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


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#2101

Ohmo

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Posted Apr 5, 2012 @ 7:56 PM

Okay, so I wasn't the only one who thought it was a country song! But it's apparently by Rihanna, is that correct? I stopped listening to the radio about 2 or 3 years ago so I never know who's singing what when it comes to these current pop songs.



Yes, you weren't the only one. I immediately associated the song with country music, which I tend to have an aversion to anyway. I'm surprised to read it's a song by Rihanna. (Not that I listen to her either, though.)
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#2102

atr

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Posted Apr 5, 2012 @ 8:08 PM

Those promos pics for the next episode confuse me.


Plus extra spoilery things from previews:

Spoiler

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#2103

CatsWithAxes

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 1:28 AM

IMO the show hasn't shown us that at all. It's only shown us Derek saying that he thinks Ivy is "off her game" or whatever.


Overwhelmingly, people have “low-lighted” Ivy or damned her with faint praise, which may be intentional (or not). The writers may think it “adds suspense” to have Riedel say he loves the musical idea and the demo song, but not mention word one about “and who is the blonde actress?” as early as in the pilot, but it does speak to an essential disconnect for us vs. them. She also got no leads from the workshop and all the connected people.

But my point is that whatever people are saying or not saying about Ivy (and BTW Karen said she thought Ivy was fantastic in the workshop), we've never seen Ivy perform badly (other than the one rehearsal where she was having vocal problems). If the producers want us to take people's lack of enthusiasm about her as a valid viewpoint, they needed to direct Megan Hilty to perform - well, less spectacularly, IMO. The way I see it, IRL no one in their right mind would be unhappy with Ivy's work, the way it's being shown to us. As far as her not getting any leads from the workshop, that's not unusual, and doesn't say anything about her performance.

What was unrealistic was the way everyone kept expecting something to happen with "Marilyn" immediately. All the actors I know are much more fatalistic about these workshops, and know that it almost invariably takes quite a bit of time for anything to happen. People asking a few months later what's going on with show would be more typical. People asking a week later? Not so much.

Edited by CatsWithAxes, Apr 6, 2012 @ 1:28 PM.

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#2104

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 3:42 AM

if Tom is convinced that John has too many faults/deal breakers, then why doesn't he just say so and end it? Instead he's focusing on what he perceives as wrong and whining about it to Julia. It drives me crazy when people do crap like that instead of being honest and ending the relationship once they realize that they're not compatible (I'm not saying they're incompatible, but Tom seems to think that John being a Republican makes them incompatible). If you say that something is a deal breaker (no matter what it is like being divorced three times a la Ross Gellar, smoking, wearing red cowboy boots a la Ted Mosby, etc.) then once you find out, IT'S OVER. That is the definition of a deal breaker. If you find out and stick around, then you're either in denial or it's not really a deal breaker.


What I took from it is that a)Tom is nice. It hurts him to think of dumping John, who has been so helpful to him and is so nice and sweet and stunningly handsome, over politics, especially since they haven't even had any big fights about the welfare state or Ayn Rand or social Darwinism or funding for the arts or education. John hasn't EARNED being dumped, so it's hard for Tom to do it. b)Tom is smart, and knows that it's just a matter of time before he's arguing every single day (with a lawyer, no less,) about funding for the arts and education, social darwinism, and the welfare state. That John is a Log Cabin Republican was, I think, enough to make him waver. He can't bring himself yet to look John in the eye and say goodbye. But he will.

About Karen & Ivy: I think the Times Square jam session will go viral, making Ivy and Karen both more famous, perhaps Internet Meme famous. Also, I think of Glinda and Elphaba every time I see them. Karen is tall and dark and earnest, like Elphaba, and Ivy is a curvy little blonde with an impish laugh and that same bitchy, selfish edge Glinda starts out with. I think we might be looking a "Wicked" relationship here, ultimately, where the two start out hating each other, pass through love/hate and on into a real friendship. That would be fun. Or they could be that Hollywood cliche of the two feuding actresses who are always thrown together.
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#2105

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 9:08 AM

But my point is that whatever people are saying or not saying about Ivy (and BTW Karen said she thought Ivy was fantastic in the workshop), we've never seen Ivy perform badly (other than the one rehearsal where she was having vocal problems). If the producers want us to take people's lack of enthusiasm about her as a valid viewpoint, they needed to direct Megan Hilty to perform - well, less spectacularly, IMO. The way I see it, IRL no one in their right mind would be unhappy with Ivy's work, the way it's being shown to us. As far as her not getting any leads from the workshop, that's not unusual, and doesn't say anything about her performance.

I agree. IN addition to that, not only have I seen Ivy perform spectacularly, I haven't said anyone out perform her. She could have been awesome, yet canonically a little lack lustre if the others were outperforming her. But we didn't see that either. So, to me the canon does not make sense.
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#2106

atr

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 9:48 AM

I agree. IN addition to that, not only have I seen Ivy perform spectacularly, I haven't said anyone out perform her. She could have been awesome, yet canonically a little lack lustre if the others were outperforming her. But we didn't see that either. So, to me the canon does not make sense.


I've been toying with this, and I think the problem is less that Ivy is in any way performing -badly,- but that she's often lacked a certain subjective "it" factor, which, being subjective, has to be told to us. If Hilty was consistently performing badly, the tension between the leads would be drained, and it would be helluva frustrating to watch. Julia said in the first episode that Karen had a "glow," and Derek has noted that by being in the chorus for so long, Ivy has "toned it down to fit in, and then [she] can't turn it up again." Which could come down to confidence - it's hard to take complete charge of a stage when you're feeling insecure.

Specifically regarding Karen impressed with Ivy in the Workshop (and I would argue she was a fan as she sang along with Ivy's original song demo), I saw it as only half about Ivy, and mostly about Karen's ability to picture herself in the role. Our first two "dream" sequences were Karen, and she later fell off her platform(presumably because she was daydreaming). I've been taking these "dream" bits as signals that someone, usually but not uniquely the actress, is entirely living the role, and can be understood as doing amazingly well.

Edited by atr, Apr 6, 2012 @ 10:05 AM.

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#2107

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 10:02 AM

IRL no one in their right mind would be unhappy with Ivy's work, the way it's being shown to us.


I couldn’t agree more, but I continue to maintain/agree with atr that when we see some of these musical scenes, we are not seeing “Everyperson’s view”. We are seeing subjective camera work, where sometimes we are watching (and hearing) from Karen’s eyes/ears (where she fantasizes about self-inserting herself into Ivy, which she has done since the pilot - singing along with Ivy’s demo, dressing sexy for the bar mitzvah because “Ivy would”, and only, IMO, thinking twice with regret about failing to sleep with Derek after she thinks it netted Ivy the role – come to think of it, do we ever see Karen doing any work on this part after-hours without the ensemble shoving her into it? At bottom, I maintain that part of Karen does think she is just as fabulous as Ivy, that precious little separates them except ‘some luck and casting couch’, and is discounting all the hard work it takes to “make an Ivy” completely, but I digress). When we see/hear Ivy hit those extended glory notes, with a very exaggerated camera perspective on Ivy to boot, I believe we have just cut from Leigh nearly falling off the edge of her own chair forward with an enchanted expression on her face. So either the camera and audio are trying to show us “another woman in this scene trying to self-insert themselves into Ivy” or “proud mother”, and thus we can’t trust the evidence of our own eyes and ears for these either. I could be totally wrong in this case, but it cannot be denied that the show has attempted to push forward "individual perspective" on other dream, etc. morphs of song sequences. And that can't be conveyed adequately by "having Megan/Ivy sing badly", because then we'll think that Leigh and Karen are deaf idiots.

Edited by QueenAnne, Apr 6, 2012 @ 10:07 AM.

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#2108

atr

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 10:12 AM

part of Karen does think she is just as fabulous as Ivy, that precious little separates them except ‘some luck and casting couch’, and is discounting all the hard work it takes to “make an Ivy” completely, but I digress


Digression or not, I love this point and want to ask: so in Hell on Earth, Karen and Ivy's drunken wander around the city appears to give each of them a more humanized perspective on the other, and once they get to Ivy's apartment we have 2-3 clear shots of Karen staring at the Marilyn pictures on Ivy's mirror. As far as I remember, Karen lacks such visible signs of dedication to Marilyn in her life, and the presence of a mirror translates to "looking through another's eyes/transformation and reflection." Is Karen starting to see the fallacy in her assumptions, and comprehend the passion that lies behind Ivy's relative success?
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#2109

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 10:28 AM

...(W)e have 2-3 clear shots of Karen staring at the Marilyn pictures on Ivy's mirror. As far as I remember, Karen lacks such visible signs of dedication to Marilyn in her life, and the presence of a mirror translates to "looking through another's eyes/transformation and reflection." Is Karen starting to see the fallacy in her assumptions, and comprehend the passion that lies behind Ivy's relative success?

I'd hope so, but I'm afraid Karen (as they've been writing her) is too shallow to look inside herself that way. I do think there was a glimmer of, "OMG, this is really important to Ivy! Way more than it is to me! Maybe that's why she doesn't like me!" And honestly, I'd be happy to see that much depth from Karen.
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#2110

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 10:54 AM

I think both points are excellent, and yes – noting that whenever Ivy takes a glance into the mirror (surely some point early after waking up if not first thing to rub the sleep out of her eyes, and every time thereafter that she has to leave the house and “be seen” by people), she is seeing Marilyn, hopefully did cause a glimmer in Karen. It’s just so ironic that I think the writing intends to show us that Karen is a person who tends to “rest on her laurels”; or, maybe, that Karen really doesn’t care about “this show” as much as she thinks she does. Unfortunately, she is simultaneously stating to Ivy textually, “At least you got to play her!”

Oh please, that’s “Ivy’s line”. Nothing we have been shown indicates that Karen longs to play Marilyn in particular; she just wants to be “the star”. Karen has a full, well-rounded life, including the fact that they give her a "non-biz” boyfriend; whereas, much though I enjoy it, it is fairly telling that Derek and Ivy basically are each other’s “personal life” at the moment. And though they manage to "better" their personal relationship when they are not specifically working together, when they are "on", they are also living and breathing this show; Karen is not. Karen has never had any other meta-statements about Marilyn (that I recall- maybe someone else can?); whereas even Dev has (!), which I find pretty telling.
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#2111

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 1:31 PM

I'd hope so, but I'm afraid Karen (as they've been writing her) is too shallow to look inside herself that way. I do think there was a glimmer of, "OMG, this is really important to Ivy! Way more than it is to me! Maybe that's why she doesn't like me!" And honestly, I'd be happy to see that much depth from Karen.



Karen has a full, well-rounded life, including the fact that they give her a "non-biz” boyfriend; whereas, much though I enjoy it, it is fairly telling that Derek and Ivy basically are each other’s “personal life” at the moment. And though they manage to "better" their personal relationship when they are not specifically working together, when they are "on", they are also living and breathing this show; Karen is not. Karen has never had any other meta-statements about Marilyn (that I recall- maybe someone else can?); whereas even Dev has (!), which I find pretty telling.


Karen does have a full, well-rounded life (second quote). I find it interesting that the first quote talks about importance. With where we are now, I don't think Ivy reading all of the Marilyn books was meant to be about Ivy's dedication to the theater vs. Karen or any other performer. Now, to me, those were the first signs of Ivy's descent into crisis. She became hugely invested in playing this role. Then she had problems with her voice and the pills and her mother came calling. Then Eileen wants a "star,' and Ivy is fired. The pills increase and Sam notices. She falls onstage, and Sam and Tom both rush to her aid. When Karen bought a drunk Ivy home and looked at those pictures with a drunk Ivy (still in costume) passed out on the bed, I didn't at all get the sense that the meaning was "Ivy lives and breathes the theater" vs. how Karen may approach it. I took it as Karen beginning to realize that Ivy is in the midst of a significant crisis. I didn't think Karen was thinking about how dedicated that Ivy was as an actor. Rather, I thought Karen was realizing that Ivy's an actor who has some serious issues to deal with.
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#2112

CatsWithAxes

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 2:02 PM

When we see/hear Ivy hit those extended glory notes, with a very exaggerated camera perspective on Ivy to boot, I believe we have just cut from Leigh nearly falling off the edge of her own chair forward with an enchanted expression on her face. So either the camera and audio are trying to show us “another woman in this scene trying to self-insert themselves into Ivy” or “proud mother”, and thus we can’t trust the evidence of our own eyes and ears for these either.

I'm not at all sure about this. Frankly I don't think the Smash writers have the complexity to think of it, but even if this is what they're trying to accomplish, they're doing it very badly and ineffectually, as witnessed by the fact that we're all confused about what we're supposed to be thinking. Regardless of what each character is subjectively thinking at any given point, the writers need to be clear on what story they're trying to tell. If Ivy is the wrong person for the part, we need to see it, and/or we need to hear other characters articulate clearly why they think that. And we haven't. And that's all that counts. All the other subjective metaphoric fantasy crap is useless and mucks everything up, if we're not clear on that one basic point.

I'm shocked at how badly this show is written. The writers don't seem to know even the most basic writing principles, like how to effectively set up a story arc, what elements need to be shown to make it land (and what elements don't), and how to follow through on it effectively. Frank finding out about the affair is the perfect example. Why didn't the writers show us glimpses of that particular song before, and Julia struggling with the lyrics, so we would know exactly what hit Frank so hard when he found it? We didn't even see what was on the page, because the writers were too lazy to think it through. Instead we just heard Frank say something about a kiss on the Brooklyn Bridge, and that was supposed to be enough of an explanation (which it wasn't). And if Frank had suspicions at the workshop, why the hell didn't we see that? There was nothing to indicate that Frank thought there was anything strange going on at all. If the writers can't be bothered to care enough about their own characters to make them make sense, why should we have to fill in the blanks for them?

The Smash writers clearly prize quantity over quality and style over substance - they want to have a zillion plotlines going on all the time, and they want to keep everything moving at breakneck pace, so they're not bothering to really flesh out anything or anyone, and they just expect us to follow along blindly. They suck. Deeply.

Of course the casting doesn't help at all. They've cast an actress who really has "it" as the character who supposedly doesn't, and a completely lackluster performer as the character who supposedly does. Hard to make that one work.

Edited by CatsWithAxes, Apr 6, 2012 @ 3:03 PM.

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#2113

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 3:02 PM

TVLine is doing a Best Bad Boys competition, and that got me thinking. Smash doesn't have a major character who's a bad boy (or girl) all the time. I don't count Ellis or Jerry as major characters. Villains are one way to define a canvas because they can help define characters as good, bad, or somewhere in between. Smash has some good characters, many "in between" characters, but few on the totally "bad" end of the scale.

If we could go back, I think I would have make Derek a straight-up baddie. I think Jack Davenport would have been able to carry it off with his strong screen presence, and it may have given some definition to a canvas that is often a muddled mess of characters.
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#2114

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 3:11 PM

even if this is what they're trying to accomplish, they're doing it very badly and ineffectually, as witnessed by the fact that we're all confused about what we're supposed to be thinking.


I admit I could be wrong, but there is definitely some point of subjectivity going on there, because the extreme zooming closeup they used of Ivy is not usual – I specifically remember thinking “I hope Megan Hilty doesn’t mind us all seeing her nostrils and tonsils” – and the cinematographer/director were definitely signaling us using the camera that “this, this, this is important”. Either it was “oh look, she ‘finally’ got belting and vibrato!”; subjectivity as I surmised; or “we are witnessing the birth of a new star”. If they meant the last one, they either failed or succeeded brilliantly, because we are as frustrated as Ivy at being told she sucks. Such an extreme closeup being chosen also gives the lie to the characters’ implied/stated “some people in the ensemble can’t turn the wattage back up”, so I agree they should cut stuff like that out or pay it off sooner.

I think the writers thought this story hangs together like a mofo, which is probably part of the “eight hours of screenplay=one month writing time” irony, and often feel like what they took too closely to heart is “come in at the very point of the scene where you should come in, and leave at exactly the point where the scene should end”. But instead, they chopped hunks off the front and back ends of a lot of scenes which actually are essential.

Of course the casting doesn't help at all. They've cast an actress who really has "it" as the character who supposedly doesn't, and a completely lackluster performer as the character who supposedly does. Hard to make that one work.


Yes, I agree that things would have worked better if the roles had been reversed, but the writers seem to want to have their cake and eat it too. Great performances to keep us watching, but hey, “this isn’t great enough, audience; readjust your perceptions”. And I would like to think we will have a better payoff this season, but seems unlikely as if all this stuff made sense, I think the producers would’ve stoutly said “just you wait”, instead of demoting Rebeck.
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#2115

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 4:04 PM

. With where we are now, I don't think Ivy reading all of the Marilyn books was meant to be about Ivy's dedication to the theater vs. Karen or any other performer.


From my experience, I see that as an actor preparing for a role. If Ivy auditions for another character based on a real-life person, she'd probably do thorough research on that person as well. It's pretty common.
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#2116

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 5:13 PM

If Ivy is the wrong person for the part, we need to see it, and/or we need to hear other characters articulate clearly why they think that. And we haven't. And that's all that counts. All the other subjective metaphoric fantasy crap is useless and mucks everything up, if we're not clear on that one basic point.


Yes, exactly. First, they should be showing not telling, so if they want Ivy to be lacking for the part, they should be directing Hilty to play Ivy as lacking for the part. Heck, if they want to chase after iTunes sales, they can have Hilty's vocals be great but have Ivy stumble in line delivery or dancing.

Second, if they are going to tell and not show, they should at least tell us clearly. Derek's being vaguely unhappy and complaining about wattage does not work, especially when Karen's complimenting Ivy in the same episode and each previous rehearsal as ended with Ivy nailing what she's supposed to nail. The post-workshop criticisms was the perfect opportunity to lay it out the issue with Ivy in canon. Instead, the issue wasn't even that Ivy doesn't have a star reputation. It wasn't Ivy at all. It was the book. I don't even think the show has told us the "it" versus "non-it" thing--that's audience guess work. The closest to it was Derek's line about dialing down the wattage, but even that implies that he thinks Ivy can have the wattage as long as she can overcome her chorus training.

So the show is utterly failing to even tell us (much less show us!) why we should root for Karen to get Marilyn instead of Ivy if we don't just like Karen (or McPhee's voice) better.

Edited by Zuleikha, Apr 6, 2012 @ 5:15 PM.

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#2117

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 6:23 PM

CatsWithAxes, I want to love up your whole post, especially the part about how the audience shouldn't be expected to fill in the blanks. We're not being paid to write this shit, the people who are should be doing it. If they hadn't rushed this show out to capitalize on the Glee craze, maybe this show wouldn't be a hot mess.
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#2118

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 7:21 PM

If you think you're confused about what we're suppose to feel for people and stories in this show now just look at what's planned by Greenblatt for season 2 in this article in today's Los Angeles Times.

http://latimesblogs....-spielberg.html

ETA this link which is the one that deals with plans for the second season.

http://latimesblogs....h-broadway.html

One confusifying musical is enough; two is one too many!

Edited by dbklmt, Apr 6, 2012 @ 8:00 PM.

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#2119

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 7:22 PM


. With where we are now, I don't think Ivy reading all of the Marilyn books was meant to be about Ivy's dedication to the theater vs. Karen or any other performer.



From my experience, I see that as an actor preparing for a role. If Ivy auditions for another character based on a real-life person, she'd probably do thorough research on that person as well. It's pretty common.


I understand that, and in most cases (like your own), I'd agree that's probably the case. What I'm saying is looking at Ivy specifically, in relation to where we are now in terms of what's going on with her, I don't see it as a reference to Ivy's dedication to the theater as it relates to others in the industry. I see her researching Marilyn as the beginning action that sets about this downward spiral that Ivy seems to be in.
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#2120

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 11:50 PM

Ep 11 (I believe) description- "PUBLICITY" 04/23/2012 (10:00PM - 11:00PM) (Monday) : Karen (Katharine McPhee) finds herself seduced by the glamorous life of new BFF Rebecca Duvall (special guest star Uma Thurman) -- but can Rebecca be trusted? What will Karen's ascent mean to her relationship with Dev (Raza Jaffrey)? And will Rebecca drive Derek (Jack Davenport) insane? Eileen (Anjelica Huston) introduces new beau Nick (guest star Thorsten Kaye) to ex-husband Jerry (guest star Michael Cristofer), while Julia (Debra Messing) panics when her son Leo (Emory Cohen) goes missing. Megan Hilty and Christian Borle also star.

My honest opinion on how we're supposed to see things- I think this show believes in tell not show. They want to impress us with Megan Hilty's voice but compensate for the story by telling us otherwise. Basically they want to have it both ways.

I think when Karen saw the Marilyn pictures it was a wakeup moment to how important this role is to Ivy. I think she believed it was just about being a diva bitch star for Ivy in a role that she slept her way into. I don't think she ever thought about how much Ivy wanted this specific role and how hard she worked for it.

Edited by L star, Apr 6, 2012 @ 11:54 PM.

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#2121

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Posted Apr 7, 2012 @ 3:59 AM

Maybe she realised one may need to work hard and do research for a role, even.
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#2122

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Posted Apr 7, 2012 @ 4:29 AM

I just watched five eps in a row, so my opinions might be skewed.

First. Elias needs to go. I get where they were trying to go with him, but he's the least stealthy spy ever. Also, he just bugs.

I don't at all get why I should care about Debra Messing's love life, but the show apparently thinks it matters. Did not at all agree with the firing of Michael because the two people that wrote the score said it should be so. They write songs, they don't direct/produce.

Also, how did Ivy get her spot back so quickly in the chorus of the dumbest show ever that is apparently super popular?

I do like Karen and Ivy being friends. I'm sure it won't last, though.

Edited by Najat333, Apr 7, 2012 @ 4:31 AM.

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#2123

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Posted Apr 7, 2012 @ 5:25 AM

Both Derek and Tom see Ivy’s dedication as a “good thing” – that conversation with Derek about “research” could be the tipping point from where he stopped seeing Ivy as “bimbo Tom fawns over” to “dedicated actor” (which is ironic because he either director’ed or approved her highly sexualized performance in his audition, where they had spent the most time together in the process), and Tom’s feigning ignorance in Ivy's dressing room because he "likes hearing you talk about Marilyn”. Derek and Tom are definitely musical-invested characters (along with Eileen); is it unhealthily-so? I think they have the right amount of investment for professionals; but maybe these people are meant to form a theoretical cadre with Ivy - and of course, they both have a personal relationship with her.

Conversely, Julia (with whom Tom has an even deeper personal relationship) has been given the “omniscient writer’s” knowledge of Marilyn’s life, dropping it in here and there, but she seems to have gotten it from the actual scriptwriters/universally accepted knowledge; is currently the character least invested in the actual musical; and is in fact short-shrifting and bungling her professional contribution to obsess over an unhealthy relationship in her personal life. Is she purposefully meant to be Ivy’s counterpoint/counterpart in the story? I would say that the writers at least have a thought of paralleling Karen and Julia (both involved with civilians; Julia the person who wants to keep Karen around, maybe sees something of herself in Karen), but they have been shallow about laying on it, to say the least.

More shallowly, Marilyn knowledge ultimately could hew to age; Tom, Julia, and Derek, who I’m guessing are contemporaries of approximately 40, all have the common cultural knowledge (and of course Eileen, though she is older still) of classic movie buffs and have tossed it into the conversation. "How much research Ivy had done by what time in the audition timeline" is questionable, but it's pretty safe to say that she was "up to" the easy visual cues she was practicing in the mirror. Karen, at 24, had to be educated (by Dev) to even that level of informed "outward" knowledge - and let us not forget the "Karen needs to bring the sexy" we're constantly having shoved at us. To then have Karen decide to toss at Ivy "At least you got to play her!" at Ivy, when Karen still doesn't appear to know the first thing of what Marilyn is about other than "sexy caricature" (ironically, how she sees/saw Ivy), suggests consistency to me in "Ivy wants to essay this role properly as a dedicated actor would; Karen just wants to be 'a big sexy star' and would be just as happy in a musical about Jayne Mansfield". Looking at Ivy's mirror would then seem to be the tipping point where Karen sees Ivy as more than sexy caricature.

Edited by QueenAnne, Apr 7, 2012 @ 5:27 AM.

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#2124

colletteRI

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Posted Apr 7, 2012 @ 7:52 AM

Of course the casting doesn't help at all. They've cast an actress who really has "it" as the character who supposedly doesn't, and a completely lackluster performer as the character who supposedly does. Hard to make that one work.


wow, you said it! For me Katherine McPhee is getting worse, not better. Everything about her performance and presence is HOLLOW. Ivy is so "present" when she performs or is in a scene. "Karen" is so blah and you can so tell that she has been in classes to learn how to act and dance. Great effort, I know it's not easy but she lacks the natural quality that makes others become stars. Karen has a nice voice- when they don't over produce it but between her performance and the writing- I think a bunch of 7th grade girls could do a better job developing the characters, this show is verging on being dumb and laughable.
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#2125

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Posted Apr 7, 2012 @ 8:49 AM

I'm not sure that I can ever see Ivy coming back as Marilyn. She's been so thoroughly trashed that I can't imagine this show ever bringing her back for that role.


These days, Ivy's onstage meltdown might be the one thing that would convince the producers she's marketable. Get a good story going about the erratic chorus girl playing Marilyn, and people will come to see the trainwreck, media will take up the narrative about how Marilyn has taken over her psyche, etc.

I know mileage varies, but Hilty just doesn't do it for me. There are moments when her acting works for me, and moments when it really doesn't. And it really bugs me that they cast someone who can't dance.

All in all, I think Ivy's spiral from her investment in and proximity to Marilyn is a good story, and not something that's been done a million times on TV.* I hope they develop it. I hope they develop ANYTHING.

*I mentioned William Goldman's Tinsel way upthread, which was about three actresses vying to play a Monroe-based character in a big movie and how that possibility unravels all their lives. It's a good beach read!)
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#2126

CatsWithAxes

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Posted Apr 7, 2012 @ 2:53 PM

Did not at all agree with the firing of Michael because the two people that wrote the score said it should be so. They write songs, they don't direct/produce.

It's not that unusual for the writers to have a strong say in who gets hired or let go. But this case was hardly typical anyway, because the three people who were in favor of firing Michael all knew he was sleeping with Julia, and that was the (unspoken) reason they all agreed to fire him. Only Derek was in favor of keeping him, and Derek didn't know what the real issue was. Normally the director's opinion would have a lot of weight (if he was trusted, at least), but in this case I don't think Derek would have been able to prevail.

I don't think the decision was unfair - Michael basically brought it on himself. Julia, Tom and Eileen all knew that keeping him around was going to inevitably cause problems for the development of the show, as far as Julia was concerned, even if he was performing his role in the piece well. Michael knew he was creating tension and stress for Julia and didn't care. Julia wasn't blameless, but even if she hadn't slept with him, his stalkery attitude would have continued and probably escalated. People sometimes get fired when they're difficult to work with, and Michael was proving very difficult to work with, even if it wasn't immediately obvious to everyone.

Also, how did Ivy get her spot back so quickly in the chorus of the dumbest show ever that is apparently super popular?

I assumed, though it was never actually stated, that Ivy never gave up that gig - she just took a leave of absence from it while she was doing the workshop (which wouldn't be unheard of). Presumably a swing (an understudy who covers several different ensemble tracks) was doing her part while she was away. The workshop contract would have been for only a few weeks, and there was no guarantee anything was going to happen from it, so if Ivy had a job she could come back to afterward she would probably want to keep it, even if she wasn't crazy about it. Everyone has to pay their rent.

Edited by CatsWithAxes, Apr 8, 2012 @ 12:40 PM.

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#2127

ElectricBoogalo

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Posted Apr 7, 2012 @ 7:16 PM

And, as previously posted, when Tom told Ivy that they had decided to look for a star to play Marilyn, he told her she could return to Heaven & Earth whenever she was ready.
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#2128

Zuleikha

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Posted Apr 7, 2012 @ 9:17 PM

I'm concerned about the lack of Ivy in upcoming episode descriptions. I really don't want her arc to be the continuing downward spiral of Ivy into drug abuse.
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#2129

QueenAnne

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Posted Apr 8, 2012 @ 12:35 AM

Yeah, I don't want that for the arc either, but she appears a couple of times in the promos for Monday at least, and they don't have space to include everything. Or, her part might be something really good that they have to bury in order to avoid spoilage, when it works it's a surprising treat for the audience.
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#2130

Viva Elijah

Viva Elijah

    Video Archivist

Posted Apr 8, 2012 @ 8:38 AM

I'm concerned about the lack of Ivy in upcoming episode descriptions. I really don't want her arc to be the continuing downward spiral of Ivy into drug abuse.


Not that the showrunners haven't done enough to ruin any potential this show has had, but the above and Karen continuing to be extolled without the actual talent to support it will be what make me stop watching this show for good. It looks like we are definitely heading that way with latter from the descriptions and promos for upcoming episodes. Ugh. Katharine McPhee.
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