Smash Review: Overcoming One's Own Flaws

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Opportunities were almost lost on "The Song."

Veronica hired Derek to direct a one night extravaganza to showcase her as more than just a Broadway star and she almost missed it; while Jimmy and Kyle were presented with an extraordinary chance to work with Derek and nearly threw it away over a bruised ego.

Derek as the savior is disconcerting, but as Ivy said, "He's a genius." All three of them chose to work with him because he could help them in their careers, but he's a beast. He claws and claws until he gets through and gets his way without any consideration for others.

It's a gift and flaw all wrapped together in one. In an uncharacteristic move, Derek gave into Ronnie's fear to grow as an artist and satisfied her mother's demand that Ronnie not change. His motivations for acquiescing were complicated because ultimately he was screwed either way.

The Stakes of Bombshell

If it got out that he forced Ronnie into a show she wasn't comfortable doing, he'd be seen as the same old jerk. If he directed Ronnie as a nothing-new Broadway star, he was compromising his artistic integrity. 

It seems that Tom has finally overcome his hatred of Derek. He doesn't necessarily like the director, but cared enough to call Derek out in a calm, even friendly manner, for messing up. And, as a song writer, he showed his integrity by promoting Jimmy's song. Tom's one of the good guys and one of few on the show. Tom's words convinced Derek to stand by his vision.

Peter is surprisingly similar to Derek in methods, but his motivations are pure. He wants to help Julia create the best book for Bombshell that she can. Unlike Derek, Peter isn't selfish at all. He even doesn't take credit publicly for his work, rather truly sees himself as a teacher. 

It took some time to break Julia, but he pushed her creative buttons and in the end was successful. Bombshell was about how the men saw Marilyn and speak for her. Brilliant. Is this the breakthrough they needed to make Bombshell a hit?

Ronnie realized that for her to be successful, she needed to have the strength to overcome her fear of change and trust Derek. She defied her mother and decided to introduce the world to a new Veronica Moore at her show. She sexed up her trademark song, "I Got Love" and sang Jimmy and Kyle's song, "I Can't Let Go" to close out her show. 

The almost-missed opportunities became growth experiences for all involved. Ronnie trusted herself to present a new her to the world, Jimmy returned to the theater to show he could handle rejection, Derek lost and discovered himself, and Julia dropped her shell by letting Peter help her.

It was a triumphant story of success. The one exception was for Eileen. She had to step down as producer of Bombshell in order to save the show. She decided to take the honorable path and give it up in order to help Nick. It was a shame that she had to lose the show, but even worse when it turned out her ex-husband, Jerry, was behind it.

The slimy Jerry set up the criminal case so he could take over the show and put Eileen in her place. He is despicable  It's difficult to see what Eileen ever saw in him when she fell in love and married the guy. And, who gave Jerry the ammunition to bring her down -- Ellis!

With Veronica's show over and Bombshell back on, the story will shift back to Broadway. With Jerry producing Bombshell will the principal people remain on the show? With The Hit List on the table, Derek and Karen could shift their focus to that show instead with Eileen as producer. I'd love to see her prove Jerry wrong and produce an even more successful show than him.

Odds and Ends

  • Jennifer Hudson was an amazing guest star. Her singing was brilliant. I'd love to see her return for another appearance.
  • Jimmy's attitude is annoying to watch. It's understandable to be hurt, but his acting out is unprofessional. He did come back to the theater on his own at least, even if high. Was that the start of a better, less self-absorbed Jimmy? I hope so. 
  • Jimmy kissed Karen! He was high, but he did it. Regardless of his issues, I'd like to see him be successful. He's talented and had a rough life, but that only goes so far as an excuse.
  • It was a pleasant surprise to see Karen accept working with Ivy again. While they may never be best friends, I hope they will continue to get closer and overcome the past. They were both hurt and Ivy has proved she has changed. The Broadway world is too small from them to avoid each other, even Tom and Derek can work together peacefully now.
  • Linda: Isn't she too old for a momager? | permalink
  • Julia: "The Singing Bird" -- I thought the title was a metaphor, but no it's actually about a bird that sings. | permalink
  • Please let that $50,000 check be enough to buy Ellis off, so he is never mentioned or seen again.
What was your favorite song? Do you find Jimmy annoying? Who is the worst man on the show: Derek? Jimmy? Peter? Or, Jerry?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (39 Votes)

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

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I absolutely love this show but why does it has to go down with Derek, the director's wanting to have the main actress all to himself? What's wrong with simply a humble beginning of a song and script writer strive to be better and lucky to have the right main male and female vocal to deliver it to broadway? It will be great to see how the new Bomshell casts work with the original cast to help each other to make the show a success instead of some romance soap opera.

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I agree with the review for the most part. What had me confused in this episode is how Julia is changing the book of BOMBSHELL. Now, it's going to be about how *men* see Marilyn and how they speak for her. How is this an improvement? I guess we'll have to see. This sounds even more shallow because it's what we've ALWAYS seen about Monroe, everybody else's fantasies projected on to her. I don't see how this viewpoint will result in a musical about a strong, independent woman.

Sarah-silva

I thought this was a great episode! I hope Jimmy really will change, he is unlikeable at times.
So that is the return of Ellis we were teased with! I forgot about him that I did not see that coming! Saldy I think Jerry is going to destroy Bombshell, he will think he knows best and will change it and people will hate it! It would have been a success in the end if Eileen had been allowed to stay on as producer!

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I am in total agreement with Natty from Oz

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I don't have any experience working in show biz but id anyone else find it strange they were still trying to find music for Ronnie's show the DAY of the concert and they had enough time for the band or orchestra dancers, backup singers etc. to learn the New music by the night of the concert? So fr I'm not loving Jimmy. he may be talented but he is just starting out in the biz I would say most struggling songwriters/playwrights don't just get their work picked up right off the bat and don't throw hissy fits and run off if it does not work out as quickly as they would like Overall I liked this episode though.

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this was an amazing episode! next week's promo looks even better! Smash is sooo good--wish more people would watch it!

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Ugh! I love the much maligned first season of "Smash" but this season is leaving me cold! Cannot STAND Jennifer Hudson and the fact she was the focus of this ep made me turn off. Am also over the drama of the two, angst filled, school of hard knocks writers. Jimmy is just a brat! Let's get back to the central original characters, but from what I've read, this is the direction the show is now taking, so am doubtful if I'll bother continuing to watch!

Deann

Great, intriguing episode. I loved that Jimmy finally kissed Karen...I was beginning to wonder if their chemistry was just in my imagination. The music was FABULOUS during this ep, I loved the variety of songs and the different ways they were sung. And Jennifer Hudson is the bomb, folks! I could listen to her sing all day (of course, I could listen to the gal that plays Karen, too..what a voice!). I agree with the reviewer on everything else, especially that slimeball Jerry and the totally EVIL Ellis! I hope that Karma makes its way back to Ellis and that he never works on Broadway again! And I hope we don't see him on SMASH unless it is to watch his total downfall, that rat! And Angelica Huston is just a GODDESS...she steals every scene she is in, and I loved that she chose love and I hope she does produce a show herself and rubs it in Jerry's wrinkly face! Oh and I am glad that Ivy and Karen are okay with each other now.

Ronald-simkins

@myrna I think you are right but maybe Jimmy isn't as aware of the relationship. But clearly Kyle has a thing for his bud.

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I must be missing something here. A possible romance between Karen and Jimmy? I had assumed Jimmy and his songwriting partner, who is always worrying and fussing over him were gay.

Smash Season 2 Episode 3 Quotes

Kyle: What would help you right now?
Jimmy: Scotch. Weed. Coke? Just space.

You are not going to humiliate me in front of a bunch of 12 year olds.

Julia
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