TV: It’s ‘Smash’ with a ‘Z’

By Meryl Gottlieb| mg986611@ohiou.edu| @buzzlightmeryl
Smash airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. on NBC
Rating: 2.5/ 5

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These past two episodes (“The Parents” and tonight’s “The Surprise Party”) have not been the worst episodes I’ve seen Smash put out. That’s the “surprise.” It’s not much; it’s just that they are not that terrible.

Ivy (Megan Hilty) and Tom (Christian Borle) are feuding. Ivy has plans for her birthday, which Tom has forgotten about, and those plans do not include Tom. However, they did call for witty banter between her and Sam (Leslie Odom Jr.). The lines about JFK were smart. Good job, for once.

Karen (Katharine McPhee) and Jimmy (Jeremy Jordan) are sneaking around backstage, and Karen isn’t too happy about being so secretive. She calls it quits until Jimmy is ready to be open about their relationship.

If just an inkling of emotion was put into McPhee’s dialogue, then maybe I could care about this storyline. But there’s not, so I don’t.

The editor from The New York Times wants more of the Diva character in Hit List. So do I buddy; so do I. Krysta Rodriguez really needs more play in this show.

Because Tom forgot her birthday, he decides to make it up to her by taking her out to dinner. But not before he calls Liza… as in Liza Minnelli. To think that calling up Liza is actually an option for some people makes me beyond jealous. My love for that woman knows no boundaries. She should be on everything. Just pop in every now and then. She’s the reason I started watching Arrested Development. Seriously though.

374374_429495570475607_544358733_nKaren performs “Original,” a song in Hit List focusing on Lady Gaga and Lana Del Rey and their paths to become “original,” despite it calling for them to change themselves entirely. This song was actually good. At first I thought it was going to be terrible. Except, the staging was phenomenal and the tone finally matched McPhee’s vocals. She’s a pop singer, not a Broadway powerhouse.

Eileen (Anjelica Huston) is turning Tom’s birthday plans for Ivy into press time because of the recent bad press following Tom and Ivy’s conflict.

She also is going to make this a dinner date with the guy from The Times. Ugh. I hate that this relationship. It’s super awkward to watch and sort of disgusting. Please, make it stop.

While working as a consultant for Hit List, Julia (Debra Messing) discovers that Scott (Jesse L. Martin) liked her back in the day. And there it is. We can now expect them to be in a relationship. Except I don’t hate Scott’s character like I did Frank’s so maybe it won’t be as terrible as it seems.

Ivy is fangirling beyond belief over Liza Minnelli. I understand completely. If I ever met her, I can’t even imagine how I would react.

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Tom has written Ivy a birthday song, “A Love Letter From the Times,” to make up for the problems they have been having recently. The best part of that gift though is that Liza sang it! Ok, I can’t even imagine meeting her let alone having her sing to me. If I was on set that day, then I probably would not have been able to act. I would have sat there and stared at Liza the entire time, thinking that I must be hallucinating.

After the dinner, Tom happens to see the entire Bombshell cast in a restaurant and discovers it’s Ivy’s party. Ouch.

Ivy still wants to keep it a professional relationship and keep that mutually exclusive from their friendship because it cannot work any other way. I’m so sad about this! I love these two! They are the best actors on the show and so hilarious together.

Derek (Jack Davenport) finally admits his true feelings to Karen, who tells him about her and Jimmy. Yes, that’s an appropriate time to do that. Good job, Karen.

Karen finds out Derek told Jimmy to stay away and is mad — I think. One can never know with that girl. She’s also mad at Jimmy for not telling her about the situation. Derek tells her to not worry about him interfering in her life because he’s “done.”

I actually feel kind of bad for Derek. I was starting to like him. That British charm finally started working.

Ivy sings “Bittersweet Symphony” as a pointless montage plays. Yes, the scene was completely unnecessary; however, I love that song so no arguments here.

Jimmy wants to make it up to Karen and offers to take her on a real date, in public. While wearing his coat, Karen discovers the baggie of crack. AND DOES NOTHING ABOUT IT. I’m sorry. If I was into a guy that had drugs in his jacket pocket, then I would probably say something about it. What on earth is this nonsense?!

Ivy is sitting alone in the restaurant when Derek walks in and gives her a birthday card. The episode ends. I’m thinking this is supposed to make us think that these two will get back together. I hope not. British charm will be forever done if they try to get back together. That ended in season one; let it remain dead.

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