In the same way Christmas is the name of December 25th and the two and a half months of hysterical build up beforehand, apparently ‘Workshop’ refers to all the messing around they’ve been doing for the last few weeks and the day they show their work off to a crowd of investors. Every day’s a school day on Smash. We’ll be dancing in the street and throwing ourselves off car bonnets by the series finale. But first, Karen. Who’s decided to crowbar her solo number in nice and early this week, lest we forget who the real star of the show is in all the mild excitement. Karen’s cutting a demo for [insert name of made up famous record executive here], which mainly involves getting a miserable, ruder than Derek technician to declare his love for her through the magical power of her amazing singing. And to think she’s only in the chorus!
Competing with Karen for the limelight this week, Ivy’s famous Broadway star mother, Leigh Conroy. She’s massively supportive of her daughter’s big break, which she shows by making dramatic late entrances everywhere she goes, and throwing around words of encouragement like ‘No wonder you’re nervous, I don’t know how you’re going to pull that off!’. Leigh flounces around treating Ivy like her actual bag lady, to the point where even Derek notices, and is compelled to step in and tell her she’s doing a good job. Not to worry though, he goes and ruins it several hours later by gathering up the last remnants of her self-esteem, stamping on them and hurtling them out of the window midway through the Workshop performance. Ivy’s Marilyn style breakdown is pretty much complete.
Meanwhile Julia is flouncing around in the longest knitwear ever seen on tv, enjoying her own mini-breakdown over her secret love affair with leading man Michael Swift. It’s secret insofar as her son knows (he saw them kissing), Tom knows (she told him), Evil Ellis knows (he also saw them kissing), Eileen knows (Evil Ellis told her) and Derek knows (because it’s really obvious). Julia storms off home, again, to deal with her personal problems, and runs straight into her idiot son sharing a spliff with his idiot mate. He greets her with ‘You’re supposed to be at rehearsal’ to which she responds ‘You’re supposed to be not smoking pot’, before superbly dismissing the mate with ‘Oh don’t be so polite, you little drug addict’. She’s good with the words, that one. If only she could keep her knickers on long enough to write some down.
The cast make it through the Workshop performance doing a fairly good job. There’s even a bit of audience participation during one song, as we all shout ‘No! That’s the sofa Michael & Julia did the dirty on last week!’ as they utilise it as a prop. Sadly the reviews aren’t great, and it seems pretty unanimous they need to ditch Ivy. But thanks to Tom’s misplaced loyalty (he wants to sleep with her best friend) and Julia’s tummy problems (she has to go outside to throw up every time she thinks about her infidelity) they decide to sack Michael Swift instead. That’ll end well.
Madcap storyline of the week is, inevitably, Anjelica Huston’s Adventures in Plumbing. In which she breaks through a padlocked door with a wrench, bookended by $7 Martini’s. Indeed Eileen is on top form, and hasn’t moaned about lack of cash for weeks. Evidently reducing the cost of her favourite gin/vermouth blend by 65% has saved her from bankruptcy. Someone should tell her that you can drink at home for a fraction of the cost. She’d have enough spare cash to tour Marilyn across Europe.