Smash Veered Into Dangerously Cheesy Territory In Its Second Episode

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Smash Anjelica Huston

Seriously, all of the artsy people on this show hang out in the same bar! And then Anjelica Huston‘s character Eileen throws a Manhattan in her ex-husband’s face. Honestly, it seemed like a scene from someone who’s trying to approximate the New York theater scene. (But maybe that’s what the writers had to do to bring in viewers who don’t live here.)

More Scarves!

Smash scarves Karen Ivy

Debra Messing continues to be a repeat offender with her layers — seriously, as a playwright should I be investing in some gauzy scarves? — but Karen and Derek are also wearing the ultimate artsy accessory. There is a great self-referential moment where Ivy and Karen meet, and Ivy snarks, “I love your scarf.” It’s funny and meta, and very Mean Girls-esque.

Ivy’s Dreams Come True (Because She’s Telling You They Are)

Smash Megan Hilty Ivy

“Hey,” I told my boyfriend. “So I’ve just won a playwriting residency, so of course the first thing I should do is find an open mic night and read a poem I composed about how my dreams are coming true.” That’s how painful it was to watch Ivy sing some random song to her buddies in the karaoke bar. But now that I watched the first few minutes and saw how it matched Karen’s dream, I can kind of get it.

What would have redeemed this scene would be if Karen were working in that same bar and we see Ivy up on the stage, bathed in the spotlight while Karen toils in the background. But no, instead we get…

Karen’s Defeat (For Now)

Smash Karen Dev

Boyfriend and I, at the same time: “IS KAREN HOLDING A GUN?” This show would have become very different if that were the case, but no, she’s just morosely holding a beer bottle and seeing her dreams dashed.

Except, I’m sure that Ivy is going to somehow sabotage herself, and Julia and Derek will swoop in with Karen as the show’s saving grace. Ivy’s obstacles are clear: People think she’s dumb because of her looks, she’s just slept with the director, and the plot twist in a lot of these stories is a career-ending injury. Really, anything could happen.

Let’s just hope the writers ease up off the cheesiness before then.

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    • marti

      You may not realize, but Megan wears a wig, a push up bra and harsh makeup too when she portrays Marilyn.

    • Kat

      I agree with Marti. Even Marilyn didn’t look like that naturally. I think it’s a brilliant move on their part to show that no one walks in off the street and becomes what she was.Marilyn may have played dumb blonde but she was a hard worker.

      If you watch her interviews you’ll notice that the “voice” was part of a character she put on in movies… just as artificial as the hair and makeup etc.

      I love that they’re using multiple people to show different aspects of Marilyn too- it makes her seem more like a real, multi-dimensional person instead of a “punch line” or gimmick. At some point Marilyn the woman Was a naiive, somewhat inept novice with a special “something”. At some point she was a somewhat tragic, woman with low self esteem who sexed her way into a big break. At some point she was divorced, failing at a family, etc etc.