Tvgarth

I agree that the musical numbers were perhaps the weakest part of this episode, but I love all the intrigue and getting to see all the "ins and outs" of what it's like to mount a show, including how wrong producers can be with their decisions. Case in point, Sean Hayes. Now, I like Sean Hayes, but that performance (regardless of where it came from) was worse than vaudeville. Did some director really ask him to play it like that? He's so much better than that, though it really did demonstrate just how good Ivy can be when she wants to rely on her acting chops! Karen of course is another immense talent, and the camera loves her whether she's dressed up or down, blonde or brunette. Yes, Kyle is in love with Jimmy but we all know that's not going anywhere, so it seems Jimmy and Karen are destined to be together. I'm excited about the prospect of two hit musicals from totally different points of view and wildly different talents both finding their way into our homes via Smash, a show that deserves its place in prime time. There's really nothing like it and with the arts and music being cut from so many school programs at an alarming pace, it's more important than ever to have a show like this on the air. It's the kind of show that can build dreams in our youth and entertain adults at the same time. Years from now, those drams just may come true because of Smash and though I know that it's expensive to produce, I hope NBC realizes it is money well spent and there are plenty of us out here who really enjoy it. Yes, it can be better and I'm only too eager for that to happen...and I'm sure that given a chance to succeed...it will. Break a Leg!

Tvgarth

I agree that the musical numbers were perhaps the weakest part of this episode, but I love all the intrigue and getting to see all the "ins and outs" of what it's like to mount a show, including how wrong producers can be with their decisions. Case in point, Sean Hayes. Now, I like Sean Hayes, but that performance (regardless of where it came from) was worse than vaudeville. Did some director really ask him to play it like that? He's so much better than that, though it really did demonstrate just how good Ivy can be when she wants to rely on her acting chops! Karen of course is another story and the camera loves her no whether she's dressed up or down, blonde or brunette. Yes, Kyle is in love with Jimmy but we all know that's not going anywhere, so it seems Jimmy and Karen are destined to be together. I'm excited about the prospect of two hit musicals coming from totally different points of view and talent will both find their way into our homes via Smash, a show that deserves its place in prime time. There's really nothing like it and with the arts and music being cut from so many school programs, it's more important than ever to have a show like this on the air. It's the kind of show that can build dreams in our youth and entertain adults at the same time. Years from now, those drams just might come true because of Smash and though I know that it's expensive to produce, I hope NBC realizes it is money well spent and there are plenty of us out here who really enjoy it. Yes, it can be better and I'm only too eager for that to happen...and I'm sure that given a chance to succeed...it will. Break a Leg!

Tvgarth

Shut up Julia and start acting like a professional. Not only is it unbecoming but everyone in the business knows that there are hundreds of other people ready to break down the door and take your position when you don't give it everything you got and "getting along" is a BIG part of any production and it's important to remember that NO ONE is irreplaceable! It was fun to hear that one song from the WIZ that little Stephanie Mills made so famous...but let's get real here; Diana Ross ruined the movie because of her age and Jennifer Hudson, though younger is still no Dorothy (still trying to imagine a 6' tall Dorothy) so, good riddance to that and now who's going to be starring in what? Everybody's got talent but to me, this is Katharine McPhee's year to shine and come into her own...and I'm glued to my seat in anticipation! Now that Glee has lost its way along with its luster, SMASH is must see television for all of the "Broadwayphiles" and music fans out there...and I'm betting there are plenty of both! Kudos to Jennifer Hudson for taking on this project and becoming part of the story. She's certainly got it all goin' on...too!

Tvgarth

I agree there was a LOT going on both visually and dramatically during Downton's closing of Season 3. Just the sight of those two perfectly matched black carriage horses, each with a perfect white stripe traveling the length of their faces and of course 8 perfectly white stockings on their elevated hooves. One can only pause a scene like that and stare in wonder at what's before you. It's easy to take much of the "scenery" for granted but we are quite privileged indeed to see the lengths the producers of this show will go to reproduce upper-class Britain at its finest. Fortunately, equal time is given to the script and character development and I am unashamed to admit I harbor deep feelings for many of the Downton characters, among whom Mrs. Hughes is at the top of the list. I did not know Dan Stevens was leaving and his death came as quite a surprise and I had a difficult time with it, wondering if it really rang true (especially so soon after Sybill's death), but nevertheless was sad for the loss...for Mary, their new son and for the whole family who loved him. I believe Isobel may reconsider the good doctor after this revelation; in fact, how is everyone, including the downstairs going to handle this? It's not going to be easy for Tom now that Matthew is gone and I am quite sure that Rose is going to throw a wrench into just about everything at Downton unless someone (the Dowager) finally gets her under control. I have moments of a love/hate relationship with her so we shall see and it all simply cannot come soon enough for me. Along with the very different "Homeland," Downton Abbey is a real winner for television and Masterpiece Theatre. Anyone else see that their next show revolves around the man who created Selfridges? Not Harrodd's but silly ole Selfridges-I lived there for 15 years and never thought of Selfridges as any part of the landed aristocracy. I guess we'll soon find out if that story holds any interst for us Downton fan s, won't we? one of the just before the demise or

Tvgarth

Scarlett and Gunnar are obviously in the regrettable position of playing second fiddle to the two leads, Juliette and Rayna. In that position, I'm not sure if it's possible for them to escape from semi-obscurity, even though there duo (OK trio w/brother) was the musical highlight of the night. I really like their duets, especially when they're on the softer side and her voice is a stand out...period! I literally gasped when I saw the gun in Jason's bag as I had been lulled into believing (again) that he had changed and was on the right side of the tracks. I really wanted Scarlett to put her foot down and refuse to harbor a fugitive from justice, but after that sob story and jaw-dropping revelation, what could she do but say yes? Yet another reason why that talented duo is going to be kept down and out, and this time I bet it's going to be the kind of trouble that just won't go away. Now, what was with Rayna missing her cue? Was she having a panic attack? Pining for her husband and family or what? That lost me, and Deacon has no right to get up in her face about anything, though I'm thin king that will sort it self out soon enough (and the sooner the better), but how's Liam going to react? He needs to be played like a fiddle to make sure he sticks around to produce her new album, so Rayna has her hands full in more ways than one. I was thinking the other day that Rayna really should have been played by Faith Hill, right? Not that I don't like this gal, but it just feels like Faith though I'm sure the likelihood of her accepting the role would have been slim to none? Well, we got two weeks to mull all this over. Let's see how Smash fares in comparison...

Tvgarth

It's really SO great when you can grab a gun and shoot someone that simply gone too far! I'll admit to a moment of shock before I realized it was after all Victoria with the gun in her hand...of course she was going to shoot, it was the only resolution to a bad situation! Don't make Victoria mad-we all know better! I did believe that Aiden was gone for good and somehow blamed Emily for his sister's death, so it was a relief to see him on the hill (very much like Heathcliff in "Wuthering Heights," by the way)and just at the moment when Emily was weakest and fraught with grief over the finality of of losing her childhood love. And everyone is is very happy, sailing off into the sunset on that beautiful boat...yet we are sure even before we see the stowaway that all will NOT be well. That was a great close to an even better episode and a worthy cliffhanger that bodes well for next week!

Tvgarth

I think I love all these comments as much as I enjoy Downton itself! It's simply amazing how this series literally imprints these personalities upon us and we care as if they were our own. We revel in their achievements and cheer them on when things aren't going their way, and most of all we see the similarities in all of them whether "upstairs or downstairs." I DO think that more modern sensibilities played a role in how well Thomas was accepted, but that's really after all exactly how we want people to be. If we could only practice that in our own lives and in all the world, this planet would be a far, far better place. In spite of all the drama, wonderfully catty remarks by the Duchess, and the many lives of privilege, it would not be a bad thing if in the end Downton Abbey taught us all a great deal more civility and kindness. Perhaps that is the lesson from a wonderful and long lost past? All I can say is why must it end so soon!!!

Tvgarth

The episode really did provide much food for thought, as well as a feat for the eyes in more ways than one...or rather one feast was a bit larger, the other less so. If we are to talk about Lena Dunham, why does she so enjoy taking off her clothes. We have seen her naked a LOT. Hannah of course is our character, and as a character I get it...but does that make any sense? I'm trying to deal with that one myself. At any rate, Patrick Wilson never looked better and his acting was seamless and real. In fact, the whole episode was rather like a sneak peek through the keyhole of that slap-dash relationship. It was all there: the awkwardness of when to leave or stay and the entirely different life experiences of the two main characters in the "hook-up," though that's not what it would have been called in his day. And finally, the eventuality of the bubble bursting as we knew it would...we just didn't know when and that was half the fun and tension of the situation. It seems only natural to me that we have an episode of a single character, I've just had enough of seeing Hannah naked-that's all. Can't we all just move along? Surely that will be the case as life really does...go on with all its ups and downs.

Tvgarth

Did NOT miss a single character from last season...how could you with such a fantastic first episode? The music, production and choreography were ALL top-notch and it seems apparent to me that everyone from the original season of Glee is now working on Smash. Has anyone else felt the same way. There was so much about Smash that was definitely "Glee-esque" in terms of pop culture-remember the song with all the divas dressed in black and their slick black hair pulled back ala Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love?" The whole musical production, as well as the look and feel of the show was more refined and slick than last year and if this keeps up, NBC is going to have a mega-hit on its hands, in spite of last night's ratings. I don't think it was any coincidence that The Bachelor had yet another two-hour showing in the same time slot as Smash. Thank the stars (no pun intended) for TIVO! Kudos to Jennifer Hudson, too for her singing and acting chops. She loaded quite a bit of solid character into her short time on screen. Ivy had to come around or we would have all pushed more pills down her throat for her. Only time will tell if she benefits from her "hail Mary" confession or not. I not only have faith in Smash, I have faith in Eileen to get this show onstage at the St. James. That's her plan and "Nothing's gonna STOP! HER! NOW!" Do you have to love Broadway to love this show? Well, no...but you sure need to love music and the producers gave us plenty of that on this opening episode...and so much more! Let the music play as we make our way to opening night for not one, but two fabulous musicals. Count me in!

Tvgarth

Heartbreaking episode that was painful to watch, but of course...mesmerizing! I believe Tom will take Lady Sybil's death hardest of all and the shot through the window with him holding the baby was nearly too much to take. Lord Grantham is an all too real example of how insensitive and "out of touch" many of the English upper-crust could be at that time. He's put off Matthew who has nothing but the estate's best interests at heart and now he's largely responsible for his youngest daughter's death because he put too much stake in the rank of a title than the family doctor. Mary, too, is a chip off the old block for her annoying attitude towards Matthew's interest in revitalizing Downton, and though his timing may not have been the best, it was simply a good use of the attorney's time when an additional visit to the estate was not as easy as it might be today. Lighten up Mary, though I did find a great deal of comic relief in her reply to her sister. Rather honest, too! Mrs. Crawley's backhanded compliment and quick dismissal of Mrs. Bird were both highlights of an episode filled with "upper and lower" drama. It is important to note that being "in service" was not only highly regarded but servants also had their own strict moral code to be sure. However, it truly was rather silly to imagine a prostitute on staff might sully the reputation of another servant? Just goes to show that the new world order has not yet come to Downton, save for Isobel who is to be commended for her Kindness and charity. Finally, dear Thomas was definitely hitting on the new, good-looking clock maker. Guess we've had him pegged wrong all along, as witnessed by his emotional outburst over Lady Sybil's death. I don't know how Downton Abbey could be more interesting, nor have more fully developed characters to pique our interest, but I'm more than happy to find out one week at a time..only! Spoilers go away! It's all too, too delicious and only Homeland has captivated me so. I'm just sayin'...