SMASH: 1.03 “Enter Mr. DiMaggio”
Well, now that we know who our leading lady is, I can’t say this episode really held up to the others. Not only were we missing some good song-and-dance (with the exception of a fantastic closing number), but we seemed to get lost in the little things. In fact, unless you really paid a lot of attention, you might forget that they were working on a Broadway show at all.
Ok, that’s an exaggeration. Obviously, we know they’re doing a musical. They discuss casting, funding. But I do miss the song and dance. Seeing our new Mr. DiMaggio doing a Bruno Mars number (really?!) and having Katherine McPhee perform a song a little too country for even Iowa just pushed me over the edge.
In fact, that only redeeming quality about this episode was that of Tom and Julia. I adore their friendship (and the fact that we got to hear them sing a little — just barely — but that Debra Messing has got a voice). And honestly, while we know very little about Julia and Michael, they did a great job at giving us solid exposition and the lingering feelings, without the same ol’, same ol’ methods. While I’m not one to really adore adultery storylines (mainly because they’re so overused in TV), this one looks like it might have substance. Seeing her watch him in that final number was just fantastic.
And can I reiterate how much I adore the way the splice together real-time performances with the envisioned stage productions. I feel like I’m watching theater in my living room. Love it.
But the rest of the episode was just blah. Karen’s interaction with her parents, for example. I get that they think what she’s doing isn’t practical, that she should have more security. But really? Seeing her sing one song in karaoke changes her father’s mind? That’s something you’d see in a two-hour movie (um, Sister Act 2, anyone?), not a TV show with three-dimensional characters. He’s her father. He’s clearly heard her sing before and knows she has talent. So the realization just didn’t make sense. It felt way too easy.
And as for Tom’s assistant. Uggh. Just…uggh. It’s rather ridiculous that he wants to be paid for his flippant comment about a Marilyn musical. But if he does think that he should be paid, by all means, say so. Don’t blackmail Julia (which we all know is coming). This guy just doesn’t seem to have any redeeming qualities, and I care little about his claim to fame. I do, however, wonder what happened with him and Julia in their past. She fired him once before — did we know that?
Finally, Ivy. Oh, Ivy. Every episode feels like we’re getting a different Ivy. This time, the desperate, naive Ivy. She’s worried that he director might not really want anything from her except sex, mainly because that’s all she’s giving him. Come on, Ivy. Wake up. If you think he gave you the part because you slept with him, there’s a good chance that happened. Do you really think that he’s not having you at his place because his gas was disconnected?? Come on. He’s seducing you in dressing rooms because you’re giving it up rather easily. That’s all he’s looking for.
She’s old enough to realize this. It just bugs me. What happened to the stronger Ivy we saw earlier? Or even the softer one, whose family wouldn’t even listen to her great news about callbacks?
Anyway, here’s hoping we get a little better music and storylines next week.