Smash Review: Did Bombshell Bomb?

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Bombshell was rushed into workshop and quickly made it to out of town on "Previews." As Rebecca was put to the test, all Smash fans wondered: could she pull off Marilyn? Did the audience love the musical?

Those questions were answered during the first preview performance with a resounding NO. Though the audience did applaud and enjoy the songs throughout Bombshell, the ending was too morose. Perhaps Marilyn's suicide would be a good conclusion for a tragedy, but not an otherwise upbeat musical.

Rebecca Performs In Show Previews

One highlight of the preview was the new Karen and Ivy song "Smash!" that was added during tech. Even though neither of them are the lead, it gave them an opportunity to showcase their talents together. Also, it led to a touching moment with the two former (and future?) rivals acknowledging each other's talent.

With the Marilyn suicide ending out, what will Julia come up with? She seemed confident at the church that she thought of something brilliant. With that update and Rebecca out, the musical is sure to receive a standing ovation. Or so they can hope.

Are you glad to see Rebecca go? She ended up being much better than expected, but she never reached the levels of either Karen or Ivy. She may have been a movie star, but she wasn't destined to be one on Broadway.

I'm surprisingly disinterested in finding out who put the peanuts in her smoothie. Rebecca knew that her drink was tainted and not only took a small sip, but a large gulp after. If the production does find the culprit, they should be dismissed immediately. But if they don't it's no loss; in the end, it worked out for all involved. Rebecca was "scared" and needed to be replaced.

We are back to the same old question: Who should be Marilyn? This is a difficult one. As a viewer, we know everything that Ivy has done. She may be the one with the experience and she definitely has the talent, but does she have the strength to pull it off? From a karma standpoint, she shouldn't be rewarded for her bad behavior, but it may be what's best for Bombshell.

Karen is the innocent one. She hasn't done anything to hurt anyone and is dependable. She is just as talented a singer and dancer as Ivy, but green. She has never been in a production before, especially not as the lead. She can pull it off, but will the producers even give her the opportunity?

Who put peanuts in Rebecca's smoothie? Does it matter?

Who should be Marilyn now?

Odds and Ends

  • Dev and Ivy slept together. Ugh! Yes, they were drunk and upset, but they knew they would be hurting Karen. What did she ever do to deserve such horrible treatment? I hope that the secret never comes out, but it probably will.
  • I had mixed feelings about the proposal conversation between Karen and Dev. She was so sweet and forgiving. Unfortunately, Dev didn't deserve it. Not sure the wedding will ever happen.
  • Hooray to Julia for pushing Michael away.
  • When Nick followed Ellis out of the restaurant, did they have words? I could see Nick threatening Ellis. If it happened, too bad it was off-screen.
  • Outside the church was Dev about to tell Karen the truth?
  • After Derek's confession that "Rebecca needs his attention....," Ivy better never take him back. He is not boyfriend material.
  • It was a rough road for Julia and Tom, but they made up. Sam was right that they are like a married couple. They fight and they make up. The unison "I'm sorry." was touching.
  • The church scene was one of my favorite of the series. It was perfect to see the cast bond together through the bad times and not at a bar. "Stand" was beautifully sung by Sam and Karen. Also, a new favorite.


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (22 Votes)

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


never. marilyn was a tneeatld actress, not simply a blonde bombshell, you tell me if paris can win any major awards like marilyn has in her fake celeb career. its time for real tneeatld singers and actors to be back on the scene.


I feel the exact opposite of what "Shan" said above. Hilty annoys me to no end. She may be great on actual Broadway or as a Broadway singer, but this IS a TV show about Broadway. Not the other way around. She overacts way too much for TV which works just fine on Broadway. McPhee is a very natural TV actress and I absolutely love her in this role. I wouldn't watch if she isn't Marilyn. The show wouldn't work without Miss McPhee. Sorry Megan. I just don't think you work in this role.


The fact that ppl still think Karen makes even a remotely passable Marilyn is RIDICULOUS!! Her voice is one of a singer not a broadway musical actress--I will be severly disappointed if the main role goes to her (karen is an amateur and the way she tries to talk in marilyn voice is SUPER irritating and fake as hell)!!! I really hope the writers get some sense knocked into them; stop trying to sell Karen's character to us, I just ended up hatting her anyway!


I'm left wondering just what next season will bring.
Will they still be working on BOMBSHELL? I could have sworn I heard in the previews that Eileen tell Ellis he was fired.
I wouldn't doubt it was him that put the peanuts in Rebecca's smoothie....... I think Karen will find out about Dev and Ivy. I want Karen to get the part of Marilyn..... I knew Tom and Julia couldn't stay mad at each other for long......... I'm glad Julia shot down Michael. I think the church scene was a bit far fetched.......but the musical number was great.


I think that Karen will find out, but it will come through a cast mate who found the ring in Ivy's room. And the big reveal will probably happen next season. I agree with most everyone here, though: Ellis is a horrible person. Wouldn't surprise me if he did actually poison Rachel with peanuts. I am so glad I was able to catch up to this episode today. Big thanks to one of my co-workers at DISH, whew. In the end, though, I think Ivy will get the part and only because we need to look at what happens for next season.

Sarah silva

I loved this episode! I also think the Church seen has become my favorite of the season.
I bet it was Ellis that put the peanuts in Rebekah's smoothie, especially after the comment he made at the lounge with Eileen and Nick.
I like Nick but there is something suspisous about him and I think he got into a fight with his friend that I Eileen got the money from.
I feel bad for Karen, she deserves better than Dev and as much as her heart will break if she finds out Dev and Ivy slept together,Dev does not deserve Karen!
I was very proud of Julia for pushing Michael away but there was a moment where I did not think she would.
I like Sam and Tom and I like that he got them all to go to church and it brought Tom and Julia back together, there fight was major and I did not know if they could recover but like a 'married' couple they made up!
I want Karen to play Marilyn she deserves it!


Karen should obviously be Marilyn!!! She is way more talented than Ivy and she deserves it more. Her voice is absolutely amazing! If she doesn't get it i'm going to be severely disappointed in this show :(


i'm so glad rebecca is gone!!! it turned out she wasnt as bad as i thought she'd be, but she isn't musical material AT ALL!
anyway, now that she's gone i hope ivy plays the part! she's a better marilyn than karen... btw, i HATED that she slept with dev.
but there's no character i hate more than ellis. i cant stand this guy!! what is he still doing in this show?? about michael swift... i have such a crush on this guy!! i wouldn't be able to push him away like julia did! i mean, i like frank and im against affairs and stuff, but michael and julia have such a great chemistry! besides, if she decided to be with him, leo could just freak out and leave, and we would never have to see him again! that would be a bless


Where can I buy a recording of that song "Smash"?


Personally I hope Karen never finds out about Ivy and Dev. It would crush her and maybe even change her for good for the worse. But if she does I hope it's well after they have broken up. And the song scene with "Stand" was one of the most moving TV scenes I have ever seen. Just to watch it by itself is incredible but to watch it in context makes it moving. In the beginning Karen was too meek but now she's coming out. The last few episodes are sterling for her. The switch from Karen to Marilyn moments are Emmy worthy. I am really, really going to miss this show in the off season. But look out Emmy season. Smash will be there with bells on and I'll bet Kat and Megan sing "Let Me Be Your Star" as the best theme or music category.

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Smash Season 1 Episode 14 Quotes

Karen: You okay?
Ivy: Please don't be nice to me right now. I mean it, I really will fall apart if you are nice to me.

Derek: I have to make sure Rebecca has everything she needs.
Eileen: If this blows up in any way, Derek, I'll strangle you.