THE "SMASH" REPORT: Season 2, Episode 12, or Here Come the Critics

By Ben Rimalower
22 Apr 2013

Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters
Photo by Craig Blankenhorn/NBC

Playbill's weekly recap, with notes and comment, of the latest episode of the NBC musical drama series "Smash," about the dreamers behind Broadway musicals. Here's a look at the April 20 episode, "Opening Night."

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Well, I have to say, it was kind of my favorite episode of "Smash" ever. Before you call NBC and start the Facebook petition to add a third season, let's be real for just a minute. This week's episode was the opening night of Bombshell—that's been money in the bank since the series premiered. This should have been right in the pocket, right in "Smash"'s wheelhouse, and it was. And the show's writers should be commended, or at least given some positive reinforcement (like a dog who's been struggling through potty training) for an episode that focused on what's good about "Smash" (an inside view of Broadway, tumultuous relationships between collaborators, world-class performances of both top quality original material and classics) as opposed to what drags it down (drawn-out snail's pace soap operatic conflict between two-dimensional characters, pandering to the pop market with clumsily inserted karaoke performances).

The episode begins at Bombshell's final preview. Ivy and her mother, Bernadette Peters, are backstage at the end of the show. So, I guess Ivy's mother is still in Bombshell. When she wasn't on the show at all last week, I just kind of assumed… I guess there was no room for her with all that moody innuendo insinuating insolence in Jimmy's past. To think I had to watch several confrontations over the same issue between Karen and Ana while Bernadette Peters sat at home waiting for a fax… Anyway, that was last week. Bernadette is here now, and it's almost opening night!



Ivy (wisely) is on a "self-imposed media blackout." She does not want any message board chatter getting in the way of her own insecurities and self-doubt as she prepares for her opening on Broadway.

Julia is pitching Tom ideas for their next musical ("Gulliver's Travels," "Lord of the Flies," THE POETRY OF EZRA POUND, ANYTHING, TOM JUST LOOK AT ME!) but Tom won't get into it. He's still mad about Julia dramaturging the downtown darling Hit List when she should have been by his side.

It's clear he'll forgive her if Bombshell gets good reviews, but if it's a flop, Julia's gonna have to try a lot harder than The Very Hungry Caterpillar with puppets ("You've always wanted to do something Julie Taymory!") if she wants Tom to collaborate with her again.

 Continued...