Smash "On Broadway" & "The Fallout": one too many plotlines

Quick Take: Smash "On Broadway" & "The Fallout"
Will "Bombshell" ever make it to Broadway?


Review: Smash "On Broadway" & "The Fallout"
(S0201 & S0202) Will Smash suffer from the sophomore slump? That's what I began to wonder about a half hour into the two-hour season premiere. It's obvious immediately that the show's new showrunner, Josh Safran, has a completely different vision for show. I felt like the show I watched last night was completely off-base from the show I watched last season. While there were storylines last season that were all over the place, this season there appears to be numerous storylines going on at once. The key question will be will they all fit together? 

This season opens and its closing night of the Boston preview of "Bombshell." A few days later we are back in New York discussing the reviews and Angelica Huston's character, Eileen, is giddy with excitement that the show is going to Broadway after securing the St. James Theater. She just needs to finalize the deal. Of course nothing is ever that cut and dry and her ex-husband throws a wrench into her plans by exposing how she received the money to fund the show thus far. Needless to say it's not on the up and up and any further work on the show is frozen, that is until she cleverly bombards a gala dinner with Tom and Julia (Christian Borle and Debra Messing) and has Ivy (Megan Hilty) perform a song from the show.
While last season it appeared that Julia and Frank (Brian d'Arcy James) were going to work on their marriage by the end of the first hour that is up in flames and Julia finds herself living with Tom. A little unoriginal here, that comedy was called "Will & Grace." Speaking of "Will & Grace," we learn from the previews that there will be a slew of guest stars this season, including Sean Hayes who played Jack on that show. Also making appearances this season are Jennifer Hudson, Liza Minnelli, Sean Hayes, Jesse L. Martin, Jeremy Jordan and Krysta Rodriguez. We meet Hudson's character during the first hour. She plays Veronica Moore a two-time Tony winner who offers Katharine McPhee's character Karen some advice on how to stay on top in the business... "Protect the work." Basically, keep focus because someone better is always waiting in the wings. And while I always like to root for the underdog and wanted McPhee's character to be chosen as the Marilyn lead for "Bombshell," it's becoming more and more evident that her vocal talents are nowhere as good as the other characters on the show. During a duet with Hudson's character on the song "On Broadway" she's barely audible. Hudson's vocals dominate the song without much effort. 
Also in the slew of plotlines during the premiere Rebecca Duvall (Uma Thurman) who played Marilyn in "Bombshell" for a blink of an eye last season accuses Derek of sexual harassment. It doesn't end there for him though; six other dancers come forward accusing him as well. Will he even be able to work on Broadway again with this cloud over him? I'm not even sure what the purpose of this storyline is anyway. Do they feel that they just need some added drama in the show? I think they have enough of that already. And there is Karen's side story. She discovers Jimmy (Jeremy Jordan) a talented singer/songwriter who appears to hate her for no apparent reason and doesn't want her help although he does want to be on Broadway and she can help with that. His friend finally convinces him to let her to help and she goes to Derek with a flash drive of his recordings. 

So that's about it in a nutshell. According to the previews even though Ivy was let go from the production she will still be on Karen's heels to take over the lead. And, there just might be a battle between them for Jimmy's new show as well. Like I said way too much going on. It seems like they are going with the theory of throwing it all out there and seeing what sticks.

By Frances Seda

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