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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Smash- Understudy recap/review

What Happened- Celebrity hire Rebecca Duvall is in Cuba when she should be in New York rehearsing for Bombshell. Eileen’s investors start to waffle, so Eileen’s bartender Nick connects her with an old rock star named Randy Cobra. Randy agrees to finance the show, since he’s wealthy and insane. However, there are hints that both he and Nick have been involved in something illegal in the past. Nick kisses Eileen at the end of the episode.

Julia is melting down due to her marriage troubles, so she is mean to Tom, Derek, her son, and a reporter. Tom and Julia celebrate their professional anniversary every year by seeing a show they wrote together called Three on a Match. Even Tom and Julia admit the show is terrible. Julia ruins the anniversary with rudeness, but Tom forgives her once she tells him the news about Frank moving out. Tom and his Republican boyfriend break up when Tom’s crush on Sam gets noticeable.

Ivy and Derek are strong this week. They were actually good for each other. Ivy encouraged Derek to be kind to Karen during rehearsals. Derek picks Karen to by Rebecca Duvall’s understudy. Karen plays Marilyn during rehearsals in the celebrity’s absence. Karen is doing well at work, but Dev is not. He did not get a promotion, but he is offered a job in Washington D.C. But Broadway is in New York City and that’s where Karen needs to stay.

Dev loses is when he finds out that Derek sexually harassed Karen in the pilot. Derek comes to Karen’s apartment to tell her that Rebecca will be arriving soon and that she did a good job filling in. Dev sees Derek leaving and the two get into a physical altercation.  At the end of the episode, guest star Uma Thurman arrives to play Marilyn Monroe. Better late than never.

Comments- Poor Ivy! Her one mistake at Heaven on Earth is going to get her blacklisted until one of her friends can hook her up with a second chance. We’d feel worse for her if she didn’t do a cover of Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson. That was such an unnecessary cover. As much as we complain about Glee, that show makes much better song choices, overall. Still, Glee autotunes the crap out of everything, even the perfect Lea Michele. Smash doesn’t do that as much.

The second number (the one Tom sang) had cute lyrics that were on-the-nose about how Hollywood sees actresses. It was also fun to watch due to the choreography, dancing boys, and old-style Broadway flair. There’s no way we are downloading it though. Karen belts a boring original ballad at the end of the episode.  Ivy was cool this week. Derek really is verbally abusive in rehearsals and needed to tone it down. He became a little more human this week after his Marilyn mirage. We were so pleased when he apologized to Karen for trying to bang her on the first day they met.

We already hate Rebecca Duvall for being late. Let us tell you something about being late: It shows that you don’t respect the people you are meeting or working with. Look at how much trouble it caused with Eileen and the investors. It’s a breach of your word and integrity. It’s selfish. Late people are the worst.

It was hard for us to like Julia this week. We know she is going through a hard time, but she brought it on herself. She was a raging bitch to the NYU reporter, and we always judge people on how they treat those they don’t have to treat well. Julia also put her son in the middle of her divorce and stole his cell phone. She shouldn’t be surprised that Frank doesn’t want to talk to her. What do you think happens when you cheat on someone with self-respect, Julia? They stop talking to you.

Is anyone liking Dev at this point? We need a real love story on this show. One that involves neither cheating nor Derek. Get rid of Dev and free up Karen to meet somebody cool. They still have to cast Marilyn’s male co-star since Michael is gone. Maybe Karen could hook up with the new guy? Dev should know that battery won’t help his career in politics. He’s a misogynistic stereotype at this point. Karen handled the harassment and didn’t need Dev to save her.

We actually don’t hate the scheming assistant, Ellis, on this show. He brings drama and cattiness, and we think that’s necessary for this show to become guilty pleasure fun. This episode is all about how directors and showrunners see women as objects. The lesson is that this supposedly caused Marilyn to have a tragic life. We want to like Eileen’s raucous friends, especially after they burned the contracts in front of the old investors. They seem really fun, but the show has made it clear that this is going to come back and bite Eileen. We were surprised when Nick kissed her. It’s unrealistic, but kind of awesome.

Uma Thurman isn’t the best choice for Bombshell. She is beautiful in her way, but she doesn’t have the more traditional beauty that Marilyn had. Her features are all wrong for the part. We can’t wait to see her on the show, since she was decent in The Producers. Overall, the episode was enjoyable and eventful enough to satisfy us. We still don't like most of the characters, but at least they are keeping the characters busy. We are rooting for Karen, Ivy, and (shockingly) Derek at this point.

Episode grade: B

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