Smash – Enter Demaggio – Recap – (UPDATED)

And we have a recapper! Welcome Julian, who has volunteered to recap Smash. You can check him out at his website, JulesExplainsItAll.

When I saw MJ’s tweet about needing another person to do recaps for Smash, I quickly applied for the gig. Why? Needless to say, I love the show. I’ve always been a big fan of Katharine’s—I wanted her to take the American Idol season five Idol crown over Taylor Hicks and was disappointed when she lost—and I was very happy when I heard she landed the role of “Broadway baby” (as the character’s friends call her) Karen Cartwright. Being something of a theater enthusiast myself (I take voice lessons at one of the Philippines’ top theater companies), I was drawn in by the premise of the show. But enough about me.

Unlike the previous two episodes, which opened with a performance from Karen, the third episode of Smash, titled Enter DiMaggio, features Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty) in a different kind of performance opposite Derek (Jack Davenport). That was some pretty hot lovemaking there, I thought. To be honest, it made me slightly uncomfortable. Given that she slept with the director, you would think Ivy is just another desperate hopeful who would do anything to be a star. But after this latest tryst with Derek, Ivy asks if they can meet up and work on her characterization of Marilyn. “I was hoping we could work on her.” Derek’s reply? “That’s what we’re doing, darling.” Ivy appears to be hurt, but recovers when Derek assures her he’s just joking.

The next day, we see that Ivy seems to regret sleeping with Derek and asks her friend if she did the right thing. Said friend tells Ivy to stop over-analyzing things and just enjoy the ride, so to speak. Her advice falls on deaf ears, because Ivy spends most of the episode thinking about her thing with Derek and what it could mean for her career. We see a more human side of Ivy this time, and I like that. It becomes obvious that Ivy has more in common with Karen than she thinks—they’re both just people with a hunger for fame, as “Let Me Be Your Star”puts it. I like that the show’s staff isn’t making Ivy’s character a one-dimensional beeyotch out to ruin Karen’s life. Because of these developments, some may find themselves at a loss as to who they should root for, Karen or Ivy.

Speaking of Karen, she meets up with Derek at a bar, where he offers her the chance to be part of Marilyn’s ensemble. Karen tries to put on a brave face, but Derek calls her out on it, and she admits she’s a bit tweaked that she lost out on the part. But then she ends up accepting his offer of a spot in the ensemble anyway. Their conversation is cut short when Dev (Raza Jaffrey) walks in and crashes their meeting, then engages in a thinly-veiled, testosterone-fueled battle of wills with Derek, all because he wanted to “protect” Karen.

I like that Karen didn’t try too hard to hide her disappointment at losing out on the lead role and having to settle for a spot in the ensemble instead. I think Dev is acting like a bit of an idiot. Last week, he blew his top when Karen was late for dinner and now this. He should know by now that this—and possibly more—is par for the course when you’re dating an actor. Unless they introduce a big twist for Dev’s character or develop him a little bit more, I think his role is slightly superfluous. Three episodes in and we know little about him other than he’s Karen’s protective boyfriend who works at the mayor’s office.

Karen and Moira (a waitress at the restaurant where Karen works while waiting for her big break), have a discussion about what the spot in the ensemble means for her. Karen realizes she’ll have to let her job either slide or go completely if she accepts the spot in the Marilyn ensemble. So she chews on that thought as she goes home to Iowa to attend a friend’s baby shower. While she packs for her trip, she mentions her concerns about her job and money to Dev, who offers to support her financially so she can pursue her dreams. Okay, I like that he does that, but I wish he would get a storyline of his own aside from just being Karen’s doting, perfect man all the time.

When Karen arrives in Iowa, her Dad tries to dissuade her from taking a spot in the Marilyn ensemble. This was one of my favorite scenes in the episode. When I decided I wanted to make a career in the arts, a lot of people from my dad’s side of the family tried to stop me because they felt I should go into law. (They’re all lawyers.) They did that because they believed a career in the arts wouldn’t pay very well. It doesn’t, at least not at first, but I’m happy doing what I love even if it means I have to struggle financially sometimes. And I think the same is true of Karen.

At the baby shower, her friends try to talk her into accepting Dev’s offer of financial support. Karen doesn’t feel ready to take that step in their relationship, but her friends soon make her see that she’s lucky to have someone like Dev in her life. To distract her from thoughts of her Broadway career, her friends make her get up and sing Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman.” Did I mention the baby shower was being held in a karaoke bar? According to Katharine, the baby shower scenes were filmed in a bar in Manhattan—and even if she hadn’t pointed that out on her Twitter page, I would have said something like, “The bar doesn’t give off an authentic Midwestern feel,” if you know what I mean. Granted, I live in the Philippines, which is oceans away from the American Midwest, but something about that bar felt a little forced or too polished for me.

About Katharine’s performance, I liked it well enough. She just didn’t blow me away. Country isn’t her vibe. But she sounds much better now singing songs of that genre than she did six years ago, when she tried to do Faith Hill’s “Bringin’ Out the Elvis.” Overall, her voice is muchimproved. But she should just stick to pop songs and songs from stage musicals. Karen’s storyline in this episode ends on a happy note—her dad apparently snuck into the baby shower to see her perform. He was so impressed and sufficiently moved by his daughter’s take on “Redneck Woman” that he gave her a check, the amount of which was apparently enough for Karen to live on while she does workshops for Marilyn. That act effectively renders Dev’s offer to support her, like his character, superfluous. Honestly, if the writers don’t develop Dev further they might as well write him off the show and say Karen broke up with him or something.

Meanwhile, Eileen Rand (Anjelica Huston) is having problems of her own. We first see her selling some jewelry, presumably to make some money because all her assets are frozen pending the annulment of her marriage to Jerry (Michael Cristofer). She also has trouble getting people to invest in Marilyn, because none of her usual contacts are too confident about putting their eggs in a basket that only Eileen holds. They’ve become used to dealing with her as Jerry’s partner, so they’re not too sure Eileen can handle producing a musical on her own. Jerry is still a thorn in her side, as he is shown trying to get Derek to ditch Eileen and Marilyn and direct a revival of My Fair Lady he’s producing. When that fails, Jerry tries to get Eileen back, but he fails again, with his failure underscored by another drink to his face courtesy of an irate Eileen, who finally seems to realize just how hard the road ahead is going to be for her and Marilyn, if she can’t raise the money she needs.

As if all that wasn’t enough, Julia Houston (Debra Messing), Tom Levitt (Christian Borle) and Ellis Tancharoen (Jaime Cepero) are having some problems of their own. Julia is getting tired of the way Ellis seems to be insinuating himself in the making of Marilyn, and she tries to get him out of the way so they can work on the book and songs in peace. Ellis decides he needs to go on the offensive, and steals Julia’s notebook, the one in which she jots down notes on the show, to find something he can arm himself with. Finding nothing incriminating in her notes, Ellis sneakily gives it back to her (who else thought that lie about finding it under the mail was something Julia should have seen through?) but eventually manages to discover a secret of hers he can turn to his advantage—which brings me to the next major plot point introduced in this episode.

Now that they’ve found their Marilyn, naturally they have to start casting the other roles in the show, like that of Joe DiMaggio. Much to Julia’s obvious discomfort, the favorite for the baseball star’s role is Michael Swift (Will Chase), an actor she once had an affair with. Everyone involved in the production of Marilyn wants Michael on board, but Julia tries to get them to change their minds about him every chance she gets—and she isn’t too subtle about it. But after Eileen and Derek watch Michael’s performance in a Bruno Mars-themed show, they offer him the part anyway. Speaking of which, what did you guys think of Will Chase’s take on “Grenade”? I thought he sounded great, and his rough, gritty vocal was enhanced by the more rock-flavored arrangement of this version.

Anyway, Michael was initially wary about accepting the part, for the same reason that Julia is. Apparently both of them are afraid they’ll fall off the wagon and into each other’s arms again if they’re forced to work together on the show. However, oblivious to her husband’s affair with Julia, Michael’s wife talks him into doing it. The episode ends with Michael and Ivy recording the latest song Tom and Julia wrote for the show, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” Footage of the recording session was interspersed with glimpses of Michael and Ivy performing it in costume. I thought it was a nice touch that they were singing a song about fidelity and marriage while Michael and Julia were sneaking glances at each other.

Overall, I thought this was another fairly good episode of Smash. I like this show because it’s not choked with musical numbers—the songs are inserted into gaps where the lyrics and music actually move the plot along. I can’t wait for the rest of the season to unfold so we can see what will happen to all the plot threads introduced in this episode. For instance, did you guys believe Derek when he fed Ivy that story about his apartment being a mess? (I for one think he’s just using her for the sex.) And what will happen to Karen? Will she take the spot in the ensemble and somehow wind up with the role of Marilyn? We shall see…and I’ll be here for the rest of the season to offer my comments!

P.S. Thanks for the opportunity, MJ!

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

  • Lovesyesha

    Why do these episodes always suck at the beginning, and then get amazing towards the end? They really need to fix that.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t even think of MJs as recapping SMASH. Just dropping by during a commercial. I’d offer to do the recaps, but it’s a fight with my husband every week (vs Hawaii 5-0).

    Kathrine McPhee just sang a country song and, yet again, proves that she isn’t a belter. She’s pretty good at the acting but doesn’t seem like a stage singer at all.

  • http://twitter.com/doesmonaknow DoesMonaKnow

    Why in the world would they hve Kat singing “Redneck Woman” of all songs? This show is losing me.

  • Anonymous

    Sad to say this show has fallen under the category of save first and watch when i have the time. I haven’t even manage to finnish episode 2 yet.

  • tinawina

    I liked the episode. I thought Redneck Woman was pretty fun.

  • http://twitter.com/jonnyboy82 Jon Glass

    I love the show. It has better writers than Glee does. Glee doesn’t even flow.

  • Anonymous

    I agree. I’ve enjoyed all of the episodes,  but the best parts always seem to be in the second half. 

  • Anonymous

    SMASH is just PERFECT for Kat fans….and just perfect for those that have never been fond of her as it provides material for snark and more reasons to not like her!…Some reason it has always been that way with KAT?..Wonder why it is either love her or hate her-seems to be strong reactions either way WHATEVER she does?…Odd-I know of no other IDOL that causes such severe reactions on opposite ends-IMO…..I am a BIG FAN, so of course SMASH is just WOW for me!

  • milwlovesadam

    I’m really liking this show. Tonight had more character development, more back story, and I loved the staging of that Bruno Mars number.

  • Anonymous

    I’m worried that this show, even though a hit with critics, might not appeal to the tv audience.  I hope I’m wrong. I love Kat, but I’m not watching the show.  I’m not a glee fan either although I’m told these shows are totally different. 

  • Anonymous

    I can’t believe I’m actually getting into this show. ;) I liked tonight’s episode because Debra Messing’s horrible hubby and son had no lines. Please keep it that way,NBC.

    The Iowa scenes were downright silly. This show is like Jekyl and Hyde in terms of plot development. So good and so bad at the same time.

  • http://twitter.com/tukicarreno Tuki

    I really LOVED the show tonight. It’s getting exciting. Hope you still leave a thread open here to discuss even without a recap.
    I think the show is showing the potential now. You are starting to see more of a character development and the storylines are compelling.The Bruno Mars cover was pretty good and the last Broadway number “Mr. & Mrs Smith” was fantastic.
    Kat’s trip back to Iowa was heartfelt and genuine. I love her dad on the show. ALso enjoyed Kat’s cover of “Red Neck Woman”. It even trended on twitter!
    Can’t wait for next week! And guess what ? Nick Jonas is gonna guest star!Hope that brings the ratings back up. I have faith in this show. Crossing fingers.

  • http://twitter.com/kirkcharles Kirk Wilson

    great episode tonight! lots of drama set up!

  • Anonymous

    Actually got to watch it in real time tonight! Loved it. My husband watched for the first time too and thought it pretty cool (he is a techie). Hope it at least held steady in the ratings.

    I see nothing wrong with her singing Redneck Woman, it is a fun song to sing and a Kareoke staple.

  • http://twitter.com/KariannHart Kariann Hart

    I enjoyed tonight’s episode and loved “Redneck Woman”.  I know the show has the feel of a soap opera, but the musical numbers save it!  Kat is doing a really nice job! I am not seeing any guy who can really play Joe Demaggio yet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cathy-Knott/563794735 Cathy Knott

    I was hoping that the show would be a smash for Kat.  I have always believed she is one of the best singers that came out of Idol

  • http://twitter.com/thebluemartini Nicole P.

    Really enjoyed tonight’s episode!

  • Sq
  • Anonymous

    I’m trying really hard for Kat’s sake, but this is a disjointed and boring show.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4ND6Q5VHOIYVYIIRVU2B7ECPWY DianaL

    I really like this show!!

    But yes, lose the weak acting links:  Julia’s husband/son and Ellis.

  • Anonymous

    I was kind of cringing a bit watching this episode because of Debra Messing and Will Chase’s characters. I was shocked when I heard late last year’s about her split. Anyway, that is my own problem.

    I like the episode. I actually think that Meghan Hilty’s character is more and more like Marilyn because she was unsure, kind of sad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.i.lin David I-Chen Lin

    Please keep recapping!! I came on the site tonight just to check Smash recap…so I hope someone can keep it up. Love the show!

  • Anonymous

    Is the show perfect? No, but its such a refreshing change from all the cop and lawyer shows on at this hour. Sure the plotlines are telegraphed, but at least we have a few weeks to see them play out as opposed to knowing within seconds Who “Did It” on the other shows. (Just look for the most familiar face/ biggest name)

    I am loving the Ellis character, I think he will certainly provide some good watercooler moments!

    Please continue a spot for the show MJ! I’d volunteer to recap myself but I can’t guarantee I will be watching it live every week. I will be watching though!

  • Pixie Baker

    I was hoping this would be a real success for Kat but so far I just cannot get through one episode.  IMO, if this is supposed to be a *smash* hit,  then I am the one with the problem!  each sub-plot gets worse…and very disconnected..sigh
     

  • Tess

    Well, golly gee, can the writers throw anymore cliches into the plot of this thing. So far every scene has been overly melodramatic (and not in a good way), the characters are stereotypical archetypes, the story lines are as phony as 1960s Doris Day movies, the piano background music is grating and beyond dated, and everything is so one dimensional and lacking any kind of emotion, and New York, though one of my favorite towns, isn’t all sunshine and roses as it is filmed for this series. Let’s just say I am really, really disappointed…

     

  • Anonymous

    I quit viewing last week. The whole Messing subplot rang false and was painful to watch. Smarmy, totally fake. Even worse, the show is condescending toward Middle America.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I recorded the show and just finished watching it.  It was hard to get through the show.  Katharine is good, but somehow just doesn’t have that “star” spark to carry the show and I find my attention drifting when she’s onscreen.  When Megan Hilty is onscreen, my interest is more perked, and I really like Christian Borle (Tom) and love Jack Davenport (Derek), and Debra Messing is a favorite of mine, even if her character has some lame parts to it, so there are characters/aspects of the show I really like and they will keep my watching, if even for a while.  Plus, the musical numbers are very entertaining.

  • Anonymous

    Stopped watching about 10 minutes in last night and deleted my Season Pass- it’s just too much drama.

  • Anonymous

    Disagree. Kat was the best thing in the show. It’s Messing who makes us cringe.

  • Anonymous

    All the great reviews this show got kind of puzzles me. I would have given this show a mixed review – lots of great stuff but lots of awful stuff as well. Seriously, do some critics get paid off when the write OMG amazing reviews. I’m seriously starting to wonder. Maybe they trade good reviews for advertising.

  • Allison

     I missed the beginning, but I did think the Mr. & Mrs. Smith song hit home. And it’s DiMaggio.

  • http://twitter.com/youtweetmetoo it’s me

    really enjoyed Smash last night! it really is a good tv show.  critics said last nights episode wasn’t very good but episode 4 is AMAZING!  so, watch episode 4 before you turn your tv channel. . . 
    Kat is amazing…she can sing anything!

  • Anonymous

    I find this show generally entertaining, but some of the sub-plots do seem a big extraneous.  And, I’m confused about who I’m supposed to like, for instance:

    I get that Anjelica Houston’s character is supposed to be awesome, while her soon to be ex is the asshole.  But, am I supposed to admire her constantly throwing drinks in his face?  That’s just bizarre behavior.  

    It’s a given that we’re supposed to hate that mustache-twirling assistant, but it also makes me think Tom is a Grade A Moron for not seeing threw this twerp.  

    Am I supposed to like Ivy?  She bugs me a lot.  Her character is pretty slutty and slightly bitchy.  Plus, I find the actress completely unappealing.  

    Debra Messing’s character has been my favorite so far, but I’m a little taken aback by the cheating thing.

    All of those men who won’t work with Anjelica’s character because she doesn’t have a husband anymore?  There’s not a non-sexist Broadway financier anywhere in NY?  At all?  None?  Then, Broadway is a pretty depressing place.  

    Also, there is no need for any of Karen’s family or friends.  And, she never needs to visit Iowa again.

    I like the story on this show, and some of the actors are really good.  But, it needs to focus itself and let go of the extra bullshit that doesn’t advance the plot.  

  • Tess

    For me, Kat is gratingly one dimensional.  I know she is supposed to be playing sweet and naive…but heck, that character died a million deaths decades ago…and Megan’s character is almost as bad.  And don’t get me started on Debra…she could be an interesting character if she wasn’t so damn one note.  And I feel humiliated for Anjelica that her character’s only claim to fame is her ability to toss a drink in someone’s face….what a waste of a good Manhattan.

    This show will fall of the radar long before the initial episodes are complete…and the hype about “Marilyn” really becoming a broadway musical is just that “hype”.  If I were Spielberg I would drop this like a hot potato and move onto something I could sink my teeth into.  Trite is trite!

  • Anonymous

    There was never any way this was going to come up to the hype, but I’m starting to feel sorry for every actor involved in this show.  The dialogue and plotting is well, inane is kind.  I love Megan Hilty [she's really the only reason I've watched it this long] but would she really be so naive as to sleep with the director and think it’s going to be meaningful?  Has there ever been a LAMER excuse not to have someone to your place?  Have these writers ever MET Broadway actors and producers?  Because this might happen, but let me tell you, these people are not quite so fragile! 

    I mean, Debra Messing is a terrific actress but the longing looks between her and her former squeeze were ridiculous. So they both live in NYC and run in theater circles, and this is the first time they’ve talked since their affair?  Please. 

    And oh my dear God, Kat McPhee is a terrible actress. She can’t summon up the tiniest bit of fizz in her scenes [Dear Show: Everyone who lives in Iowa does not live in a giant house straight out of Up.  Thank you.]  She’s absolutely unconvincing, and the idea that the director is going to ASK HER OUT FOR A DRINK for any reason….gah.  Not to mention that she’s downright bony, she’s no more Norma Jean than I am, and why is taking money from her daddy preferable to her boyfriend?  #yeahright

    The songs, Megan Hilty, and the polished acting of the pros – that’s all that’s keeping this one alive. 

    I’m appalled that with all the money spent on this show – JUST LIKE GLEE – more wasn’t spent on writers.  I think the interns are writing these episodes. But Lea Michele makes Kat McPhee look like she’s performing monologues for the Miss USA pageant, circa 1987.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.i.lin David I-Chen Lin

    I think we should give the show a bit more time. Everyone was expecting a bit too much, usually that results in some disappointment. If you didn’t know this show was produced by Steven Spielberg, didn’t see the big promo and coverage on it, and just watch it as a brand new show, it is brilliant! I thoroughly enjoy every episodes so far, and can’t wait to see how the stories will unfold   

  • Banished

    Must say the critical review form Huffington Post effected my decision not to watch last night. I was appalled by the gall of the writer to suggest this one was so bad that people not even bother and then I listened! Well, admittedly, I love Castle, and I knew I could watch today on demand.. I plan to do that right now. hopefully this show will catch on. Hate to see all of the effort go to waste!

  • http://twitter.com/tukicarreno Tuki

    Apparently episode 4 is the BEST of four previewed and also Nick Jonas guest stars. I am hoping this show lasts! It has potential. It just has to find a loyal audience and I think it will but it might take some time.
    Last night was a step in the right direction.

  • Anonymous

    “How NBC’s Smash Wasn’t Built to Last” ….

    How “Variety” sees the show…Ouch!

    http://weblogs.variety.com/on_the_air/2012/02/the-real-reason-nbcs-smash-is-sinking.html

  • Anonymous

    I agree. Kat McPhee is a terrible actress.  Boring boring boring. She has absolutely NO charisma in the role, her facial expressions never change, she’s stiff as a bored and the character she plays is dull.  Can she not muster up some personality??? I’m come on, girl! Here’s your big chance at a successful career and you’re blowing it! Where are those acting chops?

  • http://twitter.com/AdamsArmyGirl Linda Vastardis

    I liked the first two episodes and I’m not one for serial TV, but it held my interest.  Last night, I fell asleep halfway through.  Maybe I was just tired or maybe I was bored.  Regardless, I did want to know what happened, so I appreciate the recap.  I stayed awake long enough to see the Bruno Mars themed “Grenade” and thought it was great.  And I will watch the Mr. & Mrs. Smith song that I missed; thanks, MJ, for the thread and the links.

  • julesb2183

    This weeks episode of Smash was sleazy, and I hope it does not continue to be. C’mon, can they not think of better story lines besides who is sleeping with who and who decides to cheat on their husband with a guy who she had a “stage crush?” Hollywood needs some better writing. I may have to stop watching if it continues.

  • windmills

    The only part of last night’s episode that I was really able to get into was the original song at the end. I think the show is well acted from top to bottom so it’s annoying to see the writing devolve into soapy drama this quickly. I’d prefer a tighter focus on the procedural aspect of the show, the making of the musical. Last night, it felt like the procedural scenes would get interrupted by the stupid interpersonal drama stuff, like the assistant stealing the notebook. 

    I think the actors are doing what they can but IMO the writers took the show in the wrong direction this episode. Also, with everybody’s families getting in on the action last night, the cast was feeling very bloated. Smaller doses of the family people, please.  Though, out of all the “family” people I do enjoy the scenes with Dev, that actor and Kat have a nice chemistry.

  • Anonymous

    If this show did what Variety proposed and focused on McPhee, I would be one of the first to leave. She is the weakest link among her co-stars, most of which have won a Tony, Emmy and/or Oscar in their careers.

    I admit I am a Theatre Geek but I don’t think focusing on producers is any less enthralling than focusing on the salesmen of Mad Men.

    I think the show probably should have stayed on one of the cable netwroks for which it was originally intended. American audiences like to have all the blood and violence of the crime dramas at the end of the night. not something they have to concentrate on to enjoy.

  • Anonymous

    But the wheeling and dealing behind the scnes are part of the procedure of getting a show on its feet. Certainlywith the deals that have to be made with the devil to get funding and the chase around the casting couch! Some of the greatest shows of all time were made or not made because prodicers, composers, writers and stars were either too cozy or refusing to work with one another.

    Whatever Ellis found in the notebook will rear its ugly head in future episodes and create new drama . And the arrival of Uma Thurman to take (away) the part of Marilyn  should shake-up a few things as well.

  • Anonymous

    Oh I agree. Kat is a very weak actress and incapable of pulling a show thru on her own, so in that regard having the show focus on others was probably a good idea. Unfortunately, the story line is one big bad cliche and thus people are bored – and rightfully so.

  • windmills

    ptslittlecomment: But the wheeling and dealing behind the scnes are part of the procedure of getting a show on its feet. Certainlywith the deals that have to be made with the devil to get funding and the chase around the casting couch! Some of the greatest shows of all time were made or not made because prodicers, composers, writers and stars were either too cozy or refusing to work with one another.

    I understand that and know that element has to be there to a degree. What I was trying to say is that it felt like too much in last night’s episode and the balance and pacing left something to be desired. The procedural scenes never got into their rhythm IMO.

    ptslittlecomment: Whatever Ellis found in the notebook will rear its ugly head in future episodes and create new drama .

    I’m sure. But I was rolling my eyes at how trite and convenient that whole setup was.

  • RockiDreams

    I hope the show lasts as well.  I was not that big on Kat on AI  but really like her in this show.  Much more than the blonde.  Not a fan of her or her voice.  It’s different and frankly I would watch this 30 times over the two zillion singer contests that are going on that are super boring.  I’m enjoying the storylines and frankly don’t give a crap how “realistic” they may or may not be.  That kind of stuff doesn’t even enter my mind watching some of these shows – I want to be entertained and this show does just that. 

  • Anonymous

    “I’m sure. But I was rolling my eyes at how trite and convenient that whole setup was.”

    I agree there. For someone whose instincts are telling her not to trust Ellis, Julia is certainly leaving her self and her project wide open.

    The show’s biggest weakness to me (besides Kat McPhee) is that it telegraphs, screams really, what plot developments are coming.

  • Anonymous

    The hype over the month leading up to the Smash debut was eyeroll-worthy… “She’s a star!”…”She’s special!”…. “You’re great in this!”, etc. With that kind of hype, my expectations were high.

    I think Kat does done a good job with her role, such as it is. But honestly, the writing and the characterizations are really cliched: Karen the wide-eyed ingenue, Ivy the experienced blond rival who sleeps her way to the top (flaws and all, I still find her more relatable than Karen), lecherous director, flat romantic relationships, ugly, contrived divorce drama, superflous and unbelievable adoption storyline (although it would have worked on a show about family drama that wasn’t supposed to be about making a Broadway show) and secret infidelities … everything is just so formulaic and predictable.

    The show’s biggest weakness … is that it
    telegraphs, screams really, what plot developments are coming.

    This. So much.

    I’m not saying it’s an awful show, just… meh. Definitely doesn’t live up to the hype, although I’m enjoying the musical numbers.

  • steph6449

    I don’t dislike Kat in this but she is just ~pleasant and not terribly interesting–very bland ingenue.  It feels unrealistic to me that her character would be a serious contender for lead role in a major Broadway production that requires singing and dancing. Her singing is fine, though I find Ivy’s delivery to be stronger. But the dancing does not look to be Kat’s strength, at all…

    Of the “Marilyn’s” the Ivy character is far more interesting, professional/talented, and I like her better in the role. It will be interesting how all that plays out as the tv commercials seem to focus only on Kat as a star-in-the-making, and barely show Ivy. Based on what I’ve seen so far, Kat’s casting in the ensemble seems about right as a result for her abilities.

    ETA: and when did Deborah Messing start wearing such frumpy clothes. Omg.

    ETAx2: I shouldn’t be watching the show while commenting, lol. Just getting to the part with Redneck Woman. It doesn’t come across that well when she sings about not being a Barbie doll type, when Kat’s character actually does seems sort of Barbie-ish to me.