Smash Notes: Let’s Be Bad, Episode 5

Logo for the NBC show Smash.

We’re headed through the Looking Glass, guys.

Wardrobe, Julia, Again: This week Julia’s scarves and the heavy, ethnic necklaces both disappeared and we got the babydoll dresses [also known on the Internet as the “kinderwhore” look] with opaque tights. Could you, NBC, perhaps pay for a stylist?

However, I’d like to offer up a theory on Julia’s fashion habits:

When we started the story, Julia had a husband who was actually present. They were trying to adopt a baby. She snuggled up in scarves everyday, her own wearable nests.

Then, Julia’s old flame reappeared. The husband is mysteriously busy/traveling for work. It’s necklace time! Julia goes to parties and out to cafes for “pie.” And now, after last night’s lip lock with old flame Michael, she’s naked around the neck.

Open for business!

Subtext: The subtext of Tom dating a lawyer and having bad sex is, “Gay people sometimes have bad sex instead of consistently fantastic sex like the media would lead you to believe!” The subtext of the black, gay dancer being into basketball is, “Not all gay men love fashion!” The subtext of Tom asking Julia, “When’s the last time you had your piano tuned?” is, “I condone this affair that you’re going to have.”

Adoption, Ruse: This whole adoption plotline – that Julia and her husband want to adopt a baby – is complete crap. They have a 16-year-old son! She’s never around! She’s always “in the city” not doing her job (there were several scenes in which people complained about those “scenes” Julia “owes” them because they are only “12 days out.” Twelve days out from what, I have no idea.)

She’s wanders around in babydoll dresses with her trusty notebook and a cup of coffee and her cell phone… not doing much but definitely not thinking about adopting an infant. She’s more akin to a 20-something Manhattanite who got lucky, got a cool job and goes to shop at Madewell instead of writing the scenes she owes everyone.

Which brings me to a question… If you’re a mom of a teenager and your husband is out of town and you’re having a Pie Date with the guy you used to be having an affair with and your phone rings and you don’t recognize the number… do you not answer the phone?

Oh, Julia, I think you do. You do.

Singing of Show Tunes, Not On A Stage: Is it realistic that Julia’s teenage son did not flee the room when Tom was narrating his run-in with the law on the piano while singing an impromptu show tune? Would the son not have to go upstairs to, uh, Wiki something?

Singing of Soft Rock Tunes, Not On A Stage or In a Video: Speaking of subtext, there was the whole “Karen Sings To Herself While Looking Into a Dirty Mirror And Doing Some Dance Moves Ripped Off From Cabaret,” which was, we all know, subtext for masturbation. If you ever took a lit class in college, you spotted it right away.

The most puzzling part of a puzzling act came at the end, when she said to herself, “I know what I bring to the party.” Uh… and that would be…? The ability to teach others to dance on a chair? The ability to take your shirt off? Writhe on the bed? Come on, tell me.

Of course, we were supposed to think, “She brings SEXY to the party.”

Except she doesn’t. She’s pretty, attractive, talented, etc. but sexy? Meh.

Songs, Use Of: The best scene in the episode was the “imaginary” performance of “Let’s Be Bad” on Broadway with full staging and costuming. It was worth watching the show just to see this scene and clearly this is where the show’s creators talents lie.

But then there was that weird Karen/Mirror scene, which was something a gal with some jazz dance classes under her belt would post to YouTube, and, finally, the scene is which Michael Swift sings to Julia on her front step. It isn’t right to have a guy break into a show tune-esque song while trying to woo a woman on a stoop unless it’s a West Side Story remake. Especially with lyrics like:

“I want you in a place where there’s no space or time.”

I want you in a black hole? Too bad you would be crushed by anti-matter?

Relationships, Unhealthy: This Ivy/Derek love story thing is sick.

Derek: You’re so annoying. Don’t have any feelings. I’m trying to build something here.

Ivy: I know.

Derek: You’re a stupid, silly woman. Are you staying over?

Ivy: Do you want me to stay over?

Derek: Don’t be mad at me.

She stays over.

Next week things really heat up: “Ivy faces major vocal issues, while Julia struggles to avoid Michael. Meanwhile, Karen books a side gig at a bar mitzvah.”

I’m pretty excited about that bar mitzvah. It’s going to be tough to wait for that. In the meantime, let’s all brush up on our Jazz Dance Terminology.


3 thoughts on “Smash Notes: Let’s Be Bad, Episode 5

  1. I’m liking these Smash updates so I can get in my vicarious show watching.

  2. I do feel compelled to point out that, in a black hole, it’s the immense gravitational force that would crush you, not antimatter. At least not directly. I guess it’s possible that antimatter would be pulled in by the immense gravitational force, and come into contact with matter, causing them to annihilate each other, releasing energy that would kill you if the immense gravitational field hadn’t already crushed you.

  3. I’ll admit that I never watched this show even though I fully planned to when it started. I caught the end of it last night when they were on the front steps and that guy broke into song, and I was like, WTF?! Didn’t they try this with “Cop Rock”? Look how well that turned out.

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