TV: A “meh” ‘Smash’ opens some doors and closes others

By Meryl Gottlieb|| @buzzlightmeryl
Smash airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on NBC
Rating: 3/5











On tonight’s episode, “Musical Chairs,” I was surprised that I didn’t loathe every second entirely. That’s an improvement, right? However, I feel as if the episode had a few lackluster scenes that just filled up extra time.

I’m starting to actually enjoy Derek’s (Jack Davenport) British-cheekiness. It’s actually becoming amusing.

Ana (Krysta Rodriguez) has replaced Karen (Katharine McPhee) in Hit List, prompting a performance between her and Jimmy (Jeremy Jordan) – ten seconds that I wished had lasted longer.

Karen is consistently questioning Tom’s (Christian Borle) judgments and new ideas. You would think this would give the character life, but it didn’t.

Scott (Jesse L. Martin) likes Hit List, but it needs to articulate its theme in order for it to be ready. As always, Jimmy refuses to admit that he has to change something and doesn’t want to do it. Wise up, already! I’m so sick of his whining and brooding.

Shout-out to whoever put up a Rent poster behind Martin in that scene in his office. I thoroughly appreciated that.

Tom has to re-choreograph the entire musical because Derek has yet to sign a contract saying that they can use his original choreography. A contract that Jerry (Michael Cristofer) has withheld because he wants Tom out and Derek back in.

Eileen (Anjelica Huston) discovers that plan and tells Julia (Debra Messing) to threaten to shut down Bombshell in order to get things the way they want.

Too much plotting was in this episode. Seriously. You know what your fans say about the show. Adding in this “suspense” isn’t going to pull us in.

Julia somehow knows Scott. I’m mentioning this because I think this may mean that Jesse L. Martin may return for a few more episodes!!! If he ends up being her lover, then I’m going to hate it, but if not, then I’ll love it!

Tom goes to apologize to Karen and the two reconcile. In order to show the company that they are all right, the two decide to attend the Liaisons premiere together. Derek is also making Jimmy and Kyle (Andy Mientus) attend the performance in order to show them how to re-do an idea without completely changing it.

However, Ivy (Megan Hilty) really hates the show and wants to get out of it, as does Terry (Sean Hayes). Thus, the two plot to go out with a bang. Ivy, wait. Weren’t you just saying that the show needed to be more serious? Now you want to be comedic and carefree? What!?!

Julia, Eileen and her daughter Katie (Grace Gummer) try to find something to use against Jerry. They find a release in Eileen’s name from the Marilyn Monroe estate, which released the use of her journals to Eileen, which Julia used in the play. Game. Set. Match.

At the premiere, there is quite a scandal between Derek, Jimmy, Kyle, Jerry, Karen and Tom. It’s all quite boring until Derek yells at Tom for wasting everything that he (Derek) wants. I’m starting to like him a little more.

Sean Hayes sings “It’s Not My Fault.” Sean Hayes motorboats a woman. Sean Hayes pretends to have sexual relations with a lot of women on the stage. It was hilarious – a little over the top but still quite good.

I’m rather angry that we don’t get to see Ivy do any more Liasions performance. That was the first time in a while in which Megan Hilty showed her acting talents, and I’m saddened it’s gone.

After the show, Tom goes to talk with Ivy. Karen watches and realizes why the two do not work. Ivy is Tom’s Marilyn and she is Derek’s Marilyn. This has to be the only time in which she has offered something besides her voice to the show.

Many important things then happen in the next five minutes: Derek signs the contract; Liasions is closing; Eileen is the producer again; Ivy is set to be Marilyn again; and Julia wants a scene between Marily and her mother re-included in the show.








Hit List has a new opening number: “Rewrite This Story,” and it’s amazing. Whoever does the original music for Hit List is starting to outshine those who do the original music for Bombshell. During these performances is the only time in which we see Jeremy Jordan actually act because that is who he is – a theater performer. He comes alive when he sings. I propose that he simply sing all of the time. I mean, is there any objections to that? I didn’t think so.

Now, I hate Derek again. When he sees the spark between Jimmy and Karen, he lunges in and threatens Jimmy to stay away because “Karen and he have a history… when he directs, he focuses on something or someone… If he doesn’t get it, he’ll act out.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? What is this nonsense? I’m done.


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