Tagged: hit list

SMASH Don’t Give a Shit: “The Bells and Whistles”

Forgive me if this week’s recap is short and disconnected. I’ve been on the phone all day in negotiations for the pilot I booked before the show I am on was officially cancelled. I’m not sure why the last episode of SMASH is called, “The Bells and Whistles,” but since most of it revolved around being sexy, and bells and whistles are some of the safer props in Sondheim’s sex dungeon, I hope it has something to do with that.

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

1.) Julia is Going to Die: It was announced this week that Debra Messing booked a pilot for CBS and is expected to leave SMASH. Last time I checked, SMASH is moving to Saturday nights, and not quite ready for me to light a candle for it in church, next to the ones I dedicate weekly to NBC’s Bionic Woman and the new Knight Rider.

I can’t imagine Debra Messing throwing SMASH under the bus, so the only other possibility is that Julia is going to be the “one good death” this season. Debra Messing sure is lucky she’s on SMASH, because when you die on Mad Men, AMC makes you miss pilot season as to not raise suspicion. But NBC don’t give a shit! They’re like, “Yeah, Debra. That’s fine.”

2.) Mimi Márquez Becomes a PublicistIn typical SMASHion (SMASH Fashion), we got a new guest star that has an obvious connection to another guest star, but won’t ever share the frame with them. This time, Daphne Rubin-Vega kept her ass far away from Jesse L. Martin. I was stoked to see that Ms. Rubin-Vega has been working on her acting beats since her star turn as “Woman with Baby Voice” in the Sex and the City movie. All that Tennessee Williams must have paid off because she had to have a scene with Eileen, talk on the phone, and text all at the same time. Daphne better #werk! However, It was a little confusing when she said she, “hit menopause while on hold,” because we all know Ms. Rubin-Vega hit menopause somewhere around the second verse of “Out Tonight.”

3.) Tom’s Party: Tom Levitt threw a party for the Bombshell cast that was very similar to one of the post-conservatory anxiety nightmares I used to have. Singing and dancing around a piano with hats and canes? This party would have been totally cool when I was a senior in high school! We got to see Sam, Jessica, and Bobby do a cracked out version of “Good Mornin’,” complete with Toddlers and Tiaras facial expressions. I mean, Bobby was like one “oooh!” face away from doing cupcake hands. Whenever a party gets this awesome, I usually find a way to ninja out.

4.) SMASH Hates Lea Michele: A few weeks back, I suggested that Lea Michele might be on SMASH’s Shit List (a list comprised of Broadway names dropped on SMASH). This week it became clear that Lea Michele is on a completely different shit listJimmy’s shit list. I’d like to think Jimmy dated Lea Michele at one point because he seems to have a similar taste in women. Whether that be true or not, Jimmy hates Lea Michele. And SMASH hates Lea Michele more.

SMASH hates Lea Michele so much it equated her to Beetlejuice, a dead person whose sole purpose in life is to scare people away. I wish Jimmy said her name three times, like Derek suggested, and we just WENT THERE. Karen is halfway to Lydia Deetz as it is. In fact, Karen didn’t get to sing this episode and I was just waiting for her to write some pouty note that read:

i am alone. i am utterly alone.
by the time you read this i will be gone.
having jumped. having plummeted off the brooklyn bridge.

5.) That Awkward Moment When … :

  • The new staging for “Let Me Be Your Star” is to just have the ensemble stand around Marilyn and react at how good she is.
  • Bombshell ensemble member (Reed Kelly) stood between Julia and Tom to do some stretch mugging. You werk that penché!
  • PSM Linda wasn’t invited to Tom’s party. Nor was anyone over twenty-eight.
  • The Hit List plot line was interrupted just to show that Tom had gotten some.
  • Sam got a twelve hour “out” of his Book of Mormon contract.
  • Kyle finds out whatever is under his new boyfriend’s stocking hat.

6.) Bombshell is the New Spider-Man: Eileen keeps calling Bombshell the biggest musical to ever hit Broadway. She might be right. The Broadway production of Bombshell has been in rehearsals longer than Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark previewed. In the amount of time it has taken for Bombshell to make it to tech, Liaisons has rehearsed, previewed, opened, and closed, and Hit List has gone from fifteen pages of chicken scratch, to the Fringe, to rehearsing Off-Broadway.

If Bombshell is going to rival Spider-Man, it’s going to need a moment when Marilyn encounters a drag queen super villain tipping down center stage. They should cut the JFK number and just do that.

7.) Jimmy’s Obstacles: I felt like I was in some weird episode of The Twilight Zone because Jimmy started saying things that made sense. You know SMASH don’t give a shit when Jimmy Collins becomes the voice of reason. First, he slammed Derek for always adding crap to distract the audience from the plotand then ripped him a new one for basically copying Ghost. Jimmy must have started giving a shit, or reading the boards at BroadwayWorld.com.

Derek finally got a clue and listened to Jimmy. They had this awesome conversation about how “other people” get in the way of two people falling in love. Derek decided to take that concept literally when he staged the next number in .15 seconds.

We cut to Derek explaining to the cast how there are many “obstacles” getting in the way of Hit List’s two main characters. You know that scene in Wayne’s World, when Wayne opens the door to a bunch of ninjas training for a James Bond movie? This was just like that. Except, instead of ninjas, Derek opened the door to a Mia Michaels sweat shop.

8.) Tom the Lover: Tom pretty much just wanted to have sex in this episode. I wonder if he’s the same in bed as he is in the rehearsal room. If so, remind me never to date Tom Levitt. First he’d be like, “Oh, please. Do whatever you want! I’m open to suggestions! In fact, why doesn’t everyone just come over and show me what they like!” and then the second the lights went out he’d be like, “I’m sorry. I’d love to see you do it someday but it’s not working.”

9.) Scenes for Next Week: Apparently Bernadette Peters is coming back to SMASH next week. You wouldn’t know that by the “scenes for next week” featured at the end of the episode. Instead of giving us a sneak peak of whatever song Ivy’s mom decides to randomly pull out of her ass when she visits the Bombshell cast, we got to see a bunch of random clips of what looked like Jimmy stealing a watch that someone bought at Target. Werk, SMASH! Way to know your audience! If there’s one thing the musical theatre freaks left still watching this show love more than Sondheim’s muse, it’s that Jimmy plot line you haven’t touched since the last episode Kyle served a purpose.

10.) Ana is a Diva: Jesse L. Martin must not really give a shit about the Manhattan Theatre Workshop if he allowed Hit List to go into rehearsal before casting one of its starring roles. Ana decided she was pissed playing the sister and thought it was time to “put herself out there” and audition for the role of the Diva for Derek at the one place she feels most comfortable. A bar.

According to Ana, putting yourself “out there” includes chugging whiskey, singing about drinking “beer with the guys,” and nearly getting hit in the face by swinging balls. I’m not sure if Ana took any real risks here. This just sounds like a normal Thursday afternoon for her. In the end, Derek offered Ana the role and she honestly couldn’t give two shits. She was like, “That’s cool. Buy me booze.” Ana needs a spinoff.


Spielberg Don’t Give a Shit!

This may come as complete a shock, but Steven Spielberg is as an executive producer on SMASH. No joke. THE Steven Spielberg. Close Encounters Steven Spielberg. Munich Steven Spielberg. Saving Private Ryan Steven Spielberg. You know… GOD?

For a while, I actually wondered if Mr. Spielberg knew he was involved in producing SMASH or if he had lost a bet to NBC. Then I read somewhere that he often watched footage from season one while filming Lincoln. #AMAZEBALLS

I like to think that Daniel Day Lewis was occasionally ignored so Steven Spielberg could catch up on SMASH. I picture the director calling over a “Mary Todd-ed-out” Sally Field, to watch Ellis in all his glory. Spielberg would giddily exclaim, “Sally! You gotta see this! He put peanuts in her smoothie! Everyone knows Rebecca Duvall is allergic to peanuts!!!” Ms. Field would then return to the Craft service table and scoff to the crew, “Ugh. He’s watching his stories again…”

Allegedly, the production surrounding Lincoln was very serious. But I don’t buy all that oh-we-tried-to-stay-connected-to-Lincoln-and-the-time-period crap. Bull shit. You know everyone on the set of Lincoln was watching SMASH. Why? Because Steven Spielberg was. When the creative mind behind The Goonies finds time to watch Uma Thurman awkwardly stumble through a SMASHtastic Bollywood number, SO SHOULD YOU. He’s Steven EFFING Spielberg. And Steven Spielberg don’t give a shit!

If Steven Spielberg gave a shit about SMASH, I think we’d see a bit more of his influence throughout the series. Sure, Karen Cartwright and Kate Capshaw have the same initials. That’s not enough! Karen and Ivy may have a lovely little Duel going on, but when is Ivy going to stalk Karen behind the wheel of a tanker truck? Jennifer Hudson and Sheryl Lee Ralph were thoughtful guest stars, but why not Oprah and Whoopi? I mean, Jimmy is about four angry faces away from being Harpo Johnson anyway. And it’s evident that Karen is an Extra-Terrestrial, so when are we just going to send her home?

SMASH is missing the special Spielberg magic that could really turn their ratings around. If you’re out there, Mr. Spielberg, I have a few suggestions…

(Get ready because I’m about to get seriously Dawson Leery right now.)

1.) Hire Don Draper

Let’s start with the advertising. It needs a complete overhaul. That flashy season two campaign was a nice thought, but it didn’t #werk. However, playing on nostalgia never misses the mark…



The terrifying dramatic series

from the terrifying world of musical theatre.


“We’re going to need a bigger budget!”

This approach has it all! It draws in Generation Xers and features a sexy blonde “bombshell.” One must also note that the shark is not only symbolic of Marilyn Monroe’s inevitable demise, but SMASH and NBC’s as well! I’d watch THAT show. Furthermore, I don’t think there is an actor alive who hasn’t felt like the girl in this poster during pilot season. #symbolism


2.) Play the Awards Card

You want Hit List to be like Rent and NOT like Glory Days. How do you do that? STICK WITH WHAT WORKS…




“It gets pretty dark… I’m warning you…just…everybody dies…in the end.”



3. Throw in Something for the Kids

SMASH may be on late but that doesn’t mean you should just forget about the preteens. You want to make #smashtag a nationwide trending topic? GET THE KIDS ON BOARD…



You Know That Place Between Sleep and Awake?

That Place Where You Still Remember Dreaming?

That’s Where We’ll Always Love You, Marilyn…


“She can fly! She can fight! And she can… BELT!”

You’ll really nab the coveted 7-14 demo by throwing some pirates and mermaids into Bombshell. And Maggie Smith. Always Maggie Smith.


4.) Go Blockbuster or Go Home

You need a movie to get the music out there and a hit franchise is a great place to start! I hear you and Mr. Lucas have been struggling with a story idea for a certain college professor of archaeology…



The Man with the Hat is Back. And This Time, He’s Bringing His Rep Book!


“Dancers. I hate these guys.”


The women of Indiana Jones consist of Marion Ravenwood, Willie, the hot Nazi, and Marion again. Why not add Marilyn Monroe to the mix?

The last Indy film took place in 1957 and my concept for the fifth installment in the series is fierce… It’s 1958. Some Like it Hot is filming at the Hotel Del Coronado. Indiana Jones travels to California in search of an ancient Kumeyaayan artifact that is thought to be hidden deep within a Native American burial ground, underneath the historic hotel. Conflict ensues when Indy believes Marilyn is the key to the artifact’s power and all its secrets. Indy learns that the Kumeyaayan treasure provides the gift of song to whoever possesses it. To save Marilyn from angered spirits, Indiana Jones must use the artifact to perform a one man cabaret that includes: “Let Me Be Your Star,” “Let’s Be Bad,” and of course, “Second Hand White Baby Grand.”

You’re welcome, Mr. Spielberg.


5.) Do a Spin-off

Every successful TV series has a spin-off. It shows how popular you are! Like, you’re sooo big you need TWO shows to satisfy all that story. It’s best when the spin-off airs concurrently with the original series (I’m looking at you, Joey). Grey‘s Anatomy had Private Practice. The Bachelor has The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad. All in the Family had Maude, The Jeffersons, and Good Times all at the same time. Heck, Mr. Spielberg, you did it yourself with Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain!

It’s been stated that Tony Kushner’s original screenplay for Lincoln was five-hundred pages and only filmable as a TV mini-series. Why not get Mr. Kushner on board a SMASH spin-off? I smell Emmy! Except… I’ve found someone even more polarizing than the 16th President of the United States…




“It’s time for me to go. But I would rather stay.”


6.) When All Else Fails

Add dinosaurs.