Ivy to her friends and his cast. Kyle gives a plot presentation to McSleazy who approves mostly because Karen’s part will be reduced. Oh shit! Ana is the new lead. Kyle wonders what Jimmy and Karen will think, but a dejected McSleazy doesn’t really care. This is not going to be a fun next day of rehearsal. Mr. Artistic Director tries to get Julia to stay involved in the show, but instead they go out for a drink because they have a lot of years of pent up sex to attend to.
Ivy, filling her mouth with cake, feels weird about her birthday. Sam and Ivy realize their life trajectories are the exact opposite. Sam offers to walk her home, but she declines, probably because she needs some alone time. I mean, that’s how I get on my birthday. Post celebration depression. Eileen, in her office, is confronted by Richard, who apologizes for ditching their date. Eileen reveals that her baggage includes the fact that she’s not over her last relationship. Which leads into a really amazing cover of “Bittersweet Symphony.” Is that Katharine McPhee singing? Where can I get it? Anyone? The music montage includes Karen starring out the window, Mr. Artistic Director and Julia holding hands, Tom home alone, and Ivy, still at the bar. Jimmy pops up on Karen’s stoop at midnight, trying to make it up to her. How? Take her out on a real date…in PUBLIC! Stop! That’s crazy! Jimmy offers his coat to protect her from the cold. They hold hands and they’re off. But wait. Karen discovers the blow in his pocket! Oh shit! At the bar, Ivy is ready to leave before McSleazy arrives, card in hand. No. So basically he gets rejected by Karen and moves back to Ivy! McSleazy is back to his sleazy ways!
What did you think? A strong Saturday showing if I do say so myself! Will McSleazy and Ivy get it on again? Will Karen accept Jimmy for his drug past? Why wasn’t Ivy’s mom celebrating her daughter’s birthday? And most importantly, did we have a great episode because we were focused on character and NOT shows?