TV: ‘Smash’ flops before its season finale

By Meryl Gottlieb|| @buzzlightmeryl
Smash season two finale will air Sunday, May 26 at 9 p.m.
Rating: 1.5/ 5


Tonight’s episode of Smash, “The Transfer,” was certainly not an episode worth watching. A disastrous plot twist was revealed, egos are running on high and Katharine McPhee’s acting is worse than ever.

Opening with Karen (Katharine McPhee) singing “Pretender” from Hit List, we see that the show has moved to Broadway and is in previews. Everything is going as desired for a Tonys route except something is off, and Derek (Jack Davenport) thinks it is Ana (Krysta Rodriguez), who has had trouble adjusting to the larger stage.

Continuing her publicity plan, Eileen (Anjelica Huston) holds a tribute night in honor of Tom (Christian Borle) and Julia (Debra Messing). She even wants the two to sing together. Oh, honey, have you ever heard Messing sing on Will & Grace, because believe me, it’s not pretty.

Agnes (Daphne Rubin-Vega) says a Tony nomination is almost secured for Best Score; Best Director will be a surprise; and Ivy (Megan Hilty) might have trouble getting Best Actress because of some past scandals, such as supposedly sleeping her way to the top and popping pills. She must now go through image rehab and appear squeaky clean.

May I just say that Hilty is the best? Her reaction to Agnes’ rattling off the accusations was hilarious, and I’m glad the character is finally getting somewhere. Too bad it took her two seasons to develop and that she won’t have any more time since NBC officially cancelled Smash after this season.

Derek gives Ana a day off and puts Daisy (Mara Davi) in to see if she does better. It is fixed!! Daisy is one of the dancers who came forward with allegations against Derek, who we then saw him hook up with after being rejected after the Bombshell opening.

I cannot explain my frustration. Ana is amazing as the Diva. The fact that this is happening is annoying.

Julia figured out what was wrong with the show: the context is gone. The audience is too disconnected from the performance. Now that they have found the problem, Derek assigns her and Jimmy (Jeremy Jordan) ten hours to fix it before the night’s performance. How can people make all of these changes hours before the show is supposed to go on? Stop this nonsense. You did it so many times with Bombshell, do not do it again with Hit List.

When Karen asks if Derek is replacing Ana, he gives one of the best scenes of the entire episode, or maybe even of the entire season. He admits that he has to question every decision he makes to see if that was what Kyle would have wanted. He has to decide if it is good for Kyle’s memory or good for the show, which are not always the same thing.

I am more than thrilled they put this into the show because it is so true with an artist’s work. People are afraid to change something because that is how the deceased artist left it. However, that may not have been the final draft and things may need to be changed. It is an ongoing issue that survivors must face any time someone dies. They do not want to tarnish the memory by making it seem that something was wrong, however they must face the reality that they need to continue and thrive, which may mean changes are necessary.

In order to help swing a Tony nomination for directing, Tom changes all of the plans for the tribute night and makes it into a revue set in 1950s Vegas with strippers, gamblers and gangsters. He essentially gives everyone one day to rehearse. Ok, again, this is nonsense.

Also, please stop trying for this directing nomination. This storyline is quite flat.

tumblr_mmqsv16DuI1ql20kxo5_250Julia and Jimmy go to Kyle’s apartment to look for ideas he left behind. They find a notecard labeled “Newsreel,” in which he wanted a modern version of a newsreel with tweets, chat room messages and any other modern technology updates shown on stage. He and Jimmy also dreamed of sending out live updates to each audience member on their cell phones.

OK, that is cool. And it works. The audience loved it.

Eileen leaked that Tom and Julia split — another Tony campaign stunt — making it ever more important that Julia show for the revue. However, she is busy helping Hit List. Tom is disappointed she feels no need to be with him on this last night of their partnership.

Ivy is afraid to do the show now because it may hurt the nice image she is trying to put across for nominations. Very out of the ordinary, Eileen gives Ivy a pep talk that doesn’t seem like it should have helped but ended up helping Ivy. Ugh, Eileen needs to leave already. Her character was never appealing.

Ivy performs a strip tease to “Grin and Bear It.” Except, I’m not sure her part was exactly a strip tease. The girls behind her stripped but she just teased. I don’t understand why she was so against doing that performance. Vocals were absolutely amazing of course.

Daisy is in fact blackmailing Derek, not from the first time they had relations but for the time after the Bombshell opening, which she taped. She also taped him saying that he would give her a role if she slept with him. Oh Derek.

Karen and Daisy perform “I’m Not Sorry,” where the Diva and Amanda battle at the VMAs. I would have loved it a lot more if Ana had been the Diva. I cannot express how disappointed I am I didn’t get to see Ana and Karen duet. There better be a version with Rodriguez’s vocals somewhere.

Julia showed up for the revue just in time for her and Tom’s duet to “The Right Regrets,” and Messing is absolutely terrible. Who thought she could sing? Who allowed this? Honestly, it was so bad; I cannot even describe it. Also, there was no need for a montage of Tom and Julia.

Jimmy wants Julia to help write the rest of the transitions, which she refuses, saying she only signed on to help with the transfer. He accuses her of having to stay away because the shows are competing now for the Tonys, which is true.

Derek fires Ana because Jerry likes Daisy. When everyone is conveniently in the same bar, Ana, for some reason, approaches Ivy about her past with Derek and how her role in Bombshell changed when she was off and on with Derek, things that Karen has told her all about. Oh snap. Ivy does not approve of Karen spilling her secrets so she tells her about it. The two are now enemies again and I love it. The rivalry should have remained throughout the entire show.

What isn’t amazing is the last “cliffhanger” the writers end on: Ivy is pregnant. Of all cliché storylines to use, you have to do this. I will miss the original songs but, yes, I cannot wait for this show to be done.


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