This week, Derek (Jack Davenport) goes from gross to pathetic and Tom (Christian Borle) and Julia (Debra Messing) say one final farewell. As Hit List transfers to Broadway it brings about some new drama, while the team from Bombshell try to keep the Tony dream alive.
Well the day is finally here, Karen (Katharine McPhee) has made it to Broadway. Not as Marilyn, (thank God!) but as Amanda in Hit List. Transitioning from off-Broadway to the big white way brings about some big changes for most shows, and Hit List is no different. Like the set for example: gone are the wooden platforms and cheesy neon backdrops and in are the sleek white staircases and white leather sofas. Not to mention all those new conniving members of the ensemble. Okay, let’s just say it, Derek is a skeaze! When did he get so pathetic? This week Derek goes down the rabbit hole of sleaziness as we learn that he is being blackmailed by Daisy, one of the dancers that accused him of sexual harassment at the beginning of this season. We all knew that storyline wasn’t over and here it is, the culmination of the year of the pig. Daisy (Mara Davi) has recordings of Derek promising her a slot in the ensemble and assuring her the role of understudy to Ana (Krysta Rodriguez). Ick. I seriously feel like I need a shower after this episode.
My question is, why would Derek admit this to Karen knowing that Ana is not only her roommate but her best friend? Of course Karen will go to Ana with this information. It’s one of those plot lines that feels completely contrived and forced. And while I understand that Ana would investigate who this girl is and figure some things out on her own, it seems completely implausible that Derek would just hand the role of the Diva to Daisy after one performance. It seems reckless and obvious. If Derek is so worried about his career he should probably keep this to himself and try to make it seem like Ana isn’t working out in the role of the Diva. Instead he basically shoots himself in the foot and all but assures the retaliation of Ana. I mean, come on.
Of course that’s not the only change going on with the show. As they transfer to a bigger venue, the intimacy of the off broadway theatre is also gone, so Jimmy (Jeremy Jordan) with the help of Julia, try to figure out a new way to involve the audience. Jimmy is (of course) a new man this week. After the death of Kyle (Andy Mientus), he is hell bent on memorializing his friend with their show and getting them a Tony. While I think the updated newsreel is interesting if not a little cheesy (especially the crowd reaction shots – oye!), what I enjoy the most from this storyline is the scene with Jimmy and Julia entering the apartment he shared with Kyle. It’s a brief, but touching moment.
Meanwhile the Bombshell team is full speed ahead with their Tony dreams. This means another Houston-Levitt tribute night. Didn’t we just have one? No matter, this one becomes somewhat of a farewell tour as they continue with the dissolution of their partnership. Julia is so busy with Hit List that she almost misses the whole evening. What a diva, a whole night in her honor and she almost misses it. Luckily she makes it in time for one final song and it’s a wonderfully bittersweet moment between my favorite couple on the show. As the season (and the series) winds down to its finale I have to say that Julia and Tom have been the best part of this ride. I know Julia was annoying in the first season, but their relationship has been the strongest part of the show and truly its heart. A big part of that is in thanks to Borle and Messing who have outacted a lot of the other actors on the show. These two really do deserve a Tony…er, I mean an Emmy.
And while the past has caught up to Derek, it also seems to be catching up to Ivy (Megan Hilty) who is the subject of a blind item that paints an unflattering picture of an actress who has abused pills, while sleeping her way to the top, not to mention sleeping with the boyfriend of another actress. So as not to hurt her chance of a Tony, Agnes (Daphne Rubin-Vega) advises her to reel it in off-stage and do more publicity. This involves subjecting us to an obvious commercial-in-show. I get that they need to pay for the production costs but can we make it a little less obvious. And no, I don’t buy that Ivy would be starring in a national car commercial. I’ve never seen Alice Ripley or Audra McDonald in any national commercials, why would they give it to a Broadway newbie?
Of course the big revelation in the final moments is that Ivy is pregnant. Will this help or hinder her chances of a Tony? Will this provide Derek motivation to change his ways? Will she call it Karen if it’s a girl? (Probably not on that last one) Only two more episodes to go.
- Who lost their spot for Sam (Leslie Odom Jr.) to get a role in the show? And I thought Jimmy was not in the show anymore? These were a few details that were glossed over since the last episode.
- I really don’t enjoy how the show constantly pits Karen and Ivy against each other. I was really happy to see them chat on their way home from work and bury the hatchet. I wish they didn’t have to trump up some drama in order to get these two in a catfight.
- Did Tom really fist pump Derek at Table 46? Was I the only one weirded out by that subtle exchange?
- As I see more and more of Hit List, the thought that keeps coming to mind is that this show will not age well. The song this week already feels like a top 40 hit from last summer. (And that’s being generous)
Smash airs Saturday nights at 8pm on NBC.