Smash Review: On Broadway ... Maybe?

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Goodbye Boston, Hello New York! Maybe.

On the Smash Season 2 premiere, Bombshell exploded - and not in a good way. After a successful preview in Boston, the show seemed to be destined for Broadway. Then, trouble hit from all sides: money issues, theatre blocking, writer depression, director sex scandal and negative gossip throughout the Broadway network. Will Bombshell make it "On Broadway?"

Veronica on Broadway

These issues make the show's previous problems seem like nothing, but in many ways the dysfunctional lives of those involved in the production may be its saving grace. Eileen will be able to keep the main players on hold, since no one else will take them.

All the changes were apparent right away. No more Michael, Leo, Ellis, Dev and a swift kick out the door to Frank. The casting changes from Smash Season 1 to Season 2 were handled in a natural manner. I'm looking forward to show's shift from personal dramas to the creative theatre world.

One main consistency is the rivalry between Karen and Ivy. Right off the bat, it was clear that Karen has the upper hand on Ivy and that's not going to change any time soon. They are perfect nemeses for each other. Despite all they have been through, it was no surprise that Karen would want Ivy off the show.

After Ivy's selfish behavior, she was making the move in the right direction. Her attempted suicide in Boston failed and apparently no one even knew about it. She even reached out to Julia to find a way to keep her job. She may have gone to Karen too late, but she laid it all out there. In that moment, Ivy was able to release the pain she'd been holding inside.

I felt sorry for Ivy. She made some horrible choices, but they shouldn't prevent her from having a successful career. Ivy was making a real effort to change. She not only auditioned for a ensemble job, but she left the diva attitude from her Marilyn audition behind. When she found Derek on the doorsteps, she didn't jump back into his arms. And, even after she was fired, she was there to perform for Eileen at the Broadway event. This new Ivy is one that I'm going to be cheering to see succeed. 

Karen hasn't turned into quite the diva Ivy was initially, but she's getting there. She made it clear that she was the lead on Bombshell. Her confidence and empowerment was a pleasure to see, especially with success in her professional life helping her personal life too. She may still hold a grudge against Ivy, but she's over Dev and ready to move on.

I already adore Karen and Jimmy together. He has a tough exterior, but his song showed there is much more to him. Did Karen go over the line to sing his song at the party? Maybe, but she didn't know Jimmy well enough to foresee the problem. 

In the end, she was the push he needed to get his music heard. Even though Karen has yet to perform on Broadway, she has the connections to get Jimmy and Kyle's musical in the hands of influential people. If Derek sees potential, they will get their shot. Kyle was right to tell Jimmy this was their one shot and that opportunity may never come around again. Plus, there's definitely some heat between Jimmy and Karen.

Smash's new direction was well set up in the first two hours. I still love Karen and that she's gained the respect that she deserves. At the same time, I'm glad that Ivy is changing from an annoying diva into someone likable. 

Could Ivy end up as Marilyn on Bombshell, while Karen leads the new Broadway show?

Odds and Ends

  • Veronica's (Jennifer Hudson) performances were amazing. She will be a great mentor for Karen. Their duet was beautiful as well.
  • Eileen's money troubles are going to be a problem. It was odd that her ex-husband ratted her out to the Justice department, but then without a fight gave her seats to the Broadway dinner. He got his wish though, he's going to get a piece of Bombshell.
  • Derek has always had a thing for the ladies. While it's disappointing that he is being sued for sexual harassment, it provides a reason for him to continue on with Bombshell rather than move on to another project. It was kinda nice to see him humbled by this experience. Would the women have gone for him if he wasn't a director?
  • Julia was a bit annoying. Get over it. Move on. Instead of dwelling on the bad reviews, fix it! Tom and Julia have a strong partnership, but I'm not sure it will survive her depression. Are apology muffins enough?
  • "It's time to retire the scarfs." -- Tom to Julia. I never noticed the scarves until people were tweeting and commenting about them. Funny nod to the critics and reason for her to give them up.
  • The music throughout the two hours was top notch. My favorite two songs and performances were when Karen sang Jimmy's song at the party and Karen's duet with Veronica.
Did you miss any of the characters left behind in season 1? Did you enjoy the addition of Ana, Jimmy and Kyle? What was your favorite song?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (83 Votes)

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

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I agree with your 2 song choices but I also have to throw in Ivy's "impromptu" performance when she was called in to the event that Eileen and Co was being booted out of. She did a SPECTACULAR job! :)

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I'm very excited to see. What made ​​you to Ivy took pity?

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Loved the show...The first hour was spectacular. I think that they dragged out a few scenes in the second hour, but overall it was a great Season 2 Premier. I like the new characters Jeremy and Jennifer Hudson's character. I do not like how weak they are making Derek. This plot seemed forced and not genuine. Eileen's character needs to really bring more venom to the table. Personally, I think that a person in her role, would be a little more tough as nails. This is NY and Broadway. Somehow, she comes across as week, when we all know that she is strong. I think that she should show Jerry once and for all that she is not taking his shenanigans, maybe by releasing dirt on him, I am sure that he has plenty of skeletons in the closet. Something needs to happen with Eileen to give her more strength. This is ANgelica Huston and she has strong acting abilities - I hope the directors wake up and let her use them more often. Two thumbs up for your of the Season 2 Premiere of Smash was well done. I watched the show and you covered every aspect of the essentials of the show. Your review was a lot better than most reviews by news outlets that I have read, so you should feel real proud of this review. I am a little surprised that there are so few comments on the board the day after the much anticipated season2 premiere. I would expect more feedback on this show. However, I did notice that the Twitter Universe last night for Smash was tepid and not as Lively and active as I would have expected. I hope that the numbers were strong for last night's premier. Can't wait to see them to see how many people tuned in compared to last year's premier. Thanks for writing a thorough well supported review of the Season 2 Premiere of Smash. I look forward to seeing the next episode on Feb. 19th

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As a Derek/Karen shipper I was most interested in the moment that the interrupted - when they almost went there! But that is what I suppose Jimmy is there for - to provide a viable third leg to a romantic triangle for Karen. I did find it fairly laughable that someone who is IN New York working as a bartender would absolutely shun someone who could really put them in touch with a mover and shaker in the industry. In reality, would that even happen?

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I loved your review and agree with just about everything you pointed out. As a viewer I was really pleased to see that the writers listened to what the audience and critics weren't responding to, and really tried to fix the weak points. The changes are all fantastic! And Jimmy and Katen seem to have great chemistry.. I wasn't looking forward to that pairing but that Jeremy guy is great. Can't wait for the rest of the season to unfold!

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Seriously Carla? Were we watching the same show? Karen is annoying (even though I love Katherine McPhee) and Ivy is obviously the superior talent. The only complaint that I have about this show is the writing for Ivy. I think its so ordinary and typical to paint Ivy and Karen as rivals. It would be much more interesting to have made them friends and have them learn how to balance their friendship while being professional rivals. Instead they made Karen weak, insecure, annoying and bad at her job. Then to make things worse they painted Ivy as a talented bitch who doesn't get the job. They really need to make the two female leads people that we care about and want to see succeed rather than people we are annoyed by and constantly yelling at to make better decisions. Come on fix Ivy!

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