Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The SMASH Reality Index: Episode 8

Inspired by NYMag.com’s brilliant Reality Index recaps, Dave (@NineDaves, www.NineDaves.com) and I have teamed up to bring you our take on what’s keepin’ it real and what’s faking it each week on SMASH.

This week, Dave was off in California (and he didn't take me with him!), so you're just getting me. Though I still wrote in the "we" voice because that's what we do.

The workshop for Marilyn the Musical has come and gone and has left everybody with a bunch of questions. Will Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty) be replaced? Will the project die altogether? Will Ellis (Jaime Cepero) ever meet a door he can't hide behind? Clearly the answer to the second question is no because SMASH has been renewed for a second season, which means you get us for at least another year!

In this week's episode entitled "The Coup," Derek Wills (Jack Davenport) took Marilyn in some unfortunate new directions, which we'll get into more below. We also met Eileen Rand's (Angelica Huston) daughter Katie, played by Grace Gummer, who is Meryl Streep's daughter, which kind of makes her the perfect casting choice. But how did the choices for rest of the episode measure up? On to the reality index.

Totally True
• Ivy Lynn and Sam are at a dance class. Because when you're in theater, you're always working or rehearsing or auditioning.
• BRIAN D'ARCY JAMES IS SINGING!!!!!! PLUS 1,000,000,000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
• Derek is talking to a new songwriter about a new approach because when something doesn't work, you fire everyone and start over. Just ask the teams behind The Addams Family and Leap of Faith.
• Michael Swift says that if he wasn't fired he'd quit, which is they type of lie people tell themselves all the time.
• Michael Swift says that his family is everything to him. This is obviously not true judging from the affair he just had, but we do believe he'd say this because he's such a douche.
• When Karen Cartwright is going to cook for Dev, she chooses to make him curry.
• Dev has more chemistry with RJ than with Karen Cartwright.
• Always nice to see The Shubert without Memphis in it. Sorry Adam Pascal.
• "As a general rule, producers tend to drop out at the drop of the hat," Derek says. So true. See Clybourne Park and Scott Rudin.
• Karen Cartwright totally geeks out in front of a musician she likes and then says, "I'm such a dork." Not that we've ever done that.
• Ellis is listening behind the door during Eileen's meeting with her husband. Of course. If there's a door, Ellis is behind it.
• Ivy Lynn hates bowling. Plus 10.
• Brooklyn Bowl! Plus 50.
• Ellis just happens to be there when Ivy gets out of her class. Because he's the devil and he's everywhere.
• "If they're going to replace me with a star that's bad enough, but Karen Cartwright is a nobody."-Ivy Lynn, saying what everyone is thinking.
• Even Katie can see that her mom wants the bartender.
• "We'll celebrate later," RJ says to Dev in front of Karen Cartwright. Girls are always trying to undermine each other like this. Bitches.
• Derek hits on Karen Cartwright. We know he likes to bang his leading ladies.
• Hippie Katie says Brooklyn with such disgust. You can take the girl out of Manhattan, but...
• Ellis has moved on to hiding behind cars. Because there aren't doors outside.
• "This is exactly the kind of garbage dad would pull." Katie knows how to hit her mom where it hurts.
• "How did he get here?" Julia asks about Ellis. Seriously, he's everywhere!
• Ivy Lynn is simultaneously being bitchy and understanding to Karen Cartwright. Girls are good at that. See above.
• There is so much sexual tension between Derek and Tom. Just fuck already.
• Derek and Tom's falling out happened at Bar Centrale. Plus 20. [Edit: A commenter pointed out that Bar Centrale was not around 11 years ago, so this should actually be in the "Oh Hell No!" column.]
• They need a star for Marilyn the Musical. Yeah, it kind of sucks, but that is the reality of the business.
• "I'm going to talk to Bernie," Eileen says, referring of course to Bernie Telsey. Plus 50.
• Ellis backstabs Tom as Julia and the rest of us knew he would.
• Ivy Lynn is once again looking in the mirror while singing. And she's singing "Let Me Be Your Star." We hope she never stops singing it.
• We knew it was Derek at the door, but our heart still sped up.
• Ivy Lynn and Derek both say she was good in the workshop and we agree.
• Of course the real reason Derek is there is to prove he is not lousy in bed.
• Ivy Lynn admits to lying when she said Derek was bad in bed. WE KNEW IT!

Oh Hell No!
• As much as we love Brian D'Arcy James singing, that was a terrible song choice and way too short. At least give him a full song.
• Go away Ellis.
• Ellis says that Tom doesn't really need him right now. When has Tom ever needed Ellis? When has he ever done anything useful?
• "You're such a useful young man," Eileen says to Ellis as we ponder this. No. Also, Eileen wouldn't be that nice to him.
• If they need a new approach, why is Derek going to Karen? Wouldn't he go with someone who had nothing to do with the workshop? Someone with more experience? Someone who would actually make a decent Marilyn?
• It's not that we don't love you Will Chase, but Michael Swift, we thought we got rid of you.
• I'm sorry. We zoned out during the legal talk about Leo. Because really, who cares.
• Eileen's daughter is all into saving the world. Not that this couldn't happen, but it's such a television cliché.
• "Julia has been so kind to me," Karen Cartwright says. Has she really? Have they even interacted the past few episodes?
• Ryan Tedder heard Karen Cartwright's demo? How?
• When did SMASH become a courtroom drama?
• This new song for Marilyn does not belong in a musical. It barely belongs in a nightclub, but at least it would be more appropriate there.
• Bobby and Jessica are suddenly friends with Ivy again? Remember how they were talking shit about her last week? We do.
• As much as we like to think that musical theater people sing and dance wherever we go, the number in the bowling alley was way too much.
• And minus 1,000 for not at least choosing "Score Tonight" from Grease 2 as the bowling alley number.
• Bobby, weren't you just bowling? How did you get to Karen Cartwright so fast? You're not Ellis.
• Ellis and his girlfriend are in bed together in their underwear. No way are they actually sleeping together.
• "I spent the whole day singing touch me to a bunch of dancers." "Anybody take you up on it?" "Not yet." Whenever Karen and Dev try to be sexy, it just comes across as awkward and makes us uncomfortable.
• Is this musical even about Marilyn Monroe anymore?
• What is up with these masks? We have no idea what is happening right now, but we don't like it. From the looks of it, neither does anyone else.
• "I'm sorry," Karen Cartwright says after her performance, as if anyone even realizes she's still there.
• We care about Dev's storyline almost as little as we care about Leo's storyline.
• Would Eileen Rand really be ok with the bohemian chic decor Katie chose for her new apartment?
• We're slighty offended at the way Tom is talking about blogs, although it's true that we do complain a lot. But only when we have good reason to.
• Why would Ivy Lynn have left Heaven on Earth for Marilyn? Actors do workshops all the time without actually quitting the shows they're in.
• Derek says that Ivy Lynn was good in the workshop, so why is he acting like it was a total disaster?
• "It was a failed experiment in every way," Derek says. He would never admit to being wrong.

So how’d we do this week? Hit up the comments section and let us know!


Anonymous said...

Bar Centrale was NOT around 11 years ago.

Linda said...

Good catch! Thanks.

Unknown said...

Tom and Julia would have insisted that Derek be fired after proposing to insert a song they didn't write into the show and took it in a completely wrong direction. Just for the record, you haven't mentioned that Tom and Julia don't seem to have agents, nor for that matter, do any of the actors. No writer allows a workshop to be done without some sort of contract with his producer(s). Didn't any of the people writing or producing Smash ever hear of the Dramatists Guild? For Christ sake, Tom and Julia already have one hit show running on Broadway and, in reality, would never put up with a quarter of the shenanagans this script has come up with.

Anonymous said...

I made the exact same comment about grease 2 and Score Tonight. Thatnk you for validating me! Also, could Ellis be any gayer. The biggest ridiculousness is having the audience try believe Ellis as a straight man. No frickin way.