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Thursday
May172012

Smash: That "Bombshell" Finale

True story. When I pressed play on the DVR to write up this last Smash post of the season, the TV "resumed play" in the middle of the episode somehow though I'd already watched the whole thing through. The mute button was on. Chorus girl Ivy (Megan Hilty) was pulling a ring box from her purse. The ring wasn't hers but fellow chorus girl Karen's (Katharine McPhee) whose fiance had left the ring in Ivy's hotel room after a drunken one night stand. At the exact moment that Ivy opened the ring box, the unmistakably familiar siren song of the ice cream truck sounded outside my apartment. 

I'm not sure where I'm going with this so let it suffice to say that this final episode of Smash's first season was nothing at all like a refreshing creamy treat. The only similarity was that I felt sick to my stomach after devouring it. I don't mean to be a drama queen but at episode's end when Ivy reached for a bottle of pills in her last vain attempt to commune with Marilyn Monroe, that dream role long since torn from her, I knew where she was coming from. I too felt robbed. 

This is not to say that I ever expected Ivy to get the Marilyn role in this fictional soap opera about the creation of a Broadway musical. NBC's peacock of choice from the beginning was the creamy lovely generic American Idol alum Katharine McPhee. The "who will get the role?" drama always felt a little forced since all the marketing was built around McPhee and the show took frequent awkard pains to insist that Katharine McPhee/Karen had "it" while Megan Hilty/Ivy was merely a competent seasoned performer but not a star. I've spent a lot of time shaking my head about the show's absolute inability to notice that the show doesn't play like that at all and they should have rethought their game plan. Megan Hilty has IT in so much bold all caps that it's like she's carting around her own spotlight and orchestra. Every time she performs the show lifts off to a higher level and every time the show tells us she doesn't have charisma, the show becomes as far-fetched as "Bombshell's" narrative that you can rejigger an entire show, rehearse a new lead, refit all the costumes and write a new song and everything will go off without a hitch mere hours later! 

It occurred to me afterwards and somewhat perversely that perhaps Katharine McPhee's generic charms are not the problem but it's Megan Hilty who is miscast. If Smash is not secretly a show about an otherwise talented director (Jack Davenport's Derek) who is terrible at casting --McPhee is beautiful and talented but sounds and moves nothing like Marilyn while Ivy is beautiful and talented and makes a very convincing musical Monroe -- than it is failing terribly. 

...sadly I was hoping she would.Set List: Standards - none; Contemporary - none; Originals -"Don't Forget Me" which is the second worst original song in a generally sensational musical score 
<--- B♡bby & Dennis: This one goes to Dennis (Phillip Spaeth) who is, as ever, adorable. And he always looks so happy!
Anjelica Awesomeness: "Wonderful!" Eileen's what now? exasperation that her ex-husband bought a ticket to the show. 
Best Moment: Sadly, the best moment by far was the little flashback inserts of Megan Hilty doing "Wolf" and Megan Hilty doing the epic "Let's Be Bad" the two best numbers ever seen on the show. But I also loved the sudden change in the title card. It was no longer "Smash" with an orchestra tuning up but "Smash" with an overture. Nice touch now that the show is playing (albeit in out of town tryouts).

Curtain Call: Skinny Katharine McPhee belting the anthemic ballad "Don't Forget Me" a weak song that sounds suspiciously like one of those interchangeable anthemic ballads that they always end American Idol with. In short, "Bombshell"'s finale was 100% Marilyn Monroe free; no blonde wig on McPhee could ever bridge that infinitesimal gap.
GradeC-
Season as a Whole: B/B- though the first half of the season, particularly episodes four through six suggest that this could be an A level show. Here's to next season. Break a leg!

American Idol Katharine McPhee as American Idolesque American Icon Marilyn Monroe

Previously on Smash
1.1 "Pilot" |  1.2-1.3 "The Callback" & "Enter Joe DiMaggio" |  1.4-1.6 "The Cost of Art", "Let's Be Bad" & "Chemistry" |  1.7 "The Workshop" with Bernadette Peters! |  1.8 "The Coup"...the worst episode |  1.9-1.10 "Hell on Earth", "Understudy" |  1.11-1.12 "The Movie Star", "Publicity" with Uma! |  1.13-1.14 "Tech" & "Previews" with Uma!

Season Awards
Best Episode - The Cost of Art | Best Actress - Debra Messing (and yes I'm surprised by this) | Best Actor - Jack Davenport | Best McPhee Number - "Rumor Has It" from The Cost of Art | Best Hilty Number - "Let's Be Bad from Let's Be Bad | Best Production Number - "Let's Be Bad" in Let's Be Bad | Best Number Not Staged -  "Wolf" in The Cost of Art | Best Number That Doesn't Feature Hilty or McPhee - "Say Yes" with Christian Borle from Understudy | Best Anjelica Huston - Anjelica Huston | Amount of Joy I Suspect I Would Feel If They Staged the Entire "Bombshell" on Broadway with Megan Hilty in the Lead Role - ∞

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Reader Comments (45)

I agree about the lack of suspense. I mean, we knew it would be McPhee!

I have watched only a few episodes and I don't like the show.
It feels like they took "Putting it together" and stretched it using cliches (cheating, betrayal, lectures and one-liners on whta is art and showbusiness etc) and I just don't like the perfomrances. Especially (I'm sorry for this) Houston. What is wrong with her on thas show? Is she as bored as I am?

It does look good though. (I mean, duh, it's about musical theatre)

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Most people I know feel the opposite regarding McPhee and Hilty.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBilly

I'm pretty sure the whole season was mapped out, written, and filmed in a bit of a bubble (I think the entire season was filmed before the premiere aired?). Thus, the creative team never had an opportunity to 'course correct' like so many other first season shows do over the course of their first year. Regardless of that being true or not, I'll tune in for the start of season 2 to see if they can improve the show...or at least make it consistent.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCinemateo

you are definitely a 'theatre snob' so therefore, you are a Hilty fan!

also, alot of people i know feel the opposite regarding Mcphee & hilty

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertinmar

From what I've seen online and from friends, any "American Idol" fans think McPhee is the genuine star and Hilty is not (they're often a lot nastier about it, but I won't go there). Any Broadway/musical theater fans think Hilty is clearly the star.

What I think would be interesting is to watch this show with someone is neither an "AI" fan or Broadway/musical theater fan to get a less-biased opinion on who should be Marilyn.

My money's still on Hilty. McPhee has a great voice, but is not a great performer by any means. If you give her choreography, she's fine. But if she just has to stand there and sing (which is usually what they make her do), she doesn't know what to do with her body. Her hands and arms are completely limp, and she does not devote one more iota of energy than she has to to get through the song. That would work on "AI"'s stage, where you just can stand there and sing and sound great, but it does not work for Broadway.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

DJDeeJay - The problem is... is there anyone watching the show who didn't watch it because they were fan of McPhee or interested in Broadway/musical theater? I mean possibly, but I also would think there aren't many.

The great misstep here is Derek's insistence that it had to be Karen because she had "it." Even Karen realizes she wasn't ready and it should've gone to Ivy. At the very least we, the audience, should seen Derek secretly think Ivy was perfect for the role but that his ego got in the way or something.

I did like the final number more than you (though it's not my favorite from "Bombshell") and really I just need "Bombshell" in my life. Get on that, Broadway. Still looking forward to seeing how the long break and the many public opinions/discourse will effect S2.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

I believe what Cinemateo said is corrrect - the entire season (or the majority of it, at least) was in the can before any of it aired, although that doesn't excuse the failure of the writers and showrunners to course-correct once they saw what they had on their hands with the cast they chose.

I tend to agree with Nathaniel that the failure of Smash's first season on the whole isn't so much McPhee's fault, but rather the fault of the casting, particularly as regards Hilty. I mean, the woman just played the Marilyn role in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at City Center Encores to rave reviews, so anyone watching this and thinking she isn't a perfect Marilyn is probably deaf and/or blind. It isn't just that Hilty has an incredible voice, but that she LOOKS like Marilyn (albeit shorter). Then there's the fact that in Hilty and McPhee they cast a Marilyn and a Norma Jean (If they don't build up to that in the second season, then the new showrunners are just as stupid as the old). McPhee is actually good as Karen, and I thought she nailed that final number, but nothing she's done on the show has even come close to Hilty's performance of "Let's Be Bad", and for Derek of all people not to see that is ridiculous...

EXCEPT for one thing. There has always been a bit of a nasty chauvinistic side to Derek, right from the first episode. And if there's one thing McPhee-as-Karen has been, it's a blank slate, a perfect figure for everyone to project whatever it is they want to see onto. And I hate to say it, but since Derek hasn't slept with her, since she hasn't shared that most intimate part of herself with him, she's something even more to him: She's alluring, just like Marilyn. This was ALL I could think about during that scene where Karen appears to Derek, bathed in heavenly light, and he decides she should play Marilyn. In a way, it's a nice subversion of an old trope - Karen got the part because she DIDN'T sleep with the director. However, I don't think the show has made this clear, or even if this was the intention. In all likelihood, it probably wasn't and I'm just making excuses trying to make some sort of sense out of this technically well-made but artistically frustrating show. But still, the fact that Karen hasn't slept with Derek is literally THE ONE THING she has that Ivy doesn't. If they had cast someone like Sutton Foster as Karen, maybe it would be easier to buy her as a STAR who has some ineffable quality that Hilty-as-Ivy doesn't, but as is, this is the only thing I can see.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

*hides* ...I really liked it!

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBia

OT—Donna Summer has died at 63 from Cancer today.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

I actually kind of loved the final number. Also, maybe it's backlash to the backlash, but McPhee grew on me throughout the season. Still, Hilty was the better Marilyn, though I'm not 100% sure Smash is unaware of this.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDrewB

yep. Total letdown of a season finale. Thing is, if Bombshell was a Broadway show, and I mean JUST a Broadway show, and McPhee was the lead, I would have liked it just fine. But Hilty takes the show to such a different level, that as a viewer I had to take a leap of faith in Karen that simply didn't pay off. Also, that last number was totally unnecessary - I much prefer the more powerful and dramatic ending with Second Hand White Baby Grand.
I'm glad the season is wrapped up at this point. I needed some distance to fall for it again.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterG.ShaQ

Yes, Nathaniel. yes yes yes, Debra Messing has been amazing! I haven't made up mind if its schtick or great acting, but hers is the most complete and compelling characterization on TV this season.

Megan Hilty is a powerful singer, but i find her presence on camera to be brittle and cold. It's quite possible that she has been directed this way because she was a lot more likeable in the early episodes. (Remember in the pilot when she is on the phone with her [then unknown] mother who offers her no support and wants to talk about another child? That was a terrific glimpse into Ivy's life). I think the show was forced to make her a villain—trying to steal "White Baby Grand" was nasty and giving Karen the ring was just despicable—to make giving Marilyn to Karen logical and satisfying. Karen wins because Ivy does not deserve it. The implied suicide just proves what a selfish, spoiled, self-dramatising brat she is.

"remember me" gives bombshell the uplift it needs at the end, but whether or not it actually works depends on how they get to it. Marilyn ascending to heaven while singing her martyr's te deum feels slapped on. But if the song is started by Joe as a kind of eulogy that the other characters take up that could lead nicely to the apotheosis of Marilyn and a good cathartic cry.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commentereric l

Nathaniel!!!!!!!


Are you still watching REVENGE??

Last night's episode was AMAZING!!

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I agree with what Nathaniel Said; the casting is the problem. I am not an AI fan and I don't watch Broadway show often but I still feel that anybody can see that Ivy will make a better Marilyn. I also don't like the way the writers wrote the characters in this show. Except for Karen, everybody else have "flaws" but they make Karen too much of a "saint". She is portrayed as someone humble, hardworking, talented and deserve the break. They went even further by making her rival slept with her BF so the audience will root for her even more. I mean, at the very least Karen should be shown as having a bit of nasty/competitive side of her. Showbiz is a tough business and no one as saintly as Karen can survive; they gotta have some mean streak too. That said, even if the writer wrote Karen's character like that, I am not sure McPhee can show that side.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDrew

I thought McPhee was much better over the last two episodes. I briefly wondered if maybe they'd had her soft pedal her performance in the early episodes to make her seem like more of a novice (and to play up that Derek could see - and draw out of her - something that no one else saw), but ultimately I think that's giving all involved way too much credit. Agree that Hilty is easily the superior performer, but I bought Karen as a legitimate rival to Ivy in these last two episodes. Thought Karen's performance of 'Wolf' was excellent. The finale song was pretty terrible but she sang it well. Cliff hanger was beyond contrived and predictable. If the drama over who is Marilyn is really over then good luck going into season two, because without that, all we're left with as far as conflict generators are Julia's horrible family and... Ellis. Shudder.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

I never really understood the show runners' insistence on Ivy's denigration as a mechanism to propel Karen to stardom, as if the only was to absolve the audience of rooting for Ivy was to completely delegitimize her. I know that most people enjoy a triumphant underdog story, but considering that Karen was never actually given any genuine obstacles to overcome, her ascendance proved quite hollow. It wasn't earned as much as gift wrapped and hand delivered by the gods. The season -- and ultimately, the finale -- would have been infinitely more satisfying had there been a struggle.

Having said all that, I'll say that I did enjoy the final episode of the season and thought that Katharine McPhee brought it (obviously, this will be her submission for Emmy consideration).

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Agree with everything you said about Megan Hilty. One of the strengths of the pilot was that both Ivy and Karen were depicted sympathetically-- they were very different people with different backgrounds and different strengths. That's what made the conflict between them interesting and complex. The Ivy in the pilot was actually kind of sweet and even humble. She was not the bad guy. Her friendship with Tom and the other dancers seemed very real. It might have been interesting to see how getting the part changed her, leading to losing the part, and then making some kind of comeback.

Instead, they've forced her into the role of outright villain (sleeping with Dev and that bit with the ring was really contrived soap opera nonsense). Even then, Hilty's portrayal keeps her human and makes me root for her.

At some point, I thought that Derek's fascination with Karen had to do more with romance then her being right for the part. It would have been interesting for them to hook up and discover they actually work as a couple-- her sweet Midwestern blandness balancing out his hard edges. She could have stayed on the show as a lead character, working her way up in the chorus, while Ivy still got the part of Marilyn and developed into a star. Messy and complex, just like real life...

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBiggs

I meant to say "as if the only was to absolve the audience of rooting AGAINST Ivy was to completely delegitimize her." My bad.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Eek...I thought the final episode was epic...Don't Forget Me does sound a little re-done (it's Marilyn's Defying Gravity), but you can say that about all of the songs in Marilyn...they all have a very traditional musical theater tone/style/melody...regardless, they are wonderful songs and they're performed brilliantly by Megan, Katherine, and the rest of the cast.

Angelica is fabulous...she owns every scene, word, gesture...she is not bored in the least. You can tell she is having a ball.

I agree with Troy H...although Kat McPhee is more Doris Day, or Norma Jean for that matter, I thought she rocked in this episode...she finally had the opportunity to show what she can do dramatically...I was impressed.

Every cast member has really stepped up their game...even Ellis! How can you not when you share scenes with Anjelica Huston?

The final episode gets an A.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSoSueMe

Oops...can we give a shout out to the art direction, photography, and lighting on Smash...it's amazeballs. So cinematic.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSoSueMe

Amen and Hallelujah, someone tells it like it is. Megan Hilty has got IT in spades. I consider myself an AI fan AND a Broadway fan, though because I live in California and have limited funds, I'm much more exposed to AI.

I think Kat is well cast as a novice Broadway performer. A little pop, a lot of stiffness, a bit awkward, etc. It's the fact that Karen is supposed to be any good that is baffling to the viewer and cheats the audience. The show would have been much, much better if Derek had pushed Karen a la Citizen Kane and Susan Alexander. Taking what little talent she had and pushing it to the max. That could have worked.

But the writers are terrible on this show. Having Ivy and Karen compete more or less equally was the best thing they could do. And having the balance of who gets the role go back and forth is a good idea too. But the show just insisted from the beginning that Kat is a star, when all the evidence points otherwise. Has there ever been a more wooden actress in a big part this side of, say, Jaclyn or Andie?

I thought the season finale was pretty good, but throughly because of all the Bombshell numbers. Where is this show!? if we have to wait till next year/midseason for episodes, at least make a little TV special of Bombshell where we get to see the show. Show it on a Saturday if you must, i want to see it!

and Megan Hilty. *sigh*. Ivy has done many TERRIBLE things, but i'm forever on her team. She's just so deserving of the role. I'll admit McPhee did a pretty good job in the little clips of Bombshell, but almost the entire time (especially during "Don't Forget Me"), i kept thinking that Hilty would've done so much better.

When Derek told Ivy that Karen had something she didn't have, i was like "and what the F--K is that, Derek?" I felt terrible for Ivy when she picked up those pills, but i completely understood what she was going through. If they kill her off next season (and THEY CAN'T), i'm gone. It's not that McPhee is bad, it is just that she pales in comparison to Hilty. Out of all the people on the show, i want Hilty to get an Emmy nom.

and the new title card did put a little smile on my face. Let's just hope that season 2 brings more greatness and less horrible subplots (Julia pregnant = HELL NO.)

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck

My favorite part, "Megan Hilty has IT in so much bold all caps that it's like she's carting around her own spotlight and orchestra.". I so agree.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMary

Can we talk about the opening scene, with everyone saying "break a leg" to the camera and us not knowing (ok, we knew) who it was being said to? I didn't expect this show to do something like that and I found it thrilling.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLucky

Debra Messing VS Madeline Stowe for the EMMY!!

I wish!!

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOctavia

Honestly, why take this all so seriously. The only true way to "create"suspense about a Broadway casting is to watch a documentary like "Every little step." This was a showcase for a lot of different talents and it was entertaining. To say that Mark Shaiman music is interchangeable is ridiculous and to think this was a real competition is also ridiculous. I love the musical numbers and I love hearing great voices sing, that's it. I love it for the fluff that it is. Plus, anything with Anjelica Houston has got my attention.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark

Kinda surprised that you didn't like the episode. I thought it pulsated with energy and was tons of fun.

And re: Hilty vs. McPhee
As someone who watches American Idol religiously and was rooting for McPhee in Season 5, I have to say that Hilty is far superior as a musical theater actress and especially as Marilyn. Wish I had been able to see her in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes-- I heard she was fantastic.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

HATED. IT. Hated it so much that I'm now obsessed with it. I've been finding as many reviews and articles as I can that basically "ditto" all of your points. Hilty/Ivy is a star, plain and simple, and the show just doesn't work when we're constanly being told she isn't. As much as the show tries to tell us the otherwise, pretty/likeable McPhee/Karen does not have "it", and the creators thought it would be enough to just tell people she did and not show it ("Let's Be Bad" is the ultimate showstopper and never did let McPhee perform it). It'll be interesting to see if a new showrunner and (rumored) renewed focus on putting a show help for next season. I don't know how much longer I can go on hate watching.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVal

You're so right about Hilty vs. McPhee. If this show ever goes to Broadway, I hope Hilty gets the role. I would pay good money for that.

Which song is your least favourite? Mine is "Dig Deep". Maybe just because Uma can't sing, but it was also just not exciting at all. I'm not counting that awful "Touch Me" number.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike

I agree with Val. I hated hated hated it. Ten minutes into the finale, shortly after Derek went with his wet dream and awarded the Marilyn role to Ivy my red Persian cat Wilson hacked up a ginormous hairball.....approximately the size of Rhode Island....then sauntered out of the room. Well said, Wilson. I feel the writers TOLD us that Karen/McPhee was the IT girl but never, not even once did Karen/McPhee SHOW us she was anything more than a loaf of Wonder Bread. I secretly suspect that the show was already "in the bag" when the creative team realized that no matter how they crapped on the Ivy character that Hilty/Ivy was taking that "loser" role and standing it on its head. No matter how despicable they wrote Ivy....she managed to be winning, and human. She made us care about her. She lit up the screen in the livelier numbers like "Howl" and "Let's Be Bad".....yet was vulnerable yet powerfully touching in "2nd Hand White Baby Grand." By then, it appears, it was too late to change the trajectory. If they had decided before the season ever opened that this show was going to be a star vehicle for McPhee they wildly overestimated her ability to live up to that expectation. At best she was OK. But compared with Megan Hilty...well....that's the whole problem. She doesn't compare to Megan Hilty. Those who ARE loyal members, at this point, of Team Karen are kind of like insisting they prefer a tricycle to a Porsche. And all because of those adorable little red peddles. I may tune in occasionally next season just to see Megan Hilty do Ivy.....but over all, I'm done with Smash. What a train wreck.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSeattleGirl

Ooops......meant to say "awarded the Marilyn role to Karen." Freudian slip. Guess I couldn't even SAY....Marilyn, Karen in the same sentence.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSeattleGirl

Seattle Girl -- i love you and I love Wilson ;) well said, indeed.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

I once wrote a paper on soap operas and the role of the villianess, how important it is, how she's the one you just love to hate. I'll save you the bulk of the thesis, but suffice it to say, you want a strong performer, maybe even your strongest performer, in that roll. The heroin, that's a little easier, plus I like McPhee. I like them both, and I love the show. In my book it's already an A.

May 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

I've found people who don't like Ivy Lynn don't like her because the show made her into a mean, selfish, petty woman. Sad, but true. People need to be "likeable", it's just that McPhee's niceness on a TV screen doesn't equate to being good on a Broadway stage and the makers of SMASH are showing contempt for fans of the stage/musicals by saying Karen has "it" over Hilty's Ivy. If people who are actually into musicals are the only ones watching Smash, it doesn't make sense for McPhee to be the star.

May 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

Glenn - I hated that the writers made Ivy do that bitchy thing with the ring just so the audience will root for Karen.

May 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Obviously, NBC is selling the show around McPhee because she is more of a name than Hilty, but I do think they need to elevate Karen's personality in season 2. I'm going to guess it was direction she was given to seem like a scared deer because she has shown flashes of sassiness when needed and it worked. If she comes back as a star, she should be acting with some ego.

Also, they really need to push boundaries more. This show is on at 10pm and they seem so hellbent on making it PG. I'm hoping this Gossip Girl showrunner spices it up like he managed to do with a teen show at 8pm.

May 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBia

"Don't Forget Me" is amazing. You're high. It's going to get nominated for an Emmy this summer. It's the second-best original number after "Let Me Be Your Star" in the pilot, which will also be nominated. That's all.

May 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarson

I always felt they had McPhee underplay her 'stardom' throughout the season and the idea was that she would 'nail it' in the final number. I dont know if she did completely but it wasnt' a total disaster either. I love Hilty but I have just resigned myself to the fact that the show wants her character to be the one who always unfairly almost makes it but doesn't when clearly she should. That after all is show business

May 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRami

In any reasonable universe, Megan Hilty was leagues more qualified to play Monroe than "Idol" reject Katharine McPhee was. Making the audience try to think (or FEEL!) otherwise was a huge misstep. The show's so awful, and even good to great songs can't change that. Get rid of Ellis, for godsakes. Then Dev, Sam, the useless dancers, Leo (the most horrible child actor I've ever seen), Frank, Michael, and even Julia if she can't get her act together next season. Focus on the making of the show on Broadway, introduce some new and interesting characters, give Elieen a backbone (and stop wasting Angelica Huston's talents), keep Julia and Tom's professional relationshiip and nothing more, less Derek, no Karen/Ivy rivalry, stop making Karen so dumb and naive, and give Ivy her own star vehicle. Maybe they can recover then, maybe. And no more Bollywood numbers. EVER.

May 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJ.D.

But JD how do you really feel?

May 20, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

don't hold back.

May 20, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

McPhee is so the weakest part of the show, and so generic and bland, and Hilty is so perfect for the part. If EVERYTHING ELSE was perfectly plausible, this alone would make it a trainwreck.

And Don't Forget Me is a very bad song in a show-within-a-show otherwise full of delights.

May 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Lipp

Just a brief post script to my earlier comments. I'm still growling about how messed up the writing was this season and wonder what the "creative staff" (I use that phrase loosely in regard to the people who wrote this show this season) thinks about the fairly across-the-board WTF reaction to having Katharine McPhee rammed down our throats from Episode One right up to and including that stupid finale. And I must report that Wilson, who I thought had made himself pretty clear when he hacked up that gigantic hairball 10 minutes into thsuddenly taken to leaving a pile on the floor directly in front of the TV. Now, Wilson, yes we believe in freedom of speech, but I've heard you, buster, I totally agree, but that's enough, OK? You've made your point. We both need to get over it.

May 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSeattleGirl

Crikey.....the keyboard gremlins are at work. That should read...

"....10 minutes in the Final Episode, has suddenly taken to....."

May 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSeattleGirl

I think that what Derek (Jack Davenport's character) was trying to imply was that Karen is Norma Jeane. Ivy is a veteran and what she projects as Marilyn is the Marilyn image Hollywood was trying to show us. Bombshell was trying to show how the naive Norma Jeane rose to stardom as Marilyn Monroe. Karen still has the innocence and naivete that Norma Jeane/Marilyn has in the beginning which the mass/audience hardly or does not see. Do you think the Ivy's Marilyn acts like that in the privacy of her home or with her husband, Joe? That said, Katharine McPhee still is green compared to Megan Hilty when it comes to acting. But she does have a beautiful voice. Hopefully, she's better in the second season. Both ladies are talented in different ways and that is why they are good pitted against each other.

May 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNightingale
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