'Smash' Season 1, Episode 9 Recap - 'Hell On Earth'
For an episode that dealt with finding a title for the Marilyn musical, this one sure had a crappy title itself. "Hell On Earth" is a play on "Heaven On Earth," the musical that Ivy has been relegated back to now that the workshop is over and she has essentially been fired.
It is in this show that we see Ivy acting like a petulant child, ironically in an episode that has Tom and that other guy (Sam? I dunno, who cares about these people) talking about how they shouldn't treat Ivy like a child. First she pouts her way through one performance, then she takes a bunch of pills and stumbles her way through the next.
That second performance was one that Karen happened to see, as she dropped by to return Ivy's sunglasses. Within a few minutes of screen time, they are soon singing together in Times Square for a huge crowd and they're friends. What?
Here's a great idea: open a series with a strong pilot that sets up a fierce rivalry between two actresses, proceed to drag out that rivalry for seven more episodes without ever fully committing to it, then completely do away with it on the ninth episode. That's good television.
At least they tried for good TV this week, bless them, with Frank finding out about Julia's affair. The problem is in how he figures it out: he finds a song in Julia's purse about kissing on the Brooklyn Bridge. A SONG. You know, those things that Julia writes for a living, that could be about anything because they're written for characters to sing.
But Frank "just knows" when he plays it at the piano all melancholy-like, so Julia fesses up. That leads to Frank socking Michael in the face and then leaving, despite (or perhaps because of) the annoying pleading of both his wife and his truly underdeveloped and unmotivated son-character.
Other happenings: Karen booked a national commercial for orange juice, and it was apparently the most expensive orange juice commercial in existence because it's all CGI. Also, why was Karen's whole body in the suit? Were they going to CGI her hands in there too? Why not just animate the whole thing at that point? Poor choices, Tropicana or Minute Maid or whatever.
Tom's lawyer boyfriend is a Republican as it turns out, which kinda peeves Tom, which has him thinking about Sam or whatever. That's certainly moving very slowly and with little to keep any of us interested in it.
Eileen spooks Derek into staying on with the show by duping a gossip columnist. Ellis, who does have a "SHUT THE F*CK UP ELLIS" moment right off the bat in listing such ridiculous ideas for celebs to play Marilyn as Anna Paquin, Anna Faris and Kate Winslet, makes a play to be a co-producer. I think he sleeps with a dude who works at CAA to land a movie star named Rebecca Duvall, then he tells Eileen he wants a co-producing credit, or else no movie star. Eileen promptly tells him to sit down and shut the f*ck up (make it two this episode).
The title that Julia and Tom come up with is "Bombshell," which refers to Marilyn but comes from Julia's conversation with Michael about how this whole thing was some kind of bombshell or whatever I wasn't listening. At that point, the good parts of the episode had happened.
Next week promises an appearance from Uma Thurman, presumably as the movie star who will be playing Marilyn, because yeah, when I think Marilyn Monroe, I think Uma Thurman.