Hi, guys. Just came back from a holiday without a wifi-connection, so my reviews are up a little late. With another decline in the ratings, the viewership of Smash has halved since the premiere. And this episode was kind of a hot mess, most probably the worst out of the first three. But let’s take a look at what happened, and I’ll give you my take on the episode.
This episode focused mainly on finding a qualified Joe DiMaggio. When Derek, Eileen, Julia, and Tom are having a casting call for Mr. DiMaggio, Derek’s assistent mentions that Michael Swift (played by Will Chase, Rent and Miss Saigon) is available. Eileen and Tom turn to Julia, because she worked with him before.
Jump with me to read more.
That night, Derek and Eileen check out the Bruno Mars show that Michael is in, and Derek thinks Michael is sensational. When they’re in a bar discussing the DiMaggio casting, Jerry interrupts, again, and Eileen throws her drink in Jerry’s face, again.
We also meet Michael Swift in his home situation. He is having doubts about doing DiMaggio. The workshops don’t pay that well ($200 a week), and it will force their son into daycare, so Michael is hestitant to do that to his family. His wife tells him that Joe DiMaggio is an incredible opportunity, and he should take it.
Tom and Julia are working on the big duet between DiMaggio and Marilyn when they discuss what drove them, as a couple. Both DiMaggio and Marilyn were looking for normalcy.
When Michael is at Eileen’s office to tell her he’s in, he runs into Julia, who’s there to give Eileen the outline for the new song. Julia and Michael talk about their respective families, but the whole setting feels very awkward.
Julia tells Tom that she had an affair with Michael five years ago. She had a show crush on him when they saw each other on the Brooklyn Bridge, and one thing led to another. Ellis overhears.
We finish the episode with Ivy and Michael’s duet “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” which is partially staged.
And in other storylines:
Ivy is having doubts about her casting because she’s sleeping with Derek, and it seems like their relationship is just for sex.
Karen meets Derek in a bar, and Derek mentions that anything can happen because the musical can take 5 years till it hits the stage. Dev walks in, and he and Derek have a pissing contest (figuratively, of course), which leaves Karen unimpressed.
Julia and Ellis still have their pressure, but when friends of Ellis ask him wether he got paid for his idea for Marilyn, he steals Julia’s notebook to look for clues.
Eileen finds herself unable to find investors; they are worried because Jerry isn’t involved, and Jerry is actively telling investors not to link themselves to Marilyn the Musical.
Karen is worried about money because the workshops don’t pay that well. Dev offers to support her, but she’s not ready for it yet. They agree to make that decision after her trip to Iowa for a baby shower. In Iowa, her parents finally support her with a check.
And Ellis’ girlfriend asks him if he is being paid for his idea. Because he isn’t, he steals Julia’s notebook, but it doesn’t appear he found anything of worth.
There’s a couple of reasons why I didn’t like the episode of this week. Mostly, the episode felt repetative, because the first two episodes were concerned with casting the female lead, but the drama for casting DiMaggio didn’t feel as compelling.
This episode, I was feeling for Eileen. She is really trying her hardest to find investors, but Jerry is trying his hardest to prevent her from doing so. But the scenes between Jerry and Eileen featured “throw a drink in his face” every single time. Although it was funny that Jerry provided the drink once, it feels very forced to have this happen (multiple times) each episode.
Ellis. Ellis, Ellis, Ellis. His character is getting on my nerves more and more. He steals Julia’s notebook and listens in on Tom and Julia’s conversations. And now he even has some information that he could use to blackmail Julia, so this probably won’t get any better for at least a few episodes.
Karen had a small scene in New York with Derek that was probably intended to keep her interested/hopeful that she might become Marilyn one day. And although I agreed with Karen that Dev interrupting her meeting with Derek wasn’t that impressive, it was nice to see Dev being proactive. The story with Karen in Iowa wasn’t all that interesting, except that it gave her parents a chance to show their support for their daughter.
I liked the introduction of Michael. He seems like a solid male lead. And with his history with Julia, it could become another showcrush for her, especially with his charisma while playing.
As for the song featured in this episode, first Michael sang “Grenade” in the Bruno Mars show. To me, that show looked ridiculous, but Michael performed it very well. Karen sang “Redneck Woman” in a karaoke bar in Iowa. I didn’t know the original. It felt like an/another excuse to have Katherine sing again, but I like the way she sang the song. The episode ended with “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” by Ivy and Michael. We heard parts of the song all through the hour, so as soon as the full song started, the melody felt right. And Michael’s and Ivy’s voices blend well, so it was a very good conclusion to an otherwise dull-ish episode.
Next week on “The Cost of Art,“ Karen must learn to advance in the world of Broadway, Derek hosts a party for a hot young star, and Eileen tries a new strategy for raising funds. It’s on at 10/9c on NBC. You can find full episodes at http://www.nbc.com/smash/ and the music of this week at http://www.nbc.com/smash/music/?103.