Smash Review: Did Bombshell Bomb?

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Bombshell was rushed into workshop and quickly made it to out of town on "Previews." As Rebecca was put to the test, all Smash fans wondered: could she pull off Marilyn? Did the audience love the musical?

Those questions were answered during the first preview performance with a resounding NO. Though the audience did applaud and enjoy the songs throughout Bombshell, the ending was too morose. Perhaps Marilyn's suicide would be a good conclusion for a tragedy, but not an otherwise upbeat musical.

Rebecca Performs In Show Previews

One highlight of the preview was the new Karen and Ivy song "Smash!" that was added during tech. Even though neither of them are the lead, it gave them an opportunity to showcase their talents together. Also, it led to a touching moment with the two former (and future?) rivals acknowledging each other's talent.

With the Marilyn suicide ending out, what will Julia come up with? She seemed confident at the church that she thought of something brilliant. With that update and Rebecca out, the musical is sure to receive a standing ovation. Or so they can hope.

Are you glad to see Rebecca go? She ended up being much better than expected, but she never reached the levels of either Karen or Ivy. She may have been a movie star, but she wasn't destined to be one on Broadway.

I'm surprisingly disinterested in finding out who put the peanuts in her smoothie. Rebecca knew that her drink was tainted and not only took a small sip, but a large gulp after. If the production does find the culprit, they should be dismissed immediately. But if they don't it's no loss; in the end, it worked out for all involved. Rebecca was "scared" and needed to be replaced.

We are back to the same old question: Who should be Marilyn? This is a difficult one. As a viewer, we know everything that Ivy has done. She may be the one with the experience and she definitely has the talent, but does she have the strength to pull it off? From a karma standpoint, she shouldn't be rewarded for her bad behavior, but it may be what's best for Bombshell.

Karen is the innocent one. She hasn't done anything to hurt anyone and is dependable. She is just as talented a singer and dancer as Ivy, but green. She has never been in a production before, especially not as the lead. She can pull it off, but will the producers even give her the opportunity?

Who put peanuts in Rebecca's smoothie? Does it matter?

Who should be Marilyn now?

Odds and Ends

  • Dev and Ivy slept together. Ugh! Yes, they were drunk and upset, but they knew they would be hurting Karen. What did she ever do to deserve such horrible treatment? I hope that the secret never comes out, but it probably will.
  • I had mixed feelings about the proposal conversation between Karen and Dev. She was so sweet and forgiving. Unfortunately, Dev didn't deserve it. Not sure the wedding will ever happen.
  • Hooray to Julia for pushing Michael away.
  • When Nick followed Ellis out of the restaurant, did they have words? I could see Nick threatening Ellis. If it happened, too bad it was off-screen.
  • Outside the church was Dev about to tell Karen the truth?
  • After Derek's confession that "Rebecca needs his attention....," Ivy better never take him back. He is not boyfriend material.
  • It was a rough road for Julia and Tom, but they made up. Sam was right that they are like a married couple. They fight and they make up. The unison "I'm sorry." was touching.
  • The church scene was one of my favorite of the series. It was perfect to see the cast bond together through the bad times and not at a bar. "Stand" was beautifully sung by Sam and Karen. Also, a new favorite.


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (22 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


CLARIFICATION to Part II below: Meant to write, "This is ALSO true if you're a Christian invited by a Jewish friend to a wedding or event at a synagogue. Y'all are welcome! What is the big deal?"


Part III...(continued from below) Every music LOVER should learn how the roots of singing traditional Christian hymns helped slaves to survive their captivity and develop a unique cultural heritage. The jazz that influenced Gershwin, Porter & Berlin had its beginnings in gospel, which shouldn't detract or diminish any composition.


Part II....@StBob - Why do you think a church scene would be offensive to gays, Jews & lovers of musicals? Truly puzzled. Do you really paint all denominations with the same paintbrush & have no knowledge of their different beliefs (big mistake!). Here's the truth - PLENTY of gay people are Christian. Many Christian families love their gay sons & daughters, and are active in their churches. Jewish people are welcome to enter a Christian church at any time to participate, and it in no way is a slight on their faith or cultural heritage. The opposite is true if you're a Christian invited by a Jewish friend to a wedding or event at a synagogue. Y'all are welcome! What is the big deal? And, for goodness sake's - how exactly did singing gospel insult lovers of musicals? That one truly baffles me! If music has played a big part in any American community through the years, it's the African-American community. Every music LOVER should learn how the roots of singing traditional Christian hymns strengthened slaves' resolve to survive, and how that morphed into gospel music & jazz through the centuries.


Derek isn't boyfriend material, you say? I think he would wholeheartedly agree! He never saw himself as Ivy's boyfriend; just as two "professionals" paying each other a little "attention." Ivy's feelings for him are probably entangled with her ambition to either play Marilyn, or become as beloved as MM with all her romantic problems & emotional frailty. Considering the pill-popping and how quickly she dove onto Derek's casting couch, I wonder if Ivy character is blurring the lines between reality & fantasy, trying to act like MM in order to play MM. Careful, girl. Loved the scene w/Eileen singing "September Song." Yes, I was fully aware of its significance. Cannot, however, believe for a minute that Eileen was ever as presumptuous or rude as Ellis. Ambitious, of course. But, Ellis' lack of respect for seasoned professionals needs to get him thrown out a window fast! (Ooops! Mixed up SHERLOCK w/SMASH there for a minute!)


I hope Karen gets the part definitely and I hope she finds about the Dev and Ivy hookup. That was so disgusting.
Even if they were drunk they both knew who was each other and that it would hurt Karen. I want Karen and Derek´s relationship to keep building, the sneak peek of a scene between those two gives me hope. Their chemistry is amazing and Karen might just be the girl that make Derek fall in love for the very first time in his life.


I'm still I'm shock about ivy and dev..... But I thought the bombshell was good but you can't end a musical on a suicide it's suicide for the musical...


No shout out to composer Marc Shaiman!?!?! Or Marc Kudisch, Broadway man who once dated Kristin Chenoweth and has an amazing and rich voice?!? For shame! (For those who didn't see, Marc Shaiman was the piano man while Anjelica sang and Marc Kudisch was Mr. Zanuck) Ivy all the way! At least for now. Karen can be understudy. Can someone please poison Ellis?


Hated this episode - I just wanted Ivy to tell Karen the truth. Dev has the ugliest mouth on television. And what's with the church scene? Managed to offend gays, Jews and lovers of musicals this week. Maybe it's like The Producers and they are hoping to alienate the viewers so the actual musical is a flop?


Cont'd.. I personally think it was Ellis who put the peanuts in the smoothie. He was, afterall, incharge of them and well aware of her allergy to peanuts. He probably wanted to get back at her for sleeping with Derek and hurting Ivy. We all know Ellis believes Ivy should have the role of Marilyn. Derek is an a**. I really wanted to like him, but with his clear disregard for Ivy's feelings, I know now he's just a jerk. Glad Tom and Julia got over their issues... but I was annoyed with Julia. She is the one who had the affair, for a second time. She made that choice, she has to live with the consequences. The show can't be casted to make her feel better. I am glad they brought Michael back.. don't agree with his choices but he was great as Joe


I was so angry that Ivy and Dev slept together. I have found myself back and forth with Ivy all season. I understand her issues since she felt this was finally her shot, but the stunts she pulled made me dislike her. In the end, her and Karen seemed to have found a common ground with Rebecca taking the lead. I think Karen feels they are friends at this point.. and I do think Ivy has felt the same towards Karen. I don't think she'd feel as bad about sleeping with Dev if she didn't feel any friendship with Karen. But she was clearly regretting her actions, and when she found out about the ring, she clearly felt worse, knowing now that Karen is going to marry a man that was in another woman's bed.

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Smash Season 1 Episode 14 Quotes

Karen: You okay?
Ivy: Please don't be nice to me right now. I mean it, I really will fall apart if you are nice to me.

Derek: I have to make sure Rebecca has everything she needs.
Eileen: If this blows up in any way, Derek, I'll strangle you.