After last week’s break (thanks State of the Union), we are back for episode three . This week Smash focuses on the two main storylines: the rewriting of Bombshell and the new musical by Kyle (Andy Mientus) and Jimmy (Jeremy Jordan), while throwing a bone to both Ivy (Megan Hilty) and Veronica (Jennifer Hudson).
Now that Bombshell is back in rehearsals, the gang is back together again! Minus Ivy of course (more on her in a little bit).
The big news this week is that Eileen (Angelica Huston) hires a dramaturg (I was definitely pronouncing that word wrong) to help Julia (Debra Messing) with the book. And of course Julia’s all like, “Oh no you didn’t!” And Eileen is all like, “Oh yes I did!” And Tom’s (Christian Borle) like, “Hey guys, let’s just all get along.” It’s tense. (Side Note: if the book is that bad, why did Eileen agree to produce it in the first place?)
Of course Eileen is the producer, so Julia doesn’t have much choice, which leads to many heated conversations between Julia and Peter (Daniel Sunjata), the dramaturg, over the notes he’s made on the show. As a writer I definitely feel for Julia, this is her baby and it’s hard to hear people criticize your work. But it’s also nice to see her get passionate about the show again. Seems like we haven’t seen that since the pilot episode, but I guess that’s the point. She got lost in her love affair with Michael (Will Chase) and the ensuing family drama, and forgot about why she was doing the show.
I like the addition of Peter and I think this could be good for the musical. While I didn’t agree with all his notes, it should be a great storyline as the season progresses. My only concern is that they forgo the actual progression of the book in lieu of a romance between these two*. I am not opposed to Julia getting her groove on; I just hope this isn’t Michael Swift part two. Let’s keep the focus on the work, because that’s what makes this show interesting!
*There’s a strong suggestion of a possible romantic subplot with that whole, uncomfortable discussion on heat. Was I the only one cringing during that exchange? Thank you Smash for making the word “heat” cringe-worthy. Just put it on the list of words that make my skin crawl, right next to moist (shudder!) Please no more mentions of the heat.
On the other side of town (or is it Brooklyn?), we have Jimmy and Kyle working on their show as Karen (Katharine McPhee) tries to get Derek (Jack Davenport) excited about it. We also get hints about the dynamic duo’s backstory, and it’s dark (obviously!) It’s nice to finally hear what their show is about, and I’ll admit I am intrigued. Hit list definitely has potential.
I also really like the relationship between Kyle and Jimmy. They’re interesting characters and I am interested learn more of their backstory and to see their characters develop as S2 progresses. Which is more than I can say for some of the characters from S1. Hello Ellis (Jaime Cepero)…and goodbye!
Unfortunately the focus on Hit list and Bombshell leave very little for Ivy and Veronica to do. But who cares?! Getting to hear J-Hud sing ‘Home’ is reason enough to have her in this episode. Of course the real reason Veronica is there is to set up Derek’s storyline, so we learn that she wants to shed her good girl image by quitting The Wiz and asking for Derek’s help to stage a one night only (Dreamgirls reference!) performance to show the Broadway community what she’s all about. I, for one, can’t wait!
And then there’s Ivy. It finally appears that Ivy will get her big break after landing the role of Cécile in the revival of Dangerous Liaisons. I am excited to see something good go Ivy’s way, because it is so obvious that she is a star (even if the show sometimes tries to suppress this). She also gets a solo number, Robyn’s ‘Dancing on My Own’ as a final fantasy goodbye to Derek. Now let me get this out of the way: I love ‘Dancing on My Own.’ (that song is my jam and I can listen to it on repeat for hours). When I realized they were using this song I was nervous, but I really love their version. That’s the beauty and the awesomeness of a Robyn song, it works in so many different ways. (if you don’t know her, do yourself a favor and check her out). Smash may have a spotty record when it comes to non-Broadway songs, but this one definitely works for me.
What did you folks think? Are you enjoying the Jimmy and Kyle storyline? Are you happy to see Bombshell back in rehearsal? Are you seeing an improvement over last season? If you’re liking what you see, you should probably tell a few people because the numbers are terrible! Sound off below.
Smash airs Tuesday nights at 10pm EST on NBC.