This week on SMASH, we come to yet another crossroads with Bombshell. Julia and Peter finally finish the book - which has been a total disaster up until this point - and the gang gets together to have a good old fashioned read-through. Spoiler alert - the book’s great. But Jerry doesn’t want to produce the new version because he fears it’s “too good” and would therefore, not recoup. Tom somewhat agrees, and sums up his conflict with Julia’s book concisely: “You’ve written an incredibly rich story about the men who created Marilyn. I’ve always been more interested in how Marilyn created herself.”
We’re then presented with a conflict far more interesting than that ‘Team Ivy’ or ‘Team Karen’ nonsense from Season 1: Should Bombshell be "a sexy provocative insightful musical about Marilyn and the men who made her,” as Julia wants, or “a lush dazzling still insightful spectacle about a girl who became an icon,” as Tom wants? It’s a poignant debate: Art versus Commerce. And if you’ve ever paid attention to the New York theater season, you’d see it’s something that the entire industry struggles with year after year. Bravo SMASH. You finally found a topic that strikes a solid chord.
Too bad it’s the only one you hit this week. Your other plot point was straight up recycled from last season. Remember how Ivy Lynn got cast in that Liaisons musical? Well her partner is Hollywood funnyman Terrence Falls (Sean Hayes), who is so dense, he doesn’t even know Liaisons is supposed to be a drama. Playing every scene as if it were a comedy, Terrence is SMASH’s way of reminding us that celeb-casting is ruining Broadway. Producers may cast celebrities in shows to bring in audiences, but all celebrities are buffoons who will ruin your show. Just like Rebecca Duvall (Uma Thurman) taught us last season. Terrence is even addicted to pills! Stay away, Hollywood!
Guess we can’t get many ‘Totally True’ moments without those ‘Oh Hell No’ plot points, huh? Here’s how everything else fell into place this week: