Smash Review: Bombshell
Smash returned to the rehearsal room this week in "Understudy" after a week away. The Marilyn musical is now officially Bombshell, with a star lead in Rebecca Duvall. One problem: Rebecca was stuck in Cuba.
The arrival of movie star Rebecca (Uma Thurman) was delayed and that was not without consequences. The show's investors got nervous and started demanding more and more access from Eileen. The lowest blow came when one investor told Eileen, "Jerry would have never put us in this situation." Ouch!
On a more positive note, the production had to go on; they couldn't waste a single day. Karen was promoted to be the Marilyn understudy. If you are tracking the competition between Ivy and Karen, it would seem Karen is currently in the lead -- at least in regards to Marilyn.
Smash may have started as a battle between Ivy and Karen, but it has become an ensemble show with Bombshell at the center. It will be interesting to see whether the focus shifts again with Rebecca as the lead.
While the musical was moving in a positive direction, the personal lives of some involved suffered. Dev was withholding the truth from Karen about losing out on the promotion, which caused him to act out in other ways. Tom and John seemed to be doing well until John realized that Tom had feelings for Sam. And, Julia was still a wreck about Frank leaving her.
The show has struggled to incorporate the characters' personal lives into the episodes, but this week there was improvement in that area. Even if not the most compelling to watch, they weren't entirely separate from the musical part of the story.
The moment that Julia told Tom about Frank leaving her was immensely heartbreaking. Tom may be her "work husband," but he was there to support her when she needed it the most. She brought this pain on herself, but it was difficult to watch her try to communicate with her absent husband.
Should she have given him space? Probably. But, you have to give her some credit for trying so hard to communicate with him and start to make the situation right.
A different situation that was corrected was with the financing of the musical. Eileen felt she was stuck with Jerry's investors, but was saved by the bartender, Nick. I'm not sure that Randy Cobra will end up being the right decision as an investor, but we will have to see. Ellis's research turned up nothing nefarious about him.
Nick, though ... what did Ellis find out about him? As much as I don't like Ellis, Eileen should have looked at what he dug up on Nick. Was he involved in criminal activities as was mentioned by Randy? I'm a bit worried for Eileen. She has gone from seven dollar martinis, to a romance, and now involved Nick in the musical. Hmm....
The musical is now in full swing with the financing finalized and a big star booked. What could possibly go wrong now? From the previews, it looks like plenty! What a shift in tone at the end from Karen's beautiful performance of “Never Give All Of The Heart" to Rebecca's abrupt entrance. And, the knowing look exchanged between Derek and Karen. Until next week!
Odds and Ends
- Ivy dealt with her unemployment surprisingly well. Will her "killing them with kindness" act work to get her back on Bombshell? Probably. Hopefully, the nice act will come with her. The bar scene between Ivy and Karen was a highlight and nice carryover from their night out.
- Ivy's rendition of Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway" was well done and a good fit for the scene.
- Tom stepping into the role of studio executive Daryl Zanuck for the new number was brilliant. Christian Borle was a joy to watch. It's too bad we usually only get to see him perform behind a piano.
- Was it fair of Dev to ask Karen to give up her Broadway dream to go with him to Washington, D.C.?