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


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#2191

QueenCharisma

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 10:54 AM

Is it just me or did Derek look like he wanted to cast Tom in the show?


Not just you. I thought at first he looked like, "God, this song is terrible," but once Tom really got into it, Derek seemed to have a lightbulb moment. I half expected him to go up to Tom at the end and go, "Congratulations - you're our new DiMaggio" and Tom to be like, "Whaaa?!" Then Sam would offer to tutor him in baseball history.
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#2192

amalficoast1

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 11:12 AM

The show continues to disappoint with the casting of Karen, nice voice, no charisma, personality or pizzaz to make me think she is a star in the making. Ivy has the intangibles, Karen does not. Karen's boring relationship with the drab boyfriend continues. The casting people screwed up IMO with Karen. I enjoy Julia and Tom, their relationship, history, his integrity, decency. The show remains too busy, too many characters, subplots to really care very much. I enjoyed the production number with Tom filling in, he was great. I enjoy the Broadway storyline. Next year TPTB need to trim things down, bring in a worthy challenger to Karen, put Karen in the ensemble, backburner her completely. Karen does not have the chops to be the back up star of a touring show, much less Broadway.
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#2193

amalficoast1

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 11:12 AM

The show continues to disappoint with the casting of Karen, nice voice, no charisma, personality or pizzaz to make me think she is a star in the making. Ivy has the intangibles, Karen does not. Karen's boring relationship with the drab boyfriend continues. The casting people screwed up IMO with Karen. I enjoy Julia and Tom, their relationship, history, his integrity, decency. The show remains too busy, too many characters, subplots to really care very much. I enjoyed the production number with Tom filling in, he was great. I enjoy the Broadway storyline. Next year TPTB need to trim things down, bring in a worthy challenger to Karen, put Karen in the ensemble, backburner her completely. Karen does not have the chops to be the back up star of a touring show, much less Broadway.
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#2194

iwatchthemall

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 11:12 AM

I loved Tom's number! I would blame Derek either if he had a thought to place Tom in the actual musical.
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#2195

lamadeleine

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 11:45 AM

There were some things I liked, some things I didn't like, and some things that didn't make any damn sense- but at least there were positives:

What I Liked:

1. The inclusion of more songs from Bombshell- Tom's number was fun and I actually liked Karen's version of the viral song. If nothing else, it was a pleasant escape from auto-tune hell. I thought she did a decent job.

2. The scene between Julia and Tom in the parking lot- very well played by both actors, I thought.

3. Derek's hallucination..I know, I know! It was kind of cheesy, but I've by dying for some sort of window into why anyone would think Karen was right/could be right for the role of Marilyn, and this provided...at least something. Oddly, I thought this was the best acting I've seen McPhee do to date on this show, and I liked Derek's revelation/reaction.

What I Did Not Like:

1. Now Ivy is reduced to a pathetic stalker in order to try to get back in the show. I like the character of Ivy, but this obsessive 'I must play Marilyn' thing feels contrived and badly executed from a writing standpoint...particularly when everything she says is prefaced with "this is what Marilyn would do/say/think/feel/etc."

2. All scenes with Dev.

3. Ivy's music video. Again, get rid of the stupid pop song montages. They add nothing to the show.

4. Karen's supposed ineptitude with even the most basic of theatre directions.


WTF???

1. Did I miss something in a previous episode that might have made this make sense? Republican boyfriend shows up and sees Tom and Sam sharing a 'chummy' moment..boyfriend interprets that as insane, animal attraction- okay, I'll bite. BUT...this whole conversation comes about when boyfriend catches Tom looking at the sports page. Now, we as the audience know that Sam likes sports, and we know that Tom knows that Sam likes sports...but how does boyfriend know any of that? Writers- please keep track of what your characters know and what the audience knows.
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#2196

QueenCharisma

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 11:50 AM

The show continues to disappoint with the casting of Karen, nice voice, no charisma, personality or pizzaz to make me think she is a star in the making.


Agreed. I keep trying to think of shows that have managed to last past one season with the star of the show being a bad actor and the only ones I can come up with off the top of my head are Jonathan Rhys Myers in The Tudors and Blake Lively in Gossip Girl. But at least in JRM's case, he's at least interesting to watch. He's got a manic sort of energy that's truly fascinating so while he was being out acted every week from a technical standpoint by his co-stars, he was still a character I was happy to watch because you never knew what brand of crazy he was gonna unleash onscreen at any given moment. He's got that illusive "IT" factor thing going on (may be the booze and coke helping with the energy, though...). Same with Blake. She's not a good actress, but she's got a very bubbly personality that makes you believe she's a girl that everyone would fawn over. So I get why they were cast in their respective roles. I'm still not understanding how Katharine got hers. I don't know what she has to do to get some energy - I'm not advocating she develop a substance abuse problem in real life, but if she has to down 5 hour energy drinks by the gallon before takes, so be it - she needs to step it up because she continues to be the weakest link on this show IMO. When you're being out acted by Ellis, you really need to re-evaluate your performance.
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#2197

CatsWithAxes

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 12:08 PM

BUT...this whole conversation comes about when boyfriend catches Tom looking at the sports page. Now, we as the audience know that Sam likes sports, and we know that Tom knows that Sam likes sports...but how does boyfriend know any of that? Writers- please keep track of what your characters know and what the audience knows.

Smash writers' How-To-Create-Illogical-Storylines quiz

Section 1: Extracurricular affairs

Analogy 1: Reading the sports page is to Tom, as ____ is to Julia.

A) Making bad pancakes
B) Yelling at judges in court
C) Writing about the Brooklyn Bridge

Answer: C

Discuss.

Edited by CatsWithAxes, Apr 10, 2012 @ 2:50 PM.

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#2198

Zuleikha

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 12:09 PM

I think McPhee may kill this show for me. She's such bad actress, I can't take it. I agree that the Marilyn hallucination moment was some of her best acting ever, but that's a really low bar. I didn't think she was good, just less bad. I think what helped make her less bad is that Marilyn is so affected. McPhee can't do natural, either in her expression or her line reading. For me, it's not just that Karen doesn't rise to the intangible level of "It"ness that her character is supposed to have. It's that McPhee is so bad that the result is Karen is so bad, it is incomprehensible to me that anyone would still be thinking of giving Karen speaking lines. I can buy her in ensemble because she does have a great voice (although I think Hilty's "Never Give All the Heart" blows McPhee's out of the water) and she can dance well enough, but IMHO, there is no way any halfway competent creative team would be using her as the understudy/stand in. I think any of the other female ensemble members would be more likely to get that role.

Except of course that there's no real reason Ivy wouldn't be asked for it and have been asked to understudy from the beginning. She probably wouldn't have had the Heaven on Earth meltdown if she'd been demoted to understudy for a movie star as opposed to fired completely (because even though it would suck, she'd still have a high likelihood of playing the part at times). And even if, as the poster upthread pointed out, half of the creative team behind Marilyn are people who should be willing to overlook a night of bad behavior. Julia seems to like Ivy fine and knows from unprofessional, so seems unlikely to care about one meltdown, and Eileen also doesn't seem like she'd care--at least for the understudy role since it's not going to affect investors.

I'm also not sure what the show is trying to go for with Derek/Ivy or Derek/Karen. Derek/Ivy come across like such a natural, real couple to me in their scenes, and Derek even listens to Ivy's advice. But yet, Derek apologized to and complimented Karen, which he never did with Ivy. I hoped there might be a moment when he talked about he always went hard on Ivy where he realized his directing had hurt rather than help her performance, but no, it just went into the charming joke of him firing her instead (which isn't exactly true... he didn't fight for her, but it was really Eileen's call). I feel like the writers intend for Derek/Karen to end up together (with Dev going to DC with RJ, which honestly, I think is what he should do. He and Karen have nothing in common, and his new boss is going to make his life suck), but Jack Davenport and Megan Hilty are rooting for Ivy/Derek.

I don't find Eileen fun. I find her shockingly immature and incompetent. She was the main force behind the let's get a movie star, but it didn't occur to her that they also needed to make sure their movie star was professional and right for the part? She's so into the art that she doesn't care about having actual appropriate talent? There was no need to be so rude with the other investors. Their requests were reasonable--she's asking for a lot of their money. Why should they bankroll her just because she wants to prove something to her soon-to-be ex-husband? And if she's firing all the conventional investors because she has her rock-n-roll bankroll (and all her eggs in one basket), why not junk the Rebecca Duvall thing and go back to Ivy... who was only fired so that they could get the conventional investors?

Christian Borle is an amazing performer. That number had no need to be on the show, but it was nice to get it.
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#2199

QueenCharisma

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 12:17 PM

Except of course that there's no real reason Ivy wouldn't be asked for it and have been asked to understudy from the beginning.


Exactly. When I read the spoilers, I was convinced Ivy must have come down with laryngitis and had her feet cut off for Karen to be promoted over her. That was absolute madness and contrivance to set up the inevitable Derek/Karen hook up (see Derek's line to Ivy about not needing to sleep with every leading lady - this show doesn't do subtle).
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#2200

marceline

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 12:35 PM

Eileen is my favorite character on the show so just about everything to do with her had me WTFing left and right. (Except for her treating Ellis like a roach. That will never get old.)

The way she screwed over the investors blew my mind. Yes, they were being a pain in the ass but it's not like they were demanding that they get to play Marilyn and DiMaggio (because apparently there aren't any other characters in this show). What did they do to deserve such public humiliation? Does Eileen think this will be the last show she ever mounts and therefore will never need funding again in the future? No wonder everyone is acting like Jerry was the brains of the pair.

Then there's Nick the bartender who keeps thousands of dollars in cash under his bar and has no problem with half his customers knowing that. Not in a safe, mind you. Not even a shoebox. Just stacks of cash that he lays out on the bar in front of everybody. Look, I know New York isn't the cesspool it was during the 80s but in what reality is it sane to do that?

Once again Christian Borle pulls out a sweet friendship scene. He did it when he told Ivy that she was bumped and he did it again when Julia told Tom about her marriage. Tom truly is the heart of the show.
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#2201

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 12:49 PM

I'm not sure, but I think what pissed Eileen off most with the investors was their affinity for Jerry. She probably figured they were In Jerry's corner and would continue to be PITAs all the while moaning about how Jerry did things better. At least that's what I thought.
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#2202

Rinaldo

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 12:54 PM

She was the main force behind the let's get a movie star, but it didn't occur to her that they also needed to make sure their movie star was professional and right for the part? She's so into the art that she doesn't care about having actual appropriate talent?

This part is, alas, all too true to life. "Stars" who will presumably draw the paying crowds are all too often cast in roles for which they're unqualified (perhaps they have never even appeared on a stage). See the La Cage aux Folles productions that cast Robert Stack (bought out before getting to public performance) or Jeffrey Tambor (left after 4 performances). Or the casting of the two male leads in various How to Succeed revivals (omitting names, because certainly there can be legitimate disagreement about how suitable one or another actor was, but it's clearly not a matter of always finding the best "appropriate talent"). Sometimes, certainly, the star turns out to be terrific and stagewise and a pro (Antonio Banderas in the Nine revival, and Daniel Radcliffe seems to be free of "star" ego, works hard, and never misses a performance), but the opposite situation seems to be far more common.

I too wonder exactly what the auspices for these rehearsals are. Derek had said they needed to take time (a year) for the script and score to be completed before the project picked up again. A second workshop would be a new undertaking with its own budget and casting. But this just seems to be rehearsals vaguely continuing after that presentation-performance, because none of the ensemble has anything better to do, or something.
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#2203

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 12:58 PM

Details revealed for the April 23rd episode Publicity. Karen and Rebecca Duvall are BFF...WTF?

Can't believe this ridiculously rah rah BaaaD recap of this week's episode at Broadway World.

http://broadwayworld...ls-Uma-20120410

Ratings held stable finishing 2nd behind Hawaii Five-0.

http://tvbythenumber...inch-up/128237/
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#2204

catwoman747

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 1:01 PM

It was probably the softer way Ivy was written/filmed last night, but I found Megan/Ivy especially pretty last night. At the bar, in Derek's bed and walking down Broadway/Breakaway daydream, she just seemed naturally pretty. Maybe I just haven’t really noticed her face before on the show. (I actually saw her in 9 to 5, but she didn’t look anything like Megan dressed up as Dolly.)

Wow Ivy really, really knows Monroe's life inside out. I'm glad it was confirmed that she has fastidiously studied, as until the drug induced fiasco last week, she had always come off as a true professional. Between her conversations with Derek and Karen, she seemed to know all the intimate details about Monroe and was at complete ease discussing her, like she was talking about one of her friends. Also, last night took the Ivy/Derek relationship into just that territory - a relationship. During 3 days/nights, they were at each others places all three nights. Setting it up this way allows for far more Karen drama...not only does she get the understudy/lead, but she might just get Derek. At least his daydreams seem to lead that he is smitten with her. His actions do, however, show he is into Ivy at least for now.

I liked Ivy last night, even though she was scheming. I liked that she wasn’t as insecure as she has been recently. I liked her getting in the mix with her friends and talking with Derek without hesitation. I enjoy the way Megan can play her in any mood and it seems realistic. I wonder if Ivy is merely acting more focused/secure to get back in the musical or if she is just more comfortable with herself when she isn't having to "prove herself" in the shadow of famous mama. I would like to think the Breakaway number showed a bit of “I fucked up bad and blew my big chance and now have to dig my way out and show what I can do”, but I doubt it.

Karen, oh Karen. If the writers wanted me to see improvement in her vocals, I did. But making her so green that she doesn't know where to be on stage was too unrealistic. She wants the role, but hasn’t been watching Ivy like a hawk? The difference between Ivy and Karen's preparation is being shown like night and day. Karen is going with the flow and feels like eventually she will get the role for her talent, so she doesn't have to learn about Monroe’s life or pay attention to staging while in the ensemble. Having seen Ivy live and breath the role leaves me a bit let down by Karen's uninspired attitude. I liked Ivy telling her to not take this opportunity for granted. However, as someone mentioned upthread, I do think that Ivy is going to be let down and Karen will end up with the role. 2 or 3 times this episode Ivy made comments to Derek and Karen about how to get the best out themselves. Me sees it backfires on Ivy.

Last night did make me believe that McPhee has been downplaying Karen, so that her performances now show improvement. And hence...we can see "the making of a star".

From the previews, I see Ivy is back in the ensemble next week. I wonder who arranged it (Derek or Tom) and bet it isn't explained by more than a passing line by someone looking at her as she stretches before rehearsal.

When I read the spoilers, I was convinced Ivy must have come down with laryngitis and had her feet cut off for Karen to be promoted over her.


THIS! I agree that there was no reason to fire Ivy. They should have demoted her to ensemble/understudy and then none of that crap last week might have transpired...sigh... Also, if she is placed back in the ensemble wouldn’t she be the natural choice to become the understudy? I wonder how short lived any bonding between Ivy and Karen will last. I have been enjoying their scenes together and I like it better when they are at least friendly. I gather that Karen respects Ivy’s talent (from the duet last week). I think Ivy regrets that her stupid mistake has allowed Karen to have a chance at showing what she’s got, because from the door scene at the end, Ivy clearly saw that Karen can sing.

However, if/when Rebecca leaves/gets fired, aren’t we are right where we were in week one? With a musical and no star power to sell it. The new rock star investor, who looks like a stoner type, wouldn't give a shit in the wind what Ivy did before (primarily in response from having lost the part), but only what she brings to the show now. From what they’ve shown, Ivy should get it. But from what I foresee, Karen will. I think Eileen/Derek would rather sell it as a “discovery” with a green newbie than a promotion of a seasoned ensemble player.
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#2205

CatsWithAxes

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 1:19 PM

I'm not sure, but I think what pissed Eileen off most with the investors was their affinity for Jerry. She probably figured they were In Jerry's corner and would continue to be PITAs all the while moaning about how Jerry did things better.

As long as she gets their money, why should she care? This is her first time producing on her own, so maybe she should listen to the people she's working with. The investors were right - she was putting them in a bad position. I guess we were supposed to be cheering and saying "You go, girl!", when she "put them in their place" at the bar, but nothing they had said or done merited that kind of scorn and disdain and rude treatment. Eileen's behavior as a producer is really questionable - she makes one bad decision after another. More and more, Smash is illustrating, whether intentionally or not, that the creative and business people behind "Bombshell" have no idea what the fuck they're doing. I just can't root for them anymore.
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#2206

Zuleikha

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 1:23 PM

"Stars" who will presumably draw the paying crowds are all too often cast in roles for which they're unqualified (perhaps they have never even appeared on a stage).


Yes, I get that, and I know that's what the show is going to be attempting to satirize. But I don't think they've done it in a way that works with Eileen. Eileen's supposed to be the half of the Rands that really focuses on the creative, artistic side while Jerry handled the nuts-and-bolts of the money. Or thus, this is what we've been told before by Jerry and Katy. Eileen's motivations seemed to be a mix of true faith in the creative vision of the musical and a desire to prove herself as a solo producer. Now, she doesn't seem to care about the creative vision at all, and she seems to view proving herself as getting the show onstage in any form at all. If Bombshell flops, she'll just have proven everyone who doubted her right, but she doesn't seem to see that.

There was a line in either last week's episode or the one before saying they're moving on to an off-Broadway run. Where? For how long? With what money? With what script? Who knows!

I think my least favorite part about Karen getting the understudy role is that she's done literally nothing to earn her promotion, and definitely nothing to earn the eventual main lead when Duvall drops out (assuming Ivy doesn't get it back). Again, this is an obvious writing issue. We didn't see her stand out in any good way as a member of the ensemble, other than maybe for her singing (although it was sort of a good/bad thing). We should have gotten some mentions of her picking up choreography quickly, seen her do well with a minor speaking part, or something to explain why she was still in consideration (and why Jessica or any of the other female ensemble members wouldn't be... Jessica clearly sings well in addition to dances well since Jessica had a recording gig per the bar mitzvah episode). Since the writers knew this was the direction they were going in, they could have put something in place to make us feel Karen earned the role instead of Ivy losing the role--especially when we were given so many reasons why external factors (mostly Derek) led to Ivy's meltdown.
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#2207

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 1:33 PM

Smash writers' How-To-Create-Illogical-Storylines quiz

Section 1: Extracurricular affairs

Analogy 1: Reading the sports page is to Tom, as ____ is to Julia.

A) Making bad pancakes
B) Yelling at judges in court
C) Writing about the Brooklyn Bridge

Answer: C

Discuss.


Ha! I love it!

Zuleikha, reading your post made me so mad because what you suggested makes such good sense. It's just fail after fail at this point.
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#2208

Zuleikha

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 2:03 PM

, reading your post made me so mad because what you suggested makes such good sense. It's just fail after fail at this point.


That's part of what's so frustrating with this show. All of the plot points they want (related to the musical; I don't care about Julia's home life) could be easily achieved in multiple logical ways that would be emotionally satisfying for both Ivy and Karen fans. If they really wanted the Karen/Ivy who ultimately gets Marilyn rivalry to keep going, they could have had a few simple lines inserted to show Karen doing well and Ivy having weaknesses. Then give Ivy a triumphant performance at the workshop--no lukewarm praise or questions about how she did but rave reviews and triumphant camera work. It's important for Ivy fans that we get to see her finally have a payoff in that unquestioned moment in the fun. Ivy's performance created enough buzz about the role that it comes to the attention of the prominent movie star Rebecca Duvall, whose agent contacts Eileen to say Rebecca's interested in the part. Eileen's investors are very interested in the show based on the workshop, but they still question the finances and viability of a Broadway show in this climate. Instead of that stupid dead-end The Coup episode, the post-workshop episode would now focus on the tension about the possibility of replacing Ivy with Duvall. Tom would obviously advocate for keeping Ivy. In my world, Derek would as well but would also acknowledge the upsides to a known star. Eileen would advocate for Duvall, and ultimately finances would conquer art. Ivy would initially be demoted to understudy/stand in. Then the next episode would be Ivy's bitter downward spiral at the unfairness of the world, leading to the same pill popping meltdown that causes her to be fired completely and Karen to be promoted (due to her excellence in the workshop). However, Derek and Tom could hold out the carrot that Ivy may be able to persuade Eileen and Julia to reinstate her if they feel confident that she'll never meltdown again. Now we've got a neat reversal of the initial tension with Ivy trying to regain the role (so Ivy fans got their moment of trimph and can still root/hope for her to get the role back) and Karen in the understudy role with the subtext of eventually having the lead when Duvall inevitably fades out (so Karen fans get their moment of triumph and get to root for/hope for her to keep the role). Eileen could even have a more extended plot with the investors as Duvall's obvious unsuitability for the part conflicts with the investors' insistence on keeping her for her name, eventually leading to the rock star replacement in a way where Eileen's behavior would make sense and would be a pay off.

This also lets Julia and Tom look more competent and skilled by having the Duvall issue happen without it being a response to the book's weakness. Since we're not seeing the book, we might as well be told that the book is coming along well and the show looks like a strong, interesting musical instead of right now, where it feels like we're being told the musical is a hot mess except for some excellent song and dance numbers.
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#2209

Ohmo

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 2:06 PM

I'm still not understanding how Katharine got hers.


I think it comes down to two words: American Idol. She has broad name recognition. I watched approximately 5 minutes of AI in Season 1, and even I can tell you that Katherine was on the show. I have no idea what season. I have no idea what she sang or how good or bad she was, but I know she was on American Idol just from every day media sources.

I think TPTB wanted someone who had name recognition that people in the general population (like me) wouldn't even consciously know they had. Conversely, unless you follow Broadway, I'd say it was far less likely that you'd even heard of Megan before Smash. I know I hadn't.
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#2210

atr

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 2:54 PM

But yet, Derek apologized to and complimented Karen, which he never did with Ivy.


I know this was a bit upthread, but I wanted to comment on it because it's so very relevant with this ongoing and confusing Derek/Ivy/Karen triangle.

Derek apologized and complimented Karen at her apartment in large part because Ivy told him to be nice. (The later apology was due to panic at the hallucination, and so doesn't count at a Meta level, though it's important within the storyline.) He followed Ivy's advice because it was potentially good for the production, and Derek is all about the production. Granted, he probably does feel badly about the apartment encounter, even more so if his real relationship with Ivy has trumped his old ways.

On the other side, we have seen him compliment Ivy at least a couple times (during The Workshop, in prod meetings.) It can be argued that especially during intermission, he was trying to get her to perform better, and after Leigh sang, he was operating off Ivy's previous blow up about him being mean. Even so, he came up with the niceness on his own, which at least shows he was thoughtfully considering her needs and trying to make good - not just professionally, but personally.

While he's never explicitly apologized to Ivy, we again see a divide. His quasi-apology to Karen about his behavior in his apartment referenced his assumptions in a casting couch context, and only admitted that was wrong. But over and over, he "apologizes" to Ivy by referencing deeper personal characteristics (like how in rehearsal, no one exists for him) and/or coming back to her with a round-about request for forgiveness (asking her to the party, asking "are we good?" before complimenting her - which looks like they're at a point when he needs to compliment!apologize to make it up, but any true forgiveness would need to spring from her understanding and acceptance of who he is.) I'd argue that these more subtle apologies indicate that he has more investment in her response - for a character who is emotionally retarded, he's not going to overtly show emotions, especially when not comfortable and safe in a relationship.

Of course, this difference looks, on the surface, as though he prefers Karen (and heck, despite me, it's possible he does.) And crucially, it will look this way to Karen, who will continue to be emboldened and act in the sassy way that a) he's asked her to display since the beginning and b) add fire to the crush she has on him. Which leads into what could be some fascinating drama once professional and personal layers start to be picked apart.
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#2211

OakGoblinfly

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 3:15 PM

But if you aren't a fan of theater or Broadway, why would you be interested in how a musical is produced? I mean, if the end result doesn't interest you, why would you care how it was made? I do think Smash appeals to a certain audience, and the mistake of the network was thinking that the show would have a broader appeal. ~~ txhorns79


Glee was immensely popular not because people were interested in the inner workings of a high school show choir; they were interested in scripts, characters, and plot lines. I’m not a fan of murder investigations (heck, I'm not a huge fan of prodecurals as a rule) yet I adore Grimm so very much because of the intriguing storylines, strong acting, well scripted plots, and character development. I think (and this is merely my opinion) that it is a mistake to think that people will not tune into a show because the subject matter might be foreign to them. Ultimately, I don’t think the subject matter is the end all and be all of what draws people in; it is the story, the writing, the actors … and sadly Smash is foundering in that department.
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#2212

Nell Huxleigh

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 3:15 PM

Karen and Rebecca Duvall are BFF...WTF?


Didn't you get the memo. Everyone loves Karen. Everyone. Bar none. No one does anything less unless they are jealous psychos like Ivy and Dev. It makes for really great drama!

Karen's now been given spunkiness. She'll tell off whomever and they will love it! This episode also solidified that the show is going to tell us when a great performance is actually a great performance. Ivy's were great to us, but not great in show. While I thought Karen's version was very strong, we got all the extra clues that it was AMAZING. So, Ivy is IMO out. I think it would have been a different show altogether and a better one if Ivy had ever even had a real supporter. Even Tom's support seemed mostly based on their friendship.

To me, Derek is beyond convoluted. I can't even think of him as a character because he makes no sense. I was surprised that he didn't put those benches on wheels, though. He always has me guessing. I don't really like him on the show because he just seems to be an antagonist to whatever is going on. And he directed the Touch Me number. That is his vision unadulterated and it is hideous. His relationship to Ivy doesn't make sense. They have to basically only talk about the firing in broad terms because what is Derek going to say? I greeeeeeatly prefer Karen in the role, but let's still be boyfriend and girlfriend until Karen decides to shag me.
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#2213

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:09 PM

I took Derek's hallucination to be a revelation to him that Karen COULD perform the part. I think before then he saw potential in her but was frustrated that her lack of experience was preventing her from reaching that potential. Now he's actually starting to believe in her.


The only reasonable explanations I can think of for Derek's Karen-as-Marilyn hallucination are (a) schizophrenia or (b) Ivy slipped him some retaliatory prednisone. I hope it's (b).
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#2214

atr

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:24 PM

The only reasonable explanations I can think of for Derek's Karen-as-Marilyn hallucination are (a) schizophrenia or (b) Ivy slipped him some retaliatory prednisone. I hope it's (b).


c) Ivy is hypnotizing him. After all, she did explicitly link Karen to Marilyn when she told him to be nice.

Just 'cuz drugging someone is even worse than being bored or high onstage. ETA: but mind control is vastly more socially acceptable. And more fun!

Edited by atr, Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:34 PM.

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#2215

Sarraghina

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:34 PM

The only bright spot out of that arc was Terry Mann, just because it was so fun to see him playing a stoned rocker and clearly having fun with it. Terry freaking Mann.

Wait, that was Rum Tum Tugger??? How did I not recognize that?

I think Eileen was fine with placating the investors until the one guy complained that this would never happen with Jerry. That was her "fuck 'em" straw, IMO. THAT was why she burned the contracts.

Regarding Karen's inexperience vs. Ivy's preparedness - there are things about Karen that annoy me (like seemingly not knowing upstage/downstage). However, Ivy's obsession with Marilyn creeps me out. She shouldn't get the part just because she knows the most about Marilyn. That, to me, is like when the hamsters on America's Next Top Model say they should win because they want it more than anybody else ever wanted anything. I want to be 5'8", but I've been 5'3" since high school and I don't think that's going to change just because I really really want it!

Ivy's expertise with Marilyn could be a detriment, in fact. If the writers want to use artistic license with Marilyn's character, could they with Ivy? I'm not sure...
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#2216

slowpoked

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:55 PM

watched approximately 5 minutes of AI in Season 1, and even I can tell you that Katherine was on the show.


That is some awesome recognition skill you got there, Ohmo, because Katharine wasn't on Idol until Season 5. ;)

I think McPhee may have some residual recognition from AI, but unless Smash was conceived and Kat was already cast around 6 years ago, I'm not sure I buy that NBC was banking on McPhee's popularity solely based on AI. AI fans have trouble remembering winners from just a couple of years ago, let alone a runner-up whose singing career really didn't go anywhere from 6 years ago. These times, people might just know her more as "that girl from AI, I think..." but not as the Katharine McPhee from AI. She's not on Kelly Clarkson/Carrie Underwood level of AI recognition. I think she was cast because she can sing and has had some acting work here and there, and maybe looks the part, but I don't think they cast her thinking they can bank on her super awesome, worldwide popularity as an AI runner-up.

Edited by slowpoked, Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:59 PM.

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#2217

MV007

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:56 PM

At no point have I ever cared about Tom or his storylines. Until last night. I have no idea what happened. I thought he was really great in that number in the studio and his interactions with Julia and the dancer. I just saw a new side to him and I enjoyed it.

I feel like a lot of the criticism for Karen comes from people more familiar with Broadway. I for one have never been to a Broadway show and know next to nothing about what it takes to be successful there but I buy that these people think Karen could be a star. And I thought the hallucination last night was Derek really coming to terms with the fact that Karen could be Marilyn.

I also don't see Ivy's preparedness as being indicative of anything other then knowledge about Marilyn. It doesn't give her the X factor that is apparently missing and why she was cut out.

Edited by MV007, Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:59 PM.

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#2218

Streya

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 5:25 PM

The only bright spot out of that arc was Terry Mann, just because it was so fun to see him playing a stoned rocker and clearly having fun with it. Terry freaking Mann.

Wait, that was Rum Tum Tugger??? How did I not recognize that?

Yep, Terrence Mann, original Rum Tum Tugger from Cats, original Javert from Les Miserables. Among many great roles.

I think Eileen was fine with placating the investors until the one guy complained that this would never happen with Jerry. That was her "fuck 'em" straw, IMO. THAT was why she burned the contracts.


Oh I totally get WHY Eileen burned the contracts, she's striking out on her own, she wants no ties with Jerry. But that's $7 million dollars she might need some day; that's money. You don't fuck with the money.
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#2219

catwoman747

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 5:26 PM

Karen and Rebecca Duvall are BFF...WTF?


Sooooo, Karen gets a taste of the high life rolling in the wee posse of her new BFF who is a reeeeally famous actress with a movie poster in Time Square and everything!

Okay, AGAIN...somebody new is on the show and just like that, they want to and DO befriend sweet, doe eyed Karen. A famous thirty/forty something actress isn't going to hang with the "well known" book/song writers, or the high powered (as we are to believe) producer, but no no no, she wants to hang with a 24 year old understudy green as grass. I wonder if it will be good or bad. Obviously it can cause problems with Dev (say it is so), but I wonder how her new ensemble buddies are going to deal with being relegated to the non posse members after they embraced her with almost welcome arms.

I hope drama/theater department teacher/directors are carefully preaching the false cray cray dreamworld to their students. Right now, all pretty, tall and talented singers should high tail it to NY, since it just so easy to get an agent, get and be chosen at auditions and commercials. AND get the main understudy lead when you don't even know where upstage is.

That said, I wonder how Megan Hilty feels, as she is someone who had little to no chorus/ensemble work and went straight into lead work in major shows. According to Playbill, she was 24 when she took over for Glinda in Wicked and 28 when she originated the 9-5 role that won her a Drama Desk nomination. She has also done various national tours on the west coast as Glinda. So it does appear that Ms. Hilty got in young and made it quickly. I would count Megan in the talented and charismatic category though...which is not how I would describe Karen. Karen is a good singer who will need to learn how to act in her eyes and body when she sings. I think McPhee can do both, but is playing Karen dimmer, so she can brighten as she becomes a star.

Edited by catwoman747, Apr 10, 2012 @ 5:41 PM.

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#2220

zmulls

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 5:45 PM

Julia: I am so sad that I will not tell my best gay friend/partner about my breakup even though I have told him absolutely everything for the last ten years, including about my affair(s). I will sneak a peek at my son’s phone to get my husband’s phone number since I am too stupid to look it up on my online bill.

Tom’s Boyfriend: I surprise my writer boyfriend with coffee but he is laughing and talking with one of the cast members. A gay friend. In a musical. In New York. Clearly he is itching to have teh sex with him. Plus he is reading the sports page. The fact he has been writing songs about Joe Dimaggio for the last couple of months could not possibly be a factor. I will break up with him because he is too friendly towards that dancer.

Dev: I see the director leave my apartment after my girlfriend has just been made the star understudy after being in New York for two weeks. Clearly he is having teh sex with her (though I’m a little more justified than Tom’s Boyfriend). I will do what anyone else who wants a career as a public figure/spokesperson would do – I will fight with an internationally known director on the street.

Eileen: I have worked, with my husband, on many big shows with many important producers. They keep asking pesky questions about what their money will be used for. When I get some musical flake to put seven million dollars in the show, I will lure them to a lower east side dive and publicly humiliate them, because I cannot envision ever needing the good will of anyone in this town again. I will also laugh in their faces.

Ivy: I have a cunning plan. I will fool everyone into letting me back in the show by pretending to be NICE. I can’t believe noone has ever thought of this before. I will cackle at my cleverness like Richard III in case nobody could tell I was really only fooling all the time.

Karen: I’m awesome.


ETA: You know what the problem with this show is? The writers are twelve.

Edited by zmulls, Apr 10, 2012 @ 5:50 PM.

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