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+.


@Adam & Chad - I'm glad someone is calling Carla out finally. Her "reviews" are the WORST. I thought the same thing about "middle school" only middle school kids might actually have a leg up. It reads like a poorly written book report. A "D" at best. Do they actually have an editor? If so he needs to fire her. Or himself for allowing such awful contributions to his site. She is the worst writer ever...and thats saying something. Some of the other "reviewers" on this site arent much better.

Tony williams

pretty good show last night! lots of action. Totally took away any good vibes I had about Debra Messing's!


@ Chad,
Couldn't agree more! This reviewer is USELESS. I hope she doesn't get paid to do it. It was however just like last week's. Very poor grammar. She merely just gives an overview of the episode through comprising a synopsis together. Please change Carla. This was very painful to read. Is she still in middle school or something?


I don’t feel sorry for Ivy. The makers are trying very hard to convince us that Ivy is a poor chorus girl who has waited to make it big all her life long, and when the opportunity comes knocking, is insecure. Karen and Dev are cute. Yet I don’t like the obvious ways they shove it in our face on what a great catch he is! I hope they don’t go the clichéd route by showing a premature breakup. I know they need some conflict in Karen's life. But she has, like Ivy puts it, enough on her plate already. If anything, they should take their relationship to the next level. Michael and Julia have a great chemistry, but their scenes looked contrived. Michael looks like he's trying way too hard to win Julia back, completely oblivious to the fact that he has a baby (wasn't he reluctant to take up a full time role because he wanted to spend time with his child?) and a loving wife. All he had to do was look at Julia and all his hormones start raging like a green teenager. mehhhh


I am really hoping Ivy loses the part for Marilyn. I understand that she's insecure and we are supposed to feel somewhat sorry for her, but she is just such a bitch! I don't care how insecure you are there's no need to be so rude to someone who told you she's not even a threat! What the heck! She is just setting herself up to fail with all her insecurities which is just sad. I loved Karen's rendition of "It's A Man's World". I thought it was really interesting and well done. She had a beautiful voice and I love hearing it. And people criticizing the reviewer, don't be rude. Comment on the show not the person writing the review. jeez.


This wasn't a review. It was just a synopsis with some bad commentary thrown in. And did anyone review this before you posted it? My review of your grammar would be just as lame as your "so-called review" of this episode. A good review is not just personal opinions, it is a critique which gives an educated, objective view of the show. To say that Julia and Michael were kissing in front of her house is a synopsis, to say that you didn't like it is a personal opinion, to say that it was a very predictable plot device used purely as a tool to enhance conflict, is an objective review. Are you paid to do this? Or is this an open blog for any hulu member to post a review?


I am still undecided on this show. I think that I will give it three more episodes. There is just no character development. Its just too predictable but that would have been cool if it added to the story. Julia's son character is so awful, it seems like he is a boring version of Jake Harper from TAHM. The entire plot of Julia's family is silly to say the least.And Tom's assistant is played by an actor whose face is annoying to say the least.
Thank God the main characters are interesting. Ivy and Karen together in any scene makes good TV and Derek is an interesting character.So hope that they work on the secondary plots.
BTW what about Tom and Derek's animosity, it requires a backstory


This review was awful. You sound so negative and snobby. Like you have to condescend to the show. If you're so uninterested in the cast then maybe you should review a show you like. This review was painful to read.


I thought the scene when Julia was coming home to reprimand her son seemed faked. Of course she would be angry, but I didn't think she would be that upset over smoking pot. My favorite scene had to be Let's be Bad I love that we actually saw it like a broadway show. Karen's rendition of A Man's world was fantastic! I hope this show doesn't get cancelled.


In case you missed it, Karen did give her boyfriend the info on the press secretary and then they made out in the back of the car......... I, too, think the Julia/Micheal thing was a bit predictable. I already didn't like Ivy, well, now I don't even more. She's a self centered.......nevermind........I really hope she loses this part. Eileen couldn't have pick a better person to be her snoop on Julia and Tom. Tom's scenes with his "date" really didn't do anything for me. Anyone know how many more episodes there are?

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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!