SMASH Don’t Give a Shit: “Musical Chairs”

SMASH was on last night? Last time I checked, it was moved to Saturday to make way for Gabby Solis Presents The Bachelor on the Deal or No Deal Set. However, my Debra Messing anxiety dream last night (#truestory) suggests that I missed one of the final primetime airings of SMASH.

Good thing I am a self respecting television viewer between the ages of 18-49 that doesn’t want the Nielsen Company judging my excessive addiction to reruns of Who’s the Boss? and Legends of the Hidden Temple, otherwise I may have sabotaged last night’s SMASH ratings by not tuning in.

Now that I’ve caught up on A&E’s Bates Motel, where the kid from Finding Neverland reminds you just how old you’ve gotten, I’m ready to move on to last night’s SMASH, where Julia coincidentally revealed her Norman Bates-esque obsession with Marilyn Monroe’s mother…

Top 10 Times SMASH Didn’t Give a Shit and Other Things I Loved: “Musical Chairs”

1.) Karen Candy Apple-gate: Since Derek peace’d out of Bombshell, Jerry and/or Eileen had to hire a new choreographer. Apparently they decided to hire Cathy from Candy Apples, because that new version of “National Pastime” is straight up Dolly Dinkle Dance Studio. And I LOVED IT. Karen did her best Vivi-Anne, by falap-ball-changing around the stage and causing Jerry to say, “What the hell am I watching?” You’re watching GOLD, Jerry. Karen’s doing wings. This is genius! Tom loves it because he thinks the dancers are, “levitating.” This was a prime opportunity for Tom to pun-fully play off his last name and say, “Levitt-tating.” I mean, Linda would have. But Tom missed his chance. Perhaps he was distracted by all the AWESOME.

The new Bombshell choreographer has his finger on the pulse of what this show really needs. Derek’s version required death defying lifts that only Ivy could perform. I think I remember the dancers actually launching her through the air at one point. Karen’s like, “HELL NO.” This choreographer knows Karen’s strengths. I feel like he’s the type of guy who would pull a Christina Applegate in Sweet Charity and just make Karen leave the stage for ten to twelve eight counts. #ThatsHowYouDoItBitch

2.) 525,600 References: This episode gave us references to everything from Seth Rudetsky to Fosse to John Cameron Mitchell. My favorite moment came when Derek told Jimmy and Kyle that their change to Hit List, “Can be small. RENT had a narrator after its workshop and they got to Broadway.” He may have also said, had an arranger. I don’t know because I don’t speak Douche. Either way, he talks about RENT so passively. You’d think he was still dumfounded the show made it to Broadway, and forgot it won the Pulitzer Prize and that JONATHAN LARSON DIED. Geeze, Derek, it’s one thing to not give a shit, but it’s an entirely different thing to disrespect the Musical Phenomenon That Defined A Generation.

3.) Karen Takes a Town Car: Karen stopped by Greenpoint, Brooklyn to visit Kyle and Jimmy. She made a playful dig at how the boys live on 24-601 Butt Fucking Egypt Avenue by teasing, “I was just gonna lie and say I was in the neighborhood.” I’d like to think Karen took the forty-seven trains it requires to get to their loft, but we all know that bitch took a town car. She’s Karen Cartwright! And Karen Cartwright don’t have time to listen to shit like, “we are being momentarily held by the train’s dispatcher,” “if you see something, say something,” or “Queens bound seven train.”

Karen also showed up with some caffeinated beverages for motivation. She couldn’t be bothered to bring Jimmy and Kyle Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, or even Dunkin’ Donuts. NOPE! Karen Cartwright showed up with generic brown cup bodega sludge. Really, Karen? You’re a star! Couldn’t you at least afford some of that coffee that comes in the cup that Candice Bergen wore to the 2012 Tony Awards?

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4.) Table 46: Jimmy and Kyle’s former part-time employer saw a lot of face time this episode. I say part-time, because I haven’t seen them work there since before Obama’s State of the Union Address. Either they are making a butt load of cash figuring out a theme for Hit List, or the tips at Table 46 are so lucrative, you only need to work one shift a week. While Kyle and Jimmy remind me nothing of Mark and Roger in RENT, they could probably teach those boys a few things about how to be a tortured artist and still pay your bills on time.

5.) That Awkward Moment When … :

  • Karen told Tom she didn’t see eye to eye with his Jayne Mansfield suggestion which was her way of saying she doesn’t know who Jayne Mansfield is.
  • Tom Levitt became Jerry Mitchell.
  • Bombshell is headed toward TECH!
  • Someone said that Tom needs Karen’s respect. LOL.
  • Kyle officially became the president of the Hit List fan club and nothing else.
  • Eileen mentioned that she’s made a lot of mistakes in her life. Starting with those bangs.
  • Karen scoffed at Derek for likening himself to Fosse while we scoffed at Derek for likening Karen to Gwen Verdon.
  • Nobody pays bills at Table 46.
  • Derek must check in everywhere on FourSquare, because how else did Julia find him at his private meeting with Tom Collins when he won’t return any of her phone calls?
  • Everything seemed to work out perfectly for everyone timing wise. Meanwhile I can’t get a final callback for anything, unless I book a vacation without trip insurance first.

6.) Princess Karen: I don’t know what Karen has or what everyone around her is smoking, but I want some of it! Tom groveled to Karen on her building’s stoop and Derek basically fell to her feet at the Liaisons opening. Personally, I think Tom’s flowers were a bit over the top. The last muse I pissed off seemed perfectly content with the spray painted daisies I found on 43rd and 8th.

I must acknowledge that Princess Karen did show a glimmer of genuine emotion for how Ivy would feel should she accompany Tom to the opening night of Liaisons. Tom explained that Ivy, “understands the situation.” Thank god Ivy understands the situation, because I sure as hell don’t!

I guess Ivy just don’t give a shit that she spent ten years in the chorus to finally land a leading role in a production she is not proud of, while Karen only needed a little over a year to have her pick of the hottest projects in town. Ivy don’t give a shit because no matter how quickly starring on Broadway happens for Karen Cartwright, it’s still embarrassingly longer than it took for this guy…



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7.) SH-META : SMASH got so self-referencial this episode, I wondered if the writers just started doing direct transcriptions of actual conversations between people working on the show.

I get this feeling one of the writers was like, “Um. I don’t know how to write the scene for Ivy and Terry when he decides to go crazy at the Liaisons opening,” and another writer was like, “Just use that voice memo I took of our showrunner talking to Megan.”


I’ve been on the boards all afternoon. BroadwayWorld. All That Chat. TheatreMania. Did you know our show is, “meh”?


I’m sorry?


Yeah, I’ve been called a lot of things in my career, but meh? Is there anything worse? The only thing they seem to like is you. You said we’d made this better!


We did make it better. Better from terrible.


You think they’re right?


I don’t know what this show is anymore. I guess we didn’t have enough time to fix it. Can I make a confession? I wish I could get out of this show, I really hate it.


Oh, I hate you in it. I’m sorry. I do. You’re too good. It’s annoying.


There’s just something better for me out there. For you too.


I love that movie star Terry Falls gave a shout out to the message boards I never post on unless it’s to anonymously praise my own show. I’m certain the Andy Rooneys over at All That Chat are currently discussing the use of the word, “meh” and how it applies to everything they see now, because Merman did it better.

8.) Don’t Give a Shit: While we’re on the subject of Broadway themed web sites, when did go from being the unbiased source for theatre news to full on TMZ? Getting your name on used to be a rite of passage. Now they’re just doing schtick and writing sarcastic SMASH recaps.

As an actor, I’m contractually obligated to hate SMASH. But don’t give a shit either! They’re like, “I don’t care if this TV show is a national public love letter to our industry. I want to play, too!” I expect this behavior from BroadwayWorld, but Playbill? Maybe they should go back to the hard hitting journalism they’re used to… Like, trolling Michael Riedel’s column, casting notices, and everybody’s twitter page for news stories.

9.) Ana Must Really Suck: We got to see Ana play the lead role in Hit List. She’s great, and all. But she doesn’t have what Karen has. And I still don’t know what Karen has. Ana must be bad, because just the thought of Karen coming back to Hit List caused Kyle to hug her in the same tender way I hugged my urologist when he told me my hernia surgery recovery time wouldn’t delay getting hot for Broadway Bares.

10.) Ivy Don’t Give a Shit: Terry Falls’ unplanned departure from Liaisons will result in the loss of werk for hundreds of stagehands, actors, ushers, etc. I’m pissed. Those female ensemble costumes were so fabulous, I was hoping to see their Times Square counterparts give those Chicago flyer girls a run for their Hotcha.

I don’t ever want a show to close, no matter how much I may SMASH-talk it. But Ivy don’t give a shit! She’s like, “I’m gonna be Marilyn, bitches!!!” Ivy gave about as much of a shit that Veanne Cox was going to be out of a job as Veanne Cox did when she dicked over Meg Ryan by not doing her book signing at the Shop Around the Corner.

Ivy bolted out of the Broadway Theatre, gave a huge sigh of relief, and proudly began the long walk toward Times Square like she was Viola Davis at the end of The Help. She didn’t even acknowledge her clearly devastated cast. Fierce. That’s the Ivy Lynn I’m talkin’ about!


I did, in fact, have a SMASH induced dream last night that involved me meeting Debra Messing in a garden. She explained to me that it was time for her to quit the business and I valiantly tried to talk her out of it… I think this means it’s time for Game of Thrones to come back on.

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