Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The SMASH Reality Index: Episode 5

Inspired by NYMag.com’s brilliant Reality Index recaps, Dave (@NineDaves, www.NineDaves.com) and I have teamed up to bring you our take on what’s keepin’ it real and what’s faking it each week on SMASH.

This week’s episode is titled “Let’s be Bad,” and boy, is everyone acting up. Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty) is throwing temper tantrums every chance she gets. Leo (Emory Cohen) is smoking weed. Julia (Debra Messing) is cheating on her husband. Karen Cartwright (Katharine McPhee) is having sex in a town car. Theater actors: they’re just like us!

But nobody is behaving as badly as the writers. We hate what they’re doing to our heroine, Ivy Lynn (we use her full name because she’s a STAR). Sure, she’s been totally immature with Derek (Jack Davenport). And there’s no reason for her to be so nasty to Karen. But do they really need to make her into this pathetic mean girl? After all, she’s brilliant as Marilyn. So try as the writers may, we’re still Team Ivy. Karen would be the worst Marilyn ever. She would make a perfect replacement… on the non-equity tour.

The only thing SMASH really did 100% right this week was the “Let’s Be Bad” number. Because when that went on, we stopped writing and talking and just totally fell in love. Plus, we got book and dialogue from Marilyn the Musical. Who knew? We want to see more of that. Though we won’t hold our breath, as next week seems to be all about the “dish hitting the fan.”

In the meantime, here’s how this week’s episode scored on the reality index:

Totally True
• Eileen Rand RVSPs for a MoMA event. No doubt to find the next great Degas.
• There’s a workshop in 13 days and there’s still no final script. Some shows make it to Broadway without a finished script (cough cough, Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, cough cough)
• Julia can’t get service on her iPhone. She must have AT&T.
• Brasserie! Plus 15.
• Tom is thinking about breaking up with John because he’s a lawyer. “I’m not going to end up with a lawyer.” Gay guys are so picky.
• Once again, we get to see the cast of Marilyn the Musical rehearsing. Are you taking notes, Glee?
• Tom spends his entire date checking his phone and not paying attention to the handsome guy in front of him. Again, gay guys are so picky.
• The Westway Diner! Plus 30!
• Julia doesn’t pick up the phone when it’s a number she doesn’t know. We hear you girl. We got bill collectors too.
• Leo was arrested for smoking weed out of a vaporizer. Plus 10 because if we had a mom like Julia too, we’d need to smoke something. Plus 20 because smoking from a vaporizer is totally a #RichKidProblem.
• The police officer arrests Leo because he was giving her an attitude. NYC police officers don’t fuck around!
• Dating a lawyer comes in handy now, doesn’t it Tom?
• We can see Tom changing his mind about John when John starts showing off. We totally get off on confidence too.
• Of course Karen Cartwright is threatened by the pretty New York Times reporter.
• When Leo is trying to talk to Tom, Tom responds only in song. We expect musical theater composers to be just as obnoxious and adorable.
• Julia calls her date with Michael “a work session.” Mmmhmmm….
• Eileen keeps entering the wrong password. “Why are you torturing me?” she yells. Plus 1,000, because old people get tripped up on technology just as much as we do.
• Ellis butters up to Eileen by helping her with her computer. Because sleeping your way to the top is something that’s hard to do when everyone thinks you're gay.
• Derek Wills makes Karen Cartwright sing “Happy Birthday” as Marilyn in front of everyone. This is totally fucked up and unprofessional and exactly something that an egotistical maniac like Derek would do.
• While grounded, Leo blasts music. Rock music, at that. #RichKidProblems
• Ivy Lynn checks her butt out in the mirror. Plus 10 because we totally do the same thing.
• After acting like a total child, Ivy Lynn tells Karen Cartwright, “I’m a grown-up.” Sure you are, Ivy. Sure you are.
• After acting like a total bitch to Karen Cartwright, Ivy Lynn immediately pretends to be super sweet to the next person who walks in the room. “LAAARRRYYY!!,” she screams, arms outstretched.
• Eileen is pressuring Julia about getting the book finished. When you’re footin’ the bill, you need results.
• Ivy Lynn is over-singing this “Let’s be Bad” number. Just like she probably did “Popular” every night.
• After the “Let’s be Bad” number, the actors hold their poses while Derek, Julia, Tom, Eileen, and crew whisper about them. Then, Derek dismisses everyone without giving them notes. We’ve seen this happen time and time again. Sometimes, it sucks being an actor.
• Leo is on Facebook.
• Leo has a David Bazan poster hanging in his room. Plus 10.
• When asked if he’s smoke weed, Leo responds, “I’m 16 and I live in New York City. Next question.” God, teenagers are assholes.
• Julia tells Leo “it’ll be on your permanent record.” Because that’s the biggest threat that adults can think to give to teenagers.
• Tom throws Michael a bunch of shade about Julia, explaining that she’s dealing with a family issue. “WITH HER FAMILY.”
• Ivy Lynn stars crying when she messes up in rehearsal.
• Karen Cartwright smizes when Ivy Lynn messes up.
• OMG “Let’s be Bad” is amazing. Plus 100!
• After “Let’s be Bad,” Derek walks out of the room without saying anything. What a dick.
• Mr. Biggs! Plus 10!
• The fact that Sam dislikes Tom because Tom is “so gay” is exactly something that “masculine” gay guys do. And we hate it.
• "I’m not that gay, I’m just gay. I don’t think that I should have to wear a banner. “ STFU Sam.
• Karen Cartwright is bitching to her boyfriend about Ivy Lynn. And her boyfriend doesn’t care and is not listening and is only thinking about work. Plus 5 because even we’re bored with this nonsense.
• Dev wants to show off his “hot girlfriend” at a party at the Intrepid.
• Karen Catrwright has a book on her bookshelf called Penny Saved. You know her parents bought that for her as a graduation gift.
• Karen Cartwright starts imitating Ivy Lynn in her mirror.
• Karen Cartwright starts singing to herself in the mirror and dancing around her apartment the second her boyfriend leaves.
• Everything Karen Cartwright’s learned about sexy dancing she learned from the Pussycat Dolls.
• After Karen Cartwright finished singing “A Man’s World,” she says to herself in the mirror, “I know what I bring to the party.” Okay Iowa…
• “My mom’s idea of cooking is nuking stuff from Trader Joe's.” That’s technically our idea of cooking too.
• Ivy Lynn shows up drunk on Derek’s doorstep. “You humiliate me when you’re not ignoring me.” Groan. Have some self-respect, Ivy!
• "I know what you came here for," Derek says to Ivy Lynn. We all do Derek. And if we could, we'd be at your doorstep too.
• Derek tells Ivy Lynn, “I’m building something in that rehearsal room, and with all due respect it would be a lot easier if everyone pretended for just 5 minutes to not having those annoying feelings because they get in my way.” Again, it’s all about Derek all the time and we love it.
• “THEATER IS ABOUT FEELINGS.” Yes, Ivy. Yes it is. And we’re feeling that this scene is painful to watch.
• After Derek asks Ivy Lynn, “Are you staying?” Ivy Lynn responds, “Are you asking me to stay?” We roll our eyes 1,000 times, but deep down, we know, like us, Ivy has watched one too many rom coms and totally thinks it’s acceptable to talk like that in real life.
• “Girls in my school are lame.” – Leo, FTW.
• This D.C. guy asks Karen, “What do you say you sing for me back in my hotel, and I buy you room service?” Man, guys are such scumbags.
• Also, this John guy is also shirtless and ZOMG.
• Tom and John admit to one another that the sex they just had was actually pretty terrible. We would probably be too embarrassed to actually admit that, however we like that an example like this is being shown on primetime television.
• Derek Wills snuck out of bed to work. Work > cuddling with Ivy Lynn
• Leo would totally be spying on his mom like that. As kids, adult conversations are totally fascinating. Especially because you think they’re usually talking about you.
• Only one scene with Ellis this week. Plus a billion.

Oh Hell No!
• No one talks on a blue tooth in traffic in a convertible. Not in NYC.
• Tom and John are eating dinner on their date. Gay guys don’t eat on dates.
• Last episode, Julia couldn’t even look Michael in the eye when she was talking to him. Now she goes out to a diner with him?
• Michael asked Julia, “What’s bigger than love?” Oh God…
• No self-respecting adult woman eats whipped cream with her finger in public.
• Tom just turned down sex with John. Minus 100.
• How many times are they going to recast Julia’s son?
• Leo would have called his father first.
• After rejecting her password, we're pretty sure Eileen would have thrown a drink at her computer.
• RJ is too young to be a New York Times reporter. Like Karen, we “always pictured a fat white guy with bad teeth.”
• Julia tells Leo that he’s “epically grounded.” Then she gives him a hug. Want to know what happened when Dave’s mother caught him smoking weed? He can show you the scars.
• Why is Debra Messing the perpetual fag hag. Minus 100, just because we think she’s better than that.
• Julia tells Tom that she was eating “ice cream and apple pie.” Bitch, we saw you. You were eating whipped cream with your finger.
• Tom leaves John a message, apologizing for fucking up the date. He would have texted. No one calls anyone anymore, let alone leaves messages.
• Sam works in theater and is surprised that someone doesn’t understand sports?
• Leo seems surprised that his arrest might jeopardize the adoption process. Moreover, he seems angry that Julia would be concerned about that. “That’s what you really care about,” he laments. Remember in the second episode when Leo was all about the adoption? Yeah. We do too. Minus 10.
• A bunch of flappers and no mention of Sutton Foster? Hmm…
• The entire cast applauds after they finish performing “Let’s be Bad.” We know what it’s like to feel good about yourself, but seriously?
• Sam’s gay!
• Michael tells Sam that he should wear a rainbow bracelet. Stereotypes like that don’t come from straight guys who work in the theater.
• Karen Cartwright is in her underwear. Sorry NBC. You’re not getting that straight male audience no matter how much of Katharine McPhee’s skin we see.
• We found it unbelievable that RJ would work at the New York Times. We find it even more unbelievable that she’d be an executive editor.
• Leo calls Michael Swift, “Swifty.” If Julia was having an affair with Michael, isn’t it kind of weird that she would allow her son to get super close to him? Also, no 16-year-old would willingly use a nickname that could be so easily identified with Taylor Swift.
• Michael tells Leo, “your mother and I used to smoke a little doobie after dress rehearsal.” First of all, even if that were true, Michael is a father. He would understand the line that needs to exist between kids and their parents. Second of all, we think Julia’s too square to smoke weed. And even if she tried it, we doubt she ever inhaled.
• Julia lives at 428 Carroll Street. That’s technically Gowanus. Like, half a block from the canal. Apartments that nice aren’t in Gowanus. And Julia sure as shit wouldn’t be living right near that cesspool.
• Karen Cartwright’s being awfully confident at this dinner party, huh? It’s amazing what dancing around your apartment in your underwear will do to you. Minus 10.
• Karen Cartwright and Dev make out in the back of a town car. We’re torn on this because on one hand, taking a car anywhere totally turns us on. On the other hand, Karen and Dev seem too boring to actually do something like bang in the back of a car.
• Michael tells Julia that he wants to be with her. He has a kid! WTF!
• Michael just starts singing “A Song for You” on the street. Why is Michael so ridiculous? It’s like he’s on an entirely different show. What is this, Glee?
• The driver from Michael’s car service would have honked his horn when he pulled up.
• Julia would never make out with Michael on her front stoop. You just don’t cheat on your husband in front of the whole neighborhood.
• No Brian d’Arcy James? AGAIN!?!? How long is this chemistry class he’s teaching? Why is he never home?

Broadway Guest Stars
We didn’t see any new Broadway actors this week. Did we miss any?

How'd we do this week? Weigh in in the comments section!


Kathleen said...

Awesome one! I will say that I am acquainted with a NY Times reporter who is not only young (like, 3 years younger than me) but is also attractive. He's also not in NYC, but I imagine they hire young people there too if he's on board in a bureau. So that is plausible to me, until you get to the exec editor part...

This cracked me up: "Karen would be the worst Marilyn ever. She would make a perfect replacement… on the non-equity tour."

I love these posts. Smash sort of makes me crazy, but not yet to the extent that I don't watch it (as has happened with Glee). I definitely look forward to these recaps!

Linda said...

Thanks so much, Kathleen! We have so much fun writing these.