SMASH: 1.05 “Let’s Be Bad”
Well, Diva Ivy made a big shift last night. She’s now Overwhelmed, Deflated, Insecure, and Two-Faced Ivy. Completely freaked out that she’ll be replaced by Karen, Ivy was failing at her rehearsals, barking at the director for their lack of relationship, and being straight-out bitchy to Karen. Well, I guess the last part hasn’t changed.
Karen, meanwhile, is just confused by the whole thing — and taking things rather personally. As far as the “Happy Birthday” performance was concerned, I really think the director was trying to show Ivy a thing or two. How Karen thought that was to humiliate her, I have no idea. Honestly, most people would be flattered to be called out and told to coach the lead, but Karen just figured she was being pointed out and embarrassed. Karen’s a little hyper-sensitive, but she’s still the better, nicer character in comparison to Ivy, and I’d prefer her to lead the charge than mean ol’ Ivy.
That being said, you can’t deny that Ivy’s performances are just fabulous. The “Let’s Be Bad” number completely made the episode worth watching — especially since it actually included emotions and side dialog. While the other musical performances in the show since the series began were great, this was really the first that told a real story. The pill-popping, the freaked out looks by Marilyn, and the side judgments by the non-dancing masses really told you what was happening in Marilyn’s life. I loved it. In fact, I loved it so much that I would have recommended cutting the other two numbers, Michael and Karen’s solo numbers. While I’m sure many a man who is watching would love to see Katherine McPhee strip down to her bra and sing a sexy solo, it just didn’t add anything to the episode. And Michael’s number? Well, it seemed odd that he’d randomly start singing in the street, when pretty much throughout the series, the musical numbers have very carefully been placed in the episode logically, so you understood why they were singing. This was almost too Glee than realistic, and I didn’t quite get it.
And as for his reuniting the relationship with Julia? Well, I guess we all saw that coming. I wonder if her son did, as he watched from the window. It’s a little cliche, but not surprising.
Also cliche but not surprising? The current struggles Karen is having with her boyfriend. I certainly hope that there’s not some cheating storyline going on later with RJ. I actually like how perfect Karen is with her boyfriend, and I’d like to keep it that way for a while.
But really, this episode was all about that gorgeous musical number. And for that, I give it an A.