Talking “Smash”: All Drugged Up

smash-hell-on-earth

Posted by on 04/03/2012 at 2:43 PM Recaps

The Popdust Files: katharine mcphee, megan hilty, rihanna, smash, television, tv recaps

Perhaps you’ve heard the good (maybe?) news, Smash fans? The little musical theater drama that could would has been picked up for a second season, which means many more impromptu performances and hopefully a fully developed plan for that Marilyn musical Julia and Tom finally got around to finishing. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Last night we in the thick of post-workshop destruction, as Ivy gave a winning performance in the first annual “How Marilyn Can You Be?” competition, scaring physicians and frequent pill-poppers everywhere, while Julia’s husband Frank—Frank!—confronted her over her unfaithful ways. Samantha Martin joins in to praise Ellis for some of his best lurking yet, and question Karen’s decision to move even further away from the stage by schilling orange juice in front of a green screen. Read on for our thoughts!

Emily: So, Heaven on Earth looks like fun.
Samantha: Why have we been wasting our time with Marilyn Monroe? I want to see the hot mess musical that classifies everyone under as either a Democrat, Republican, chorus girl or priest.
Emily: And stars Norbert Leo Butz! Who hardly gets a close up despite having two Tonys to his name. For shame, NBC.
Samantha: The camera finally pans in when high-as-a-kite Ivy ruins his big number, just to prove that he too is capable of a having a LuPone moment (or to LuPown, if you will)—which is every performer’s dream.
Emily: Just like every composer secretly dreams of acting out at a high-powered political fundraiser, simply to prove to his sweet boyfriend that he truly loathes Republicans.
Samantha: Politics will tear us apart.
Emily: But really this was just another filler episode before Tom runs off on a tour of the nation’s baseball stadiums with Not Straight Sam this summer.
Samantha: Which wouldn’t be that bad for John—he should call up Derek’s father, assuming looks and a voracious sexual appetite run in the family.
Emily: I’m confident more relationships end over differing political affiliations than infidelity. Looking at you, Jules/your doormat of a husband.
Samantha: But Frank—or “Shrek” as a I like to call him, out of respect for his recent stage role and not, his appearance—wasn’t being very doormat-y last night. He was also much wiser than he looked playing guitar hero wearing a cocked fedora.
Emily: Video games will do that to a person.
Samantha: That sidewalk confrontation and subsequent beat down of Michael Swift defied high school teacher stereotypes and was fairly educational. Science teachers know which parts of the body hurt the most when sucker punched.
Emily: We should have congregated on the sidewalk and started yelling “Man fight! Man fight!” That single punch was probably the most heterosexual moment of the entire season.
Samantha: Frank also showed his versatility by singing out his feelings. (How theatrical of him!) Better late than never—or, better now than when you’re written off the show, Brian d’Arcy James.
Emily: Julia’s clearly not having an affair anymore because she’s wearing a fitted vest, instead of her usual drapery.
Samantha: The vest is the mom jean of Broadway.
Emily: Screw Broadway. Karen has high-tailed it out of the ensemble and crappy gig on Restaurant Row to fulfill her lifelong dream of starring in a Gumby biopic.
Samantha: I don’t know what’s greener, the onesie, or Karen’s commercial acting skills! Oh we’re so bitchy.
Emily: It’s for her own good.
Samantha: Side note: Why is there no Gumby biopic? I would like to audition for his blue girlfriend, Goo.
Emily: And when it comes to going against stereotypes, these theater kids refuse to be boxed in. Last week it was the trip to Brooklyn Bowl, this week they’re toasting to Bon Jovi lyrics.
Samantha: “This is for the ones who stood their ground. For Tommy and Gina who never backed down,” would have been my choice.
Emily: “To being wanted, dead or alive.”
Samantha: Everybody has to find their own way of dealing with unemployment, I guess.
Emily: True. Stop bragging about the expensive prescriptions you can afford because of your job, Ivy.
Samantha: But it’s not a green screen commercial! Ugh, Karen gets everything.
Emily: Mixing up sunglasses—Marc Jacobs and Duane Reade brand, I’m guessing?—is the dumbest way to get two rivals in the same room. It’s almost the kind of hi jinx their twins who were separated at birth would plan!
Samantha: I smell a “Let’s get together/Yeah Yeah Yeah!” in the near future.
Emily: So national commercials pay in backstage passes to shows after curtain?
Samantha: She’s just another Midwestern tourist trying to make the most of her New York experience.
Emily: By demanding for her money back when a chorus girl falls on stage? Who knew! In all seriousness this is another sad dig at Norbert Leo Butz.
Samantha: No, by fueling a friend’s substance abuse issues.
Emily: It’s hard to say no to someone wearing a halo. But did Karen actually say, “Yeah of course” when asked if she had any money? Way to let the OJ go to your head, Iowa.
Samantha: I know there is a naked cowboy around, but I’m a little confused why no on in Times Square was double-taking this escaped and drugged up angel.
Emily: See, NYC isn’t all devils and sinners! No matter what Guys and Dolls will tell you.
Samantha: So this boozy rendition of Rihanna’s “Cheers (Drink To That)” is the show’s “impromptu” live performance number… I’ve lost count.
Emily: Rihanna’s ubiquity has led every street performer to learn all the words to LOUD, as well as her entire back catalog.

Samantha: Oh wow! Under that gigantic puffy winter coat, Karen is wearing a turtleneck and knit sweater.
Emily: Shopping in Julia’s closet again.
Samantha: But Times Square is so bright, it’s the one place you’re allowed to wear sunglasses at night.
Emily: Yes, and you don’t REALLY like a song unless you repeat it allll the way home from your impromptu singalong.
Samantha: So Karen and Ivy are friends now? Series over!
Emily: Don’t listen to your teachers, kids! Alcohol solves all problems.
Samantha: If they drunkenly hook up Black Swan-style, then this show officially deserves its second season.
Emily: Too late.
Samantha: All’s well that ends without them killing each other, but what about the workshop? What about MARILYN? Eileen is demanding a star, Ellis is demanding a bigger job.
Emily: They’re thinking Anna Faris, Anne Hathaway, definitely not Madonna.
Samantha: Guess someone else didn’t like MDNA.
Emily: “Get me a star” is what some really evil bosses yell to their rattled interns in reference to “Starbucks.”
Samantha: Or, “Get me some bucks,” both difficult to interpret, both equally important to the show’s final result and the caffeine empire’s stock prices.
Emily: Ellis has crazy dreams of getting Kate Winslet, basically in order to steal the true location of The Heart of the Ocean, her two Oscars and Leonardo DiCaprio’s cell phone number.
Samantha: Didn’t Marilyn die when she was 36? Isn’t Kate Winslet older than 36?
Emily: This is why Ellis will never make it in this business: no regard for detail.
Samantha: Not paying attention to detail: SO straight!
Emily: But he’s clearly willing to sell his body to the night, which I’m all for.
Samantha: ELLLLLLIS! PUT ON THE RED LIGHT!
Emily: Show business is all about sacrifices.
Samantha: “I’d actually rather not answer phones anymore.” Can you IMAGINE if someone said that to Don Draper?
Emily: Yes. It’s usually followed with: “Because I’d like to sleep with you.”
Samantha: Ellis is obviously going to threaten Eileen’s position in the musical in an attempt to prove he’s a relevant character. The problem is he’s not a bad guy—just an ambitious, sexually ambiguous one—but it’s still hard to know how to feel about someone who’s ruthless with the tendency to lurk.
Emily: With all the lurking and no signs that other characters actually enjoy his company, we’re only being set up to hate him. Same goes for Julia.
Samantha: Because of her wardrobe?
Emily: Close. I find it hard to feel bad for her and the demise of her personal life considering when the series started we were told she had already cheated on her husband once and was lying to cover it up.
Samantha: Right, we knew this was happening; she’s not easy to sympathize with. If they had made her husband a bad guy, however…
Emily: I am a strong and powerful professional female whose questionable fashion sense will soon take over Target stores nationwide! Hear me roar!
Samantha: So for those keeping track, Karen and Ivy went from enemies to drunk friends, Ellis went from assistant to co-producer, Tom’s a Republican and Julia went from married to not.
Emily: Hoping that stays. Reason to never get back to the adoption storyline! (Jokes. If this happens I’ll wrap myself in one of Julia’s never-ending shawls and jump over the Brooklyn Bridge.)
Samantha: Uh-oh, was Julia’s sip of whisky while staring wistfully out the window saying “bombshell” indicative of the bombshell of alcoholism exploding her life?!
Emily: Ivy’s got a drinking buddy now. Is it smart to promote a show with the word “bomb” in the title?
Samantha: The word “bomb” IS in our nation’s anthem.
Emily: And hopefully will encourage people to bring “da bomb” back into their everyday speech.
Samantha: Two girls named “Ivy” and “Karen” already said “hella,” so the chances are pretty high.

Is the Marilyn musical doomed? Will a real “star” help fix things? Let us know your thoughts on last night’s Smash in the comments below. 

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