Smash, S1, E5 – “Let’s Be Bad”
Air Date: Monday, March 05, 2012, 10/9c on NBC
Things heat up between Michael (Will Chase) and Julia (Debra Messing) when Frank (Brian d’Arcy James) goes out of town on business. Ivy (Megan Hilty) doesn’t like the way she’s being treated and takes out her anger on both Karen (Katharine McPhee) and Derek (Jack Davenport), and Tom (Christian Borle) and new boyfriend John (Neal Bledsoe) figure out where their relationship is headed.
Highlights and Observations:
Tom and John go on another date and at first, it seems clear the relationship isn’t going to work. (Their conversation is so boring, and they don’t even look at each other!) I don’t understand why, after the date is interrupted by a phone call from Leo (Emory Cohen) about being arrested, Tom calls John the next day to finish the date. What’s the point? It’s obvious they’re not really into each other. The best part of their relationship happens when they realize they’re not really suited for each other—at least not in bed. I love how they laugh over having bad sex. You know that would never happen in the heterosexual world. Feelings would be hurt, tears would be shed, maybe a drink thrown in a face and a definite door slamming moment. I think they’ll end up being good friends, though, and who knows? John’s lawerly skills may be useful in the future. He’s already impressed not only me, but Tom as well, with his knowledgeable and suave demeanor when speaking to the female cop on Leo’s behalf. I almost believe Bledsoe has played a lawyer in one of his previous roles.
Julia takes on the typical mother role when she comes home, yelling at the top of her lungs about Leo’s arrest. I can see myself in Messing’s great portrayal of an angry mother. I can’t count the number of times I yelled at my daughters for doing something stupid when all I really wanted to do was hug them and keep them safe from all the evil in the world—just as Julia does. Tom proves himself as a good friend—I wish all good friends would tell the truth the way he does but that doesn’t always happen.
I don’t understand why Michael shows up at Julia’s—she’s already told him they can’t resume their former relationship. What the hell is he doing? He knows Frank’s out of town—hmm, maybe I just answered my own question. Singing “A Song for You” on the stoop in front of Julia’s house after dinner makes it hard for her to resist although she should have. What’s she going to do when she finds out Leo saw them kiss? I smell big trouble on the horizon. She should never have let him in the door in the first place.
We are treated to some humor in this otherwise dramatic episode when Leo is seriously scared about what his mom is going to say about his arrest and Tom takes everything he says and turns it into a little ditty at the piano. It’s cute how quickly Tom comes up with the lyrics.
Leo: “She’s gonna kill me, and then, when she’s done, she gonna kill me again. I am so dead!”
Tom, singing: “¯She’s gonna kill me twice. I’m so dead, uh, so dead. I wish I’d gone to the movies instead.¯”
I guess you have to see it to appreciate the humor. Take my word for it, though, it’s pretty damn funny and Tom is adorable.
Wow, does Ivy get angry when Derek embarrasses her in front of the ensemble! Of course, her seeing Derek and Karen dancing when she arrives for rehearsals doesn’t help either—it just feeds into her insecurities. I don’t blame Ivy—no one wants to be put on the spot like that in front of their peers—but I don’t like how she treats Karen when they meet up to rehearse. Ivy is quite the diva bitch and nothing like the sweet persona she shows everyone else. I’m glad Derek puts her in her place later, but I do question Derek’s motives. I have a feeling he’s leading up to replacing Ivy with Karen and that should make for some pretty big explosive scenes.
The music this week is once again fabulous. Ivy knocks the song, “Let’s Be Bad,” out of the park, but only when she imagines herself to be the real Marilyn in a drugged up state during her tumultuous marriage to Joe DiMaggio. I hope she’s not sinking too deep in this role. Then Karen shows a much sexier side during her rendition of “It’s a Man’s Man’s World” while getting dressed to attend a government function with Dev (Raza Jaffrey). He’s being so supportive of her and she doesn’t seem to be reciprocating. As a matter of fact, she comes across as very self-absorbed in this episode, a quality I haven’t previously seen. She better be careful, lest she lose him to someone who pays more attention to him, like…say…RJ Quigley (Tala Ashe), the “New York Times” reporter, with whom he has a very easy going rapport. I wonder why Dev hasn’t told Karen RJ is such a beautiful woman. I’m beginning to wonder if Dev’s supportive behavior at home is a cover-up for an affair with RJ. He certainly looks very longingly at RJ when she walks away, telling Karen, “Don’t be mad, but I have something I have to do tonight.”
Tom to Julia about possibly blowing off his date with John: “He’s a lawyer. I’m not going to end up with a lawyer…And he says wow a lot.”
Karen to Dev about RJ: “That’s so funny. I always thought RJ stood for Ralph Johnson or something…I always pictured a fat white guy with bad teeth.”
Dev: “Yeah, not accurate.”
Julia to Leo: “ I can’t believe you did this! You are so epically grounded!”
Don’t forget, select songs from “Let’s Be Bad” are available from NBCUniversal Television Consumer Products and Columbia Records on the iTunes store at http://www.itunes.com/NBCSmash. The three songs available include:
“Let’s Be Bad” – written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman; performed by Megan Hilty.
“It’s a Man’s Man’s World” – written by James Brown and Betty Jean Newsome; performed by Katharine McPhee.
“A Song for You” – written by Leon Russell; performed by Will Chase.
You may notice this review is slightly less enthusiastic than my previous ones. That’s because the writing is becoming a little too predictable and the show is beginning to move a little too slowly for my taste. I want to yell at Derek and say, “Get a move on, already! Just tell Ivy she’s out and Karen’s in!” What do you all think?
Tune in to Smash, Mondays at 10/9c, only on NBC.
All photos courtesy of Patrick Harbron / © NBC Universal Media. All Rights Reserved.
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