“If you can keep your head, when all about you are losing theirs…”
You’ll be Julia Houston?!
Never thought I’d be typing those words in this context, but the normally demented and useless Julia seemed to have had a complete personality transplant this week, helping both Mad Tom and Bad Derek with calm, sensible advice and solutions which actually worked. (Sort of. I mean, that Dig Deep thing was always going to be awful because the song is embarrassingly naff, but hey, it cut down intermission, right?)
Of course, this being Smash, Julia’s unexpected competence eventually landed her in hot water with Tom and Helmet Head Eileen, thanks to a clever (but oddly malicious since he’s dating the Bombshell producer) article written by Richard Francis – dude, you could have just told Eileen you weren’t into her. No need to troll her in print.
Meanwhile, untroubled by competence or sensible advice, but goaded by a few cruel-but-useful barbs from Derek, little madam (“it’s all about me!”) Karen tried to get that fool Jimmy to tell her something, anything useful – like perhaps his real name. That fool Jimmy declined. Bet he’s not looking like such a great prospect, now, eh, Princess? Especially since La Cartwright spent the rest of the week isolating herself from everyone else. Of course, Derek stripping her of songs and spotlight in favour of the previously not-that-interesting (but beloved by that mischief-maker Richard Francis!) Ana immediately after Karen turned him down looked bad on Derek’s part, in fact it looked utterly appalling, even if Kyle’s right and it is better for the show – with anyone else, I’d be fuming on her behalf – but Karen has been presented as so utterly entitled, passive and annoying this season that I’m struggling to condemn him for replacing her with someone who might actually appreciate it. (Although, by “appreciate”, I do NOT mean “sleep with the Director”, ok, Derek? Bad habit you’ve got there, fella. Do something about it.)
As far as the rest of the episode goes, this week’s selection from the Smash Big Book of “Issues that may arise in theatre productions” ticked off the Dress Rehearsal, the nudity dilemma, re-tooling in development, timing troubles and (to-cancel-or-not-to-cancel) the preview. I’m pretty sure the writers started the season with a big list and are just working their way down it, which is why things may be more structured but are also much more workman-like than last year. Still, this episode was fine if nothing to get excited about.