Smash recap: Art Imitates Life

Smash reaches new levels of self-referentiality as Bombshell and Hit List each find a star
Ep. 07 | Aired Mar 19, 2013

PUTTING IT TOGETHER Here's to the ladies who lunch, and scheme, together. (Yes, I know they're actually eating dinner.)

Will Hart/NBC

Though Bombshell's stalling, Hit List seems to be moving along quite nicely. Tom Collins of the Manhattan Theatre Workshop -- whom everyone keeps calling "Scott," for reasons unfathomable to me -- is interested in producing the show. The catch: He wants it to go up in the Workshop's underground space rather than its main stage, unless they can retool the show to be a bit more universally relatable.

The always rational Jimmy reacts to this legitimate suggestion as though Collins had just proposed a mass ritual suicide. There's only one way Jimmy will change a single syllable of his show, and that's if Karen supplies him with an idea. Before long, the Muse of Pissy Creative Geniuses (Greek name: Blandyhymnia) does just that, telling Jimmy offhand that he simply has to emphasize Hit List's focus on reinvention.

Speaking of reinvention: Remember how Julia's revamped, artistically triumphant Bombshell was all about how men saw Marilyn? Well, that dude-centric draft apparently also contained a subplot about Marilyn and her mother. Sure, that storyline clearly doesn't fit with the rest of what Julia supposedly wrote, and the way "Musical Chairs" introduces it is undeniably clumsy (why has this stuff never been mentioned before tonight?). But who cares -- this is obviously Smash's way of bringing in Ivy's stage legend mother to play Marilyn's own mother in Bombshell. And more Bernadette Peters can only be a good thing.

Tensions are high at Liaisons's opening night, an event that's attracted both Bombshell and Hit List's creative teams. Tom and Karen still aren't on the same page about their musical, contradicting each other in an impromptu interview with Broadway insider Seth Rudetsky. Jerry's doing his Jerry thing, trying to woo Derek back to Broadway no matter how many people he leaves dead and bloodied and dying along the way. Jimmy and Kyle fear that their show might be director-less once more. John Cameron Mitchell eyes the pair warily, wondering whether he should confront them about stealing Hedwig's plot for Hit List.

But all is forgotten and forgiven during the show itself, a triumph of poor taste that's basically a musical adaptation of History of the World, Part 1's French Revolution sequence. (Obviously, I'd see the crap out of that show, as long as it was more Producers than Young Frankenstein.) Liaisons's centerpiece is "Ce N'est Pas Ma Faute," a bawdy Terry solo that may contain network TV's first instance of onstage motorboating. There are live sheep. There are lyrics about "pitching tents." At one point, Sean Hayes yells, "Now dance, wenches, dance!!" The whole scene is, in short, amazing, and exactly the kind of wacko ridiculata that Smash's second season has been sorely lacking. Bravissimo!

NEXT: Sigh, back to Bombshell

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