Smash, Season 2, Episode 9: “The Parents”
Written by: Jordon Nardino
Directed by: Tricia Brock
Airs Saturdays at 9pm (ET) on NBC
(Starting April 6th)
In this ho-hum episode we get to see Karen and Ivy square off with their parents. You would think Karen’s father and Ivy’s mother would have added an intense drama to the fray, but it fails in the most dismal way possibly. After you watch and analyze so much television it becomes easier to pick up on foreshadowing and usually you can predict what’s going to happen next. For Smash though it seems immensely easy to tell what’s going to happen next. From last week’s previews we got a sense that Ivy wouldn’t get along with her mother (and why should she? Bombshell is Ivy’s moment, her mother has had her chances) and Karen’s father is going to question what Karen is doing with her life since she left Bombshell. And that is exactly what happens. There is no “gotcha” moment or quirky unforeseen conflict. It’s just there, as is, and it’s extremely dull. Smash used to take so many melodramatic chances and now it’s afraid to try anything interesting.
Ivy’s mother, Leigh Conroy (played by Bernadette Peters), agrees to take the part of Marilyn Monroe’s mother in Bombshell. Albeit, Leigh is a Tony winner, but why Tom and Eileen think this is good idea is troublesome. The thought of myself working in a professional setting with my mom even gives me the willies. Karen’s father, Roger (played by Dylan Baker), is in town for a convention and takes the opportunity to see his daughter in the new show, Hit List. He questions Derek about the new show and the past allegations of sexual harassment. Karen’s father seems a little too relaxed on the issue, never really getting too upset or aggressive over the subject, despite this is all about his only daughter. Maybe it’s supposed to be part of his Mid-Western charm, which itself smells very cliche. It all goes down too easy. The conflict and resolutions are over and done with before Ivy and Leigh finish singing “Hang the Moon.” Anyone in their twenties who has had to deal with their parents knows it’s not that easy. Conversations about the direction of your life never go down quietly in conversation and in under three minutes.
While Karen and Ivy are busy with their parents, Jimmy is dealing with his own past. Throughout the episode Jimmy is being tailed by a man, who we assume is from Jimmy’s unfavorable past. Why does it take so long for Smash to finally reveal Jimmy’s past? It is a veritable feel good story. We want to know all about Jimmy’s drug-riddled past and how hard he has tried to overcome the obstacles to make his dreams come true on Broadway. At least if the audience was submerged in this story line it would make the finish of “The Parents” where Jimmy takes a baggie of drugs for his own personal use more shocking and stimulating. Although it’s difficult to be shocked at Jimmy’s decision to take the drugs since every episode this season he’s mentioned getting high.
Hit List preps for a fundraiser showing at the Manhattan Theatre Workshop. During rehearsals everyone keeps mentioning how they haven’t had enough time to practice, but somehow they pull off a number that involves acrobatics and flinging about from the ceiling as though they have been a part of Cirque de Soleil all their life. You would never imagine from their tiny rehearsal space they were capable of such theatrics, and doesn’t flinging from long sheets of fabric seem kind of dated? Every award show for the past two years has been doing this sort of stuff, but if New York Times writer Richard Francis is happy, everyone is happy. Especially Eileen who has been getting hit on by the fellow. Good for her, she needs someone in her life who won’t send her to jail.
“The Parents” sees the end of Smash on Tuesday nights. This upcoming Saturday night at 9pm(ET) Smash begins it’s new time slot. Farewell Tuesdays nights at 10pm. It’s been nice. With the inevitable in sight, here’s hoping Smash just throws everything they have at us- loud musical numbers, over the top love affairs, and bitchier show queen drama.