Smash S01E06: Burning The Pancakes
    • TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012

    • Posted by: Joe Puglisi

    This week on Smash: Bar Mitzvahs, cracking voices, crushes, video games, this is starting to sound a lot like 7th grade, isn't it? Let's jump right in-- something is wrong with Ivy's voice (which she discovers while sing-waking-up, the most annoying of casual singing), so she does what any respectable woman would do, and tries to cover up her emotions by offering Derek coffee. Meanwhile, Eileen is meeting with her favorite producer, Ralph. Ralph isn't interested in producing Marilyn, but he's intrigued! Oh the subtle difference between INTERESTED and INTRIGUED. Kind of like how I'm not interested in any of Smash's characters but I'm intrigued about how bad they can possibly screw up my Tuesday with their actions.

    Derek compares the hole in the script to a giant black hole. Marilyn, The Red Dwarf, the black hole in the middle of the script, I'm surprised Ivy Linsensativity-Training didn't overhear this tirade and make it about her. Ivy Ivy Ivy! Ellis is creeping in the corner as the adults argue over the bits of missing script. Creepy! Eileen is using Ellis as a spy! Who cares! The emotional stakes of Ellis are kind of like Sam's believability as a sports fan: nonexistent, and continually making me consider hanging myself with one of Julia's art-hag scarfs. Recap meany level: Derek.

    Karen flips out over her credit card bill, with a monthly total that almost touches my bar tab from last night. Seriously, is Dev paying her iPhone bill? Or does being from Iowa make her some sort of extreme couponer? I DEMAND ANSWERS. This is New York City, not Springfield. If you have a credit card bill under $400, you obviously spend the majority of your time eating dollar slice and hiding in your rich foreign boyfriend's apartment and ONE OF THOSE DOES NOT ADD UP. Karen doesn't have that "dollar slice" midriff.

    Ivy's vocal issues are confirmed as problematic during rehearsal. Everyone exchanges a "plot changing!" look. Looks like a good time for the credits.


    Right. Dance rehearsal. Karen dumps her bag and then Michael Swift starts hitting on her. Haha. Joe "hungry for taken woman," this guy. Karen conveniently drops her stuff behind the piano, where she (hidden) overhears the adults talking about grown-up things. Missing script. Unreliable cast. Ivy is hyper-sensitive to drugs, so treating her swollen throatparts will be tough.This is Karen's chance! To step in and be the star! No Derek bangers involved! I wonder if Ivy's throat is sore from constantly sucking all that jazz! Sorry, everybody.

    Derek drops the "you better get better quick or we'll have to replace you" bomb on Ivy, who looks pretty miserable that she's been s'ing his d and this is the thanks she gets. She decides to take lots of drugs to get herself ready and we already know SHE'S HYPER SENSITIVE TO DRUGS! WE JUST GOT TOLD THIS! I'm a bit disappointed the previews for this episode made it seem like she was doing actual drugs, or at least taking a bunch of pills to, as the kids say, "get stoned, man." But it's all prescription and tame. Smash can only be edgy with the one thing network TV has embraced: strangely unfulfilled infidelity.

    Karen is considering learning the Marilyn parts. Dev "Secretary of the Obvious" tells Karen "you better do it fast." TWSS!

    Meanwhile in Teatown, Julia is fantasizing about making out with Michael the homewrecker when she burns the pancakes. METAPHOR ALERT. This show really burns my pancakes. Her son is being understandably douchey, because he saw his mom kissing a dude with tattoos because he sang to her, and largely ignored her science teacher husband. Is this an Ernest Hemingway short story?

    Ivy is taking her prescribed prescription drugs (prescribed by a doctor) in order to maintain her spot in the spotlight, are we supposed to be nervous because she's just kind of sensitive to them? Give me a break. Meanwhile, Ivy is too big for her old gig, singing at Bar Mitzvahs, so it gets passed down to a random ensemble member, who passes it on to Karen. Haha. What kind of kid wants a D-list Broadway singer to perform at their Bar Mitzvah? Meanwhile again (this episode has plotline ADD), Michael's got some big balls, continuing to hit on Julia, and I don't feel bad for either of them. Love conquers all, especially familial responsibility and common sense. Seriously, you have A CHILD. KEEP IT IN YOUR PANTS, TATTOO.

    Julia confesses to Tom that she kissed Tattoo outside her house. "He sanggggg to me" is her totally reasonable excuse. Kit-Kat Bar, amirite? Tom has an entire Apple showroom in his living room, which is good, because no one can be a real artist without at least $5,000 of Apple gear in tow. Steve Jobs just high-fived St. Peter for the umpteenth time this week. Everyone has an iPad 4 in Heaven.

    Rich Eileen goes out with Ellis and hits up a local dive bar. She discovers poor people and Big Buck Hunter. Look peasants, she's just like us! Look out, ex-husband! Eileen's got a gun! Never mind that it shoots little electronic infrared bullets at binary expressions of animals, she's a great shot! METAPHORS ERRYWHERE!

    Then they really burn the pancakes. Ivy has a "personal musical moment" and it's as clumsy as those kids-becoming-men Karen is about to sing for. Yo, Smash, Beyonce isn't in this show, why are we suddenly in an R&B music video? Ivy looks at the camera, breaking the fourth wall. Barf. And then, as if it couldn't get any worse, Ivy has her Gollum moment, but her other half is Karen dressed as Marilyn, taunting her about not being good enough. One Marilyn to rule them all. If we can just get Smash back to the fires of Mt. Doom, without the wraithful eye of SauroNBC, we can restore peace to the republic. Where's Sam when you need him to provide some context for all the people out there with other interests other than Wicked.

    Karen is singing at Ethan's bar mitzvah, and she sucks at being a Jew, that's for sure, but she nails a Florence song, despite it being YET ANOTHER forced entry of a current popular powerful lady-fronted pop tune into a show about musicals. Oh, great. I was hoping for an awkward tween dancing scene. Thanks Smash. What is that ridiculous wrist shake move? Sit down, kids.

    Tom is meeting people at his boo (esq) 's ridiculous apartment, and the trust fundees are laughing off his suggestion that they invest in Broadway. Us too, we have so much in common! Ivy is having another panic attack and assembles her crisis team, and it includes Tom and Sporty McMyMets. In case we forgot Sam's the token sport-loving-Gay, he's also sporting a backwards hat, and mentions another New York sports team (the Rangers). But let's not pigeonhole him. Maybe next week he can organically bring up the New York Red Bulls.

    Speaking of bs: I'm sorry, but Michael is a douche. I'd understand if he was single, but he's not, he's an adult and married and has a baby and he's really pushing it, and I'm not sympathetic to his "romantic plight" at all. Him and Julia are just being stupid. They meet in the middle of the night in the dance studio and Julia is laying down the ground rules and already we can see where this is going-- right to the couch-based sexy time. "I can't think if you touch me." "I can't think if we don't." Are those pancakes I smell burning? Julia looks like she's gonna cry and all I can think about is how devastated Tea must be about Michael's pecs. "No one has to know." Bitch please. That only works in real life, buddy. THIS. IS. BROADWAY. And also a drawn-out narrative on prime-time TV, so someone is going to find out.

    This show is acting like it's singing at a Bar Mitzvah to a bunch of ten-year-olds. Meanwhile at the actual Bar Mitzvah, some half-baldy gives Karen his business card, and he is obviously important because hello! Jewish! He's the Tommy Matolla of Smash! Thanks friends, we need to compare all of our imaginary characters to real people in order to understand who they are supposed to be instead of wasting time showing. Telling is the new showing. Pancakes are the new tea. I am the new suicide.

    Finally we reach this week's Marilyn musical number-- didn't Michael and Teaburglar just do it on the couch they're using as a prop? Awkward. Ivy snaps (finally) and lays the insults on Derek for being so hard on her (literally and metaphorically), stereotypical jabs at the male ego, etc.

    Ralph (remember him? He's the (insert famous producer) of Smash. He meets the gang at the Bushwack (the peasant bar) for some buck hunting/toasting to their success/barf. Seriously, someone wipe the target off Jerry's head, because Eileen is shooting to kill. With metaphor bullets. I wish she would shoot me instead.

    I apologize for this recap, mainly because I am South By South Stressed this week. So take what you can get, sports fans. Except you, Sam. You're a poseur.

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