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Smash: Glee + A Chorus Line - McPheever Spielberg = ?


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#931

cjane

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Posted Mar 2, 2012 @ 8:15 PM

When I was a younger performer, I was occasionally told I didn't have the "fire in the belly." I eventually learned that "fire in the belly" meant "looseness in the pants." I have to admit I was a total rube, just substitute Ohio for Iowa.

If the position is as valuable as a Broadway lead (or that equivalent elsewhere), there will be people, even genuinely really nice, really sincere, really wholesome people who will decide that price is not too high for them. And I don't fault them for it. It's just kind of part of the game. And it doesn't mean someone is a bad person. It's just that each person will make a different decision about the chips he/she is willing to bet.
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#932

cjane

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Posted Mar 2, 2012 @ 8:15 PM

Double post removed. Thanks.

Edited by cjane, Mar 3, 2012 @ 2:17 PM.

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#933

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Posted Mar 2, 2012 @ 8:30 PM

On a completely different note, I loved it when Derek asked Tom to the party. That made me laugh out loud. More of Derek/Tom, please.


Yes! I want to know their story.

More Tom in general, please.
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#934

AuroraAustralis

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Posted Mar 2, 2012 @ 8:44 PM

Granted there are assholes in every business, and I'm not saying stuff like this could absolutely never ever happen - it's just that it's really very rare, and I really didn't buy it in this situation. It felt like extremely lazy writing to me - instead of being set up in a way that would make it actually convincing, it seemed like merely a contrivance to get us to see poor Karen as being victimized and put upon by her evil co-workers, so that she can then be seen as winning them over with her "spunk" and "brilliance".


I agree and I think what was the most ridiculous was that those people went from venomous contempt of Karen to practically besties, all of them, on a dime, based on what... Karen demanding it? I thought they shunned Karen due to allegiance to Ivy. So then why did they do a 180? Did they suddenly decide they didn't care what Ivy thought? I just didn't get it. It was just bending how things work to suit the scenes they wanted to happen, without bothering to make it realistic.

That said, I really enjoy the show.
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#935

jtenny123

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Posted Mar 2, 2012 @ 8:48 PM

Yes! I want to know their story.

More Tom in general, please.


I agree. I loved getting to see Tom on the date (well the little we saw of it) and I'm far more interested in his personal life than Karen/Dev. I think it's really unfortunate that Katherine McPhee was cast on this show because even if her character is supposed to be as equally talented as the Megan Hilty character, McPhee doesn't pull it off so I can't see why the director would ever consider her for the lead of the musical. She has no facial expression, sings every song in the same passion-less tone, and can't deliver dialogue. There had to have been a more talented actress out there who could have made the Karen character seem like a more legitimate threat for the part.

Edited by jtenny123, Mar 2, 2012 @ 8:49 PM.

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#936

OptimisticCynic

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Posted Mar 2, 2012 @ 9:37 PM

Are there that many? Forensic Anthropologists, i.e.?

No. That's part of the point. There are more theater buffs than forensic anthropologists but if anything these shows play to the ignorant, which is why they present any industry however suits them best for drama purposes.


And the reason why series like "Friday Night Lights" and "The Wire" as so critically well received is because they strive for authenticity and realism, which makes for compelling drama. I knew almost nothing about football before watching FNL, but I cared about the characters and the outcome. Just because the audience with theater knowledge is small shouldn't mean that the writers (who are mostly playwrights and have some of experience of working on Broadway/theater) should be so lazy, trite, and cliched.

Not only that - plenty of films of the talented girl going to the big city to make her performing dreams come true show that this permise has always been fairly popular.

You know what isn't going to want people interested in your show? If the general premise interests them and then the writing is such crap.

I understand Smash probably doesn't have the luxury of the ratings of FNL since obviously NBC is looking for a hit. What they can do, however, is strive for a middle - "The Good Wife" and "Parks and Recreation" are both shows that have very specific universes of the law and government. While they don't follow every detail and take creative licenses, their characters are written consistently, the drama feels organic, and no character feels elevated by poor writing (like Karen does here). I believe the characters on those shows earn every positive reinforcement they receive, and when they are mistreated, I feel like the dialogue and situation comes from a real place and a real motivation of the other character (no matter the likeability of that character). Yes, both shows have had their hits and misses, but their worst episodes don't hold a candle to the awful writing on this show.

Slings & Arrows is about a Shakespeare festival in Canada. Yet, I know plenty of people that have no interest in theater who enjoyed that series.
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#937

amalficoast1

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Posted Mar 2, 2012 @ 9:57 PM

I've missed the last 2 shows, not sure if I care about it or not but came here to read the latest thoughts. I could not buy McPhee, bottom line. I wanted to like this show more than I did.
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#938

Zazreil

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Posted Mar 3, 2012 @ 12:19 AM

Wow! Lot's of interesting conversations and I am way behind.

The Casting Couch
The Casting Couch is sexual harassment and it is also bribery, it is unethical anyway you look at it. But like many unethical practices in business, the potential whistle blower has to weigh both the pros and cons. You can have as many whistle blower laws as you want but generally the person who blows the whistle is going to end up blackballed to some degree. You have to decide if the alternative is worse, can you sleep at night if you don't. Karen, even if she was so stupid not to realize what the Director expected when he called her to his apartment at 10pm at night to work on lines, especially in this day and age, she was by the time she left. Which means that anyone who got the part was someone she should have wondered about, so her surprise flummoxed me. Maybe she was surprised that Ivy was still sleeping with Derek? I don't know. My point is the real world is not fair. The role may very well go to a friend or the person sleeping with the director. If you decided not to report Derek at the beginning because you were afraid of the impact on your career then don't throw a semi public tantrum, when the logical conclusion happens, that is just as damaging to your career. I guess that is my whole problem with the scenario, Karen's righteous disbelief and tantrum- I kept thinking......how could she not have realized that this was a real possibility?

Ivy and Derek
There is a long history in Hollywood and probably theater where actors and cast members in the same show fall in love/lust with each other. Its the pressure cooker atmosphere, close quarters day in and out with everyone driving toward the same goal. Sometimes the relationship on screen spills over to real life and sometimes as Julie so eloquently told Tom the other person is so good in the role and that is sexy and you forget yourself. Maybe forget who that other person really is or even sometimes lose sight of who you are. I think that is what happened with Ivy and Derek. Contrast the beginning of their sex scene with the way Derek and Karen interacted. Derek was the King on his throne, demanding Karen to come to him, commanding her to perform for him. In comparison Ivy had just come off a very moving scene where she was more than a talented actress performing a role, she was channeling Marilyn in all her vulnerable tragic glory. With Ivy, Derek asked permission to touch her, he gently lifted her face and kissed her tenderly. We all knew it couldn't end well, but in that moment I can see why Ivy could believe that this wasn't about a casting couch. In the cold light of day, she couldn't keep up the illusion and that just added to her insecurity. Derek isn't exactly immune either, when he sees Ivy showing interest in any other male he suddenly comes over and expresses interest, distracting her from anyone who might poach on his property. The use of "Rumor Has It" in the last scene /spliced with shots of Ivy and Derek, was a heavy handed foreshadowing to future plot lines and certainly the expression on Ivy's face suggests that even if the relationship was more to begin with, being with Derek that night was all about the role.

Ivy reaction to Karen
Ivy is so very insecure and vulnerable that her reaction to Karen made sense to me. She knew not only were they both up for the same part but that the Producer, Director and one of the Writers were in love with Karen. She saw it when she saw the reaction to the 20th Century Fox Mambo number. She was convinced she didn't have the part when Tom came and told her she did. To tell Ivy that Karen would be in the chorus, would have been polite. The sort of professional courtesy that allows people to work together effectively. But more importantly it is not unreasonable for her to expect it from a man who was her lover and her friends and it hurt that no one felt that on a personal level she was important enough to warn. To someone as insecure as Ivy she might wonder (and rightly so based on Derek's drinks with Karen) if the real purpose in having Karen there was to give her some seasoning so that she could take over the part when it went to Broadway. Finally if you watch how they cut the scenes when Ivy spoke up about Karen the director and editors are doing something that brings up the question as to who really was out of line. Was Ivy just being a prima donna pointing out Karen's failings or was the way Karen performing (intentionally or unintentionally) almost an attack that played to Ivy's insecurities? I suspect it was both. If you listen with your eyes closed you can hear how the music is mixed so that Karen at several points over powers Ivy. And in the Wolf number the interaction in the dance number makes it look like Karen is attacking Ivy with her voice. Now the best I can say is that maybe it was meant to be unintentional, though I am not 100% sure. Karen's discussion with her boyfriend does imply that she knew she was pushing it farther than she should. After all even before Ivy spoke up, Karen was having problems. Derek? was telling Karen to pull back and Karen was having bobbles find her mark and getting to close and stepping in front of the other chorus members. So I think if you look at it objectively there is enough evidence that both girls were in the wrong.

Is Marilyn relevant? She is just another Dead star?
People have already spoken about her life as validation and the recent movie. To that I would like to add the original "Candle in the Wind" which is still heard where as the English Rose version is not on the radio. And the absurd 26ft tall statue was unveiled July 2011, that stands in Chicago's Pioneer Court, of Marilyn's famous pose from The Seven Year Itch which makes absolutely no sense as Marilyn was not from Illinois and the movie was set in and filmed in New York. So Chicago gets stuck with "a giant image of non-consent" against a phallic back drop to go with the Flying Monkey

Sorry I had to split this as it wouldn't fit in one post

Ivy and Marilyn

So then, why are they constantly setting up scenes that make you feel that Ivy practically IS Marilyn? The whole thing where she gives in to genuine passion only to be (inevitably) branded as someone who sleeps her way to the top, the insecurity, the possibly complicated home life (judging by the phone call in the pilot), the vulnerability and near-desperation that comes through in her private moments (and is completely hidden in her public ones), even the line she had about "this one's even nicer!" totally called to mind "The Prince and the Showgirl". (I've just seen My Week With Marilyn :) It's not just Hilty's look and talent, it's the way Ivy is WRITTEN.


Brilliantly put!! Someone asked about the Marilyn's life and how it relates to Ivy. I think Ivy's insecurity and vulnerability are a good reflection of Marilyn, also her work ethic in that nothing came easy to her. Manikiewicz, who cast Marilyn in All About Eve did say she had an air of innocence about her, but Marilyn was not an innocent. It was part of her act, she hadn't really perfected the persona she would later be famous for at that point but you can see signs of it in that movie. By the time Mikiewicz even saw her in The Asphalt Jungle Norma Jean had survived the foster care system and a Mother with severe mental health issues. Frequently she would be ripped out of stable homes due to her mother's issues and when her mother didn't want her or couldn't care for her any more a new place would have to be found. Sometimes good and sometimes bad and sometimes Marilyn's appearance made her unwelcome. It has been suggested that Marilyn was raped at a fairly young age in one of these homes. Certainly life was bad enough that when she was faced with going back to her mother, an orphanage or another foster home she begged a neighbor boy to marry her. You might say he was her first experience of using sex to get what she wanted or needed. I am not knocking her, the times were different and her choices were limited. Now I am not saying that Ivy has had it as bad, but it was pretty clear from her phone conversation, that her family are less caring or supportive than Karen's. In fact Ivy comes off like the after thought and that another child has all mother's interest.

Another point in common is how long it took Marilyn to make it big. It was almost 11 years, where Ivy was 10. Marilyn got her start by accident when she was working in a war time plant where she she was spotted by an army photographer. Depending on what version of the story you read, he was her lover and perhaps her first official casting couch. Did she really sleep with him? Or any of the others she was rumored to is unknown but the rumors did like to fly especially in the posthumous biographies. That relationship lead to a stint in modeling, then 20th Century Fox where she got her new name but fizzled out in six months. She was so down on her luck that this is when she posed for Playboy. Eventually she got a contract with Columbia but from the start of her career to her first real break in All About Eve which lead to her 2nd contract with Fox, it was approximately 8 years. Like Ivy working in the chorus and studying to be Marilyn, Monroe worked very hard at her craft. She had severe stage fright which she struggled to overcome through her whole career. She also worked to improve her art. Broadening her knowledge into the understanding of literature as well as acting, singing and other performance skills. This is another aspect that is in line with what we see of Ivy. I am sure she would have know what her friends meant by dance class. Plus we see her again and again working at Marilyn, reading her life, spouting off bits of her history to the point where Derek says she works too hard. But Norma Jean worked hard at being Marilyn. From the time Fox signed her again it was almost 2 years before the breathy dumb platinum blond that was to be her trademark was fully developed. It is unclear how much of this persona was her idea and how much of it was the studio's that varies by the book you read. In person Monroe was smart, vulnerable, fragile shy and retiring, but her persona was overtly sexual. She had rhinoplasty to get a more Hollywood profile, bleached her hair platinum like Harlow, wore her clothes too tight, filed down one of her heels to get her distinctive walk and affected a breathy little voice. I can see reflections of Ivy here as well, from the way she looked in her apartment talking to her Mother, to the way she armors up for auditions, and not just those for Marilyn, in the tightest most revealing clothes she can. And maybe like Monroe, Ivy isn't really being given credit for how good she really is. Few of the critics gave Monroe credit for her performances focusing on her sexuality, and some sniping at her weight every she put on a few pounds.

Finally at the end she fought weight, depression, alcohol and drug addiction. Suffered from feeling under valued and under estimated. She went from being easy to work with to being a monstrous Diva, treating Gable like dirt and only showing up a third of the time on Something's Gotta Give. In the last year of her life she was subsequently dumped by Fox and they were on the verge of patching things up and having her to return to the set of Something's Gotta Give. Which makes me worry does a similar fate await Ivy?
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#939

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Posted Mar 3, 2012 @ 2:52 AM

I've watched pretty much all of Marilyn's movies at some point and I just do not see Megan Hilty/Ivy Lynn as Monroe, other than blond hair and a considerable chest. She is too over the top bombshell for me, and Marilyn Monroe was so much more than that. She was elegant, and elusive, and childlike, and she drew attention. Even while singing in a duet with another movie star you couldn't help but pay attention to her, and it all looked effortless. Monroe looked vulnerable (and played vulnerable in a lot of her movies too) but she did not ever look insecure. Sex appeal was her weapon and she knew how to wield it. Even if the whole "Marilyn the actress" thing was an elaborate act, it was an act that fit Monroe like a glove. Ivy just comes off as insecure and trying too hard. And that whole opening her mouth REALLY wide while belting out notes -- no star of that era sang like that. Not Monroe, not Russell, not Hayworth, etc ... and it just takes me right out of the number, any number that Hilty sings.

I also have to add that I loved KM in 20th Century Fox Mambo. I thought she channeled MM quite well, especially in the end with a blond wig and a gown, and she does have the period appropriate vibrato part down pat in Happy Birthday Mr. President. So yes, Hilty may be a Broadway star, but I think of the two McPhee makes a better Marilyn, IMHO.

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related <-- there is no way Ivy Lynn could play this.
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#940

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Posted Mar 3, 2012 @ 3:37 AM

I disagree. I think the girl who sang "Crazy Dreams" can sing the number linked just fine.

And Katherine - sorry - Katharine McPhee might have come to life after the costume change in the mambo number, but she sang the beginning bit with no expression on her face. That's not Marilyn either. Or at least, I don't think so.

So I think if you look at it objectively there is enough evidence that both girls were in the wrong.

I agree absolutely. I just Ivy's mistakes sprung from insecurity and Karen's from a sense of her own superiority, so I'm more okay with Ivy than Karen right now.
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#941

Gella

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Posted Mar 3, 2012 @ 4:32 AM

"Crazy Dreams" was beautiful but there is nothing Marilynesque about it.
I am not firmly on any train. I think they were both miscast and neither one of them is really "Marilyn Monroe", but obviously TPTB can't get Michelle Williams or Scarlett Johansson, or even Diana Agron who I think would've been better. Having said that, of the two I think Katharine McPhee comes closer. At least from what we've been shown so far.
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#942

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Posted Mar 3, 2012 @ 5:45 AM

even Diana Agron who I think would've been better

She can't open her mouth and enunciate. She ruined "Time of my Life" (my one Glee song request ever) with her forgettable alto and her definition of emotion is clenching her teeth. Could she have played bitch diva to the extent that i'd have been rooting for Katharine McPhee. Probably. Marilyn or any role? No - let her go play vapid in movies I can avoid.

"Crazy Dreams" was beautiful but there is nothing Marilynesque about it.

I didn't say there was. There was something very definitely and deliberately non Marilynesque about Crazy Dreams. I'm just saying that a woman who can sing that song is capable bring the requisite "vulnerability" and "childlike" manner to the screen.
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#943

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Posted Mar 3, 2012 @ 12:49 PM

The writing for this show is crap and the almost bipolar reactions of some of the characters is annoying. I'm only watching this show to see Kat McPhee and Debra Messing at this point.
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#944

cjane

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Posted Mar 3, 2012 @ 2:19 PM

I think it's really unfortunate that Katherine McPhee was cast on this show...


I'm with you on that. She almost ruins the show for me. I barely saw her season of AI, so I don't know why I'm predisposed to dislike her.
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#945

EndoKE

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Posted Mar 3, 2012 @ 6:07 PM

I can't stand Ivy at all. To me she seems entitled. She's like, "I've been in the chorus for 38484884 years the part should go to meeeee!" She got the part because she fucked the director, that's it. To me, Ivy looks like she's wearing too much white make up on her face, or photoshopped. She looks like a contestant on Rue Paul's Drag Race.

I adore Karen though, generic but sweet.

Ivy is so very insecure and vulnerable that her reaction to Karen made sense to me. She knew not only were they both up for the same part but that the Producer, Director and one of the Writers were in love with Karen. She saw it when she saw the reaction to the 20th Century Fox Mambo number. She was convinced she didn't have the part when Tom came and told her she did. To tell Ivy that Karen would be in the chorus, would have been polite.


Ivy is insecure IMO because part of her wonders if she got the part because she slept with Derek. That would make anybody insecure.

Edited by EndoKE, Mar 3, 2012 @ 6:12 PM.

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#946

7 Continents

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Posted Mar 3, 2012 @ 6:23 PM

Actually postulating that the only reason Ivy got the part is that she slept with the director is more of an indictment of the director than of her. If Derek's casting approach is simply "sleep with me and the part is yours" he would not have had a string of successes. His best interest for HIS career is to cast the best person for the part -- someone who will make the show a hit.

What surprises me is that Karen was the second choice. With all the real talent in New York she shouldn't have made the first cut.

What distracts me about this show is the constant fallback to plot cliches. The writing needs to be edgier.
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#947

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Posted Mar 3, 2012 @ 6:51 PM

And not only is it an indictment of Derek, but also of Eileen, Julia, and Tom. Did I miss the scene where Ivy slept with them, too? Because those three had just as much pull in the casting decision as Derek, if not moreso since they wrote the damn thing and in Eileen's case, will be financing it.
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#948

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Posted Mar 3, 2012 @ 6:57 PM

What surprises me is that Karen was the second choice. With all the real talent in New York she shouldn't have made the first cut.


Yeah, that's a big hole in my opinion also. Karen looks like she belongs on "Victorious" or something. In fact, those girls could actually blow her away.

Also, sleeping with a director doesn't necessarily mean you will get the part. That's such a silly fable. What would the compromised actress do if she had sex with the director and didn't get the part? There's really no recourse at that level of success. If she made trouble, she'd be Nicolette Sheridaned.

Ivy is insecure IMO because part of her wonders if she got the part because she slept with Derek. That would make anybody insecure.

From my experience, most often not. Ivy is someone who understands the game. Seriously, unless your daddy is financing the gig, someone is going to call in favors at some point. And if you don't do it, there are thousands other beautiful, amazingly talented actresses waiting right behind you who will "do whatever it takes" to advance her career. The public will never even know the first girl existed, but the girl who "plays along" will get the part and the Cinderella story PR that sweeps these kind of things under the rug.

Edited by cjane, Mar 3, 2012 @ 7:15 PM.

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#949

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Posted Mar 3, 2012 @ 7:36 PM

I can't stand Ivy at all. To me she seems entitled. She's like, "I've been in the chorus for 38484884 years the part should go to meeeee!" She got the part because she fucked the director, that's it

Interesting, because I see Karen as being the entitled one. She should be counting her blessings that she's even in the ensemble but instead she's all waaahh, everyone's not bending over backwards to explain things to me that I should already know (that then they did anyway - grrr).

Ivy did NOT get the part because she fucked the director, many other posters have pointed out the reason why so I won't join the fray.

You guys, the Vulture recap is freaking hysterical.
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#950

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Posted Mar 3, 2012 @ 8:02 PM

Interesting, because I see Karen as being the entitled one


Absolutely. She has completely overestimated her abilities. I do agree that neither Megan Hilty nor McPhee of course really channel Monroe, but Hilty at least has some fire about her. McPhee appears comatose on the show. You can be a sweet-natured character and be interesting at the same time. However, McPhee just doesn't have the ability to convey this IMO.

Edited by jtenny123, Mar 3, 2012 @ 8:04 PM.

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#951

Rinaldo

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Posted Mar 3, 2012 @ 9:52 PM

Playbill.com interview with Megan Hilty.

A surprise to me here is that she almost didn't submit herself for Ivy because really strong dancing skills were required, and she didn't consider herself to be on that level. I certainly haven't seen any lack in that area in her work on the show (whereas McPhee's shortcomings as a dancer are all too obvious, and really ludicrous if we're to believe she was in serious contention for this crucial role).
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#952

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Posted Mar 3, 2012 @ 10:04 PM

A surprise to me here is that she almost didn't submit herself for Ivy because really strong dancing skills were required, and she didn't consider herself to be on that level. I certainly haven't seen any lack in that area in her work on the show (whereas McPhee's shortcomings as a dancer are all too obvious, and really ludicrous if we're to believe she was in serious contention for this crucial role).


If you notice its because Hilty doesn't really dance on the show, she's mainly carried around. McPhee actually dances.
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#953

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Posted Mar 3, 2012 @ 10:21 PM

If you notice its because Hilty doesn't really dance on the show, she's mainly carried around. McPhee actually dances.

I cringed when McPhee actually danced. I preferred her being rolled around in an office chair.
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#954

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Posted Mar 3, 2012 @ 10:29 PM

Rather than come up with contrived reasons for Ivy to inevitably lose the part, like: suddenly being a diva (despite being wonderful to work with during the initial phase of the project), or getting pregnant, or being hit by a bus, or losing her voice, I'd would much prefer it if the show was simply honest: that Karen will get the role not because she's better but because they think the general audience will find her more "relatable". That's the reason why Mcphee scored the role of Karen, so it's the only reason why I can accept for Karen scoring the role for Marylin. Simply have a major investor insist on Karen because they think the mainstream populace would relate to her more and thus sell more tickets. It could be just like how they promoted Beyonce's character (the prettier one) over the more Jennifer Hudsen's character in Dream Girls.

If you notice its because Hilty doesn't really dance on the show, she's mainly carried around. McPhee actually dances.

For me it's not really about the complexities of the moves that makes Ivy a better dancer, but the ease and grace of her movements on stage. Yes, she gets carried and thrown a lot, but she looks so much more comfortable gliding around on stage and interacting with the other dancers compared to the occasionally stiff McPhee.
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#955

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Posted Mar 3, 2012 @ 10:30 PM

I don't even see Karen as a sweet-natured character. She's certainly not mean and may end up demonstrating sweetness, but right now, she's just ambitious and naive. I haven't seen her do anything compassionate or kind or otherwise deserving the adjective sweet.

ETA: Yeah, Hilty passes better as a dancer. It may be because her role lets her hide her weaknesses better or she may have more natural grace. She looks good in her numbers.

Karen not looking as good, IMHO, is a writing/choreography issue. There's no need to make McPhee dance more complex numbers when she doesn't have the chops for it. I am impressed with what McPhee is able to do given that she's clearly not a natural dancer (and curious now about exactly what training she has), but the problem is that she is clearly not a natural dancer so making her do stuff above her skill level just makes Karen look bad. Since Karen's main strength is clearly supposed to be her voice, this is another missed opportunity for the show to make her more sympathetic to those of us who currently dislike her--she could acknowledge that her dancing is an issue (already established on the show anyway with her slowness at picking up choreography in the second set of callbacks), feel insecure about it, and have chosen HERSELF to work on it instead of being mother-henned into it by the other ensemble members.

Edited by Zuleikha, Mar 4, 2012 @ 12:06 AM.

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#956

Strega

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Posted Mar 3, 2012 @ 11:51 PM

Here's a handy link to the weecap page since we can't put one in the header.

Edited by TWoP Howard, Mar 5, 2012 @ 7:12 PM.
Edited link


#957

CatsWithAxes

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Posted Mar 4, 2012 @ 12:09 AM

Just a heads up that the Playbill.com interview with Megan Hilty contains a small spoiler about something that happens in an upcoming episode.

For me it's not really about the complexities of the moves that makes Ivy a better dancer, but the ease and grace of her movements on stage. Yes, she gets carried and thrown a lot, but she looks so much more comfortable gliding around on stage and interacting with the other dancers compared to the occasionally stiff McPhee.

I agree. I think it's true that we've seen McPhee doing more actual dance moves than we've seen Hilty doing, but to me Hilty still has a much more comfortable and engaging physicality when performing than McPhee does.

Edited by CatsWithAxes, Mar 6, 2012 @ 3:24 PM.

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#958

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Posted Mar 4, 2012 @ 12:13 AM

Karen will get the role not because she's better but because they think the general audience will find her more "relatable". That's the reason why Mcphee scored the role of Karen, so it's the only reason why I can accept for Karen scoring the role for Marylin.


I don't think stage shows, even on Broadway cast on the basis of being "relatable." TV and film is different, the general public knows the stars' (PR drummed up) "stories" pretty thoroughly. But mostly only "theater geeks" get into the background of stage stars. The average Joe goes to see the show, not the star. Under that theory, Karen being relatable doesn't matter.

McPhee's efforts remind me of Ashlee Simpson doing "Chicago." Might be in there somewhere, but it's not cooked yet.

Edited by cjane, Mar 4, 2012 @ 12:17 AM.

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#959

IronCastles

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Posted Mar 4, 2012 @ 12:40 AM

(waves to the nice folks) Hi y'all, new to the Smash forum. I just burned my way through the first episodes so...

I've skimmed some of the recent pages so it looks like I'm not alone on this. But gotta say it, if they think Karen's more audience-friendly, they missed the boat with me. I'm pretty much on Team Ivy thus far. (And this from a Midwesterner to boot.)

In general, Karen kind of annoys me with how much she seems to think the world owes her despite her talent being kind of undeveloped as yet. Not exactly the sweet little humble Midwestern girl they're aiming for, IMHO. She really kind of pissed me off last episode ("Cost of Art"). She has reason to be upset at losing out on the role--it's a heartbreaker to be second best in something that big--but at some point she needs to just put on her big girl pants and suck it up a bit.

She's relatively new and inexperienced, but she's talented, so there'll be other roles for her later. This is just her first shot at a major role. But instead she's throwing hissy fits about what a travesty it is that she's stuck in the ensemble, demanding that her castmates owe her their help because she supposedly got screwed over (and is also all smugly self-righteous about how she rebuffed Derek), and basically accusing Ivy of being a skank who slept with Derek to secure the role. It's really verging on self-absorbed diva behavior that's more grating for me than Ivy's insecure diva moments of trying to bump Karen out of the picture.

It would be one thing if Ivy was a talentless hack who knowingly went to bed with the director for the sole purpose of getting the starring role. But she's experienced, talented, and it seems like she wants an actual relationship with Derek and feels embarrassed that sleeping with him might have figured into the casting. Not to mention it wasn't only Derek's call on the casting. They may be putting more weight into developing Karen's character (family, friends, hunk boyfriend, etc.), but I honestly think as a character, with her insecurities and her ten years of struggling to make it in the business, Ivy is more compelling than the freshfaced little wunderkind that is Karen who seems to think that she deserves to quickly take New York by storm.

On other notes, I want more of Tom/Derek snark and their history, and I'm not unconvinced Ellis isn't going to kill Julia in her sleep some night... ;)

Edited by IronCastles, Mar 4, 2012 @ 12:53 AM.

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#960

romantic idiot

romantic idiot

    Stalker

Posted Mar 4, 2012 @ 2:33 AM

If you notice its because Hilty doesn't really dance on the show, she's mainly carried around. McPhee actually dances.

Hilty didn't dance, she just did some incredibly difficult lifts. Notice McPhee didn't have any major lifts in the mambo number except when she was hiked up by her arms, and then the full body at the end. Hilty had one where she's lifted by her legs and she has to stand there. Lifts are very dependent on the liftee not the lifter, so I'd put the difficulty level of the baseball number at least equal if not higher than the mambo number, for now.
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