Smash Review: Cuban Assistant Crisis

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Smash Review: Cuban Assistant Crisis

There’s not really anything exciting to say about this week’s episode of SMASH. Overall, I found it to be fairly unimpressive; there’s a little drama here and there, but it so resembles pretty much everything else that’s on television that nothing really stands out. This may be the show’s downfall if they aren’t careful. A second season has been ordered, but the ratings have been sliding, so they’re going to have to start actually following through on some of the dramatics that they promise in the weekly promos. This week was essentially star-chasing, part two. Everyone and everything—including the plot—seemed to be marking time until Uma Thurman’s guest appearance Bombshell’s new star arrived. Unfortunately, that wasn’t until the end of the episode, so we’re left with a bunch of plot devices that will supposedly lead us to the next round of sure-to-be-quickly-resolved dramas.

Early on, I assumed that the episode was going to be centered around Julia and Tom’s anniversary; however, that was—understandably—overshadowed almost completely by Frank’s refusal to have any contact with Julia, and her inability to accept the reality of the situation. That storyline obviously needed to be continued, but I’m disappointed that they felt the need to use the anniversary as the vehicle. I think they missed an opportunity to give us a closer look at Tom and Julia’s dynamic and history. At this point, we know more about the history between Tom and Derek than we do about their relationship.

Rebecca Duvall’s onboard, but she’s stuck in Cuba—offering them the opportunity Karen and Ivy’s dreams once again. Karen is officially given the part of understudy for Marilyn, and is holding out hope that Rebecca won’t show and she’ll have the part. For the time being, she’s basically a warm body, standing in for the star. Naturally, Ivy is none-too-thrilled that Karen has usurped her yet again; however, the meltdown we witnessed last week has essentially forced her career into hiatus—she can’t even get back into Heaven on Earth—so she has to play nice in the hopes that she’ll be offered a second chance.

Ivy isn’t the only person playing nice this week; at her (momentarily bewildering) advice, Derek’s actually being supportive of Karen—behavior that leave everyone else hilariously speculating as to whether or not he’s been given a week to live, or suffered a stroke, or undergone

Comments [2]

Jenny Aisenberg's picture

I <3 Tom!

yep, tom's stand-in performance of the "don't say yes until I finish talking" number was my favorite part of this ep, too. I think I might be enjoying the show overall more than the average viewer, if only because I have a broadway quasi-insider for a roommate, who consistently points out all the huge stage stars appearing in each scene (many of whom never do any singing and dancing at all!). like, derek's asian assistant lady? she's apparently a big deal on broadway. so is frank-- julia's hubby! and last week when Ivy had her kerfuffle at heaven on earth, the biggest offense (apparently) was that she wore her costume onto the street. my roommate claims she'd have been fired instantly for that, and possibly even sued! it's fun for us because it's all people and places we see every day (i.e., julia's brooklyn brownstone is actually in the upscale neighborhood closest to my poor peeps neighborhood. we could theoretically bump into each other at the park slope food coop, haha). but, yeah, I can definitely see how they're starting to lag, plot-development wise. we'll have to see how the rest of the season goes...

"We're all born naked. The rest is drag."
--RuPaul (appropriating Judith Butler for the masses...)

Tiff's picture

Didn't know about the costume

Didn't know about the costume thing, but I recognized Ann Harada almost immediately (Avenue Q is/was playing here, but I couldn't stomach the idea of watching that particular show in French), and I was fairly certain--and later confirmed--that Frank was Brian d'Arcy James. (The Sweet Smell of Success, Next to Normal and The Wild Party, etc....) I haven't noticed any others, though, and I don't really know New York.

Still, the plot's a little too predictable for me, at the moment. (Not that I need one of the characters to attempt suicide in the same episode that another is hit by a car, but some surprise would be nice.)

On a (mostly) unrelated note, I heard the musical theatre students at the school where I work singing "Wilkommen" the other day and I was horrified. (What?! I know France isn't as uptight as the U.S. when it comes to sex, but a kiddie version of Cabaret?!) As it turns out, they're doing a musical review this year instead of a single production, and that's just their opening number. Smile Phew.