Smash is finally back. After waiting for TV’s mid-season replacement season, an entire summer and fall full of other programs that bring drama, a plethora of award show fare, and one mind-blowing Super Bowl, this Broadway baby for the small screen finally made her dramatic entrance.
So how was the NBC hit show’s first foray for its second term and what was the bone fide hit from last year’s freshman year all about this sophomore came back to entertain?
A lot of twists and turns happened during the two-hour season two premiere, that’s for sure. Yes, most of the key players are still causing all kinds of curious behavior, setting the season up for a bundle of ups and down. And yes, the keys players who are still are the boards are all still appealing in various and sundry ways (some quirky as can be).
But, with that said, what everyone who digs Smash is wondering is what is happening with Marilyn? Is “Bombshell” going to get past the Boston tryouts and the critics’ mighty swords?
Yes, and no, and yes and no again.
Safe to say that after last year’s season finale that took place nine months ago is finally off hiatus, this TV show about how to attempt to get a Broadway show mounted–in terms of dramatic license and then some–takes a step back to catch Karen Cartwright, as played by Katharine McPhee, belt “Cut, Print, Moving On” with the bright lights upon her as she does or does not land the main role as Monroe in Boston. Flash forward to today as Karen has definitely become Marilyn for real but the real truth is that “Bombshell” and its merry band of players are in trouble in oh-so-many ways.
For instance, Karen never did forgive Dev for sleeping with Ivy, so he’s history, both as her live-in boyfriend and as a member of the cast as well. The ingenue moved into an apartment with a sympathetic roommate and she’s getting on with her life. Or trying to in her own special not-so-with it way.
Oh, and Ivy didn’t die after a possible suicide attempt was hinted at during the finale of season one back last May when this talent and all-time slut did or did not take too many pills on purpose. In fact, she’s back in rehearsal where Derek and Eileen discuss plans to move into a Broadway theater (hopefully the St. James) by week’s end with the whole cast under contract when “Bombshell” hits the Great White Way. Oh, that would be the entire cast as in any of those players left after rewrites are submitted.
Meanwhile, Eileen asks Karen to choose three backup singers for a very important event in which these Broadway babes will offer a number. Of course she doesn’t pick Ivy for obvious reasons. In another scene, a meeting takes place between Eileen, Derek, Tom and Julia. It’s review-reading time but Julia’s just not into it because she has a made it a habit of not knowing what the pundits really think of her work. So it’s on to fixing the show, with Julia on the spot because she’s in charge of the book.
Then Ivy and Sam find a spot in Times Square to compare notes about the blonde climbers’ Broadway future. Finally, the highly publicized appearance of Jennifer Hudson as Tony-award winning Veronica Moore takes place with the real life Oscar winner singing “Mama Makes Three” from the made-up musical dubbed “Beautiful.”
From then on, it’s a mad dash to be trashed as everything falls apart on Smash even though the all-knowing Veronica tells Karen that as her star rises, which it will, she should always remain her authentic self.
In short, the jig is up for how Eileen funded the show to get it mounted for off-Broadway in the first place, Derek is publicly and utterly exposed for the devilish sexual harasser he has been known to be, Julia finally gets dumped by her husband in a very public way, Tom lets go of his boyfriend who is offered a chance to tour with “Book of Mormon”, and Karen just muddles through with high hopes (naive as they may be) that she’ll eventually get to Broadway some day, even if it’s not with “Bombshell” and maybe with another musical that’s been created by (ironically!?) a restaurant worker and his grumpy buddy who is not his boyfriend, both of whom Karen happens to meet while out and about in New York City.
That was a nutshell version of the two-hour Smash season premiere that showed that the show known as “Bombshell” about Marilyn Monroe may never ever ever make it to the Broadway boards. But there’s still hope for something good to happen on the Great White Way in terms of a musical that may lead to a smash hit for all concerned in this fictionalized version of what may or may not happen (probably far from the truth) in the iconic theater world in New York City.