“Oh hey, oh hi everyone! I am television show on a major network in the United States of American, how are you? Me? Oh, LOL, I am O.K. I had a brownie for breakfast and also I am going to prominently feature a storyline about women being sexually exploited in the workplace – you know, FOR FUNSIES!” That was me pretending I was the television show Smash. It was anthropomorphic. It was gifted. It was the best thing you have ever seen.

I have bandied about the word ‘impressed’ when it comes to the sexual politics of this show, and now, I am return to you, tow head bowed and quietly murmur “I was wrong. So very wrong.” Sure, it was an eye-rollingly obvious cliché of a choice to have the busty ambitious theatre-blonde bang the director and get the part – I admit that, I never DIDN’T admit that. But you made up for, show with a penchant for brownies for breakfast, creating this weird balance of manipulation, power, and attraction between Karen and Derek. If I had known then what I know now, I would’ve stayed mum, I would’ve been more critical.

Because this week Smash not only dipped its toe into straight up soap opera plot lines, it fully dived into the deep end in terms of treating women badly all the way around the show.

First up, there was poor little Ivy. You know, Ivy? The curvy theatre-blonde recently cast as Miss Marilyn herself? She has sex with Derek the Director last week and it was a bit of cliché but I forgave it. I shouldn’t have. Because yeah, you know, here’s Ivy, stumbling home post shag session with the director and it finally occurs to her: Did I Get The Part Because I Slept With Him? WHAAAAT? I may have paused the episode, scampered off to get sunglasses, put on the sunglasses and said, “Bitch Please,” before removing them (it was dark) to resume my viewing. Let the record show before I proceed – I would be really sad if anyone took away from this recap that I was an advocate for slut shaming. Sluts are awesome, people who love sex are awesome, we as a gender have come too far to start sneering at each other for something as personal as our sex lives. That said, Ivy has been a chorus girl in New York City for a really, really, really long time. She has wanted to be a lead in a Broadway show for a really, really, long time. I find it impossible to believe that sleeping with Derek in the midst of a prolonged and high pressure audition environment and not thinking about how sleeping with him could help or hurt your chances is garbage. Strangely, by making Ivy seem that naive they rip her power away from her. It’s gross, it’s sad, and Megan Hilty deserves better. As if that weren’t bad enough, we have to witness her friends fake reassure her “Oh girl, no he loves you! And you are a star! Look, here he is at the show we are all in! And now you are having intercourse in the dressing room whilst we all listen! Because he respects you and loves you~” Ivy. IVY! NO.

You know who else I say no to? KAREN. The bitch is summoned to meet up with Derek. At a bar. Late at night. One on one. I loved that is revealed Karen’s grasping nature, and it was cool to hear Derek say real things like “Clearly we couldn’t cast you because you aren’t experienced,” but his implications that “anything can happen on Broadway” while leering at the newest member of his ensemble officially begins the battle of Derek’s Pants And Also A Part. Tacky and disgusting. So it’s not enough to have two women fighting over a role, we have to make it be about a dick to be understandable. That’s lame. But not as lame at Dev showing up at the bar, having a Lame British-Off with Derek and then taking Karen home and cajoling her into playing another bizarre sex game thus stripping Karen of any power that she may have had left – I tossed my hands up, I literally did.

Are you enthralled? Are you appalled? Could it get any worse? Yes. Yes. And of course. Ivy confides about her boning Derek to her friend (BOSS) Tom who is rightfully – HORRIFIED! Tom goes to Julia to be all “LET US EXPRESS OUR SHARED HORROR!” and Julia, Julia, Julia is all “Meh. It doesn’t matter.” WAY TO BE AN ADVOCATE AND PROTECTOR OF LADIES! YOU ARE THE WORST! We are supposed to be nice to Julia this week because they have just cast An Actor She Had An Affair With as a major role in the musical and this has caused her to cover her face in makeup and her being in ennui – but I’m sorry, I don’t care. Ivy’s revelation about sleeping with the director should have been a big deal. And it straight up wasn’t to Julia because she had bigger fish to fry.

One fish that actually merited frying went neglected. I do not mean catfish, though it is delicious. I mean Ellis! Tom’s assistant – WHO IS NOT GAY APPARENTLY? – has finally decided that he deserves MOOLASH (that is moolah and cash having a baby) for having uh, given Tom and Julia the idea for Marilyn. I’m team Ellis. For real. Well, in theory. If you go back and watch the pilot – the dude inspired the whole project! And even though he later on bungled and filmed something he shouldn’t have, Julia had a lot of hate for him from go FOR NO REASON. I do not approve of his methods – re: stealing Julia’s song notebook thing or whatever. That was dumb. Also dumb, him PERPETUALLY EAVESDROPPING and finding out about Julia’s affair. That was lame.

So stuff made me angry, was lame, was melodramatic, offensive – but there were songs. And I liked them. Thus does the world of entertainment end, not with a bang, but with a ballad.

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