Smash: Episode 5 Director’s Notes

Marilyn the musical is getting close to rehearsals, and Ivy is beginning to fall apart! I really like how it is clear that she’s doing it to herself: sure, Karen would be happy to take over, but she’s not out to undermine Ivy. Derrick really does just care about the show. So, now’s the chance Ivy’s been waiting for, and she’s letting insecurity get the best of her. (The preview for next week shows her popping pills!) Begin descent into Marilyn’s latter years.

  • Speaking of which, I really enjoyed the elaborate staging of the main musical number in this episode. It was a nice reprieve from all these scenes in the dance studio. I mean, remember Center Stage? (Of course you do.) Everything was a just a lead-in to the dancer riding the motorcycle on stage. So, come on writers: more theataaah!
  • There’s a little drama brewing in the Karen-Dev household due to “RJ” the cute NY Times reporter who seems to be getting close to Dev, much to Karen’s dismay. I found it obnoxious that the writers’ shortcut to showing how close RJ and Dev are is by pointing out that they are both POC with long “totally hard to say” names. Really, Smash? You can do better. So, Karen’s jealousy leads her to awkwardly explore her sexuality to an American Idol-staple song, and then wear a trashy Forever 21 dress to a nice dinner. All the back and forth with Dev about using sexuality to get ahead was apparently for naught, since the moral of that whole episode seemed to be: dress trashy and flirt, and you WILL get what you want. This was the low-point of the episode.
  • I am not making a joke here, but legitimately asking: Is Julia’s son supposed to be…slow? Or, is the actor just awful? There is something about the aww schucks way he talks (very slowly) and the dropping his head like a 5-year old that I simply do not understand.
  • Best line of the episode, Tom, playing the piano after picking up Julia’s kid from the police station: “Something…something…toking.”
  • Does the bad sex between Tom and Lawyer mean that we will see less of them together? Because I can’t take another one of their awkward dinners.
  • Julia and Dennis Duffy getting hot and heavy on Carroll Street. I was embarrassed by the singing, but love that her son caught her! Will he tattle? Or will this mean a pact: I won’t tell dad about the vaporizer, you don’t tell him I’m screwing an actor.
  • What is with the aggressively butch sports references that Ivy’s pal in the ensemble keeps dropping? They finally had to come out and have an awkwardly written scene that clarified for everyone: “I’m Gay, but I really love sports!” I feel like Tom: Knicks who? Now go dance.
  • You know what Ivy brings to the party? That’s right: a cheese ball! This one is made for a star: beautiful on the outside, but sadly, hollow in the middle. Enjoy with a cocktail of your favorite prescription painkillers, and contemplate how everyone else is out to get you. Why won’t they let you be great, Ivy? Why?

One thought on “Smash: Episode 5 Director’s Notes

  1. funnynurse says:

    I also loved how the musical number grew. I really hated it at first, with all the practicing and vibrato and “happy birthday” and spandex. But Holy Cow, the way it blew up at the end to showcase Marilyn’s later years was kind of brilliant. I am in love with this show. Glee who?Love the Cheese balls, by the way.

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