Smash Review: Troubles Abound

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This week's Smash was supposed to be about "The Parents," but Ana was the highlight of both The Hit List and the show. Wow. Karen better start worrying about her position and role in the musical.

The Hit List had its first public showing at a fundraiser for the the theater. Karen had a blah performance that was followed up by Ana singing a gorgeous song with full production. I call a foul on the writing here because Karen was set up to look boring compared to Ana's performance. If Karen and Jimmy would have sung any of the show's duets, there wouldn't have been such a differential between the performances.

There was no competition, though. Karen sang a decent song, in a modest outfit, with no stage production. Ana had an elaborate costume, dancers with eye-catching choreography, and she was floating across the air on fabric. When Richard ends up writing about the production - and you know he will - he will highlight Ana's performance and not even mention Karen. At least, he has an out for not reviewing the lead since he missed her act.

Ivy & Leigh

The damage has already been done and compounded when Scott asked Julia to look over the show to make the Diva role into a second lead. Perhaps Karen will be happy to share the spotlight with her friend. Though, neither Derek nor Jimmy are going to be thrilled that Scott went behind their backs for another opinion on the show.

That will be only one of the problems that The Hit List will be facing. Karen's father set into motion an entirely different problem by first accusing Derek of having an inappropriate relationship with his daughter and then outing her's with Jimmy. Derek has treated Karen with respect unlike his previous lead actresses, but that doesn't mean it will stay that way. He crossed the line by ordering Jimmy to stay away, while he kept Karen at an arm's length.

Now that Karen and Jimmy have become romantically involved, Derek won't be able to hide his feelings any more. He has fallen in love with Karen. While she has at times seemed drawn to him, she doesn't feel the same way. Will Derek be able to remain professional? Or, will he risk the show and his working relationship with Jimmy over Karen? In some ways, I'd love to see Derek pour his heart out to Karen, since that's a part of him that he's kept locked up tight. The problem is that if he does it, there's no going back. Plus, it won't end the way he wants.

The turmoil at The Hit List is mostly under the surface right now and ready to explode. On Bombshell, it erupted with both positive and negative results. For the show, it was brilliant, but for the personal relationships it crashed. The decision to hire Ivy's mother, Leigh, was problematic from the beginning and that's what made it a great story. The show needed the publicity, but at what cost?

Ivy proved that she's a professional and the better person. Her mother never should have accepted the role without consulting with Ivy first. Sure, Ivy didn't answer her phone calls, but Leigh could have made a bigger effort. Plus, Tom should have gone over to Ivy's house and talked to her personally. They were friends, right? Well, not any more!

Tom choose the show over what was in his friend, Ivy's best interest. Then, he contrived a fight between the mother and daughter to get a better performance out of them. He made the wrong decision both times. In the end, Ivy and Leigh gave an amazing and heartfelt performance as Marilyn and her mother, which even made Julia cry. The publicity better end up being extraordinary to make it all worth it.

In addition to the contrived Karen/Ana performances issue, I didn't care for the re-emergence of Jimmy's past. It provides depth to his character, but not in any necessary manner. He already has enough character flaws that being a possible thief and then drug user is superfluous. I'd rather the conflicts stick to the musicals and the relationships there. Though, I expect that Jimmy's thug friend isn't going away and that's unfortunate.

Odds and Ends

  • Loved Ivy's unenthusiastic "Yay" when she learned her mother was joining the show.
  • Karen's father referring to Derek as "A boy that climbs out windows." was hilarious.
  • Derek was unexpectedly understanding about Jimmy nearly stealing from the coat room. His offer to give Jimmy the money wasn't surprising. Underneath Derek's facade, he's a caring guy.
  • I'm digging Julia and Scott's relationship. They could be good together.
  • Eileen and Richard's relationship was odd at the beginning, but they have common interests and get along well. Though, I suspect that their jobs will end up interfering with any potential romance. 
  • Oh Jimmy! Why did he take the drugs? He better have thrown them away immediately! The last thing the show or Karen needs is a drugged out writer and lead.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
  • 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (51 Votes)

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

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    I call a foul on the writing here because Karen was set up to look boring compared to Ana's performance. If Karen and Jimmy would have sang any of the show's duets, there wouldn't have been such a differential between the performances. this ^^ Jimmy's & Karen's duets are amazing each & every week! But, yes, Ana's performance was amazing!

    Avatar

    I'm right there with you calling out the writers for writing the show as if we viewers are stupid. Having Karen do an incredibly so-so performance and then creating an elaborate performance for Anna, who’s playing a support character (trying to become Pink?). Obvious is obvious, and annoying for viewers. The song was nice but it was a terrible way of writing it in… dumbing down viewers. Jimmy, I already acknowledged this last week, but I'm definitely not a fan of the character (or actor - sorry). I don’t know how to explain it but he’s like a teenage boy who happens to be in a man’s body. The chemistry is awkward and the character is simply annoying.

    Theblakeness

    i love the music for "hit list" it is broadway that it can tel a story but catchy enough to be singles on the radio. if this tv show does end they should develop hit list into a real show.

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    Told you last week Jimmy was an all-the-way mess! And I don't think Derek will pour his heart out - I think he will instead tell Karen something along the lines of, "I care about you, and really don't want to see you get hurt again." Karen's star is going to fall quickly if she stays with Jimmy. He is totally bad news!