Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven't seen Smash Season 2, Ep. 7 - "Musical Chairs".
It’s disappointing that the episode immediately following the news Smash is being moved to Saturdays (a death knell so loud and ominous it is literally unprecedented) would be so exemplary of why this show doesn’t deserve a second chance. It’s disappointing because it really does, but drawn out situations leading to inevitable conclusions sprinkled with far too few songs (and not nearly enough baseball metaphors for sex) is exactly the direction Smash doesn’t need to go. The new regime has had to walk a fine line of taking the show more seriously and still maintaining its fun. So far it’s pulled it off, but “Musical Chairs” proved the critics might have a point.
Since Hit List was first introduced and it was reinforced that only Karen’s unnamed magic can inspire egotistical directors, it was clear that Karen would be leaving Bombshell. And since Jack McFarland first started making fart noises in rehearsal it was clear Liaisons was going to crash and burn, leaving Ivy free to take over Marilyn (as she should have from the beginning). These were things that needed to happen, but watching them happen was painful. I was really holding out hope that they would find an acceptable reason for Karen to leave a Broadway show in favor for some Rent rip-off in an underground theater. I need some motivation beyond Jimmy’s charming personality, but alas, that’s all we got. Oh sure, Karen had the epiphany that Tom never wanted her as Marilyn (which I remember as being pretty explicitly stated back when casting Marilyn was Bombshell’s biggest problem), but no Broadway diva with her salt would give up a heavily hyped Broadway lead because some douche-bag with pretty eyes gave her the once over. It’s ludicrous and embarrassing and makes me irrationally angry.
But, the two stars switching leads wasn’t the end of this round of pointless musical chairs. There was some nonsense about Derek going back to Bombshell, but clearly the prospect of keeping Derek and Jimmy in a room together until one ego leaves victorious is far too exciting to pass up. Spoiler alert, Derek will win that battle of pissy antics because he says things like “when I work on something I focus on it and if I’m distracted it’s very bad for everyone else” with a straight face. You can’t compete with such oblivious jerkdom. You just can’t.
So the actual final shift into our now perfect puzzle was the passing of the reigns from Jerry to Eileen. After discovering Jerry had been scheming from the beginning to steal Bombshell away from her, Eileen made it her mission to regain control of the show (despite the fact she is legally barred from doing so for knowingly funding the show with illegally obtained money). So she brought in her silver bullet,
Meryl Streep’s her daughter. So blah, blah, blah, minor legal loophole, exploitation of a father’s love, and Eileen is back in charge (despite the fact she is legally barred from doing so for knowingly funding the show with illegally obtained money).
And so, Smash looked around at what it had created and saw that it was good, it saw that each thing was in its place and everything was as it should be. They breathed a sigh of relief, but no sooner did that sigh escape than the curse of Teresa Rebeck came hurling down upon them to condemn them to
hell Saturdays where they shall burn and suffer for all eternity until they are cancelled the next few weeks.
A Few Last Thoughts:
Given that "Ce N'est Pas Ma Faute" was clearly part of the original Liaisons scorecan we really fault Terry for thinking it was a comedy? Also, I would see that hell out of that play, live sheep and motor boating included.
They wouldn’t cast
Tom Collins Jesse L. Martin in a non-singing role would they? And then tease us with that Rent posterin his office? They aren’t that cruel, right? Right??
Why is Kyle still hanging around set so much when he has been rendered so useless? Did someone forget to explain that when you’re writing is so bad they have to eliminate talking from the entire show its ok to just hang out at home and rethink your life? In fact, it’s recommended.
So there is one non-ballad song in Hit List now! Unfortunately it’s still annoying and involves pretend walking in front of a screen. So cutting edge guys, no wonder Broadway just wouldn’t get it.
But the biggest question, when Smash gets exiled to Saturdays will you still be watching, and more importantly, reading the lovely recaps? Let me know in the comments!
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