Monday, April 9, 2012

Live-Blogging 'Smash's' "Understudy"...


- It's official. Julia (Debra Messing) and I are the same person.

- I know I should care more about Dev (Raza Jaffrey) and his "this terrible person keeps getting promoted because he has friends in high places" storyline. It rings very true to things I witness in my own life and work. But I just can't get behind him. He's so...vanilla.

- Karen (Katharine McPhee) getting the understudy role is a true testament to staying with a production at all costs. But it begs the question: how much should one artist be willing to take for that break? Ivy (Megan Hilty) had to make a living, so she went back to being a chorus girl in her old production. This had Karen shoot up the ranks of the workshop faster than if Ivy had stuck around, for sure. Timing really is half the battle in this business. Ivy had no reason to stick around; she knows how this business works. But it is interesting to hear Derek (Jack Davenport) say that even if Ivy wanted back in now, she won't get there because of her bad behavior on stage in "Heaven on Earth." One night working inebriated, and she can be ostracized. Hollywood should follow such a lead!

- Eileen (Anjelica Huston)'s terrible Spanish made me giggle, but her dismissive nature of Ellis (Jaime Cepero) was, of course, better. There is no way she's giving this little turd co-producer credit, but she'll let him keep working on the hard stuff for her believing he may some day crawl to such a title. Love. Her.

- Yea! Sam (Leslie Odom Jr.) and Tom (Christian Borle) are practically a couple! I know Tom has a very attractive, very nice catch of a man already, but these two finish each other's sentences. They're adorable.

- Megan Hilty doing Kelly Clarkson?!?! ALL OF THE SHOWS, PLEASE! This better be released on the soundtrack!

- Uma Thurman's fake movie star character cares way more about her assistant than just about anyone in Hollywood.

- Geez, Derek, why are you shouting? That studio is tiny. And way to run hot and cold. He cast her to begin with, and now he's nitpicking. These scenes are so short, maybe Karen has been screwing up all day, but nothing was said or done to give us that indication. It's not like she didn't know what downstage was. He's a little bipolar tonight.

- Did this interviewer just reference Wikipedia? Way to give journalism a bad name. I love that Julia called him out on that. What is this industry becoming!?

- Oh good, now Dev is going to pretend to be all manly and get up in arms about Karen being "sexually harassed." Come on, dude; she's a grown woman. She can handle herself. And if she can't, it's not your job to "handle" her. That's worse than sexual harassment. Or at least even. I hope she walks out on him.

- I highly doubt Jerry wouldn't have put these investors through the ringer. I just think he wouldn't have been so upfront about it. Eileen is showing her hand a little too openly. Not entirely intentionally, but still. They're clued in to the troubles with getting Rebecca on board. Most of the time, those kinks need to be ironed out behind-the-scenes while the producers just lie to their faces about how amazing it's going to be.

- Holy hell, Thorsten Kaye! You're hot, and you have wads of cash lying around. I'm inclined to believe you're connected...

- Did Ivy just tell Derek to take it easy on Karen!? Maybe their little drunken jaunt through Times Square bonded them closer than I could have imagined. I hope she doesn't have some dark ulterior motive. Like I mentioned last week, I like the idea of them banding together, even if just against the "movie star" threatening their livelihood.

- This guy who plays Bobby is so distracting every time he's on screen, but wearing a multi-colored striped polo during a steam room scene!? Dude, please.

- So...why isn't Tom playing Marilyn?

- Why are so many of the men on this show such freakin' wimps? Just because Tom and Sam are talking-- you know, like co-workers and friends do-- does not mean you have to slink away all dejected. If it's something you're worried about, which why the hell would you be worried unless you were so controlling your boyfriend isn't allowed to have other friends!?, don't you think the mature, responsible thing to do would be to address the issue? Or at least make your presence known. I'm sure Tom would be happy to see you. IF HE KNEW YOU WERE THERE.

- A little too late, Ivy, but it's nice that you're making an effort at all. The sunglasses may be a bit of an overkill, though. What's happening? Who are you? How many pills did you take today?

- Oh no, bad high school theater flashbacks. No. No, no, no. What school is this supposed to be? Lord knows it's not one of the performing arts schools. And isn't it just a little bit indulgent for Tom and Julia to be watching their old work be performed...over and over and over?

- Yup, Eileen is a bit too forthcoming with these people. If I had a guy telling me he had enough money, I would be saying whatever I had to to make him want to give me some of that money, not be afraid of giving me some of that money. Maybe she thinks the no bullshit approach will work. I'm a bit skeptical. I see just how much bullshit gets people in this business.

- Karen, you can talk back to him. Stars are not passive people. It's part talent, part timing, and part proving you know what the hell you're talking about.

- Leo's nice to you, Julia, because he's a mama's boy. An entitled, emotionally-stunted, too-well-taken-care-of mama's boy. I would say you should send him to Frank's but I don't think that will necessarily help him. I just want you to cut the dead weight. You can start over with your new adopted Chinese daughter. ...What, too harsh?

- What? Tom's reading the sports section? Sam really is rubbing off on him. Though, his attempt at reading it was to point out the differences in critique to the arts, and that's actually a really interesting point.

- Damn, John (Neal Bledsoe), way to jump to conclusions. Tom not going after him is an interesting statement, though. Personally I just think Tom isn't taking him too seriously, but maybe he also doesn't take the relationship as seriously as it first seemed. Because whether or not he thinks John is overreacting (which I do!), if he wanted to soothe the overreaction before it blew up and blew their relationship apart, he should at least get up to humor him. Since he still sat there, I hope the thoughts of flirting with Sam sat with him, too. I don't believe he really considered Sam that way before, but I'd like him to.

- Julia, that better be Michael (Will Chase) on the other end of that phone! ...Oh damn.

- I want to strangle Ellis with his stupid bowtie. And when he brings back that coffee, Eileen better throw it in his face!

- Derek is really growing up if he's apologizing to Karen. Whether or not it's just because he's more attracted to her now that he's hallucinated her as Marilyn may remain to be seen, but it's a nice start. In the words of everyone's grandmother ever, "I never thought I'd see the day!"

- Dev flipping out and hitting Derek has to work in Derek's favor with Karen, right? The once-stable, "comfortable" choice is coming unhinged. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to have a thing for bad boys, so I guess Derek is always off the table for her. That's okay. As long as it means she's now turned off by Dev, too. Even if he's a b.s. bad boy.

- Did both Dev and Derek say "sod" about the other? Oy.

- Dev, take the damn job outside of the city. Leave Karen to finally grow a pair and be independent. I know that just means all the men are leaving, but so be it.

- I don't know much about theater people, but I feel like they're stodgier than music industry people, so burning the contracts in the bar in front of them probably didn't do what it should have to bum them out that they weren't getting into business with these people.

- Oh Uma, way to make your entrance. At least it was after Karen finished her heartbreaking solo. A minute sooner and you would have been really disrespectful. But I'd love for people to clap when I walk into a room. Maybe someday...

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