Thursday, April 11, 2013

Smashed, April 11, 2013

The Surprise Party
by Stuart Munro

Hi friends. Did you forget that Smash moved to Saturdays last week? So did I! And so did everyone else it seems, because the show recorded its lowest ratings of the series this past weekend. This is a shame since rating were actually on their way back up the last few weeks. Alas! But for now, let’s pour a glass and see what’s going on this week.

Tech rehearsals for Bombshell are not going well, as Ivy and Tom are butting heads at every turn. Their ruined friendship has hit the presses, and Eileen is hoping to do some damage control with Richard Francis from the Times (with whom she is flirting up a storm). It just happens to be Ivy’s birthday, so in an effort to get back into her’s good books, Tom calls Liza. Yes. Minnelli. Eileen tips off a few newspaper types and the evening turns into a mini-media circus as Liza sings a lovely song, specially composed by Tom, for Ivy. The ploy almost works, until Tom finds out about her secret birthday party that he’s not invited to. So they find a compromise – as long as Tom’s her director, their friendship is put on hold.

It’s a real shame Smash moved nights and lost what little fan-base it had, because the last few episodes have really worked for me.

At Hit List, Jimmy and Karen continue their romance, but under the radar so Derek doesn’t catch wind of it and get too jealous. Karen gets fed up and puts things on hold until Jimmy’s ready to go public. So, you know, good for her. Richard shows up to rehearsal hoping for “something worth writing about,” and Derek shows him a fantastic number about recreating yourself called “Original.” This is the kind of song I love – something that’s tied into the plot, moves our understanding of Karen’s character forward, and flows in and out of the scene smoothly. It’s also a pretty great tune, and the staging is wonderful. Thankfully, Richard is “intrigued.” (Though question, Hit List is a rock opera now. Why is there so much bad dialogue?!) Derek finds out about Jimmy and Karen and, predictably, flies off the handle during a rehearsal (that curiously has no one else at it). And when Karen finds out that all the secrecy was because Derek told Jimmy to keep away from her, she gets rightly mad at Jimmy and (sadly for television writing everywhere) tells him she wished he’d been “more of a man.” So, in an effort to man up, Jimmy takes Karen out on a real date – but when he offers her his coat, he forgets about the cocaine in the pocket. Oops.

Julia is working closely with Scott and (the adorable) Kyle on reworking the Diva as a major character, and during a late-night session, Julia finds out that Scott had, in the past, harboured feelings for her. At the end of a long day’s work, Kyle pitches a new second act to Derek (without Jimmy’s input). Everyone’s concerned about Jimmy and Karen’s reaction, but now that Derek’s in Revenge Mode, he couldn’t care less what his two leads and co-author think! At the end of the evening, Derek finds Ivy, and Julia and Scott decide to go for a drink. But this time, Julia makes it clear that Scott should be more willing to share his feelings for her in the future.

It’s a real shame Smash moved nights and lost what little fan-base it had, because the last few episodes have really worked for me. And Hist List, despite the terrible dialogue, seems more and more like a show I’d have some interest in seeing – the tunes are catchy and the staging is energetic and exciting. Maybe the ratings will climb again next week and Smash will be spared the chopping block. Until then, I’m having another drink.

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