Wednesday, February 6, 2013

SMASH Season 2 Premiere - The Fall Out

Hi. I'm back again with the SMASH recapping. No, not the funny ones. That's Rachel Shukert. I'm the painfully earnest one. But I just can't help myself. You can read my thoughts on Part One of the premiere here. Or any of my Season One Recaps from BroadwaySpotted here. Now, onward to part two: The Fallout

And indeed, that's what this was. Particularly when held up against that first hour. 

The best thing about the second part of SMASH's season 2 finale was all the Broadway people. In addition to Jeremy Jordan, Andy Mientus & Krysta Rodriguez, this episode gave us Annaleigh Ashford, Mara Davi and the lovely Brynn O'Malley. Not to mention...The Fierstein. 

Tied for the best thing in The Fallout is Megan Hilty's performance of "They Just Keep Movin' The Line." I say her performance and not the song because, the song is just ok for me. And leads me back to a statement I feel I make again and again which is that Bombshell has two of every song. Each song should serve an individual purpose in the show and Bombshell doubles up on all of them. "National Pastime" does the same thing as that Wolf Howl song, and for that matter, also "Let's Be Bad." There are 22 songs in Bombshell-- a musical with basically no book! That's at least a seven too many, as far as I'm concerned. "They Just Keep Moving the Line" feels like one more Marilyn desperation to make it song-- and way more appropriate for Ivy to sing than Marilyn. That being said, I'm glad Ivy sang it. Which is to say, I'm glad Megan Hilty sang it. Because Megan Hilty = butter.

There are also two things tied for the worst thing about The Fallout. (There is also a long list of honorable mentions including the "Would I Lie To You" hallucination number and any moment in which Karen tries to seduce anyone, which we were tortured with again this ep.) 

The first worst is that as bitchy as theatre gets, the president of the American Theatre Wing would never kick Tom, Julia and Eileen out of a dinner. As in, order them to leave. Though, if you're going to portray the woman as a judgmental battle-ax  might as well go straight to Margo Martindale who has never played anything but a snakey, sad, judgmental battle-ax in her entire career. Kind of a weak move. And I was personally offended on behalf of the theatre community. I don't think we'd ever do that. (Anyone with stories to the contrary, please feel free to correct so I can lose that final shred of hope I had for humanity.) Worst thing number two isn't just a problem with The Fallout though. It's a long running problem. Even more than my Julia problem. I mean, at least I HATE her. At least she elicits a response with her unprofessionalism and constant wallowing victimhood. 

But Karen is the dullest thing ever served on white rice. I feel like a broke record with this. Everything with her is a case of show don't tell. They keep on and keep on telling us there's something special about her. Well, I've watched every ep and I sure don't see it. Like when they tell us a song is very good. Nope, you gotta just play the song and let us decide. Everything she sings, every line she says, Kat McPhee just drops it on the floor. She is wasting Jeremy Jordan's sizzle. I hope he continues to make fun of her for the rest of the season. She is walking particle board. Or, to just go ahead and quote Rachel Shukert,  she is "the human equivalent of one of those grocery store peaches that looks like a Cezanne but tastes like the inside of a mattress..."

But on that note, the worst worst thing about The Fallout was its ratings. Only 1.1 million viewers. Let's hope there's no yanking the show. Because I can't wait to see how Jimmy Collins thinks anything will ever happen to his music without the help of actors, directors, producers or audience members. And because what replacement masochistic method could I ever hope to find of this caliber and high production values?

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