Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t seen Smash Season 2, Ep. 9 – “The Parents”.
You know, if you’re gonna get kicked out of prime time, going out with a moving balled by Bernadette Peters and some awesome aerial artistry isn’t a bad way to go about it. Creating more uninteresting back story that only makes an unlikeable character more unlikeable is. But, I suppose its these conflicting approaches to storytelling that are getting Smash shipped off to Saturday in the first place.
All of Karen’s idiosyncrasies suddenly make sense; she’s actually 15 years old! Why else would you shove your paramour out a window (for reasons of hiding him, not because that’s a natural instinct after spending extended time with Jimmy) so your dad won’t know that you, an adult woman living on your own in New York City, are sexually active. I understand that would have been an awkward introduction, but I also know that when you pass a stranger in the hall you don’t automatically assume he just finished boning your daughter. At least I don’t. Maybe it’s different in Iowa.
But, even with all the super sneaking Karen’s dad saw Jimmy going down the fire escape. Because both Jimmy and Derek religiously wear their douche bag requisite leather jackets, this led to the hysterical misunderstanding that Derek was sleeping with Karen and that was why she abandoned her chance at starring on Broadway to star in low budget performance art. In actuality this makes much more sense than her actual motivation, which I’m still a little fuzzy on. But, everything got straightened around and all was right with the world. Except Derek now knows that Karen and Jimmy are getting down. Uh oh, I think he was pretty clear about what his reaction to that would be. Let round two of the Douche Wars begin!
In vastly more interesting plots, Bernadette Peters was back! As suspected Ivy did not take well to finding out her mother would be joining the cast of Bombshell. But in an effort to keep the years of resentment at bay, the mother daughter duo chose to play nice… very nice. So nice in fact, that it was ruining the “best stuff” Julia has ever written (how is she successful, again?). What is a director to do? Direct, obviously. Julia helpfully advised Tom to do his job, but that somehow resulted in an actual mother daughter fight instead of the scripted one he was after. Oops, guess it’s time to get another lesson in abusing your actors into good performances from Derek. He makes it look so easy!
So, how do you top a close out performance by Bernadette Peters? By opening your Saturday run with Liza Minnilli of course! And if that doesn’t make you stay home on a Saturday night, I don’t know what will.
Other Random Musings
So Jimmy owes $8,000 to the least intimidating criminal/crack den occupier/hoarder of drunkenly scribbled musicals in the world. He attempted to steal something worth $8,000 to cover his debt, but Derek found him and just gave him the money instead. This plot line was clearly supposed to garner some sympathy and create a thicker air of mystery around Jimmy, but all it succeeded at was making him look even more ridiculous and proving that Smash still doesn’t understand that there can be no sustained interest or drama if every problem is solved within the hour.
Julia wants her some Tom Collins. Bad. And what Julia wants Julia gets… by stalking. The messages Smash makes about women and dating are positively medieval, but you can’t blame the girl. True, I’m sad we’ll be seeing no more pouty lips from Peter the Dramaturg but, more screen time for Jesse L. Martin only increases the likelihood of his performing a song. Seriously, why is that taking so long?
Speaking of dramaturges, Julia now is one… for Hit List. I get that the songs are amazing (actually I don’t get that, but people keep saying it so I’ll go along), but if the story is so bad that even eliminating dialogue completely doesn’t help, perhaps a concept album would have been a wiser choice.
Moment of truth, how many of you will be making the journey to Saturday nights? The new time slot begins this Saturday at 9/8C.
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