Television: Smash, "The Dress Rehearsal"

Tom's naked-in-front-of-everyone nightmare presages the "invited" dress rehearsal of Bombshell, which takes place in front of friends and family. Thanks to a laundry list of tech issues during this (including a wardrobe malfunction that leaves Ivy naked onstage), Tom is told he needs to cancel the first night of previews, but he protests. By Tom's reasoning, canceling would only make Bombshell appear more troubled. He has six hours to pull things together, else he must pull the plug on the preview.

Oh, and Derek and Ivy are sleeping together again.

Meanwhile, Jimmy is convinced his relationship with Karen has prodded Derek into cutting back their roles and turning the focus of Hit List more onto Anna as The Diva.

Julia pep talks Derek into seeing Hit List in a new light. After all, now that he's not filtering through Karen and DerekVision(TM), he should be able to see the show clearly, right? But when Derek's new way of seeing things makes Anna the first thing the audience will see (instead of Karen) . . . It seems like Jimmy's prediction has come to pass.

The problem here is that, for Jimmy, every idea is wrong unless it's his own. He wants complete creative control and doesn't know how to compromise. Admittedly, Derek has trouble with cooperation as well, but he's also been a director for a long time, so he's earned more of a right to have things his way. And it's his job as director besides. Smash tries to promote Jimmy as this sort of raw talent/prodigy, but he's really just an obnoxious brat. And I still don't see or feel any chemistry between him and Karen.

Good for Kyle, too, for standing up to Jimmy.

Some of Jimmy's snotty attitude is rubbing off on Karen; she tells Anna that the only reason The Diva has been beefed up is because Derek is punishing her (Karen) for being in a relationship with Jimmy, thus intimating that Anna hasn't earned the promotion by her own talents. Has Derek's muse flown yet again? She seems to hop from one young actress to another . . .

And yet the backstory supports the idea that the role of The Diva was bumped up because The New York Times guy was impressed with that number he saw at the fundraiser a few weeks back. Diving into The Diva has helped flesh out the story of Hit List. And maybe The Diva has a more interesting story, or is a more interesting angle, than whatever romance happens between Jimmy and Karen onstage.

At the end of the day, The New York Times does a compare/contrast of Bombshell and Hit List. The sum total of the write-up is that Bombshell is old school Broadway and Hit List is fresh and new. Oh, and points out how Julia had a hand in both productions. Which sets Tom off. And sends Eileen fussing at her NYT editor boyfriend. (I don't think that's very fair of her, to be upset that he did his job and was honest about it. She'd rather he had no integrity?)

While Bombshell folk spun the article as "Hit List is better than"—and that might well be a valid way to look at it—I'd think that seeing an article talking about two such shows might encourage potential audiences to want to see both and decide for themselves. Will the season end with the two shows going head to head? Does anyone still care? Considering there won't be a third season . . . Does it matter?

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