Prior to tuning into Smash’s third episode, I read a few tweets from TV critics who warned this was the weakest of the first four hours. It was even suggested that maybe we should all skip it, and come back next week.
What was the problem? Well let’s start with Karen. Karen is on her way home for a friend’s baby shower. But not before meeting Derek for a drink and being offered a role in the workshop’s ensemble … and of course she won’t refer to it as the chorus. (Coffee shop colleague – who would even think to call it the chorus anymore?) Karen’s homecoming included a karaoke number at the local Iowa watering hole (with no shoes on, which I’m told by my Midwestern pal, never happens) that is heard by her father, who writes her a cheque and sends her back to New York to quit the coffee gig and enjoy the ensemble. Slightly convenient, but let’s go with it.
Also kind of questionable was Ivy’s episode-long worry that Derek wasn’t really into her because he never took her home. When Ivy inquires, Derek reveals a gas leak is to blame. Ohhhhkay. Let’s hope we move on from this in Episode 4. I want to remain firmly on #TeamIvy, but I can’t do this if Ivy is all insecure about whether sleeping with the director can actually turn into a real relationship.
Perhaps the biggest problem of the episode was Ellis, Tom’s assistant who feels he deserves some credit and compensation for picking up a book about Marilyn Monroe in Tom’s apartment and suggesting she’d be a good idea for a musical. I mean honestly. This character has got to go. Not only because he is creeping me out by lurking in corners, but he’s also bringing out the worst acting in Debra Messing, and I really like Messing’s Julia … or do I just like her amazing glasses. Something for me to ponder.
All of these issues were so minuscule next to all the glowing awesomeness that actually was this episode. I mean come on, Michelle Federer guested.
I’d now like to take this time to express the love I have for all the people I have in my life that also freaked the heck out when she appeared on the screen. Rock on, Broadway fans.
Also good, Will Chase’s Michael and the scandalous reveal that he and Julia had an affair a few years back. Must admit though, it is slightly awkward to watch since it’s been reported that Chase and Messing are now dating … but mreh, their business.
And how about Eileen. Don’t you love her idealism and desire to produce the show without the help of her ex-husband? And not to mention how she was able to parlay a pair of $50 knock-off earrings into an exquisite gift from said ex.
And that “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” tune, sung by Ivy and Michael. Loved how it weaved from recording in Tom’s apartment to what it would look like on stage. This show’s strength is really in the scenes that have to do with the making of the musical, so I’m looking forward to the next episode, where it looks like rehearsals are beginning.
Favourite scene: Obviously Federer’s entrance. And her character telling Michael (her husband!) that he needs to do the workshop even if it pays a measly $200/week.
Photo Courtesy of NBC