‘Smash’: ‘The Read-Through’ delights with plot twists and guest stars


Bombshell is moving to Broadway but with two versions of the Marilyn Monroe musical on the table, the audience is left wondering which story will make it to the stage: the one about a girl who becomes a star or a story about the men who defined one of Hollywood’s most iconic leading ladies. .

After carefully crafting a brand new Bombshell with dramaturg Peter, Julia is ready for a read-through of her new draft. It’s taken the show in an entirely new direction, focusing on the men who created Marilyn rather than Marilyn herself.

And everyone is on board except for Tom.

Julia’s “faithful” writing partner went behind her back and submitted the original workshop script to Jerry, the producer, who has decided he would rather produce Bombshell in its original form. Both Jerry and Tom want the story to be about a girl who became a star, not the men who created her. With a split between the two sides about which direction the show should take, the team asks Eileen, the show’s original producer who left to save the fate of the show, to decide.

And, in a classic TV move, the episode ends abruptly as Eileen is about to state her choice which leaves viewers anxious to know what will happen.

Bombshell isn’t the only musical that might be getting a new look.

Karen has scheduled an impromptu reading of Bobby and Kyle’s show, Hit List but it turns out that Hit List might not be such a hit after all. Karen’s friends have decided that Kyle’s book isn’t up to par and Kyle is crushed. Jimmy and Karen decide that the obvious solution is to make the show even more similar to Rent by turning the show into a rock opera.

You know, just in case the parallels between Rent and Hit List weren’t blatantly obvious already.

The Karen/Jimmy dynamic also continues to get even more awkward in this episode as they officially enter the friend zone.

This is, of course, after Karen discovers that Jimmy slept with another girl and sings a mediocre cover of Death Cab for Cutie’s “Some Boys” during a dream sequence in which Jimmy is cleaning his loft.

Sounds heartbreaking, right? Not so much.

Fortunately, things are going better for Smash’s other leading lady, Ivy Lynn. She begins rehearsals for a revival of Liaisons with comedy actor Terrance Falls (portrayed by hilarious guest star Sean Hayes), who has decided to turn the witty drama into a full-blown comedy.

But after pulling out her serious acting skills in the rehearsal room, Ivy inspires Terrance to take Liaisons a bit more seriously.

So seriously, in fact, that he’s decided to stop taking his medications.

If Terrance wasn’t strange before, being off a long-list of drugs certainly did the trick. Here’s to hoping Sean sticks around and continues to provide some much needed humor to Smash.

The episode starts with a flashy new song for Bombshell.  “Public Relations” features Karen as Marilyn and Tom as various reporters. It’s sexy and akin to the earlier Marilyn numbers of last season including the big baseball number “The National Pastime.”

It’s also uproariously hilarious, thanks to Christian Borle. With his perfect comic timing and brilliant facial expressions, what could become a sexy Marilyn number becomes an appropriate comic moment.

It sets the tone for what might be the strongest episode of this season.

It’s nice to see Borle singing again on the show too.The Broadway veteran was only given two songs during the course of Smash’s first season and is overdue for more screen time.

Will Bombshell make it to Broadway in its original form? Are you a fan of Karen and Jimmy’s awkward friendship? What do you think about Derek “quitting” in the preview for next week’s episode? Let us know in comments!

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2 Responses

  1. For some reason, I have a feeling that Eileen chooses Tom’s version, which is why in the clip for next week we see him and Derek facing off. Also, I didn’t enjoy Karen’s song as much as I would have liked to. I was glad to see Krysta Rodriguez back on camera and anytime she’s with Wes Taylor, I geek out and say something like, “There they are!” (I LOVE “The Addams Family”). I am interested to see where things go with Jimmy and Kyle….does anyone else think Kyle is possessive of Jimmy? #woof

  2. ‘SOME BOYS’ was NOT a mediocre cover!! KAREN NAILED this SONG!! AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!