Smash
The Movie Star

Episode Report Card
Sara Brady: B- | 1 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Rebecca Duvall Superstar

Derek cuts her off, mercifully, and in Eileen's office, the creative team discusses just why and how Rebecca can't sing. Opinions differ about whether she's too flat or too loud or if she suckered them by being awesome that one time she sang on Saturday Night Live. (In that case, how about we let Jake Gyllenhaal take a swing at playing Marilyn?) Eileen thinks this was her mistake. No, it's ELLIS'S mistake. But, she says, Rebecca Duvall is going to fill the seats, and they, the producer, director, and writers, need to find a constructive solution to a musical with a star who's incapable of performing music. "Group suicide?" Julia suggests dryly.

Derek suggests using the "shadow selves," like in the big ballet in the middle of Oklahoma!, having Rebecca play Dramatic Acting Marilyn and someone else--like Karen--play Singing and Dancing Marilyn. He also suggests bringing back Ivy, and argues in her defense, which is both adorable--he loves her!--and pragmatic, because come on, Ivy is the best Marilyn the show has, unless they go to that little place that Rebecca loves in Cobble Hill and throw money at Michelle Williams.

Downstairs Julia is ranting that the shadow selves were supposed to be whispers in Marilyn's mind, rather than encapsulating all the songs in the show. Tom brushes off her concerns, as he has no worries because he has himself a date, and also an I'm Going to Have Sex With Someone New spray tan, and he looks all pleased with himself. Julia's phone rings, and it's Dull Leo's dull school. Ugh, and Julia was on such a good streak of not wailing and rending her garments.

Rehearsal. Ivy's back! Sam is delighted. Karen, not so much. After the title card, Tom is trying to get Rebecca to sing and it is not going well. Derek is draped on the piano like a sad beagle. And the song seems to be about the Monroe Doctrine, and how maybe Norma Jean took her stage name from that? Really? If so, then Smash has finally elbowed its way into the middle of my Venn Diagram of Broadway musicals and U.S. presidents, alongside Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and 1776. (Wikipedia tells me Monroe was her mother's maiden name. Ah, well. It was a nice theory.) Ivy cuddles up to Karen to gossip and says "That is the sound of a thousand ticketholders demanding their money back." Karen demurs, saying she'd kill to be gorgeous, rich, famous Rebecca, and Ivy snarks that she's in the wrong business if she's not rooting for Rebecca to fall on her face. I'm enjoying how Ivy's playing Karen hot and cold, sometimes spurning her, sometimes buddying up like they're on the same side.

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