Smash – “The Read-Through” Discussion Post (Recap Added)

Alright ladies and gents, I’m back from my hiatus last week. To be honest, I still haven’t watched last week’s episode. So I’m going to give that bad boy a run through right now. That way, I’ll be all prepped for tonight’s big episode. Loved the preview of Kat’s Death Cab cover–hope the episode is good as well. I’ll be honest and say I’m growing a little weary of this show that NBC seems determined to stand by NO MATTER WHAT.

No worries though, your trusty recapper will stick around as well. I know the 10 people that watch this show would be devastated without a recap, right? ;)


We start the episode off with Eileen and Jerry discussing Bombshell in her office. Eileen doesn’t understand why she can’t be at the rehearsals, but obviously she blew her chances of that when she sides with her convict boyfriend, Nick. *Rolls eyes*

The first number we see for the episode is a new number for Bombshell titled “Public Relations.” It’s all in Tom’s imagination as he describes it to Derek. I know I am in the huge minority here, but I think Katharine looks so great as Marilyn. Sure, Ivy is awesome, but I think Karen is a little underrated in her Marilyn portrayal. I like this number.

After a quick scene between Karen and Derek where Karen is clearly flailing over her newfound love, Jimmy, we cut to Ivy in rehearsals for her new show.

Cue Sean Hayes’ crazy character, who is already obviously unfit for a broadway show. He doesn’t know the difference between stage left and stage right.

Karen now meets up at Jimmy and Kyles’ place to have a reading of their show to prepare for Derek. Oh…Whuuut? Jimmy has some trashy, slutty girl come out of his bed right in front of his “new love” Karen. He must’ve forgotten being high while kissing Karen last week. *double rolls eyes*

After the commerical break, I start realizing how hard it is to keep up with Smash, because each scene is so brief and goes so quickly from one to another. Between Ivy and Tom having a BFF scene, Julia and her new side story with Peter, and Ivy briefly confronting her new co-star, Terry Falls…it’s exhausting!

We finally have a somewhat longer scene where Karen gets some one-on-one time with Jimmy, who is suddenly the love of her life after he kissed her once while being completely high as a kite. She does perform a beautiful cover of Death Cab for Cutie’s “Some Girls” though. I guess that makes up for everything. I love when Katharine McPhee has some restraint to her voice and doesn’t try to hard. That’s when she’s at her best. Right?

Oh boy, Nickky Blonsky finally makes her big appearance–for like two seconds. She’s Jerry’s assistant, but reveals there might be a new, secret script in the works for Bombshell.

Quick scene with Ivy and Terry Falls. He’s convinced the director of Dangerous Liaisons to tell the rest of the cast to go along with his more comedic style. “Match Terry,” he says. He wants everyone to “lighten it up.”

Not sure why I should care about this sideplot. Couldn’t we be putting Megan Hilty to better use?

Before the commerical break, Tom and Julia face Peter, who they feel has secretly pitched a secret Bombshell script and is trying to steal the show away from them. Peter uses his charm and good looks (he really is so hot) to convince Julia that he has nothing to do with the new script.

Against Tom’s best judgement, Julia decides she needs to hear the new script reading. “If I don’t hear it, I’ll never know,” she says.

We now move on to Jimmy and Kyle’s reading of their new show, which takes place in their Brooklyn apartment. The cast basically throws Kyle under the bus completely and tells him that the songs (Jimmy) are awesome, but the script and characters suck big time. Poor, poor Kyle. He’s storms out.

Now we finally see that the new Bombshell script was a hit with Derek and everyone else. Peter assures Julia that it was the best work she’s done. So…this wasn’t a secret script? It was the collaboration of Peter and Julia? I’m all sorts of confused right now. Maybe it’s just cause I don’t care much at this point and lost track.

Oh, in between all this, there is another Sean Hayes/Megan Hilty scene, which I find completely irrelant and stupid. So…yeah, Ivy’s in a new show where the male lead is a comedian in a dramatic broadway show. Who cares? Back to to Bombshell.

Derek calls Karen and essentially puts Jimmy’s new show “Hit List” in the dead zone by telling her that she’s about to win every award there is for Bombshell. It’s now a go ahead with the new script. Cue Jimmy acting like a toddler who doesn’t get his way, once again.

Eileen has a brief visit with her convict boyfriend Nick while he is in prison. It seems like they have a breakup scene. I’m somehwat laughing through this scene. Just like Megan Hilty, can’t we put Angelica Huston to better use?

Now we get to some good stuff. The new producer of Bombshell, Eileen’s evil ex-husband Jerry, says although the new script is great, it’s just too good to become a broadway blockbuster. It’s not going to fill seats, he says. He’s going to use an older draft he has. Julia wants to know where he got that, because it has her name on it.

Tom sent it to him a week ago. *gasp* Seriously, Tom?!

Cut to dramatic commericial break.

Back from commercial, Tom and Julia are in a heated debate about which script is best. Tom actually sent Jerry the old script, because he doesn’t agree with the new direction Julia and Peter have gone. But Julia is furious with him because she believes in the new script so much.

They agree to leave it all up to Eileen, who is no longer officially a producer, but still their moral compass when it comes to the direction of Bombshell.

Ugh…I hate to address it, but there’s another scene with Terry Falls talking about going off his meds with Ivy. Poor Megan Hilty…she should be in the Bombshell action and not having some random, stupid sideplot.

Did I mention I don’t like what they’re doing with the character of Ivy? Okay, just making sure.

Oh, and I guess Kyle told Jimmy that Karen is dating Derek, which causes Jimmy to place Karen in the friend zone. She is obviously oblivious to this, because she totally wants Jimmy big time. Kyle must be very jealous of Karen to tell this lie.

We end the show with a big scene in Eileen’s office. As I mentioned, they’re all arguing for a differnt direction/script for Bombshell. We’ve got Julia, Tom, Derek, and evil ex-husband Jerry arguing about different directions the show should go in.

Eileen has a dramatic stare out the window of her office and finally makes a decision. She turns around and says…NOTHING. The episode ends, and we have to wait until next week. Ugh…

Alright guys, I’ll admit that I liked the ending of this episode and am honestly inrigued enough to tune in next week. But there are still some serious problems with Smash.

You know I can’t stop watching, though. So I will see you all next week when we find out the future of Bombshell and Jimmy and Kyle’s dream musical, “Hit List.”

Later peeps. Sound off in the comments.

  • B

    LOVE Kat’s cover of the Death Cab song “Some Boys.” Here’s the FULL version here. Sooo good.

  • B

    And there’s no denying…Karen pulls off a PERFECT Marilyn in the Public Relations song!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Love that Christian Borle has such a major part in this opening number.

  • jumpstart4u

    Kat just sucks the life out of every scene she’s in …

  • Connie D

    Katharine took a damn fine song and made it even better!
    I turned on the closed captioning tonight so I could see the all lyrics. 

  • maymirabella

    If only Ivy was playing Marilyn, would be more interesting. I think the show lost fans from last season due to change of night from Monday to Tuesday, lnot starting season two till winter, and also Ivy who looks lije Marilyn not getting the role. Megan clearly is a better actress. I get tired of the show revolving too much around the cast adoring Karen. I love Tom and Julia and Debra Messing and Anjelica Huston make this show. Well maybe if Karen chooses the boys show over Bombshell or gets fired, maybe Ivy can be Marilyn.

  • jpfan2

    At least when the two girls were competing for the Marilyn role, there was some drama to the show. Now it’s just some mess of different tangled shows and I can’t figure out why I should care about any of them.

    I liked Megan with Sean Hayes. Too bad he’s just doing some short guest thing because he does bring some needed humor.  The subplot with Karen and those songwriters is completely pathetic. I don’t even understand how she and her dopey friend are even involved with them. Are they all going to the same high school? ;0

    Oh well. More Sean Hayes please.

  • Kariann Hart

    I loved last week; this week not so much.  I don’t know what Katharine can do to be a better actress on this show?  The Public Relations number was really good, but the plot was weak.  The tension  is obvious but changing scripts, changing producers, changing writers…I just don’t like it.  However, as I said last weak, SPLASH is a Soap Opera.  I just expected better tonight.

  • Ross Q

    Blah, blah, blah! No matter how spectacular Katharine Mcphee in this episode, you guys are gonna lambast her and SPEW all your hate to this beautiful and talented woman. She danced GREAT, sang GREAT, acted GREAT in this episode but all you haters still would find all the reason on earth to despise her. You probably didnt even see the episode. Hate, hate, hate…that’s all you guys do. Pathetic!

  • forwarddad

    So the recapper didn’t watch last week ….:: and this weeks recap he hasn’t seen? He doesn’t appear to like the show So……why is he recapping ?

  • Kariann Hart

    I certainly don’t hate Katharine – I am a fan!  I’ll feel bad when the show gets canceled because I love the whole premise of the theater and success.

  • Li Wright

    Loved that opening number.  I find the relationship between the bickering producing husb & wife to be an interesting storyline.

  • Allison

    Can I say it was a lot more entertaining than last night’s American Idol episode!

  • Nick

    I was out of town last week, and I’m in Utah, dude. I’m a couple hours behind the East coasters, but I still watch the show live and get a recap up before bed.

    Also: I started recapping because I loved the show initially, but I’m not going to sugar coat it or lie if I don’t like where it’s headed. A lot of times, it becomes a struggle to watch. I believe MJ has admitted this plenty of times with shows like X-Factor.

  • Niall

    Thank heavens for Sean Hayes. He and Megan Hilty are great together.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Although I think that Kat is OK as an actress and singer, I find myself wanting to see and hear more from Megan Hilty. I thought that she was compelling in her “dramatic” scene with Sean Hayes and I feel that she is a much more engaging and entertaining singer as well. I’m glad that she’s releasing an album and that this show has introduced me to her (and Christian Borle).

  • Montavilla

    I like your recaps.  I like that you aren’t sugarcoating your reactions.

    I thought Kat was good in her Marilyn song tonight.  Is this the first time she actually tried for a Marilyn voice?  Maybe it’s just the first time she succeeded.  

    I was dying to see the Ivy scenes tonight, because she’s the main reason I watch the show.  But they were disappointing — mainly because she didn’t sing a single note this week!  And the storyline is tiresome.  And, knowing Dangerous Liaisons, it doesn’t really make sense to have Cécile do that dramatic crying scene.  It’s Madame de Tourvel who delivers the bitter, heartbroken speech to Valmont.  

    I sort of liked Julia’s dilemma with the dramaturg — even though I don’t really buy that her nightmare of him taking over writing the show would ever happen. But when we got that big fight over the direction of Bombshell, I realized something that’s a big problem:  I don’t know enough about either version of the show to care which one Eileen chooses.

    And it’s kind of a problem with the Jimmy/Kyle story as well.  Karen’s friends all tell Kyle that his writing sucks.  Well, we heard three whole sentences of his writing — and I can’t tell if it sucked or not.  It sounded fine to me, because it’s just one moment that could be really great or horrible — depending on the 80 minutes of material leading up to it.

    This show is about people struggling to create something, but the more we see of what they’re working on, the less we know about it.  It seems like Tom and Julia have written about two hundred songs now, and most of them have no point beyond “let’s get a bunch of people onstage to sing and dance about how famous Marilyn is!”  I can’t imagine having to sit through that show.  

  • ptslittlecomment

    Can honestly say that I believed Kat McPhee as Marilyn for the first time in the PR number. That was a pleasant surprise. However, she continues to undeer achieve in her acting scenes and does, as someone stated above, suck the life out those scenes. I feel for those acting against her. I have a feeling that Jeremy Jordan especially feels the pain as he emotes on a level intended for a stage and gets nothing in return.

    The rest of the cast remains compelling and I enjoyed the episode.

    I do think a small part of the huge problem of ratings is due to the fact that they changed the show from Monday to Tuesday. Monday is the night off for professional stage actors and techies across the country, and keeps a natural audience for the show from watching it in any fashion other than DVD.