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Smash: "The Coup"

I don't really have the heart to review this week's new Smash episode at length because it was surprisingly terrible and I don't want to pee on the news that Smash has been renewed for a second season. That's good news even if we're getting kind of worried about the show's absolute refusal to let Megan Hilty be the star because they want it to be Katharine McPhee. McPhee is decent enough as an actress but too bland to carry the show. What's more the writers decided that Karen "couldn't 'play the sex' " as an actress and yet in every single number McPhee performs she's all seductress beauty-posing. Weird.

The schizo episode even had room for a Grease 2 like number

Grace Gummer -- one of Streep's two doppelganger actress daughters -- guest starred as Eileen's do-gooder daughter but the plotlines were so all over the place (and the scenes so short) that it felt like twenty episodes in one. Or like it didn't even happen since the ending was basically like hitting a reset button!

Set List: For the first time there were no good numbers and surprisingly few of them, too.
Best Moment: Liked Derek and Tom's showdown. Loved Julia's exasperation that she can't escape Ellis, the annoying assistant.
Gay Gay Gay: That moment when Ellis kissed his girlfriend.
Anjelica Awesomeness: Not really.
Curtain Call: Did this episode happen at all?
Grade: D

Previously on Smash
1 Pilot 2-3 The Callback, Enter Joe DiMaggio 4-6 The Cost of Art, Let's Be Bad, Chemistry, 7 The Workshop

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Reader Comments (12)

I think everyone agrees that this episode was indeed terrible. The bottom line is FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS. There are far too many uninteresting, tedious subplots that do nothing but frustrate viewers.

1. Get rid of Dev. If his existence serves to round out the character of Karen, it ain't workin'. Furthermore, no one cares about his quest for professional matriculation.

2. Make Ellis someone we LOVE to hate, or expedite his comeuppance because right now he's just plain annoying, and the fact that only Julia seems to be the only one who sees through him continues to defy reality.

3. The most compelling aspect of the show is the theatre work, so all of these visits from/with relatives do little more than provide unwelcome distractions. I want to see the excitement of people's toiling over their art.

March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

I don't know why people hated this episode, it was the bes... well, no, it's far away to be the best, but I don't think it's the worst either, lots of awful sub-plots, but the show knows those well. I liked the bowling number, it was kinda amateur but I enjoyed it (and the cast too) it felt like a improv-number with friends, the other number, hmmm... it was... weird, ok, I hate the song but I'm ok with that decision because sometimes in the creating process, people comes with really bad ideas, at the end, it hurted the episode but I understand why they did it.

March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLuiserghio

They've been on a roll lately, and it all came to a screeching halt with this episode. Since apparently nothing from this episode will stick (because they just decided to forget about it at the end) I'm going to choose to believe it never happened.

Besides, I find it hard to focus on the inane plot lines from this episode because I can't get over how much Grace looks like Mama Meryl. I was floored. Are we sure she's not a clone?

March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJonny

That "Gay Gay Gay" section is perfect. I literally laugh out loud whenever they're together. I was excited about the Ellis character at first because I thought he would really shake things up, but he's just annoying. And I have no idea why I'm supposed to care about Karen's boyfriend's job, why can't we keep the show focused on the making of the show? "The Coup" was definitely the most disappointing episode, I still love the show but it has GOT to do better.

March 28, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

Yeah, after it finished, i said "geez, THAT sucked."

I agree with Nat in that the only things i really liked were Tom and Derek's fight and Julia's inexhaustible hatred of Eliis. "How did he get here?!" Couldn't agree with her more.

I barely remember that "Touch Me" song. Once again, another bland showing from Karen. Even when Karen gets a chance to shine, she's boring. I actually started to think about my life during that whole number. If i'm thinking about my life while i'm watching your show, you're doing something wrong.

March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck

First of all....Grease 2 was fabulous so I'm happy right now!

The episode wasn't terrible, but that song for poor Karen was just not good! I don't think this show needs a defined "star of the show". The back and forth is perfect. Both girls bring something great to the table and I like seeing Karen's journey kind of from the beginning whereas with Ivy it's all told to us or we may see more in flashbacks or something. We don't know.....Karen might be Ivy in another 10 years. I'm with this show for the long haul Becaue its amazing!

March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSoapstef

Ivy's a bitch and Karen has deserved to be the star from the beginning. Nuff said.

March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarry

I so want this show to succeed; however, I am worried that there is no focus. Theater is full of drama and engaging personalities that there is no need for outside stuff. The producers should watch Slings and Arrows.

March 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdela

I feel bad for how Karen is written. It's just unfortunate that the writers are not letting her "struggle" so that we can genuinely root for her. I still like her (well actually McPhee) and am always hoping that we see some real life disappoints. Losing the lead does not count because she still gets to be part of the show with the strong potential of "stealing" it. So we don't get to truly connect with her. I can more empathize with Ivy because we feel her pain of disappointment. It's more real.

March 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCM

This show is just awful lately. It had such promise in the beginning. I wish they'd just drop the contrived pop numbers. If they need to keep them in, then let Ivy lose her job when her show closes and the only gig she can get is hosting a karaoke bar somewhere. It starts out shameful for her, but she eventually turns it around.

Everything to do with Karen is boring and awful. The show would have been a lot better (and more realistic) if they had just gone meta and made "Katharine McPhee" a failed American Idol runner up who was trying to make a stab of it on Broadway. That would have threatened everybody.

March 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Alamitos Beach

Not one word about "Touch Me"? That's the best original song they've done outside of "Let Me Be Your Star." This episode was far better than the "D" grade you gave it.

March 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRen

Where are your latest Smash recaps?

April 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiogo
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