Smash Review: And Marilyn is....

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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?


Editor Rating: 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+.


Yayyy thankgoodness Karen got it in the end, she is just magical!! While Ivy is technically amazing, theres a magic she lacks, that Karen possesses!


actually want rebecca return as a supportive friend maybe more? for karen. the episodes with them partying and talking were very good.


to those thinking that karen has low energy while on stage? Huh? put the crack pipe down and actually watch the show while sober! She IS the energy and her dancing is surprisingly great! she has grown so much as a character and actress, doing an incredible job. writers need to not make ivy such a beatch, too over the top. eileen's boyfriend will take out ellis if he becomes too much of an annoyance, i like that story arc and he is a very solid character, the boyfriend. no preggers or affair arc, just bad writing.


Really enjoyed the finale. Did anyone else notice how the ending shot, w/Karen's arms raised & head back, mirrored the final shot of the first episode, where she is singing "Let Me Be Your Star?" I like how it circled back to where it began. Also liked how the lyrics referenced Karen's own experience of being underestimated and dismissed. They did pile it on her in one day - Dev's cheating, overhearing the producer say she's not prepared. Still, she has a survival instinct that I hope they bring out more in Season 2. Also, Debra Messing is fabulous when she's funny. Please have more exchanges between her and Derek because they bicker so well.


Karen did a great Job! Don't forget me is simply amazing! Ivy should have been Marylin but finaly Karen is great too. I like her...i like both. I hope they will find another show for Ivy! She deserve it!

Tony williams

i'm glad Ellis is gone and the rest, I'll live to see next season...


you karen haters are so laughable! have you even watched this show and seen her AWESOME performances? I think not. She is the innocent early marilyn and knocked those performances out of the park! ivy is to much of a scheming beatch and while more of a physical match, which matters little she doesn't have what karen has, the it factor. that's why derek has been seeing her as marilyn. so hate all you want but she was the one for the job. julia preggers? forget it writers! I dvr the show so I can blow past all the scenes with julia's fam in there. r too lame for words and a wasted story arc, lost all respect for julia's character. BORING. smash overall is a great show and like someone else has replaced glee whose writers have lost their mojo and it isn't worth watching anymore. will be interesting to see where they go next year on smash with a new storyrunner? will they focus on what is interesting or lose their way as many shows do. dev's time looks like it is up, which is fine, he is only holding karen back. as derek said here, "she's his/show's now, move on".


(continued from below)...Personally, I like the scenes w/him interacting with Eileen & Julia because they all bring a different perspective. Derek plays the blunt, serious guy while Eileen is all sophisticated finesse and Julia is a harried, crazy artist type. I still laugh when I recall the look on Debra Messing's face delivering that line, "She needs a PHONE CALL!" IF a Karen-Derek "thing" is in the plans, I think it needs to develop very slowly, almost sneaking up on both of them without either realizing it.


Let's talk Derek. I think he's hot. But, I have a thing for tall, intimidating British guys like him, Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes) & Tom Hiddleston (Loki in THE AVENGERS). It's been established that professionally, he's awesome. That's why Eileen is paying big bucks to have him on the team. For those who don't understand why he can have the final say, it's like this - he's THE DIRECTOR. When it comes to last-minute decisions, there is no democracy. It's his way, or the highway. Ideally, yes, the entire creative team should have a say in all elements of the show. That's when there is the luxury of time. BOMBSHELL didn't have that luxury when Rebecca dropped out. They had less than 24 hours. So, in crisis mode, the director is the general & everyone needs to fall in line. That's why he gets paid the big bucks. Personally, Derek is a player. No one except Tom seems to know anything about his emotional life. Work is obviously the main thing for him. Personally, I like the scenes w/him interacting with Eileen & Julia because they all bring a different perspective. Derek plays the blunt, serious guy while Eileen is all sophisticated finesse and Julia is a harried, crazy artist type. I still laugh when I recall the look on Debra Messing's face delivering that line, "She needs a PHONE CALL!" IF a Karen-Derek "thing" is in the plans, I think it needs to develop very slowly, almost sneaking up on both of them without either realizing it.


For those who think it's unrealistic Karen could learn the show in one day, you haven't been an understudy and didn't listen to the episode. Understudies KNOW the show. They just haven't rehearsed it with the chorus, had costumes tailor-made for them, run through blocking, scene changes, etc. We've seen Karen studying her script for the past 3 episodes & can infer from that she knows her dialogue, songs, choreography, etc. The only thing Karen dealt with that was totally new was the final song written by Julia & Tom. And, she knocked that out of the park IMO. BTW, don't believe a total newbie can get a part like Karen & become a star? Talk to Chris Colfer, Jennifer Hudson, & Gabourey Sidibe. It's rare, but it happens.

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Smash Season 1 Episode 15 Quotes

She cannot do it! Get it?


I see her in my head. I can't help it. I see her. She just has something you don't. I'm sorry.