Smash: The One With The Bollywood Number
By the time Smash-o’clock arrived last night, and the greatest dramatic program since M.A.S.H. began warming the screens of every good American last night, I was halfway down the bottle of a reasonably priced (10 bucks you guys!) bottle of pinot noir, and still reeling from a 48-hour period that had presented me with bleak, unsettling television in the form of The Killing, Mad Men, and Game of Thrones.
“Oh no,” I moaned through purple lips, chubby fist pummeling a nearby overstuffed pillow, “I have to watch Smash? Now? I have to watch Smash WHILE Smashed?” It was not the first time the joke had been made, but I think it was the first time I’d made it in the company of friends Nick and Nora and so we all had a good chuckle, mainly to humor me.
The episode began, and the wine combined with the lackluster start to the episode made me sleepy – but my malaise was not to last very long, you see, because while the gay men are still allowed little more than a chaste, passing, tearful (more on THAT later) buss, straight girls are more than welcome to be gay girls – wearing pants and everything, couldn’t you just DIE? – provided it’s all a means towards an end.
…And what an end! Amiright, boys? Rebecca Duvall (Uma Thurman, gorgeous, talented, and wonderfully strange as ever is sadly miscast – this role of crazed superstar belongs to a Jennifer Biel-esque amber-eyed monster roughly 15 years Thurman’s junior. I make no apologies. I, like the great white way, am a known ageist. More directly – old people are the worst! ) is getting her scheme on and stirrin’ up a storm of kale smoothies and backstabbery. Ellis – looking the BEST he has ever looked in a mustard cardi (can’t you actually see the costumer sneer as they pull this from the rack all the while going “Ugggggh classic Ellis.”) is taking care of business, and by business I mean gently squeezing the forearm of Ron Howard’s other brother (I must credit the Nick half of the N and N twosome previously mentioned) and telling him secrets as a means towards making amends for having inadvertently told him to his face that he sucks that Director Derek looks at sadly deceased anorexic Karen Carpenter as his muse.
The saddest ginger in the world takes this news and scuttles back up Rebecca’s leg spewing venom in her ear, and she puts away her Hattori Hanzo sword for another day, for another battle, and decides instead that there is only one way to kill her already-dead enemy: Make Her Sing Coldplay And Give Her The Moon! That’s right, Rebecca gives her the star treatment and Karen laps it up, like me and a dish of creme fraiche brought to my bedside by one of the seven Michael Pitt impersonators I keep in my apartment by enthralling them with the audacious power of my feminine honeypot.
Rebecca’s plan to destroy Karen – death by implied lesbianism! Death by new clothes! Death by tequila shots! Is slowly but surely working – and party of that plan, to undermine Karen’s relationship with Dev – finally breaks Karen, causing her to enter into a racially charged Bollywood fever dream that is inarguably the highlight of the episode. While Dev and Rebecca duke it out verbally, Smash backs away from the conflict and into Karen’s dream-life, which is apparently Disney’s Aladdin. In it, she is wooed by Dev, she apparently knows all about Eileen and her boyfriend, a chair from Keith Richards’s house, and where she has secret insight into the boring, fracturing family dynamic of the worst human being to ever dress like Roger from American Dad, Julia.
That’s right. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for stupid, thoughtless, emotionally dense Julia – it does. having been denied a new sibling of his own by his separating parents – her son kidnaps and murders a baby. An impressive feat indeed for a bucket of oatmeal! But actually he ran away from home, temporarily bringing Julia and Frank together as they gaped at the Best Cop in New York who said “I won’t lie to you. And I know it’s only been two days. But your son is dead.” I paraphrase. But not by a lot. It turns out that he wasn’t, sadly, dead, but staying at his buddy’s house and everything was fine and they had pasta that looked like something that had been sitting out in Union Square park for a full, August day. Problem solved!
Luckily it took long enough to solve for Ivy to get to making a little mischief with some help from Ellis, the custard king himself! Ivy uses Karen’s absence to get Ellis to tell Karen not to show up for rehearsal, meaning Ivy gets her song – and what a song it is! I maybe loved it? Nick and Nora laughed at this, but then both quietly sung their own renditions later on in the evening so you guys, I think we have a winner – though it might need a hint less Les Mis and shit ton more Bollywood to really wow contemporary audiences.
Ivy sings the fuck out that song! And I’m glad she had her moment in the sun because it is only a matter of seconds before her little plot is revealed and people are yelling and Julia has to lie down. I’m also glad that Ivy’s glory was immediately followed by Ivy’s comeuppance as Rebecca Duvall realizes this song is a show stopper and upon Ivy’s completion of it demands it be added to her own roster of mediocre cooing.
Did somebody say mediocre cooing?! IT WAS ME GUYS! It was also Tom, who was so touched by The bucket’s runaway antics that he burst into tears that were chastely kissed away by his new non-lover. I was furious! They are cockteases! I want man on man and I want it now or one of the Michael Pittlets GETS IT. I received now justice that day, but I did receive Eileen ditching BAM at intermission declaring a play boring and going to her sexy manwich’s apartment to GET HER FREAK ON! I loved it! I was all “ANJELICA HUSTON YOU ARE SO GOOD LOOKING AND THAT GUY’S APARTMENT IS FULL OF PICTURES OF WHALES WHICH I DON’T – I DON’T UNDERSTAND BUT AM OKAY WITH?”
NBC promises with bated breath that the lead up to the season finally will be so good all our souls will collectively ejaculate and lingual marmosets will enter step dancing leagues, but unless what we get is Eileen playing all the other characters I remain skeptical.