Smash Season 1 Episode 8 Review

‘The Coup’

While I expected someone other than Karen to be allowed a solo number at some point, I didn’t honestly expect it to be Julia’s science teacher husband thrusting his way into the limelight. And yet here he is, moments into episode eight, strapping on guitar hero and a stupid hat, and belting out some Bob Marley. Indeed.

Workshop’s over. Sad face. Apparently what happens now is that Eileen drinks $7 martinis (Good enough to drink, not good enough to throw in anyone’s face. Those were the days.), while ignoring Tom & Julia’s calls. Meanwhile the chorus mope around exclaiming ‘I hate the theatre!’ and go bowling. And then launch into a group number, singing and dancing on the tables, walking all over that bit of the bowling lane you’re not supposed to step on, and generally showing off. Seriously, who’d live in New York? Not a minute’s peace.

Not to worry, Derek’s going to have them all off the streets and back on the stage. He has a secret plot to save Marilyn, by dressing up in a Dr Who coat, recruiting the dude from One Republic for a cameo, and staging ‘Madonna’s Like A Prayer’ video in a warehouse. Complete with a revolving bed, dancers in masks, and Karen as Madge, naturally. Tom and Julia are suitably horrified at this Marilyn for a new generation’ and, after a bit of shouting and a lot of apologising, everyone stomps off in their respective high heels, leaving arch enemies Tom and Derek alone to fight to the death in the warehouse. ‘I’m not quitting.’ ‘Neither am I’. It’s hardly West Side Story.

Eileen’s daughter turns up, momentarily, to hug Tom and Julia, and tell her mum not to turn into her dad. (i.e. don’t stab your friends in the back, and don’t have anything to do with that god awful pop video I was just forced to point my eyes at.) Just when you think the girl’s got taste, she fills Eileen’s minimalist apartment with wall hangings and pink tat, and promptly buggers off to Alaska to count wild salmon.

Dev’s back, from wherever he was, and looking hot as ever. And, in case you didn’t notice the neon flashing ‘I work in the mayor’s office’ sign he holds above his head at all times, he throws in a couple of subliminal messages to Karen: ‘Your lot are as bad as my lot. AND MY LOT ARE POLITICIANS!’ No, really, they are. He works in the mayor’s office. He’s trying to get the press secretary job, but he’s competing with this other guy and look, here are loads of other incidental characters and extraneous information in this completely irrelevant storyline, written by someone who’s clearly still missing The West Wing quite a bit. (I hear you, friend. Bartlet for America!)

Eileen decides the only thing to save this god awful production is to ditch Ivy and replace her with a star. Oh, and to give the show a name. Surely even Julia can do that? I mean, it need only be one word for heaven’s sake! Don’t leave it to Eileen, she’ll only call it ‘$7 martini’. Tom is despatched to dump Ivy, which he does a really bad job of, laughing and then crying throughout. And all that’s left is for Derek to turn up on our former leading lady’s doorstep in a leather jacket, saying ‘I think show business sucks. I think you’re beautiful’ and directing his way into her bed once more. And scene.