The Steven Spielberg produced epic a-star-is-born redo/ multi-format tie-in promised cash cow mid-season offer-up has finally aired! Remember when it was premiering after the Super Bowl, and then NBC was like–whoa, actually this show is not really that good, so we better air The Voice instead! Yes, I do too. It’s basically Glee for the geriatric set, but who can refuse another musical-driven tv show? Certainly not I. First, a disclaimer: I am not a real Broadway buff. I make no claims to registering anything related to concepts of theater authenticity, and barely get the references to theater critics, etc. I assume those things are thrown in there to appeal to sad struggling actors and the roughly 200 upper west and east side grannies who pay attention to that crap. No, I’m here for the dance numbers, people. So, let’s get down to the business of show, why don’t we?
- Episode 3 picked up the pace this week! We see the seeds planted for the Ivy/Derrick affair to fizzle out, we learn of Debra Messing’s affair with Dennis Duffy, er, Michael, we watch Dev get jealous of Derrick, and finally we determine once and for all that Tom’s assistant is not gay (ha ha ha, just kidding, he’s clearly gay, sorry live-in girlfriend, who incidentally makes only the third person of color in the cast…only one per episode, apparently).
- Let’s deconstruct all of these amorous entanglements, shall we? Side note: There are very few people in this show with any sexual chemistry at all, but I do think that the Derrick/ Karen pairing is starting to spark a little.
- Obviously, Derrick can’t wait to be shod of Ivy. (” I have no gas!” — really, that is the best you can do? Theataah!) I’m actually shocked to find that she gives a rat’s ass about whether or not Derrick really likes her. I guess show biz hasn’t hardened her enough yet. I have a feeling that when Derrick dumps her, and kicks her out of the musical giving Karen the part, that will do the trick.
- The scene in which Derrick meets Karen to discuss her future in “the ensemble” (i.e., in his pants) was super awkward to watch, and therefore perfect. The Britishness back and forth was great, as were the triumvirate of black leather jackets the stars were wearing. But, poor Dev, when he kisses Karen, it was so clear they have no future. I’m getting pretty sick of his antics: You cannot reference Gone With the Wind and your sexual prowess in the same breath and have us take you seriously, Dev, sorry.
- Tom’s assistant is starting some shit! I love it. But, can he pull it off? I mean, he’s already proven himself embarrassingly naive.
- So “show crush” is a thing. I like it! I’m not yet sure about the Debra Messing/Dennis Duffy look-alike pairing yet, although clearly “You smell nice” was the best/worst line of the show.
- The songs! The Mr. and Mrs. Smith thing, meh, I could take it or leave it. On the other hand, I enjoyed seeing Tom and Julia sing it together as they were writing. Funny how writing a musical looks very similar to a visit to the therapist, but, you know, with more piano!
- Iowa. I have an irrational fear/dislike of Iowa. I went there once, and refuse to ever go back. People were weird. (Sorry, but, yeah, I guess I am prejudiced towards Iowans). I did really enjoy Karen’s cover of “Redneck Woman” with her old pals. It was cheesy, but it hit close to home for me, so I think they really got something right there. The characters that they are choosing to develop: Julia, Karen, and Eileen are really compelling. They need to give Tom and Derrick the same treatment.
- Eileen, you minx. Two drinks in the face! And he even paid for the second one. Loves it.
- Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for…the cheeseball of the week award! The joint winners are Karen’s parents: Mr. and Mrs. Cartwright! This week saw some tough competition from newcomer Michael, but the Cartwright’s Iowa wholesomeness and love of iced tea won out. So, I present them with an All-American and Velveeta cheeseball with fresh Iowa corn, and served on white bread with the crusts cut off. Wash it down with a cold iced tea, y’all.