Smash: Episodes 14 – 16

“I love church!” –Karen Cartwright

Well, the past two episodes took us to Boston, where Bombshell bombed in previews. As 30 Rock showed us so well: nothing good happens when you take your NY show to Boston, its colder, inferior cousin. I loved Tom’s little musical number about going to previews that linked up the montage of everyone packing their bags. It was so cheesy, but I am a sucker for a montage. I feel it is my duty, however, to point out that everyone knows trains to Boston do not leave from Grand Central, and the Metro North will only take you as far as New Haven. Get your NY details right, people!

  • As erstwhile choir boy and king of the side-eye Bitchface Bobby will tell you: shit gets cray during previews. Indeed. Clearly, the first thing to address is Dev. Dev is a train wreck in Anglo-Indian human form. Consistently making poor choices, judging others, and pretending like nothing is his fault. RJ comes over with a bottle of Joey Bean or some other obscure, small batch (read: made up) bourbon, which she and Dev proceed to drink like it’s sweet tea, and obviously start making out. Oh, but Dev’s deep moral compass stops him in the nick of time, leading him to take a train up to Boston and…wait for it….propose to his girlfriend who explicitly wanted to be left alone because she was working. When she points this out, he obviously goes and sleeps with her arch-frenemy Ivy. I don’t want to spill any more cyber ink over this guy, so I will simply say that I hope Ivy’s conscious leads her to tell Karen so she can once and for all break ties with Dev. He is entirely unsympathetic and the worse kind of Nice Guy (TM).
  • In other relationship drama, Derrick is putting the moves on Uma, as he explains, this is what a professional does when his star lacks confidence. I found this plot line totally believable, and while Ivy is right to be pissed/ disappointed, I again love that Derrick really does base every decision off what he thinks is best for the show. I think I’ve overlooked how good his character is because it is so seamlessly played and believable. Kudos.
  • Julia and Tom’s relationship was tested when he allowed Michael to be brought back into the show after DiMaggio got a pilot (I wonder if it is the new Anne Heche show that NBC is ditching its Thursday lineup for? Good luck with that, bro.) I’m completely on team Tom with this. Though I have grown a fondness for Julia’s family, gurl needs to take some responsibility. Like, you don’t actually have to have sex with Michael Swift because he is singing near you. Side note: where do we think Julia’s son gets his hair cut? I mean, that is one magnificent bowl.
  • So Eileen finally gets her song…and as much as it pains me to say it….it was a let down. Clearly Anjelica Huston is not the best singer, so they had to go with something kind of tame, and it was sweet I guess, but I just hoped that when the time finally came, it would be some totally badass OTT number with martinis splashing around and shit catching fire. Maybe next season when the divorce is finalized?
  • Speaking of Eileen’s love life: what was up with her Dubiously Accented Lover’s wrist? I liked the little aside “Do I want to know?” and imagine him “helping” Ellis into a cab by roughing him up and telling him not to smart off to Eileen again. Also, obviously Ellis put the peanuts in Uma’s smoothie, but what if it was DAL who planted the idea? This is clearly not what happened, but I like the idea of the two conspiring to whack people for the sake of the show.
  • As for the show itself, the sets look pretty good, but at this point I’m a little tired of some of the numbers. I also do not understand the bathhouse scene at all. I know sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but with all those buff dancers in clingy towels? I just don’t see how that would fit into the Bombshell plot. When Uma as Marilyn was dying, I thought “Oh God, this is awful, they are seriously ending with her suicide?” Which, as is Smash’s genius as a show, quickly became part of the plot: no one clapped! Ouch! This of course leads Uma to go ahead and drink the fatal peanut-laden smoothie so she can have an out. Tune in next time when we learn Who will replace her? and How will they fix the ending? Will Dev find the ring? Will anyone care when he does?
  • I could have done without the Deus-ex-machina church scene that brought everyone together at the end. I thought the song was well done, and it was nice that Knicks Fan got a chance in the spotlight (boy can sing), but it was too schmaltzy for my taste. Also, I’m surprised Dev and Ivy didn’t catch fire when they walked in the doors. Sinners be damned!
  • A couple little notes: Julia seriously doesn’t know how to flip a pancake? Love when they have Eileen talking on the phone: “I said I needed those costumes yesterday!” Michael Swift, get a grip, man.
  • This week’s cheeseball award could only go to one person: that’s right, it’s Dev! Dev, if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it…a ring of delicious baked brie and some crackers to go with that whine! (I know, too many puns! too much! but Dev deserves it.)
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