Television: Smash, "The Song"

Apparently the titular song has pretty much one lyric: "I got love."

But we've also got old jokes: "You're the musical director; you don't call breaks . . . Okay, everyone, take a break!" (Gone With the Wind starts almost the exact same way.)

And use of dialogue for exposition: Jimmy saying Derek won't produce his and Kyle's show, Kyle remarking that Derek has at least given them guidelines for development.

The episode picks up with rehearsals for Veronica's one-night show. None of Tom's songs are working for Derek, so Karen calls in Jimmy and Kyle as backup. Alas, Tom doesn't find their work "Broadway" enough for Veronica. They get one more shot, if they can come up with something by the end of the day. Karen's muse powers get called on again as Jimmy taps her to sit beside him at the piano while he writes . . . Only to have Kyle walk in and find himself supplanted.

Meanwhile, Ivy and Ronnie catch up as old friends. Nick turns up at Eileen's. Derek tries to take Veronica's concert in a more sultry, grown-up direction, but Ronnie is so used to her sweetheart image, she (and her stage-managing mother) is uncomfortable with the changes and Derek is forced to step back. He turns down Jimmy's new song and Jimmy disappears.

Oh, and here is foreshadowing from Ronnie's mother right before the big concert: "Now is not the time to go changing things."

So guess what?!?!

I do enjoy Smash, and think it's a shame it won't see another season. (That's not official, but it might as well be considering how low the ratings have become; I can only hope NBC will at least let this season play out.) But it's so predictable, in all the worst ways.

Anyway. Karen finds Jimmy, who is very high. So of course she kisses him. (Well, he kisses her, but still. She lets him.)

And by getting Julia drunk on wine, Peter is able to redirect her vision of Bombshell. Soon the two of them are pulling books off the shelf in order to re-imagine and rewrite. Sexy, no?

Ronnie defies her mother by dressing more tart than sweetheart. She tells her mother she loves Derek's work and wants to do things his way. Which apparently is cabaret rather than Broadway. Because really, even the reworked "I Got Love" is far from steamy.

And of course Veronica ends the show by singing Jimmy's new song.

Backup singers should not sit, btw. I realize it's meant to keep the focus on Ronnie, but I find it really distracting, far more than if they were standing.

Peter suggests he and Julia go away to his house in the Berkshires to finish the rewrite.

Eileen is forced by the Feds to step down as producer of Bombshell; Jerry will take over (cue sinister music and name check the reviled Ellis). The show can now go to Broadway, and the question becomes whether it can recover from the bad press it has received due to the investigation.

And so things go . . .

It is unfortunate how very little depth some of the characters of Smash seem to have. They each suit their archetype and so come across as less human and more plastic. For a show meant to give a grittier look at the behind-the-scenes lives of would-be stage stars, it's very shiny. It's a soap opera, of course, at least of sorts. But even so one needn't sacrifice character development for plot. As stage people (or wannabe stage people), you'd think the Smash writers, producers, showrunners would know as much. This may be why its star continues to fall.

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