Sunday, April 28, 2013

The SMASH Reality Index: Season 2 Episode 13



Back by popular demand, Dave (@NineDaves) 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. Follow the 'caps here or on Dave's site.

After three good episodes in a row, the momentum was bound to wear off eventually. And it did this week with a mediocre episode, “The Producers.” We’re totally onboard with the fact that this show is still dealing with realistic issues like how to sell tickets to Bombshell and keep it open until the Tonys. And how to get producers to invest in Hit List. But this episode focused a lot on Jimmy. And as much as we love Jeremy Jordan, we’re pretty much over Jimmy as a character. Plus, we found out this week that Linda the stage manager will be gone for the rest of the season! It’s like SMASH hates us!

Check out how it all played out:

Totally True
• Agnes is on set for The Today Show filming, making sure everyone in the cast smiles. Plus 10.
• We can’t remember the last time The Tonight Show had on a Broadway performer promoting his/her new musical. But if Ivy Lynn is getting national press like this, we’ll take it.
• Can we just get another Bombshell cast recording with Megan Hilty singing all the songs Katharine McPhee sang? ‘Cause we need this recording of “20th Century Fox Mambo,” stat!
• Hit List is having it’s own PR plotline, taking seemingly bad press photographs in super cheesy setups. Plus 10 because we’ve seen the marketing for Hit List so far and these look like they’ll fit in perfectly.
• “Loosen Up. You don’t really want to kill her,” the photographer says to Ana, as she holds a gun to Karen’s head. Plus 10 because yes she does and yes we all do.
• Ana is still dating Adam because “he’s funny.” The things us gurls will put up with for a guy with a sense of humor...
• OH HEY MONTEGO GLOVER AS HIT LIST’S STAGE MANAGER! You’re no Linda/Ann Harada, but we’ll take you.
• Derek has invited 10 possible producers to the same performance of Hit List. Among them, Scott Rudin, Daryl Roth, David Stone, and Kevin McCollum are all listed. Plus 50 for naming actual producers. Plus another 50 for saying that Rudin wants to write the check to transfer the production without even seeing it.
• Agnes has Ivy Lynn on a number of ridiculous press outings, including some sort of signing at a Macy’s sweater sale. Plus 100 because Broadway doesn’t necessarily get the best press opportunities and they are always doing partnerships with Macy’s that don’t exactly make sense.
• Ivy Lynn says she can’t wait to get home to her bed, her DVR, and the entire season of GIRLS she missed. Plus 60 because we dream of doing the same thing.
• Agnes and Eileen break down the current status of Bombshell’s Tony competition: “Marisa Tomei broke her leg, which means Moonstruck won’t be going to Broadway this season. Imitation of Life is DOA. The Lloyd Webber just posted its closing. So if we stay open ‘til June, that Tony is ours.” Plus 100 because this is exactly how producers and press agents think - and crazy theater bloggers like us too!
• Agnes thinks staying open until June might be challenging. “Advance sales aren’t what they should be, we haven’t gone a day without being on the TKTS board since we opened.” Shows with no stars and positive reviews, but not across-the-board raves struggle with this all the time. And as much as it pains us to give them points for introducing this plotline, plus 50.
• Tom wants Julia to go back on her promise to do Gatsby with Scott because it’s their “dream project.” As shitty as it would be to do that, Dave has to side with Tom here. If this has been their long standing plan together, it would be really shitty to walk away from this now. Especially because Julia decided to move forward with Gatsby in like, 5 seconds without really giving Tom proper time to discuss it. Linda actually sides with Julia here because like Scott says, Tom only wants to do Gatsby now that City of Angels has fallen through, which is pretty shitty. Like Tom and Julia, even Dave and Linda disagree sometimes. 
•Jimmy stumbles into rehearsal from a cab with two sexy ladies. OF COURSE HE DOES.
• The longer opening credits are back! And we’re oddly happy about that!
• People are lined up in the cold waiting for rush tickets to Hit List and it looks like every rush line we’ve ever been in with the blankets, the beanies, and the coffee to keep warm. Plus 500 because even though Hit List kinda bugs the crap out of us, we’d probably be there too.
• Ivy is on the phone with Derek, and says she has a “Broadway Talks Back” Q&A with Tom and Julia. She also tells him she has a Group Sales Event the next day. And then she leaves her conversation with him to do a phone interview. Hey, if they’re going to make Ivy busy, at least they’re giving her plausible things to do! Also, that phone interview is probably with one of us!
• “I was drunk and starstruck,” Kyle says of his hookup with Tom. Plus 200 because we’ve used that line a few times.
• Derek is auditioning new people for Jimmy’s understudy. Plus 20.
• Kyle reads Karen Cartwright like a book, blaming her for Jimmy’s demise. “She begged him to open up to her for months,” he says. “And when she finally did, she didn’t like what she heard and bailed. And then she brought her friend in to audition for his part.” He may be a little off here, but it’s about time someone called Karen on her shit.
• AHHHH CAROLEE CARMELLO! AS KYLE’S MOM! PLUS 500!
• A fan boy tells Kyle that he saw Hit List three times. He’s the Kyle of three months ago! Full circle moment!
• Even Kyle’s parents are nervous about Jimmy. Plus 50 because if Carolee Carmello were our mom, we’re pretty sure she’d be invested in our friend’s lives too!
• Seconds before their Q&A, Julia tells Tom she’s doing Gatsby at MTW, and he reminds her that she secured the rights in their company name. Man, if this doesn’t lead to a “Franklin Shepard, Inc.” number, then we’ll be pissed.
• OH HEY KEVIN MCCOLLUM AND DARYL ROTH PLAYING THEMSELVES! Plus 20! And another 20 because Roth calls McCollum “Kev.”
• Jimmy shows up 10 minutes before performance, and Derek reminds him that if this happened on Broadway, he’d get a fine. Plus 10.
• The opening of Hit List is still really great.
• Julia and Tom have a crazy meltdown at the Q&A and it’s great. Though Tom says that he and Julia are no longer working together and we secretly hope that doesn’t stop Shaiman and Wittman from working together again!
• The pre-Hit List announcement is bananas: “Ladies and gentleman. We’d like to take this opportunity to tell you that the use of cellphones and other recording devices is not only permitted, but encouraged. Record the show in its entirety for all we care. We don’t own it more than you do.” Hit List is so hip, you guys!
• If Jeremy Jordan could just sing on this show and we didn’t have to endure Jimmy’s backstory and terrible personality, we’d be much happier.
• Julia claims that Tom didn’t ask her to wait for him to do Gatsby. Um.. Julia, go back and watch last week’s episode. He did ask you. You just couldn’t wait 10 minutes without making a decision.
• Julia says that Gatsby is “the first thing that has really made me happy in years.” Damn! We didn’t know Brian d’Arcy James was THAT bad of a husband.
• Yet another new Hit List song, and this time it’s another Joe Iconis number, “The Goodbye Song.” You know, Iconis has given us our favorite song from Hit List so far, “Broadway Here I Come.” “The Goodbye Song” is pretty great too. Maybe they should have had him just write every song from Hit List? Then at least they’d sound like they were written by the same person.
• At the end of “The Goodbye Song,” the entire cast picks up some American Idiot choreography that makes us miss the fuck out of that show.
• Derek decided to shut down Hit List for a few days to give Sam the chance to prepare for Jimmy’s role. Plus 20 because even though Sam’s totally wrong for the role, we’re glad they’re at least rehearsing in an understudy.
• When Daryl Roth asks Kevin McCollum about Hit List, he says, “High energy. Um...very talented,” as if he’s searching for nice things to say. Plus 10 because we’ve been in situations where someone asked us what we thought of a show within earshot of a member of the creative team.
• Agnes tries to talk McCollum and Roth out of producing Hit List, calling it “culty” and comparing it to Hedwig and Rocky Horror. Damn, this makes us love her even more.
• Kevin McCollum says that he likes edge, and brings up Avenue Q, which he produced, and Rent, which he was a co-producer on. Plus 50.
• Also, McCollum compared Hit List’s edginess to Rent. RIGHT TO DAPHNE RUBIN-VEGA’S FACE! Plus 100!
• “There’s edge and then there’s cliff,” Agnes says, in response to McCollum. Plus 50.
• Kyle’s mom gets Karen to sign her Hit List Playbill. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, huh
• Blake breaks up with Kyle after hearing that Kyle cheated on him. Finally, a gay man who stands up for monogamy.
• Karen gives Kyle the motivation to stand up to Jimmy and cut him out of Kyle’s life. Plus 100 because this is the best thing that Karen has ever done on SMASH.
• Eileen tells Derek that taste doesn’t move producers, money does. There are exceptions to this, like Jordan Roth, but it’s mostly true.
• Eileen tells Derek that she can’t invest in Hit List because she can’t bet against herself. “I loved the show,” she tells him. “I didn’t want to, but I did.” All in all, it’s a really nice conversation. Eileen and Derek are honest with and supportive of each other, and it’s the kind of friendship we can root for.
• The sales of Bombshell are up 7%. We love you Agnes. You keep doing your thing.
• Ivy chooses watching GIRLS instead of hooking up with Derek. Not going to lie, but we’d probably do the same thing.
• Hey, the previews for the next week’s episode are back. Thanks NBC!
• The previews for next week’s episode show a Hit List Broadway marquee with a sign that says “Previews begin April 9.” SO MUCH FOR THAT CLIFFHANGER!
• She may be gone from the show, but we’re still having THE ANN HARADA LINE OF THE WEEK, DAMMIT! “No disrespect to Montego Glover’s character, but none of my actors ever showed up 10 minutes before Bombshell performances. So...!” WE LOVE YOU ANN!

Oh Hell No! 
• The Bombshell cast is doing a segment for The Today Show on the master classes the Broadway community offers to musical theater students from around the country. Only thing is, those don’t happen “once a year” like Kathie Lee claims they do.
• Kathie Lee dressed up as Marilyn Monroe performing “The 20th Century Fox Mambo” are the things nightmares are made of.
• The cast of Bombshell are on The Today Show and can’t keep yawning through the segment. Sure, Broadway folks aren’t morning people. But this is ridiculous.
• Julia skips out on The Today Show filming because she’s clearly still mad at Tom. Also, maybe she likes to sleep in? Also, she would have no reason to be there. Her work on Bombshell is done at this point.
• Scott Nichols has already announced Julia’s Gatsby play to his board. How many lines has Julia written of it so far?
• Jimmy is two hours late to the Hit List photoshoot. “You know he left in his costume last night,” Ana says, implying something’s wrong with Jimmy. Sure, you’re not supposed to leave in your costume. But as long as Jimmy’s not wearing an angel costume and singing “Cheers (I’ll Drink To That)” in the middle of Times Square, we’re sure he’s okay.
• Come on. Ken Davenport surely would be one of the producers clamoring to produce Hit List. Minus 10.
• Minus 100 because we’d probably see Marisa Tomei in a Moonstruck musical.
• Eileen thinks that launching a radio campaign might help Bombshell sell some tickets. Great idea Eileen! It’s like it’s the ‘90s all over again!
• Julia missed The Today Show press event because she was writing her Gatsby play? The Julia we know doesn’t write! At least not without the help of a dramaturg. Minus 100.
• Also, Julia bought the stage rights to The Great Gatsby all on her own? We’re sure she has money, but she can’t be THAT rich! Unless Three on a Match has some serious touring/regional production life we don’t know about. And even then - she just went through a divorce, and that shit is expensive. He was a chemistry teacher!
• Tom says that his directing gig for City of Angels didn’t come through. Minus 500 because we’ll never get to see a City of Angels revival on Broadway - even if it’s a fake one on SMASH.
• Whomever was taking the Hit List photographs decides that without Jimmy being there, they’re just going give Hit List an inside spread rather than the cover. What magazine is this? ‘Cause besides maybe Time Out New York, we’ve never seen stars of an off-Broadway show on the cover anyway. And even then, it’s usually the “Best Bars” issue!
• Scott reads Julia’s first scene of her Gatsby play, and claims “it’s not just an adaptation - it stands on it’s own.” He also says that it’ll win a Tony and that people will be doing Julia’s version for years to come. Um... we want to root for Julia, really we do. But we can’t imagine that she’s writing something better than F. Scott Fitzgerald. That’s why Gatz just used the actual book. Minus 500.
• Scott says that he’s spent some of his reserves from next season on Hit List. “So if that doesn’t transfer to Broadway, I have to follow up with a home run - like Gatsby - or else I’m out.” With shitty business decisions like that, Scott deserves to be out.
• The Tom and Julia Q&A is at Table 46? My god, does EVERYTHING happen there?
• OH HAAAHAAHAA THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE COVER OF NEW YORK MAGAZINE. THEY WOULD NEVER PUT THEM ON THE COVER! HAAHAAHAA!
• Kyle and Tom have hooked up a few times. Yet Kyle claims he is still with his boyfriend, Blake. Minus 200 because gay men are the worst.
• Jimmy is turning into Lindsay Lohan, being late for work and showing up high, and we’re so not into this plotline.
• Sam is auditioning to be Jimmy’s understudy? He just quit Bombshell because he didn’t want to be a swing on Broadway and now he’s willing to be an understudy off-Broadway? We know Sam doesn’t make the best decisions, but this makes no sense.
• Eileen agrees to a Bombshell performance at the Brighton Beach Senior Center. We know Bombshell is hard up for ticket sales, but this is ridiculous.
• Based on the Hit List performance Eileen saw at the MTW winter benefit, Eileen doesn’t think Hit List is big enough for a Broadway transfer. Um... half the cast was suspended from fabric strips, flying from the ceiling. It looked pretty big to us!
• Jimmy says that he thought that Karen was “the one.” BARF.
• Sam has been cast as Jimmy’s understudy. Man, this show really has no idea what to do with Leslie Odom Jr., huh?
• You’re telling us Kathie Lee and Carolee Carmello are in the same episode of SMASH, and still no mention of Scandalous? Patty and Emily must be devastated! Minus 50.
• No “Franklin Shepard, Inc.” Minus 10.
• The new Hit List song we hear tonight is called “Don’t Let Me Know” and it’s by Lucie Silvas and Jamie Alexander Hartman. It’s pretty not bad! But dammit if all these Hit List songs are melding together in our minds.
• Why does every number from Hit List look like a group number from So You Think You Can Dance?
• Jimmy misses his cue and fails to catch Karen, injuring her. Minus 10 because we wish we enjoyed seeing Karen Cartwright fall more.
• DAPHNE RUBIN-VEGA AND JESSE L. MARTIN ARE IN A SCENE TOGETHER. AND THIS IS ALL YOU CAN MUSTER UP, SMASH? Minus 100.

• Kyle tells Jimmy that he’s been fired when he’s clearly high as a kite. Spinning Jimmy into an epic takedown of the entire Hit List team, especially Karen and Kyle. In it, he’s pretty damn eloquent for someone who’s on a bunch of coke, no?
• Like, we love Jeremy Jordan, but we’re not a fan of his drunk/high acting.
• Jimmy once again mentions that Kyle is in love with him. Is he still harping on that? Minus 10.
• “It never occurred to me it wasn’t going to get to Broadway,” says Derek, of Hit List. Yeah, it never occurred to us either. Because it’s obviously getting to Broadway.
• Kyle sings “The Last Goodbye” while walking alone down the street. He’s really into that singing and walking thing, huh? Like, we love it when Andy Mientus gets a chance to sing, but this isn’t Glee.
• And there is always a montage when he sings. SMASH, you were doing so well keeping away from these.
• Julia is literally reading The Great Gatsby and then going to her computer to write scenes for her Gatsby play. Ugh. That’s a terrible way to show how writers work on adaptations.
• Karen’s flirting attempts with Derek are making us even more uncomfortable than Jimmy’s breakdown.
• Kyle packs up Jimmy’s shit and leaves it waiting for him at his brother’s place. That seems like a lot of work, no?
• Minus everything for this lame-ass cliffhanger where Kyle might be run over by a car.

…. 
Did you also think this episode was disappointing in comparison to last week’s? What did you think of the cliffhanger? Let us know in the comments.

3 comments:

Laura Sargent said...

So. Awful.

W. Squier said...

Is Kyle getting hit by a car (and presumably killed) on his opening night a sidelong reference to Jonathan Larson? Horrible as it is if Kyle is dead, the resulting publicity probably would result in producers that are on the fence suddenly committing to a B'way run...

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