Saturday, May 19, 2012
"SMASH" finale lets her be their star... or does it?
(spoilers galore, you have been warned!)
Contrary to the rumors, we did not get to see the full show (which wouldn't have fit into a 50 minute episode anyhow). We did get to see an amazing new song, as well as plenty of crucial character development. But did we get our Marilyn? That's the big question.
Tom and Julia are working together again, and have reconciled. Hurrah! Their working partnership has been such a source of fun and a really interesting look at developing characters of opposite sexes through a completely platonic relationship.
Julia and Frank are going strong, despite the reemergence of Michael. Ugh ugh ugh, I love Michael's singing voice, but otherwise his character is a terrible threat to Julia's marriage (although he did behave much more like a gentleman this episode). But oh boy, if Julia really is pregnant with his child, this is going to be a whole host of problems for Season 2 that I almost don't know if I want to get into. Kudos to Julia for continuing to fight for her marriage though.
We didn't really get to see much of Tom and Sam, but what we did see remained sweet. SMASH does a good job of being respectful of homosexual relationships, but not turning them into a soapbox and allowing the characters to be three-dimensional.
Ellis admitted he poisoned Rebecca and gave Eileen the excuse she needed to fire him. HURRAH! Not, however, before he caused more problems between Karen and Ivy. Ugh.
Speaking of our leading ladies...
Karen and Dev... oh Dev, you were so adorable, when did you become such an idiot? I hate to say this, but you need to let Karen go. You're not ready to get married.
I'm tired of Derek hitting on all of the Marilyn actresses, but really, I did think there was a sort of sweetness to how he treated Karen and coached her through a nightmare of a day. I think they'll get together at some point, but if so, I really want him to come to respect Karen as her own person and not Marilyn before that happens.
I'm glad Karen got to go on as Marilyn. She's worked really hard for the role and as the understudy it was really her part. She might be new to Broadway, but Katherine McPhee is clearly working her pants off to fit into these musical numbers. The only weakness I saw in this episode was that everyone kept saying "Karen can't do it!" but we never saw her messing up a number of flubbing something. So a little lame writing there, but I'm guessing they just didn't have the time.
Now Ivy... could she have gone into the show and pulled it of stronger from the start? Yes, probably. However she is so mentally unstable - I would really, really not want to give the role of leading lady to someone with Ivy's demonstrated issues. I think she's a fantastic performer and I definitely think we'll see her as Marilyn again - if, however, she doesn't swallow those pills!
Seriously, who ends a season with a will she/won't she commit suicide???
Of course we'll know the answer as soon as she does (or doesn't?) appear in the promos for season 2, but it'll be an interesting character arc anyhow.
Overall I think SMASH had a really strong first season. Was it perfect? No. But it brought something new to the screen, and managed to be extremely entertaining and at times even thought provoking. It also presented some fantastic original works (although they could do less with their cover songs). I'm very excited that it has been renewed for a second season and can't wait to see where they go next!