Smash Review: The Hit List is a Go!

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Smash finally got where it needed to be on "The Fringe" ... almost.

With the introduction of The Hit List, it was inevitable that Derek and Karen would leave Bombshell behind to join the soon-to-be smash hit from Jimmy and Kyle. With Derek there and direction changes at Bombshell, it shouldn't be long before Karen joins him.

At this point, the new show has me more engaged. The music is better (loved "Heart-Shaped Wreckage), the people involved still have their innocence and passion for the project, and it is struggling in its infancy.

Ivy's Show

Bombshell has grown tired with bickering and rehashing material over and over again. Plus, Jerry is just despicable. As Derek pointed out, it was painful to watch Eileen agreeing with all of his decisions whether they were best or not. In "Fringe," this show moved forward too. With Derek out and Tom in, the show will have a new freshness about it. Well, that is, once Karen leaves and Ivy becomes Marilyn. She was always Tom's choice for Marilyn after all.

Often transitional episodes are boring by singularly serving their purpose to move characters and story along to get to where the action happens. Thankfully, this episode was not that at all. Instead, it was full of drama, tension, while moving the story closer to where it needs to be. Given the short season, this transition happened one episode later than it should have, but I'll blame that on the Jennifer Hudson Smash episode.

With both Bombshell and The Hit List put back on track, one of the shows had to have a set back, right? Poor Ivy. She thought she had finally found a show headed to Broadway that would showcase her talents in Liaisons. It was heartbreaking to see Terry cut her brilliant performance without consideration just because she out-shined him. Ivy, the former diva, finally found self-confidence to only be hustled to the sidelines.

Ivy's trials throughout Bombshell humbled and helped her learn to love herself. Those traits allowed her to be honest with Terry, since she didn't have anything to lose. Terry repaid her honesty with his trust and a determination to put on a great show. The question is what will he think the next day? Since he is off his medication, he's behavior has been unpredictable and he could easily change his mind.

Next week's episode seems to be aptly titled, "Musical Chairs." By the end of that hour, will Karen be on The Hit List with Derek and Ivy on Bombshell with Tom? That would be the predictable outcome and since this is Smash and not a thriller, predictably works. This shift of characters is what's best for the actors and the shows. If that happens, which one will make it to Broadway first?

Bombshell has a complete book, cast, writers, and a director all set, but the Jerry-Eileen situation could cause a delay. The Hit List has most of the songs completed and looks to have the backing of a theater and Derek as a director. It could be a tight race. As much as I was getting tired of Bombshell, I'm glad that it is moving forward. Which show are you finding the most interesting?

Odds and Ends

  • Given Julia and Tom's stressed partnership, it wasn't surprising that she would consider working with Peter. Plus, a trip to London would be exciting. With Tom as director and Jerry on his way out (right?), she should stick with the show she wrote and loves.
  • Julia still has a son, Leo. Nice to know.
  • Even though Derek and Tom have been getting along, Derek threw in a nice jab about their complicated relationship.
  • Until this episode, I hadn't considered Tom as a director. Nice foreshadowing with his level of input and influence over Veronica Moore's show.
  • This "friendship" between Karen and Jimmy is going to heat up, right? Please! And, sorry Kyle, but your guy's taken even if Jimmy doesn't realize it yet.
  • Ellis is a horrible person. It makes sense he would team up with another evil person. I can't wait to see Eileen take them both down. And, no offense to Jaime Cepero, but I hope we don't have to see the conniving man again. It's bad enough we hear his name.
Are you happy with the direction of the musicals? Will Ivy end up as Marilyn? What are you loving and hating so far in Smash season 2?


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (41 Votes)

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


Season 1 was stunning. This year every episode is worse than the one before. Why did they change writers???? I just can't believe theyi're using the same song writer. My guess is there will be no Season 3.


am i the only one who wants to see hit list become a real play...i would pay to see it


It seems from these comments that the writers may think that realistic depictions of showpeople in love should be more interesting to audiences than making them act like everyday people. As someone who started on Broadway nearly 60 years ago, I can tell you that Karen's infatuation with Jimmy is prototypical of the romances I have seen over my career. Actors have to spend their lives faking emotions. Romance is never easy, because only a few actors can control their identities. Why do you think that broadway romances begin and end so abruptly? No actor should be paired with anyone less than 10 years older than they, and few should be paired with fellow actors. As for last week's episode, I suspect, and hope, that the reformed and repentant Ivy gets the chance to play Marilyn for Tom and Derek gets to direct Karen. Not sure what's going to happen with the Jimmy/Karen/Derek/Ivy quadrangle. If it resolves like a Broadway musical, Jimmy will lose Karen only to get her in the end, and Derek will go back to Ivy once she has proven herself. The tease at the end of this episode was delicious.


@ Teelow1421 - BINGO! You spoke my mind. I am not sure why CVs want to promote the Jimmy-Karen pair. Yeah he is hot, but have nothing else to recommend him. He is a selfish jerk. Karen has been going out of her way to help him, was upfront with him about backing-out when her slimy producer threatened to pull the plug on her contract, showed up for the actual performance, and yet he treats her like a fly in the soup. Dev was much, much better than this jerk! Yeah, he cheated on her one time, but he respected Karen as an individual. He just couldn't handle her show-biz lifestyle as time passed by and Karen got busier.


Never mind. Just read the article that Smash is moving to Saturday.


Okay, I'm back watching the show. Initially, Jimmy was just too much to watch (I guess a sign of a good actor). I would mute the TV whenever he was on. I think his voice is okay -- nothing spectacular. Apparently he thinks louder is better (couldn't hear Karen very well on the duet song). I'm a little confused about the 17 episode on Saturday comment from zee chen. I know this show is on the bubble, but what is this all about?


Not sure why the writers think that we should be rooting for Karen & Jimmy. He's borderline emotionally abusive. His guilt trips and temper tantrums only make me wish Dev would come back into the picture. Sure, he cheated but even with that, I still like him better than Jimmy.


Jimmy is such a douche. Seriously do not like his character. I am happy they have moved it on like this with the two shows. I love this show and think it is just fun. I really hope they do not cancel it. It looks bad that they are showing the last 17 episodes on Sat. Of course I download it anyway, but I am bummed about that for the chances of renewal.


Yes, magicdancer, I find Julia SUPER annoying!!!!! And hey, TV Fanatic, please remove the loathsome Ellis' picture from your "Smash" banner.


Wow! A very welcome turn of events. Now we can have two great storylines: Karen and Derek working on Jimmy's show, The Hit List, and Tom directing Ivy in Bombshell. I've thought from the very beginning that Ivy should be Marilyn. She's waaaay more sexy than Karen and there's no disputing that Marilyn was sexy. I have high hopes now for the future of Smash. Does anyone else find Julia annoying? Not nearly as bad as Ellis was, but still annoying.

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