Smash Review: Bad, Bad Behavior

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"Let's Be Bad." What a perfect title for this episode of Smash, considering the behavior of many main characters.

Ivy continued to be an annoying diva. At first, Derek seemed to be specifically trying to feed Ivy's insecurities, but in actuality he doesn't have that in him. He was focused on the show and what needed to be done; he never truly saw what was going on with her.

Ivy as Marilyn

Despite Derek's disregard for anyone's feelings, Ivy did not make the situation any better. She is the lead and should be an example for the others to follow. Karen was forced into the spotlight by Derek; she did not seek it. Ivy must overcome her jealousy and insecurity of Karen or it will be her downfall, if only temporarily.

During rehearsals, Ivy was distracted by Derek's disapproval, but to cry? That was an act for sympathy, right? The transition to the full stage production of "Let's Be Bad" worked, however. Ivy and Marilyn's problems, while not the same, paralleled each other's. I was glad to see confident Ivy as Marilyn in that performance, rather than insecure Ivy.

One positive thing Ivy did was to confront Derek about their relationship. That positive quickly turned into a negative, though, when she jumped right back in bed with him even after he told her all he cared about was Marilyn. Will Ivy re-evaluate their relationship now that he slept with her and then immediately went back to work on the show?

Ivy wasn't the only one with personal issues. Julia had to deal with her son almost getting arrested and that potentially preventing their adoption. I did not understand why Julia called them about Leo's almost-arrest? Since he wasn't actually booked, how would they even know about it? And then she used the adoption to convince him to stay away from drugs and alcohol. That didn't make much sense.

Of course, as soon as Michael showed up at the house, it was obvious that Leo would find out about the affair. Ugh! Julia and Michael have chemistry together, but the way they finally ended up giving into their feelings was forced. From Michael's "A Song For You" to the kiss, neither seemed authentic. It would have been more believable if it happened after they had dinner out and said goodbye. Why in front of her house with her son watching?

It is difficult for me to believe that with this large cast of characters, Karen is the only one I like. The rest are either boring or unpleasant. I'm all for having complicated individuals, I would just like them to have some redeeming qualities despite their flaws. I'm holding out hope that this was a transitional episode and we will get a fuller picture coming soon.

Odds and Ends

  • Eileen buddying up to Ellis for the scoop on Julia and Tom's progress made me cringe. Eileen could not have picked a more self-serving person to be her snoop.
  • Tom and the lawyer went on a date! Then, they stopped Leo from being arrested. And had sex! Bad sex, but it was still sex! I like these two together. I hope one bad roll in the sack does not break them up. This relationship also showed a more personable side to Tom.
  • I was surprised that Dev left Karen behind to get ready for the dinner since she ditched him the last time. A convenient way to set up for Karen's song for the night, "It's a Man's Man's Man's World."
  • Karen's sexy look came in handy at the dinner. What will she do with the information about the new potential press secretary? After relegating Karen to another table, I'm not sure Dev deserves to get an advantage from her seating.


Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (78 Votes)

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


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karen brought it upon herself--she still rehearses like shes playing marilyn not as part of the ensemble. and teh camera work during the performance was annoying, cutting back to karen like shes even the focal point; I really dont care for her! gawd!


Enjoyed the episode. But, was puzzled about the music number. To what is "Let's Be Bad" supposed to refer? It had Roaring 20's flappers & gangsters. MM was a star in the 50's & 60's. Ivy's styling (hair, costume) was all wrong for the movie "Some Like It Hot." So, it's just confusing IMO. The producers of this show probably aren't setting up a "Black Swan" situation, where Ivy starts losing herself into the character of MM. But that seems to be happening. For someone who claims to be an adult who "knows what I bring to the party," she is not acting like it. We see the work Karen has done in rehearsals to overcome her lack of experience, and to blend in with the chorus. She knows she's there because she's bringing the talent. Ivy made the big mistake of sleeping with the director. Now, she's always unsure of herself because she isn't sure if it was the sex that got her the job, or her talent. To keep the job, sex definitely won't be enough.


julia and michael, the only part of the show that is just so stupid. thought she was so worried about adoption and now pulls this. what are the writers thinking. MORE THEN ANNOYING


I think everyone ought to give the show a break. As a person who has been in this profession for years, the writers are actually giving a point of reference to the difficulties surrounding auditioning and landing a role---any role---on Broadway. The angle of building the show from the ground up (composing, writing the book, choreographing, workshop, etc.), is fascinating and shows a side of musical theater that we don't often see. It feels like Glee post graduation---talented singers/dancers/actors just trying to make it in NYC.


@Chad, Adam and Marcus: I get this vibe that the three of you are the same person. Do you have something personal vendetta against the reviewer? Please don't unleash it here. So childish. So, I'm really falling in love with this show. I like Ivy the best, but sometimes the writer ruins her, and I like Karen but with her insecurity, "It's A Man's World"'s Karen is not that appealing. Julia and Michael are okay. Though in previous episode, Michael seems to be so loving to his son and his wife that it's never addressed how he's obsessed over Julia? Eileen and Ellis, two boring people teaming up? Snooze-fest. Tom and Lawyer are getting it ON! It's nice to see Tom has someone.


I don't get all the Ivy haters..yes, she's unnecessarily mean to Karen who's nothing but nice to her, but she's really insecure and in an awful relationship with Derek who's a jerk! I hope she can get over herself and become friends with Karen, they can learn a few things from each other. Plus, she's perfect as Marilyn! In those scenes where they have the whole set up I wish it was a real Broadway musical.. I want to see it now! I love this show! It cannot get canceled!
ps: I loved Tom and the lawyer, hated Julia and Michael. I like both characters but it was so predictable that they would kiss and her son would see it..I hate these cliches and fell so bad for the husband!


Oh. My. Gosh.
Will you all stop ganging up on Carla? It's pathetic. If you can't stand to read it, then don't. Or go write your own review. Wait, you're too busy complaining. Boo hoo go cry else where. We're here to talk about the episode. Not to talk about the review of the episode.
My favorite character is Karen. She's the only one who seems genuine. I kinda like Derek for his sarcastic disregard... but it gets tiresome after awhile because he's sooo selfish. I only kinda like Smash, and only watched it last night because Castle was a rerun. We'll see.


@kt Oh I think Smash is just awful. But I think Carla is worse. BTW I have a friend who writes for the site. I happen to know they DO get paid. Sad sad sad.


I love that fanboys n girs are barking about poor Carla. We all know the show sucks and is overrated and some people can't handle that. Atleast be honest and stop hatin on poor Carla. BTW terrible acting and so cliche

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Smash Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

Ivy: Am I late?
Derek: No, Karen was early.

Michael: Have you seen Julia?
Tom: She's working from home. She's having family issues and that's where she needs to be. With her family!