Monday, April 2, 2012

Live-Blogging 'Smash's' "Hell on Earth"...

- Why is Smash still trying to make Dev (Raza Jaffrey) happen? He's not going to happen! And seriously, it makes it harder for me to defend this show when they force the issue...

- Oh Tom (Christian Borle), he just HAD to be too good to be true, right? I think next to Michael (Will Chase) and Julia (Debra Messing) I care most about Tom's relationship. It's too bad it's going to have to end because of the whole R word.

- I guess Broadway and Hollywood doctors are all the same: quick to fill a 'scrip; treating every symptom-- and every side effect of a pill-- with another pill.

- I won't lie; I wanted Sam (Leslie Odom Jr.) to be straight so he and Ivy (Megan Hilty) could get together. He's good for her. And as much as he's not a stereotype as a gay character, just the fact that there seem to be absolutely no straight men in the ensemble feels a bit stereotypical.

- Ah, casting the widest net possible for a "star" coming to Marilyn. Can we all just agree that kind of stunt casting is detrimental to the world of theater and agree not to do it anymore?

- Also, titling is the worst, Eileen (Anjelica Huston). Please respect the process. How can you title something that isn't even complete-- that is still in flux, tone-wise, if that awful Ryan Tedder version is still in play? Tom and Julia need the time to develop the story, not the title. The title is incidental. Let them focus on what's really important, and the rest will fall into place. Stop rushing the genius! (Also, that's kind of how I feel about this show in general these days...everything feels so frantic, but not intentionally so...)

- In what universe would a tall, lanky brunette and a shorter, curvier blonde be competing for the same commercial? Those casting directors are quite possibly the most narrow-minded of all.

- Poor, poor Julia. First of all, when you don't talk about the issues (even though I do not think the person she should be talking to about them is her son, of all people!) they will never really go away. They will just fester, and unfortunately that means you will be resigned to keep your physical distance so you don't have to deal with the emotional repercussions, and I would implore you to consider the rest of us. That's pretty selfish, don't you think? What did I ever do to deserve being denied Chase!?

- I, now more than ever, feel terrible for Ivy and the shit show she got stuck in. Believing she's a star above a "chorus girl" aside, "Heaven on Earth" looks like a terrible play. I wouldn't attend even if I could still get in cheap for Kids' Night on Broadway. And she is stuck performing in this thing multiple nights a week? Yikes. Her boredom was understood, but she put up with that white suit prancer a lot better than I would have.

- Ellis (Jaime Cepero) has totally slept with this guy, right? Like maybe just before this scene and that's the only reason he's helping him? I just can't understand why else he would help him. Why do people as crappy as Ellis keep getting ahead in this business!? Smash, I thought you were better than that! You're about wish fulfillment!

- I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU OR YOUR SAD SONG, Frank (Brian d'Arcy James)! When people cheat it's because they're not happy at home. You can cry or you can yell, but you have to look inward, too.

- I would like to hear Julia sing that, too. In my head she still sounds like Grace Adler, and I still see Eric McCormack shaking his head and squeezing her lips shut with his fingers.

- Karen's (Katharine McPhee) commercial looks AMAZING! It's that quintessential, over-complicated, just-got-out-of-film school bullshit that makes this industry go round and gives those of us with b.s. detectors the giggles.

- No, Frank. You leave Michael alone and you go home. You go home and you LOOK INWARD. Or, if you don't want to go home, go to a coffee shop or something. Or a motel. I don't care. But you're not perfect, and you don't have the right to pretend to be. And you really don't have the right to be physical. I hope Michael sues you.

- Yup, Ellis definitely slept with this guy, too. Or at least he will, to distract the guy from the fact that his "how we met story" was a big fat lie.

- I would "settle" for Sam and Tom hooking up.

- Ivy, you have to stop being complainy and bratty about Karen. You have been in this business for years. You know how it works. You know that people come in with all kinds of experience and sometimes get ahead much faster. Sometimes it's because they're talented. Sometimes it's because they sleep with the right people. Sometimes it's because they have amazing timing. Karen can't possibly be your first example of this. She may be the closest, and because of the pills, the most heightened in your life, but suck it up. This is the world you chose to immerse yourself in. You don't have to like it, but you have to expect it.

- The pilot Derek (Jack Davenport) is reading sounds like it would air on NBC.

- Why is Eileen so awesomely ballsy with Derek and yet so complacent to keep Ellis around? I swear, if he doesn't get hit by a bus in between the first and second seasons, I'm going to be so pissed...

- WHO called Ellis' opportunism? This girl. Am I proud of it? No. But I'm not the one who shouldn't be proud of herself. That's Ellis.

- Karen's so vanilla, does she even know what someone looks like when they're loaded? Or does she just think Ivy has food poisoning or something?

- Seriously, Ivy, acting out is such a bad color on you. I'm glad Karen found a backbone to stand up for herself. She may be naive, but her family and her corn-fed upbringing instilled a strength in her that seems almost old-fashioned, for another time and place.

- Let him go, Julia. Maybe he'll take the terrible teenager with him.
Then you can adopt your little Chinese girl and write musicals and be emotionally stable. (Look, I don't like Leo, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense that he's so invested in his parents' relationship. To a privileged, protected kid like that, his parents splitting up is the most major thing that has ever happened to him, and he's ill-equipped to deal with anything so heavy. I'm sure he has a closet full of participation trophies, and this is like being told your family just isn't good enough. This generation is doomed.)

- Tom going to a Republican fundraiser is way worse than eating Chick-fil-A. But at least he got his own stab at them in before leaving. No one likes Republicans, Tom. I'm not even sure they like themselves.

- That's the world's nicest liquor store. Times Square really has gone Disneyified.

- Karen and Ivy being friendly is weird. I don't know how to feel about it. Though I know it's only temporary, it can't help but spark a 'Why does it have to be only temporary?' in my mind. I mean, this industry pits women against each other enough; it might be nice to see them band together on their own, down time. After all, like I said before, in the real world, these two are different enough types that they really shouldn't be seen as competition for each other. Maybe in theater where people are more open-minded, and a good wig can transform anyone into any role, but on-screen? No.

- RENT reference! How did it take this many episodes to do that? I'm kind of ashamed of you, Theresa Rebeck.

- Eileen may have resorted to Ellis-like tactics to get Derek back on-board, but I respect her so much for the restraint she showed in not spitting in Ellis' face when he asked for the co-producing credit. I mean, she didn't have a drink at hand or anything. But she showed remarkable tact and maturity and professionalism. I wish more people on this show were like her.

- Also, I respect Julia's restraint under that umbrella. Her life may have exploded, but she didn't want Michael's to, as well. Maybe Michael's should, but that's on him.


Free_Derek said...

Perfect. Everything you said. Just.perfect. I couldn't agree more. ESPECIALLY about Frank. And I TRULY hope Michael sues him (but he won't because he loves Julia.) Only one thing. Know what a man in love does? He takes the blame, and defends the woman he loves up until the end. That is exactly what Michael did. Know what a woman in love does? She tells him that what they did, they did together. That scene just about killed me. Now if someone can pretty please make Julia see the light... but not before 4 episodes of freaking obvious "OH LET'S PUT THE FAMILY BACK TOGETHER BECAUSE WE'RE A FAMILY AND LEO WANTS IT!" (family built on lies and with one spouse in love with someone else, but never mind. *rolls eyes*).

No more Will Chase until epi 14, I am not happy, because like you, I think it's unfair and cruel punishment to be denied Will Chase every week! But, given the situation, I'm pretty sure that the "Maybe Michael Should" is going to become "Most Likely Michael WILL tell the wife himself. Because he wants to, not because she finds out". We'll see, but given the current situation, his coming back and being re-hired implies, at the very least, that Julia is not with Frank anymore (GOOD RIDDANCE) and also that he feels VERY differently about it, because he made it clear, in order to save the marriage he would quit the musical hadn't he been fired. So... quite a few things may be going on in the next four episodes. Anyway, a PERFECT summary of my own feelings, too.

Kate, Dating in LA said...

I don't really agree about Frank. Some people cheat because they are selfish and so completely self-absorbed that if they don't get constant validation, they act out. It's not really fair to blame the person who is actually victimized by the actions.

As for Ivy, I wanted to shake her, and I was glad to see Karen do it verbally. The way she behaved the first time on stage in the play (which I agree seemed awful) was so incredibly unprofessional. I understand the disappointment, but acting like a petulant child will not improve her reputation. And, of course, following the incident that rep isn't going to get better.