Smash Review: And Marilyn is....

by at . Comments

Break a leg!

If any performance of any show needed that fortune, it was this preview of "Bombshell." They had a unprepared lead with ill-fitted costumes, a new ending, and, with the exception of Derek a lack of faith that they would succeed.

But succeed they did!

Ivy & Karen Vie For The Role

Smash had a few questionable storylines through its season, but in the finale it got it almost all right. The battle for the role of Marilyn once again was a decision between Karen Cartwright and Ivy Lynn. Based on the poll we did, most of you should be happy that Karen came out on top.

In the end, that girl persevered and deserved it. Especially since no one but Derek believed in her. Add in Ivy's continual sabotage, it's a miracle Karen didn't do worse than run off to the dressing room to let out a few tears. And she was brilliant. She was Marilyn!

Tom and Julia were able to pull out a beautiful song to close out the musical; the perfect reflection on the life of Marilyn. It also worked nicely as a closing to the Smash finale showing the pride on the faces of those involved in Bombshell, as well as, Ivy's despair.

Smash has been renewed for next season and is set to premiere at mid-season. This finale provided some insight into what may happen when the show returns. Some good ... others not so much.

Ivy's attempted suicide will have to be addressed. Did she succeed in killing herself? Her despair was difficult to watch, though much of it she brought on herself. Her action was definitely a cry for help and given her history maybe even meant to be a punishment to others, especially Derek. If she really wanted to die, she wouldn't have taken the pills in the dressing room where she should be found within minutes. If she survives, is there any chance the production would take her back? I find that doubtful.

Ellis is gone! Or, is he? His inflated sense of himself finally got the best of him. Eileen had no choice but to fire him when he outed himself as Rebecca's poisoner (which most of you predicted in last week's poll). He was so deluded to think that Eileen would be proud of him. I don't expect that Ellis is going to go away quietly, though. Despite how much his character is despised, he will most likely be back and with a vengeance. Will he turn this into a legal battle since he first mentioned the words "Marilyn" and "musical?"

The storyline I hated the most was Julia's affair with Michael. It ended up being not nearly as bad as it started, but the Julia we were introduced to in the pilot was not that Julia. As soon as she got sick, I wrote in my notes, "Oh, man ... she better not be pregnant!" And then what does she say to Tom ... the last time she was sick was when she was pregnant with Leo. To the writers of Smash: Please do not go down this path. Her throwing up was just due to stress or a bad burrito. Forget it ever happened. Please!

Ivy is such a bitch. Her decision to tell Karen on that day that Dev slept with her was selfish and unforgivable. Karen and Dev have had some ups and downs, but after their engagement, I started to understand their connection. In some ways, I hope they get back together. If they don't reunite, it would open up many new opportunities for Karen when she returns to New York. And, no, Derek should not be an option!

Even with the ups and downs throughout the season of Smash, it was an enjoyable ride. The music and performances were a highlight of the season. Are you looking forward to sticking around to see what happens when Bombshell hits Broadway?

Next season, Smash has a new showrunner, Josh Safran (Gossip Girl). Given how the show ended the season, what storylines do you want to see carried over and which would your prefer to never see again?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
  • 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (228 Votes)

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

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Ivy should have gotten the role of Marilyn - she is a better singer and she IS Marilyn, Karen looks so bad as Marilyn she doesn't fill out the dresses and how no sex appeal, wrong decision in my opinion but all around great episode even though I would have preferred Ivy to be Marilyn.

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Smash was awesome and I definitely look forward to Season II. I would like to see the program grow along with theater opportunities. Derek is mesmerized by Karen; I don't believe he even understands his fascination until the end of Season I. She was his star, and he told her finally, "I do understand love." I think his desire for her should grow over the coming episodes. She should always be "the star" and the one he wants. Ultimately, they should be together. Karen should depend upon him in a way differently from the way women had in the past. The show has prepared the audience for this meaningful connection ===don't disappoint. Derek was the only one who believed in Karen for the role of Marilyn. He believed in his vision and her. Everyone owes both of them praise if not apologies at the beginning of Season II. Tom and Julia are just not interesting in comparison===no one cares. Keep the music playing, the girls singing, and the romance brewing ===great show!

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I like Theresa Rebeck's writing style and will miss her. She does not "preach" gay like Ryan Murphy from Glee. It just is, like life, and you roll with it. She presents a realist multi-layered character, Derek, who has honest observations about gay people, without the bias of making him a homophobe.  I appreciate that position. I do not need to be preach at in a show. I love the characters, everyone has good and bad in them and that is they way it should be. I don't want a story book show, I want to see a realistic presentation of New York theater and I feel I got that.

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I thought this show was wonderful, though I agree with some of your comments. Toward the end I was rooting for Ivy because she could pull it off, and Karen was just too weak and a bad actor (really bad). I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, they would change the script to allow Karen to play the "young" Norma Jean and Ivy to play the "older" Marilyn, because both ladies bring a quality to the character that the other doesn't have. I was disappointed in the way they wrote the ending, but oh well, I am not the writer or director. Derek is the director, so to be true to him, he got his way and it was believable. Having Ivy in the end, though she was best, was not true to what happens in real theater or in real life. If you doubt me just consider who your twit of a boss is, do they do their job well, or do they know how to kiss azz? Seriously. In the end I felt the show nailed the idea that no matter how good you might be, its all about who you know. I like Theresa Rebeck's writing style and will miss her. She does not "preach" gay like Ryan Murphy from Glee. It just is, like life, and you roll with it. She presents a realist multi-layered character, Derek, who has honest observations about gay people, without the bias of making him a homophobe.  I appreciate that position. I do not need to be preach at in a show. I love the characters, everyone has good and bad in them and that is they way it should be. I don't want a story book show, I want to see a realistic presentation of New York theater and I feel I got that.

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Continued fom below... Concurr it seems like the show caters to the gay lifestyle, which could cause viewers to tune out. Depends on what the goal of the producers is, as to whether the show survives. If they want the money, they will let the 3 leads carry the show. If they are trying to mold society, it will be a short lived experiment.

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Those two gorgeous girls are Megan Hilty and Katherine McPhee and the male lead is Jack Davenport, an accomplished actor on both sides of the Atlantic. Concur that these three carry the show. Personally, would love to see these three in their own variety show like Carol Burnett had. Katherine and Megan make American Idol and The Voice seem like children singers by comparison. If they could get the right song writers together they could take the country by storm, they are that superior. I find Jack Davenport good at whatever he undertakes (please no mortician jokes). He is hilarious when he chooses to be and a highly believeable dramatic actor. Wish there were more Coupling episodes. Maybe they will have a reunion show(s). Either way, whatever he is in, it will only be better because he's in it. Doesn't mean he can save Smash. The talent level of the 3 leads seems to dwarf the rest of the cast by a large amount. Concurr it seems like the show caters to the gay lifestyle, which could cause viewers to tune out. Depends on what the goal of the producers is, as to whether the show survives. If they want the money, they will let the 3 leads carry the show. If they are trying to mold society, it will be a short lived experiment.

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Only actor who I enjoy/does a good job is the guy from Coupling and those Pirates of the Caribbean movies, him and the two gorgeous girl singers. Seems like the show has a gay agenda. What, we need support for HB 48 on TV shows too.
Seems like an ensemble castoff show with the exception of the 3 leads.

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I tape the show so I can fast forward until I get to the singing performances. They are the only thing worth watching...but boy are they worth watching/listening. Someone should make a DVD of just the singing portions for full effect (realize CDs are coming out).

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To the show writers: Please stop with the over-the-top, melodramatic soap opera stuff. It isn't worthy of 'Days Of Our Lives', much less a mass appeal prime time show. Ivy didn't take the pills. She thought about it but didn't. Julia is not pregnant. She was just stressed out. The show worked out OK, not a big hit, but not a flop either. It needs some work. Karen & Dev get back together and have an actual grown up relationship. Ivy forgives Derek and pesters him to replace Karen with him. It doesn't all have to be world-threatening, life ending surreal nonsense. You can have a perfectly fine dramatic show without all the ridiculous histrionics.

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I have always been a huge kat fan! And i was so happy she got this role. She is great and an amazing singer! I absolutely love all the characters. Everyone does such a great job at acting! I'm not into all the gay kissing, but i just cover my eyes at those parts. I love ivys character also but glad Karen got the part at the end. I am torn between the 2 marilyns. Ivy has the sex factor which is totally what marilyn was.... So idk I think ivy should have been it but with all the messed up things she did... She Def didn't deserve it. I love this show and can't wait for next season.