TV: Hit List rocks ‘Smash’

By Meryl Gottlieb|| @buzzlightmeryl
Smash airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. on NBC
Rating: 3.5/ 5


Here is something I never thought I would say again: Smash was ok. Seriously! The songs, of course, were amazing and some of the storylines were not that bad. I think this is a major milestone for them.

And yet, the first “oh really” moment was the opening scene: Kathie Lee Gifford was wearing a Marilyn wig. Because of Agnes (Daphne Rubin-Vega) and Eileen’s (Anjelica Huston) plan to get to the Tony’s, they are running an intense publicity campaign since ticket sales aren’t exactly what they want. This publicity campaign is running Ivy (Megan Hilty) ragged. And that’s her storyline — definitely not enough of her tonight.

For this Kathie Lee segment, Ivy does her version of “The 20th Century Fox Mambo.” Finally! I have waited so long for her version, and I loved it!

Eileen tells Tom (Christian Borle) about Julia’s (Debra Messing) plans for Gatsby, so he goes to her and tells her to call it off with Scott (Jesse L. Martin) so they can do it together. Ok, this is the first time I dislike Tom. I cannot get over how selfish he is being, making it the first time I relate to Julia. I know; I don’t know what’s gotten into me either.

When Julia tells Scott about this, he tells her to obviously keep doing it as a play because Tom is just scrambling now that he does not have the director gig anymore. He also informs her that if Hit List does not take off, his career will be done if he does not have something strong like Gatsby to follow up with next season.

Derek (Jack Davenport) is holding auditions for Jimmy’s (Jeremy Jordan) understudy, and Sam (Leslie Odom Jr.) gets it! I am so excited. I love Sam and am so happy he gets to do something. There are so many great secondary characters that do not get enough attention, especially Bobby (Wesley Taylor).

Kyle’s (Andy Mientus) parents are in to see the show, and I have never seen worst acting. Even the extras are bad! You would think they would audition a few more people. How do these people even get hired?! His mother was so insanely annoying.

Julia tells Tom that she is doing Gatsby with Scott, and he plays the lawyer card because she took the rights out in their company name. I’m disgusted with his actions. The two battle it out in a Q&A, which Ivy moderates, and Tom ends up saying that they are breaking up. After, she begs him to let her do Gatsby because it’s the first thing that has made her happy in years. Ouch. I actually like the deterioration of their partnership. I’m sad they won’t be working together, but it has finally given Julia a storyline I do not detest.

Hit List has a special preview to entice producers to sign onto the project. Here, we actually get a preview of what the show would be like, unlike the Bombshell opening night episode. And it was 4OrhHWeamazing!!! I honestly prefer Hit List to Bombshell. Sure, Bombshell is great and I love Ivy, but its music pales in comparison.

Two new songs were performed: “Don’t Let Me Know” and “The Goodbye Song.” “Don’t Let Me Know” shows Amanda stealing Jesse’s songs and her rise to fame. “The Goodbye Song” is the finale and is just another amazing song to add to the list of my favorites from the show. Karen (Katharine McPhee), of course, looks awkward but everyone else in the cast is phenomenal.

Agnes had her and Eileen go so Eileen could think about her next project. Eileen admits she liked Hit List. Oh man. I don’t know how she would get the money to produce both but that would make for great drama. However, she must be torn because after the publicity campaign, Bombshell’s sales are going up.

Looks like there will be a showdown at the Tony’s after all.

The show would have been phenomenal for everyone if Jimmy had not gotten high before the performance, causing him to mess up choreography and miss cues. One of the cues he missed was when Amanda is shot by the Diva and he is supposed to catch Karen. I didn’t feel bad; I laughed a little. Is that mean?

Derek says he is replacing Jimmy because of all the stunts he’s pulled, which prompts Jimmy to make a speech at the after-party. He tells Kyle’s boyfriend about how Kyle cheated on him and then he makes a crack about Karen being emotionless. I’m not a fan of Jimmy, but that was good.

Ivy has been blowing Derek off because of her “busy schedule.” He sits at the bar alone until Karen comes over. All of a sudden she seems in to him and tells him to walk her home. Oh brother. What is this fascination with Derek all about? Why do both Ivy and Karen keeping going back and forth with him?!

After Jimmy’s stint, Kyle has decided to cut Jimmy out of his life. He sings “The Last Goodybe” as he packs up an army duffle bag — oh how thespian of you. He takes the bag to Adam’s house because apparently Jimmy has been staying there! What on earth!?! Kyle gives a great performance here.

Right as he finishes, headlights fill his face and everyone can guess a car hit him. I was more surprised by this than I think I should have been. For some reason, I think I actually jumped. Kyle’s character really lacks depth, but I was just starting to like him again. What purpose will his injury serve? Who knows? That would mean there would be thought behind what the Smash writers do and let’s not give them that much credit.

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