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+.


I think what we saw in this episode between Ivy and Karen had a lot to do with how one has what the other needs. Neither of them are perfect and it looks to me like these two need to feed of each other's strengths cause those are their weaknesses. Ivy was an annoying diva but at the same time those are rooted from her insecurities. Karen's an optimistic and hopeful person so she has confidence. I think the show will continue to feed on that and see how these two characters develop through the workshops. As for Julia, I like how this gives her more than just her work but it feels a too rushed and forced for me. There's chemistry between her and Michael but I think they could've built things up better. It's been years since they last saw each other then on a drunken night, they just end up kissing. I would've wanted more build up there so that the moment meant more. Leo seeing it was predictable and it just leads to a predictable confrontation. They should've given this more time.

Sarah silva

I do not condone cheating but I do live Michael! This is a musical show, which people seem to forget as some of the comments made last week about some of the musical numbers. The song Michael sang to Julia worked for me.
I really hope that Dev dose not let RJ hit on him. I have a feeling that is going to happen and that Karen will have been right all along, woman's intuitions are usually right!
I do not feel sorry for Ivy. She has super low self esteem and is she still wanted to sleep with Derek after what he said to her then she deserves all that will come of that relationship.

Sarah silva

I really liked this episode.
I am liking Ivy less and less, after last week I did not like her and well now I really do not. I hope she loses the role, Karen is far more deserving.
For me I did not find the Julia storyline far fetched at all. I am sure in an adoption process every move you make especially one regarding the law has to be reported to the agency. The one way that Julia knew she could get through to Leo was to use the adoption as the reason he has to be careful and not use drugs, he is a teenager and any other reason she would give he would not listen too.


The writing on this show isn't great. It's ok which is a shame because they've got a really talented cast of characters. The story line is so tired and predictable. Who didn't guess that Julia's son would see her kiss Michael? And why oh why would Karen need to sing, "It's A Man's World"? She's in a healthy and happy relationship with a man who loves and supports her. All he asked her to do was wear a sexy dress and we're supposed to feel like she's some downtrodden woman? Thin. The whole thing makes me sad because this show has so much potential. I hope that the writers can get it together.


Another really good episode from Smash. On Twitter, so many of the stars were commenting about the number, "Let's Be Bad" being the best number they've done so far. It was good, but I just didn't astound me the way I expected it to. I guess that's why Julia needs to stop making out with her actors and start writing a book that complements and explains the numbers! And I totally agree with you on the Ivy drama. Karen does come across as a little naive and unfailingly kind, but Ivy is such a jerk to her! I don't buy that Ivy is supposed to be the antagonist here, because they highlight all of her vulnerabilities. But she makes me want to roll my eyes every time she comes on the screen.

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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!