Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The SMASH Reality Index: Episode 12

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.

It was just announced that Meryl Streep will play Juliet in a one-night benefit reading of Romeo and Juliet opposite Kevin Kline. She might as well be playing Marilyn. But for now we're stuck with the slightly less but still age-inappropriate casting of Rebecca Duvall (Uma Thurman).

This week's episode is entitled “Publicity,” but it should really be called “Self Promotion.” Because that’s really what it was all about, a least for Karen Cartwright (Katharine McPhee) and Rebecca Duvall (Uma Thurman). Considering how little a fuck we give about them, this wasn't exactly our favorite episode. But on the bright side, Shaiman and Wittman are back in top form with "Secondhand White Baby Grand" and Ivy Lynn/Megan Hilty knocked it out of the park. How did the episode do reality-wise? You know the deal. On to the reality index:

Totally True
• “I usually come in early anyway,” Karen Cartwright tells Derek. Kiss ass. But this is in keeping with her character.
• It’s a couple of seconds into the episode and we already want to punch Ellis in the face.
• OMG TONY YAZBEK! Linda freaks out because he's singing and it's lovely.
• Rebecca Duvall walks in wearing sunglasses and a scarf (taking a page from Ivy Lynn) like the star that she is.
• We feel your pain, Julia. We wouldn’t want to get messages from Ellis either.
• “I have a date with a movie star!” Karen Cartwright’s excitement is a little annoying, but let’s be honest, we’d be acting the same way in the privacy of our own apartments if we were going to hang out with a movie star later.
• Rebecca Duvall has Karen Cartwright sing so she can check out the competition. Smart.
• The stage manager (played by Ann Harada) puts the smackdown on Tom and Derek. It’s part of the job.
• We get a lot of pleasure from the fact that Ellis is on smoothie duty.
• Karen Cartwright’s parents think she’s a lesbian because she’s hanging out with a movie star. Oh Iowa.
• It’s BAM! Brooklyn pride! Plus 50.
• “Is this tap? I actually need something bottled. Flat not sparkly. It doesn't have to be mineral water. Just something in a bottle." Movie stars are so high maintenance.
• After Dev tells her that there are no peanuts in Indian cooking, Karen Duvall asks the waiter if they have anything without peanuts.
• “The stillness they achieved. It seems like nothing's happening at all and yet it's completely mesmorizing.” Plus 300 because people say pretentious shit like this all the time at the theater.
• No Nick, it's not a bad thing to be a populist. Populism yeah yeah.
• Tom is crying and we want to hug him right now.
• This Bollywood number. Is ridiculous. But kind of amazing. At least the part with Raza Jaffrey (who was in Bombay Dreams!).
• Leo’s best friend is kind of a dick. Like every teenage boy.
• Derek smashes a camera. Angry Derek, we missed you!
• Rebecca Duvall realizes that all this time she'd been focusing on Karen Cartwright, but her real threat is Ivy Lynn.

Oh Hell No!
• “I think you’d make a brilliant Marilyn,” Derek tells Karen Cartwright. Are you taking Ivy’s crazy pills?
• What’s up with your hair his episode, Bobby? It’s especially Beatle-esque today.
• “You don’t replace songs with scenes,” says Tom. But you do need to have some book scenes in a musical, Tom.
• “You are not an understudy! You are a star!” Rebecca Duvall says to Karen Cartwright, waking us up from our nap during that song. We know you’re trying to get on her good side so you can destroy her later, but that’s a little much.
• Karen has a rock star voice, Rebecca? Surely you can think of a more appropriate adjective.
• Karen Cartwright and her new bestie Rebecca Duvall make all the tabloids by… dancing and drinking tequila? That’s not really that scandalous.
• Katharine McPhee is not very convincing as a drunk.
• We love you Brian d’Arcy James and always want to see more of you on this show, but don’t interrupt Christian Borle singing unless you are going to duet. Which needs to happen before the end of the season.
• Leo is missing and is it bad that we are excited about this?
• Rebecca is teaching the stage manager how to make a smoothie and she’s just putting up with it? We get that she’s a movie star, but Linda the stage manager doesn't seem like the type to put up with this bullshit.
• We would have liked to see more of the poster images for Bombshell, but based on what we could see, Derek did not go with the best one.
• Remember when Karen Cartwright made Dev Indian food? Now she's taking him to an Indian restaurant and imaging him in a Bollywood number. Everyone's a little bit racist.
• Why is the whole fucking cast in the Bollywood number? This is Karen Cartwright’s fantasy and she’s kind of focused on Dev and Rebecca Duvall right now, so would she really be bringing Eileen, Eileen’s bartender boyfriend, Ellis, etc. into this?
• Eileen looks kind of ridiculous in this outfit, which is too young for her.
• “I’m famous. I’ve had plays on Broadway,” Julia says. That doesn’t exactly make you famous in most of the world.
• Surely there must be teenage boys who can act, but you'd never know that from watching SMASH.
• Presumably, Mason’s mother knew that Leo was there the whole time, so would she really have hid it from his parents? A mother wouldn’t do that to another mother.
• Ivy, stay away from Ellis! He’s evil!
• What does Ellis have to gain from helping Ivy? Although she is dating Derek, surely she’s not powerful enough to warrant this much attention from him.
• Unfortunately, Leo did not learn how to act in his time away.
SMASH always does this thing during musical numbers where we see everyone at home and it’s unnecessary and doesn’t make sense because they’re all watching Ivy Lynn singing and can't be in two places at once.

So how’d we do this week? Hit up the comments section and let us know!


Anonymous said...

You're right on the mark. Let's face it, the show sucks. So little of it is believable that I sit there with my mouth open, aghast. Especially the Bollywood number, what a piece of crap that was. And I still want to strangle Debra Messing. I know she's a mere actress but when does she stand up and say, "Hey look, I'm supposed to be a sophisticated Broadway playwright and you are making my character act like a superannuated teenager." The process of putting together a real musical is dramatic enough content, we don't need all the extraneous private lives of dysfunctional people to augment it. How about getting down to the task of actually writing a book for this musical which, frankly should just be called Bomb?

Gil said...

"We love you Brian d’Arcy James and always want to see more of you on this show, but don’t interrupt Christian Borle singing unless you are going to duet. Which needs to happen before the end of the season."