THE "SMASH" REPORT: Season Two, Episode 5, Or, The "C" Plot Thickens

By Kenneth Jones
06 Mar 2013

Tom is on Jerry's side, but Derek and Julia want the new version. The contrast is explained this way: Do you want "a sexy, provocative, insightful musical about Marilyn and the men who made her"? asks Julia, or "a lush, dazzling, still insightful spectacle about a girl who became an icon…"? asks Tom. (The latter sentence might partly characterize Shaiman and Wittman's own glossy, presentational Catch Me If You Can, which had a libretto by four-time Tony winner Terrence McNally, and apparently needed no dramaturg.)

In a turn that illustrates Smash's characteristic lack of logic, they all look to Anjelica Huston's Eileen (who, by murky government decree, is not allowed to produce the show) and say they will agree to move forward with whatever version she thinks is best. The episode ends before the leonine Eileen reveals her choice.

Was the workshop version better than the Boston-tryout version, which seemed so promising? Didn't Jerry previously say that he is the decider and he's out to prove that Eileen is no producer? Why would he turn to Eileen? Help!