SMASH Don’t Give a Shit: “The Phenomenon”

Sometimes, when I watch SMASH, I feel like I’m being tied to the hood of a yellow rental truck, being packed in with fertilizer and fuel oil, pushed over a cliff by a suicidal Mickey Mouse. But I know the pain will ease if I can learn that SMASH don’t give a shit what I think. And that is why I love it.

What’s the time? Well it’s gotta be close to “SMASH Don’t Give a Shit” time…

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

1.) Karen & Derek Throw Caution & Calories to the Wind: I often lie awake at night wishing I lived in the land of SMASH, where hangovers and carbohydrates cease to exist. We last left Derek and Karen going home together, where I assumed Derek removed his pants and donned an oversized button down shirt to seduce Karen, but once again, I was wrong. Instead we see that Joanie and Chachi spent the evening giggling like school girls while mixing wine AND beer. Between the expensive bottles of Bordeaux and the various handcrafted beers made in local breweries, I’m going to estimate that Karen and Derek cashed about 2,000 calories each.

The characters on SMASH have the metabolisms of sixteen year old basketball players. We’ve seen them house everything from Shake Shack to Magic Hat without so much as a minor booze bloat. I guess following your dreams AND watching your back burns more calories than one would imagine. While all this late night drinking is a pretty fair representation of how my life looks during my second unemployment extension, I think that if NBC opted for a lower calorie Subway product placement option, SMASH could have healthily CHUCKed their way to a third season.

2.) PSM Linda Don’t Werk Before Noon: Whenever I get insanely envious of the characters on SMASH, I am reminded that they often have eight a.m. call times. Karen and Derek drank until five a.m., then commented on how they had rehearsal in three hours, which means that Sam Strickland’s “put in” was for eight in the freakin’ morning. Again, you can’t screlt when you’re worn out and tired. No wonder Linda stayed at Bombshell. She may have been forced to completely re-stage a number after opening night, but you know she ain’t doing it before noon. That’s my kind of stage manager. If I ever have a first day of school situation where I find out that Montego Glover is my PSM, I’m walking the fuck out.

3.) Don’t Breathe Too Deep, Jimmy: All of Jimmy Collins’ self-loving fantasies came true when he manifested a clone to serenade him all the way to Karen’s apartment, where they could climb through her window and perform some sort of Jimmy on Jimmy on Karen threesome. I actually think I saw that episode of Clarissa Explains It All. Little did our hero know, Derek was inside telling Karen to, “be my lover, and I’ll cover you... with this blanket… so you can meet Jimmy at the window.”

The sight of Derek causes Jimmy to storm off, and I can only assume he returned to Adam’s Breaking Bad Bungalow. Can we take a minute for the shit show at Adam’s house? I’m in love with the set decorator on this episode. The coffee table that held all the evidence of Jimmy’s bender was complete with the usual suspects: cigarettes! marijuana! cocaine! granny candies?

Screen shot 2013-05-06 at 12.10.58 PM

No joke… Is that a Werther’s Original?

4.) Seriously, Where Does Ana Sleep?: Does Ana work doubles at the Cat Scratch Club? We haven’t seen her spend the night in her own apartment since SMASH aired on a Tuesday. Where exactly in the city of neon and chrome does Ana expect to sleep when Karen has turned the place into a revolving door of douchery? I’d like to believe that in the SMASHiverse, full production contract tours are still the norm, and Ana bought her apartment with money she saved doing West Side Story last season. Then we can at least believe Ana is making money off of Karen. That is the only way I’ll accept their living arrangement.

5.) That Awkward Moment When … :

  • Derek’s honeybear nearly made contact with Karen’s pookie.
  • It was not Julia’s lucky day on Avenue A, because you know Scott ain’t putting out until she secures the Gatsby rights.
  • Tom made a booty call to confirm he has the best ass below fourteenth street, because that’s where NYU is, and Tom preys on students.
  • Christmas bells are ringing in the SMASHiverse… or the East Village just don’t take down decorations.

6.) The SMASHiverse Don’t Give a Shit: SMASH has always existed in some kind of parallel universe to our own. This is known as the SMASHiverse. In the SMASHiverse, everything that has happened on Broadway in real life, has more or less happened in SMASH… (save a few teeny-tiny details). You may find yourself growing frustrated with how things werk in the SMASHiverse, so I ask you to be kind and don’t lose your mind, and allow me to clear some things up for you:

  1.  Harold & Maudethe musical was a smash (#ohmygoditotallyjustgotwhythisshowiscalledsmash) on the West End, but I don’t think it’s the same production that Roseanne’s mom did at Paper Mill Playhouse when I was in middle school. Maybe in the SMASHiverse, there are two versions of Harold & Maude but neither Wild Party’s exist.
  2. Pippin and The Mystery of Edwin Drood still happen in the same season.
  3. Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella did not (Glass. Slippers. Are. Never mind I’ve done this joke like 12 times).
  4. Jennifer Damiano is finally getting paid her dues for Spider-Man.
  5. An Off-Broadway Karen Cartwright can actually pose a threat to Audra.
  6. Once, the New York Theatre Workshop, and another show that I can’t seem to put my finger on also existed.

That settles a few thing, right? I think we’re…we’re okay.

7.) Sometimes Foreplay Werks: Eileen Rand has been cock teasing us with a martini toss all season. Every time Eileen picks up alcohol around Jerry, he asks if she’s going to throw it. And then she doesn’t! When Eileen boldly confronted Jerry at Table 46, I was prepared to be let down again. But as I watched her stroke that Manhattan, something felt different. Eileen had fire in her eyes. They were hot, hot, hot, sweat, sweet. They were giving me wet, wet, wet, red, heat. Then, as if in slow motion, Eileen unloaded the cocktail all over Jerry’s face. It was like fluid! No Fluid! No! Contact! YES! Fourteen episodes of foreplay and it was worth the wait. Then when all was said and done, and poor Jerry was left there drenched, all I could think was, “This boy could use some Stoli... because bourbon stains.”

8.) Frank DiLella, NEW yorrk WON: I should tell you, SMASH has been known to shoehorn in some pretty obscure cameos in its time. The most obscure cameo, to end all obscure cameos, came in the form of Frank DiLella. I should tell you, not only do you need to live in New York City to know who Frank DiLella is, you need to have also not thrown your Time Warner cable box out the window for being the worst thing to happen to anything ever.

For those outside the NYC/Time Warner bubble, I should tell you that Frank DiLella is a producer and reporter for “On Stage,” NY1’s weekly half-hour theater program. NY1 is a 24-hour cable-news television channel focusing on the five boroughs of New York City that is owned by Time Warner Cable and filmed in a basement studio apartment in Chelsea. I should tell you, Mr. DiLella also co-hosts the Tonys red carpet coverage, has exactly one more scripted network television credit than me, and is gifted with the sweet, sing-songy vocal cadence of a young Tricia Takanawa.

9.) Ana’s 12 Step Program: LOL. Just kidding. Ana didn’t enter a 12 Step Program. She did, however, give a subtle eye-roll that should be studied by anyone who is majoring in sarcasm. Jimmy refused to partake in the open container champagne toast outside the Bombshell theatre because I assume he didn’t want to get charged with a misdemeanor. Oh, and he’s trying to cut back. When Jimmy said, “I’m not really drinking anymore,” Ana gave an eye-roll that was so restrained, I don’t even think Liz Lemon herself could have picked up on it. It was the perfect blend of, “yeah right” and “thank God I’m not you” with a slight panicky hint of, “if you’re sober they may look to me to start giving up my vices.”

10.) Anybody Else Have a Craving for Veal Chop and Clams Casino?The last thirty seconds of this week’s episode of SMASH showed us the Hit List cast filming a commercial for Bond 45. I turned the television off and had a strange craving for ITALIAN! SEAFOOD! STEAK! And this, after my Star Wars Day/Derby Day/5th of May gorge fest where I stuffed myself with five miso soups, four seaweed salads, three soy burger dinners, two tofu dog platters, and one pasta with meatless balls. And it doesn’t taste the same, FYI.

One More Thought…

No, wait…I actually think I’ve covered it all. I hope there wasn’t anything in this episode that was egregiously overlooked.


  1. Heart

    The flashbacks were over the top cheesy but what was more melodramatic was Karen choking back her “I love you” to Jimmy. When did Smash turn into “Dawson’s Creek”? Grow up.

  2. matthewpd

    Stevachu-I think Kyle’s death is commented on with the oh-so-subtle hints of RENT throughout.

    But agreed about Kyle. The only somewhat normal person that exists in the SMASHiverse. Even if he inexplicably had an affair with Tom when he had a boyfriend who was more than fiiiiiiine.

  3. Renee

    Hahahaha! All I could think of, other than Jeremy Jordan singing, was “I want to go to Bond45. RIGHT NOW!”

  4. Stevachu

    UMMMMMM KYLE BEING DEAD? We all saw it coming, but can we quickly discuss the flashbacks that eventually lead to a pedophilic Glee spin-off between Kyle and Tom? Cus anyone can just play their grand piano at 4 in the morning in Manhattan without 5 angry neighbors banging on the door. Also, a quick note on how they chose to kill the one character who actually healthily contributed to the universe: WHAT A SURPRISE, SMASH. Obviously that’s the point, but now who am I supposed to like/have romantic fantasies about? Agnes?

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