Tag Archives: debra messing

Smash Cram Session: Episodes 9, 10

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Maybe it was because of that Bed Debacle in episode 8 but I took a week away from Smash and then Smash Crammed last night. Watching back-to-back episodes is an interesting experience, to say the least. You pick up on a lot of nuances. The ins and the outs. The what-have-yous.

Here are this (and last) week’s Smash Notes.

EPISODE 9 “Hell on Earth”

Julia -n- Frank: Frank put down the chemistry textbooks and realized, through some sheet music he found on Julia’s side of the bed, that she had an affair! Bravo, Frank!

When confronted, Julia initially said, “Nothing is going on!” but what she should have said was, “Remember that night I got out of bed to go for a walk at 10 p.m. in my pajamas and you said, ‘Have a nice time,’ and I didn’t come back until 4 a.m.? Yeah, that was an affair happening.”

I mean, the guy is stupid, right?

I think it was a play to our sympathies that, when he found the incriminating show tune, he was looking for the adoption paperwork. Ah, the adoption. I don’t know about you but I think they should definitely go through with it.

Duel, Lack Of: Frank goes and confronts Michael about the affair. It ends with Frank punching Michael. Yawn. I wanted Frank to challenge him to a duel with broadswords. The guy brought Frank’s honor as a husband, father and preoccupied chemistry professor into question. Also, they missed an opportunity to have Michael sing a song about dueling and anguishing over the logistics of the impending duel while dancing alone in a studio with rain pouring down outside.

Continue reading Smash Cram Session: Episodes 9, 10

Smash Notes: “The Coup”, Episode 8

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After watching episode 8 of Smash, I needed to take some time to myself and think things through. My train of thought went something like this:

“Wow, that was some bad TV. If smart, educated, trained people can produce something so rotten, then everything we think we know about everything, even and especially black holes, should be called into question.”

But today I feel like I’m ready to tackle the lukewarm mess that was “The Coup.” Here are this week’s Smash Notes:

Oh, Julia: We open on a scene of Julia (wearing some glasses she got through a Lion’s Club) eating sadness grapes in bed. She’s complaining about something. Watching Julia whine, complain and worry her way through this season while living in a fabulous brownstone and working on frickin’ Broadway has made me never want to take anything in my life for granted ever again.

Her handbag costs more than the Blue Book value for my car.

Then, hubby sings to her while playing one of those stupid “I’m With The Band” video games. I bet that affair is looking pretty good to Julia in the rear view mirror. She’s eating grapes, peering at her husband through those glasses thinking, “I made a mistake.”

Continue reading Smash Notes: “The Coup”, Episode 8

Smash Notes: Let’s Be Bad, Episode 5

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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:

Continue reading Smash Notes: Let’s Be Bad, Episode 5

Smash Notes: The Cost of Art, Episode 4

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Before watching episode 4 of Smash, “The Cost of Art,” I wondered if I was perhaps the only person left in America still watching this show. But I was able to find some solace on Twitter.

There, you can follow Karen Cartwright  – @SmashKarenC. But wait, is @smashkaren the real Karen??

Julia Houston is ready to chat @SMASH_JuliaH. I’m relieved to see she lists herself as a “Scarf Aficionada.”

Julia’s partner, Tom Levitt, can be found @SmashTomLevitt if you want to talk show tunes. And who doesn’t at about 2:30 on a boring Wednesday afternoon?

I’m a bit sad no one has bothered to set up an account for Evil Intern, Ellis Tancharoen. Maybe because they gave the character the last name “Tancharoen,” which no one can be expected to remember.

And now, this week’s SMASH NOTES:

Continue reading Smash Notes: The Cost of Art, Episode 4

Smash Notes: Episode 3

Right, so, last week, I missed watching Smash. I had something else going on and then never got around to watching it. Believe me, I thought about watching it any number of times as my guilt began to weigh heavily upon me.

But last night, as I watched episode 3 I realized it doesn’t matter.

I had no trouble following along. This is due to my superior powers of following a narrative thread or the fact that this show is written for 5th graders. Either way, I feel so light and carefree today.

Here are this week’s SMASH NOTES:

Continue reading Smash Notes: Episode 3

Smash Notes: Episode 1

Much like a whiny, demanding studio executive who has never actually created a minute of television myself, I offer up my “notes” on the new NBC show Smash.

SCARVES: What is with Debra Messing’s character, Julia, and scarves? There was not a scene in which she did not have something wooly wrapped around her neck. Is this symbolic of something about her character? There was even a scene in which she wore men’s pajamas, a cardigan sweater and a wooly scarf. In her bedroom. Do they not have heat on the set? WHAT GIVES??

I suspect that they aren’t sure how to make this character someone women can relate to so they went overboard with the natural fibers. I mean… See, she lives in New York and her job is “lyricist.” And she loves it so much that she’d kind of shunting aside this whole adoption thing, which could potentially be really boring for a couple of years… you know, taking care of a baby when you really want to be writing euphemistic songs about baseball.

APPLE PRODUCTS: OK, we get it. Apple is the only cool kind of computer anyone anywhere ever can ever, ever use. Even the waitress-trying-to-be-a-star has a freakin’ MacBook Pro. For all that Photoshop work she does on the side. Or whenever she comes home from a long day of try-outs and slinging sweet potato hash and gets the burning desire to edit a video.

Let’s try for some more realism here.

Which leads to me to my final note:

SEX: Turn up the sex volume to 11 in key scenes. It needs to go way beyond the lukewarm pap served last night.  The seduction scene between the director, Derek Wills, and rising star Karen Cartwright (Katharine McPhee)? I didn’t even understand what he was asking her when she came to his apartment enormous loft the size of IKEA for some “coaching.” Did he want her to act like Maryiln? Give him a blow job? The right answer was both, probably a bit more the latter,  but this was not immediately understood.

After his request, she, upset, excused herself and went to the bathroom. There, she mussed up her hair, grabbed a conveniently-placed, oversized white men’s oxford shirt that covered her ass (which is horse crap because every self-respecting New York man right now is wearing slim-cut EVERYTHING and would not have a shirt that could also double as a tent hanging in his bathroom) and went back out.

She lamely sang the tired, breathy Happy Birthday Mr. President to him while crawling on his lap.

Then she leaves in a fit of forthrightness and disgust. For him, I guess, not for the fact that she put on the oversized shirt and crawled on his lap.

They can do better than this. No, NBC is not Showtime (where the show was originally set up and which would have allowed the episodes to be longer and, presumably, sexier) but that just means they have to be more creative. Let’s not hit on every last trope in the playbook, shall we?

But all is not lost. No, there is potential here. Especially if they corrupt Karen (well-played by McPhee) and don’t allow her to remain the wide-eyed ingenue past the second or third episode. I can practically hear the drums beating in the background on this one.

And the best parts are, thankfully, the singing parts. The ending scene to last night’s episode, which shows the two rivals, Karen and Ivy, getting ready for call-backs for the part of Marilyn was done to the song “Let Me Be Your Star” and it was great. It captured that competitive, the-claws-are-out feeling we need to feel in order to invest in this story.

I’m not buying my Smash t-shirt quite yet, but I’ll be back for episode 2.

These Are The Breaks

It’s finally 2012. I spent the first day of it acting on my resolution to stay current on celebrity news. I was woefully behind and so spent much of the day exclaiming, “Wow, when did that happen?”

One takeaway I wanted to share, in case you are also terribly out-of-touch with celebrity happenings, is that there were a lot of divorces in 2011. Celebrities just can’t seem to stay together. I’m not just talking about Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries here. Even I knew they would not last. He seems like a gentle but ignorant giant who makes decisions based only upon the information immediately in front of him – mostly provided by the five senses -  and his current state of mind.

“Ball. Throw through hoop.”
“Pretty, tiny girl. Marry.”
“Cute kitten not moving after I pet. Bury.”

How could he ever hope to keep up with someone as shrewd as Kim?

But now comes word that Katy Perry and Russell Brand are breaking up. But what about the wackiness? The Indian wedding. The Bookie Wooks and the fireworks. It lasted a little over a year and for most of that time she was out on tour. Shouldn’t they take a moment and try being bored together? Sit around for a night watching TV and flipping through magazines? Maybe turn to each other at some point and ask if they should order a pizza or get Thai food?

I also learned that Debra Messing and the person she was married to – an actor named Daniel Zelman – are getting divorced. Something happened to Debra Messing after the birth of her son… Suddenly I noticed that her hair wasn’t as thick as it had been. It was no longer the proud mane that starred on Will & Grace was a diminished bit player. I thought, “That’s it for Debra Messing,” and it kind of worked out that way, although I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t sickly intrigued by the show premiering this month, Smash, in which she plays some kind of agent or talent scout or something who wears glasses when she’s trying to be serious. You don’t have to have thick hair for that.

Also, Chaz Bono and Jennifer Elia are breaking up. Jennifer made it through more than most of us would have. It’s not easy having your partner appear on Dancing With the Stars and have to be supportive of that effort each week, acting as if you care how his knee/toe/hamstring/back is holding up. Chaz didn’t just undergo a sex change – he went the extra mile and changed into a just-past-middle-aged man with knee problems who likes to recount his glory days on the racquetball court.

I admit to doing zero research on this, but has Chaz Bono ever had a job? He should definitely get one now and it should be in middle management for an insurance company because he already looks the part.

Vanessa Bryant is leaving Kobe Bryant. He must have run out of the magic potion he’s been feeding her all these years. She woke up from her haze and was like, “Wait… What?” What I learned, via People Magazine, is that she was 19 when she married him. I’m not even sure that the soft spots on her skull had fully hardened. They had a baby, then they moved right into the rape scandal, he gave her that enormous Guilt Ring (the kind of ring you only get if you’re Elizabeth Taylor or your guy is trying to say, “Sorry I raped that girl.”), had another baby and then it was just endless days of being married to Kobe Bryant.

I know this one is not news, but J. Lo and Marc Anthony are splitsville. Ah, shit. I’ve been assured that the clothing line for Kohl’s is not in jeopardy.

I don’t want to be a braggart, but I could see this one coming. On New Year’s Eve 2010, they appeared together on Ryan Seacrest & Dick Clark Present Tales From the New Year’s Eve Crypt and it was obvious that the relationship was running out of gas. Marc looked bored. J. Lo was in full body suit, strutting around, and he stifled a yawn.

Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, remember when J. Lo did a triathlon the same year she had twins? She went crazy that day – she did the tri in Malibu, then immediately flew to New York to celebrate Marc’s 40th birthday with an elaborate party at a club, all with a rigor mortis grin on her face.

That says, “Trying too hard,” to me. If you’re secure in your marriage you do your tri and then hang out after the race with everyone else, talking about how much the transition from the swim to the bike sucked. You don’t go all maniac and get on a plane for a big party in NYC. She may as well have released a statement  that said:

“If I keep fantastically busy I will never notice that my marriage is a sham. Also, I will never die. And I still love Ben Affleck. Thank you.”

Also not really news: Demi and Ashton are done. I feel as if I can finally let out a sigh of relief, air I originally sucked into my lungs in shock, not over their marriage in 2005, but when I saw them dressed up as babies for a Kabbalah party.

“This must end,” I said.

By the way, I can’t believe they thought a camping trip would bring them back together. They looked miserable and bored in their camp chairs (“Yeah, that’s how camping works,” I want to tell them. “There’s not really that much to do except drink and burn sticks.”) Look, if I were trying to lure someone back, I would not do it by camping with them where there is zero sexy lighting, no hot tubs and a lot of bugs.

You can cross one worry off your list going into the new year: the Mel Gibson/Robin Gibson divorce is final. She’s getting about $400 million and news outlets are talking about the settlement as if it’s his money and she’s taking it. As if having 7 kids with that guy and being married for 30 years wasn’t work. I know, it was a choice she made, but still… I think she’s entitled to some compensation.

I’m not sure what prompted Robert Downey Jr. to make a statement a few months ago telling Hollywood it’s time to forgive Mel for being a drunk, abusive prick. I guess Downey feels that he was once at that low point, too, but look at him now, making franchise movies, taking vitamins and having children! Here is what Downey said:

“This is my f*ckin’ time… Mel and I have the same lawyer, same publicist and same shrink. I couldn’t get hired and he cast me. He said if I accepted responsibility – he called it hugging the cactus – long enough my life would take meaning and if he helped me I would help the next guy. But it was not reasonable to assume the next guy would be him.

Unless you are without sin, and if you are you are in the wrong industry, you should forgive him and let him work.”

Let him work? Well, what was The Beaver all about? Personally, I don’t think Gibson has hugged the cactus nearly long enough. Here, Mel, here’s a shot of tequila. Now get back up on that cross… I mean cactus.

As far as Downey goes, the thing about drug addicts and alcoholics who turn their lives around – they can become very annoying in their certainty that they now have all the answers and all the compassion. They definitely become more annoying (and less entertaining) than when they were high and stumbling into the wrong houses at night.

But, returning to the topic at hand, it’s not all doom and gloom for celebrity relationships!  Britney Spears is getting married again despite the fact that her eyes are clearly not the same size. Matthew McConaughey is marrying the mother of his two kids (I wonder what the decision-making process was for that one? I’m imagining him opening a beer, taking a swig and then thinking, “Ah, what the hell, why not?”)

And Rosie O’Donnell has a fiancee who is cute and normal-seeming. How does that happen? Rosie, a woman who can’t be bothered to put on a dab of foundation or the merest hint of lip gloss in order to attend a Broadway show, lands a hottie?

I know, she’s rich. But you do realize that the hottie has to sleep with Rosie at some point, don’t you?

And, in the final piece of good news, the Hollywood Beard Marriages seem to be doing just fine. All quiet on the Western front for TomKat and John Travolta/Kelly Preston. And I believe Ryan Seacrest just settled Dick Clark back into the crypt for another year and is back with Julianne Hough, although he told her he’s tired and just wants to cuddle, not do anything.

She understands.