Smash Season 1 Episode 11 Review

“The Movie Star”

You know when you’ve been having a perfectly lovely time with a bunch of people for ten weeks, and then suddenly someone new flounces in to upset the balance? That’s Rebecca Duvall in Bombshell. And also Uma Thurman in Smash. The big star is finally here to save the day. Only no one really wants her. She’s needy and demanding in equal measure, she wants to cut most of the songs, and not just because she can’t sing (she doesn’t realise that), she has an entourage and a jealous ex, and is just a bit of a Hollywood diva. Thankfully they’ve made Rebecca so utterly unsuitable enough for the part of Marilyn that it’s genuinely funny, but also blindingly obvious she won’t make it to opening night.

Basket case mantle officially passed to the new girl, Ivy is free to be funny and cool again. Indeed, everyone’s forgotten about her meltdown, to the point where she’s welcomed back into the chorus with open arms. She’s so much better when she’s being a bitch than being crazy. Later, Ivy & Karen get drunk together again (Yes!), slag off Rebecca, and agree that when the part inevitably opens up they shall fight to the death for it. Ivy wins line of the episode – ‘I’m sleeping with the director, I basically blocked the whole show’. But, best of all, the entire scene occurs without anyone singing at anyone else. Drunk & bitching Karen & Ivy should be the entire show. With Anjelica Huston in the corner, throwing around snappy lines and cheap alcohol.

In Anjelica Huston news, Anjelica Huston has amazing legs. More of those, please! She also randomly threatens to mace a guy, after Rebecca’s drunken ex stumbles into rehearsals and highlights the fact that none of the men present are particularly willing or able to take up security duties. She dumps her sexy barman, after discovering he’s a filthy criminal. But then he justifies his past misdeeds by saying ‘If you run a bar in the city you’re going to get your hands dirty.’ which works for Eileen. Hurrah! Cheap Martini’s all round. And let’s also raise a quick glass to Tom & Sam, who finally kissed after weeks of build-up. They’ve decided to take it slow, and have a boring, normal, undramatic relationship. So that’s probably the last we’ve heard of that.

Speaking of dysfunctional relationships, Dev & Karen have all but split up. Not least because Karen found out he was a really big fan of the Rebecca Duvall hoody & jeans themed rom-com ‘Casual Friday’. Those Brits and their appalling taste in film! Since not getting the Press Secretary job, he’s basically a bum, and spends his time sitting on park benches pretending down the phone that he’s at a function. A function frequented by pigeons, and the Staten Island Ferry. Back in the office, Dev flirts with his hot journo mate from the relative privacy of a cubicle, but Karen’s too busy being in love with the movie star to notice or care. This relationship has sailed. Please, let’s not drag it out the way we flog all failed romances on the show.

Thought you’d get a week off from Julia’s mind numbing personal problems thanks to the arrival of the movie star? Think again. Somehow the writers find time to crowbar in a whole section for a banal tale of Julia’s weird son flunking out of high school, and a visit to a woman known only as Guidance Counselor. Even in the credits. (Was that not a missed opportunity for a theatre reference? At the very least call her Miss Sherman and save money on name plate printing.) What will happen if weird son fails college? Well, it won’t matter a jot to the Bombshell production, which is supposedly why we’re all here. Julia’s never at work at the best of times, and we’ve done ok this far. Stop trying to make me care about superfluous characters!