Smash Review: Secrets and Sacrifices

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The first two episodes of Smash were primarily about the creation of an idea and the casting of Marilyn. Tonight, in "Enter Mr. Dimaggio," we learned more about the people involved and the intermingling of Broadway.

Derek and Ivy are sleeping together. Whoopee! I don't think she got Marilyn because of that, but their new relationship will definitely create questions. I almost feel a little bad for Ivy about it, but she did bring it on herself. She didn't have to give in to the temptation.

Marilyn and Joe

Derek is hot, but he still is a bit of an ass. I'm not sure he is as into her though as she is him. His comment in bed about them getting together to talk about Marilyn didn't come across as a joke, rather like he used that to cover for his non-nonchalance about their relationship. Though he did go watch her performance and stop by her dressing room. Could he care? Or, was that just a bootie call?

As much as Tom wanted Ivy for the role of Marilyn, it was clear that Julia did not want Michael involved at all. Why didn't Tom see that? He came across more self-absorbed than previously. Even his concern for Ivy was more about his hatred of Derek than really caring if she was being used by him. I loved Tom's enthusiasm initially, but as he is revealing more about himself I'm not sure about him.

Almost the same can be said about Julia. She was introduced as a career woman, who cared deeply about her family. This torrid affair with Michael was shocking and seemed out of character for her. Yet, at the same time, it was a truly passionate love affair. Unlike Derek and Ivy's relationship, Julia and Michael seemed to have something special.

I feel bad for Frank sitting at home having given up his career for his family, But I actually feel a bit for Julia as well. During "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," it was difficult to tell if she felt it was worth ending the affair for her family. She seemed to be second guessing her decision by reflecting on mundane family life rather than the happy moments. Now that Michael is married with a child, their feelings for each other are going to be even more complicated. Julia needs to keep him at a distance, though the temptation may be too much.

While Julia and Frank are still together and he doesn't even know about the affair (for now), Eileen held strong to her decision to end her marriage and business relationship with Jerry. How many drinks will Jerry have thrown in his face in public before he gives up? He was willing to risk everything to divorce her, but one new pair of $50 earrings got him all worked up. Interesting.

Out of everyone involved, I most want the musical to succeed for Eileen. She deserves it. She has put in the years working on productions and shouldn't need a man, especially her soon-to-be ex-husband, to make it happen. If a production is a good idea, it is a good idea. Someone will see that and she will get her $200,000.

Speaking of money, were you surprised the actors only get $200 a week during workshop? That's not a lot in Iowa and it's even less in New York City. I appreciate this true look at struggling actors. In order to have the opportunity to achieve their dreams, they have to make sacrifices.

Would you make that sacrifice to potentially achieve your dream? As Derek said, "... a lot can happen in five years."

Then, there is the despicable Ellis! He is crossing all kinds of boundaries to get what he wants, which is money. In the premiere, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I really thought he was just naive about the video. Now, I'm not so sure.

He is a bigger ass than Derek. At least, Derek has talent and is a jerk with a purpose. Ellis is a wannabe, who has overstepped his position. He never should have talked to Julia the way he did and, to be honest, I'm surprised she let him get away with it.

I understand that he thinks he deserves credit and money for coming up with the idea for Marilyn. And he may be right to a certain degree. But mentioning that a Marilyn musical would be a good idea and bringing that most basic of ideas to fruition is an entirely different thing. I probably would have supported him asking for credit of some sort initially, but not any more. He lost that right when he stole Julia's book.

Those were HER ideas, not his. She and Tom were responsible for the songs and story, not him. Unfortunately, I expect his evilness to only worsen now that he knows about her affair with Michael. He needs to be gone NOW! Another example of Tom being blind to what is happening around him.

As much as I hate Ellis , I love Karen. She didn't get the part of Marilyn (yet), but she remained in high spirits about the offer to be in the ensemble. She is too talented to stay there for long. I expect that she will end up with a lead role soon enough. Her trip to Iowa wasn't very interesting, but again it all comes back to achieving a dream. Her father's support both emotionally and financially is going to allow her to give it a shot. What an amazing moment for both Karen and her parents!

This was the slowest Smash episode so far, even the songs were nothing spectacular, but I enjoyed that the show stepped away from the musical for an episode and let us get to know the people involved better. We got a chance to find out their dreams and the sacrifices they are willing to make to achieve those dreams.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (85 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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I actually liked it better than last week. Enjoyed having a villain to hate in Ellis. Liked the complication of Ivy and Derek in bed. Enjoyed the repeating motif of the drink spilled in Jerry's face and the great dialog between those two. I especially like the way the story is building as characters and songs are added to the play. I feel like i have come in on the ground floor and I'm seeing all the behind the scenes drama.

Carla-day

@DCB I expect that going forward I'll talk more about the songs in the reviews, but this week they were unremarkable. Michael singing a Bruno Mars song in another Broadway show. Karen singing Redneck Woman at karaoke in Iowa. And, the original song "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," which I briefly mention. It was a bore. The music in the first two episodes was far superior.

Uss-biddle-dlg-34

Rick says.... How did McPhee not win AI? What planet have you been on?
since when has AI been about the most talented contestant winning ?
Scotty? Fantasia? Ruben? Lee? Kris? Or the worst of the worst -----Taylor Hicks over McPhee ...

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DVR'd this episode, haven't watched it yet. I've not been very impressed so far. Just an observation though: the first two episode reviews on this site talked a lot about the singing. I don't see even a mention of it this week except for ". . . even the songs were nothing spectacular."
I thought the songs were what made this show special, different from just another evening soap opera about ambition, revenge, breakups, make-outs and cat fights. What happened? It's only episode three!

Uss-biddle-dlg-34

Red Auerbach once said....never draft any player I have not seen Play twice and practice, at least twice.... Applying that practice to tv, I wanted to dump Smash after ep1 but hung in and glad I did.... Even though it's on lame network tv...... glee has gotten stale so an alternative was sought after. Smash works.....for now anyway.

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a little disappointing. Ellis finally stepped up but I didn't see the need for him to steal her book.

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Not sure how I feel about Ivy. She was kind of sympathetic in episode 1, a total beeyotch in episode 2, and relatively bearable in episode 3. At least she has a conscience and was slightly concerned that she got the part only because she slept with the director, but her theatre friends seem like total insincere snobs without morals. Previews for next episode show Julia and Michael going at it. Control yourself, woman! (sorry for the 3-part response, there is apparently a 1000-character limit)

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I love Katharine McPhee. How did she not win American Idol? Great actress, great voice. And the guy who plays her boyfriend is likeable too. I like that their relationship has issues (she missed the dinner last episode, he butted into her meeting with the seductive director this episode), but they get through it without breaking up, which is what would happen in most other dramas. Julia's revelation about her affair with Michael was pretty shocking, especially given how much her husband has sacrificed. Still, the two already seem distant because she works so much, so this could be the final straw.

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Nice review! I got sucked into this show (just what I needed, another show to get hooked on) and it's keeping my attention. I disagree that Ellis needs to go- a good story needs a villain, and he could be great in that role. Even though it is painfully obvious that he will use Julia's secret against her, I'm still interested in seeing how that plays out. I think Julia treated him like crap in the first two episodes, so it was nice to see him get a word in edgewise, but he is way out of line in terms of his actions to get credit (stealing the book, etc.).

Tanner1511

I LOVE this Show!!! Could not agree more about Ellis! He needs to go NOW!!!
Poor Ivy (not really)... but Derek is definitely not as into her as she is him.
Micheal is HOT!! I feel for Julia and her husband (giving up everything for family and all) but hopefully Julia can stay away for her marriages sake. Your review was right on and cant wait for more SMASH!

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