The time has finally come. It is time for Bombshell to hit the stage and for us to finally have a Marilyn! And of course, we’re back to the original question: Ivy or Karen? Experience or spirit? Tried and true or new and risky? We see the yet-unknown Marilyn walking through the backstage area getting ready for her cue and taking the stage, and just when we’re about to find out who it is…
12 HOURS EARLIER…
So, the team is pow-wowing on stage and it’s time to make a decision. Ultimately, it really all comes down to Derek. And while he’s sleeping with Ivy, he’s been having those visions of Karen as Marilyn, all fantasy-sequence-like. And that’s about all there is to it. Hallucinations beat girlfriend. Karen Cartwright is Derek’s pick to play Marilyn! Unfortunately, no one else on the team (Tom, Julia, Eileen, even (ick) Ellis) thinks she can pull it off. And even less fortunately, Derek annihilates Ivy’s soul when he tells her that Karen “has something… that you don’t.” Brutal. My heart had sympathy pains for Ivy’s. And then on top of that, to have Dev constantly nagging Ivy about the engagement ring he left in her room—it’s just too much rejection for any human to have to endure.
Speaking of brutality, let’s take a moment to bask in the glory that was Eileen finally firing Ellis. And I just KNEW Ellis was the one behind the Rebecca poisoning. While I can’t deny I was highly in favor of the outcome of Smoothiegate, it was just too characteristic of Ellis’s ickiness to have been anyone else. I hope he gets hit by a bus as he’s storming out of the theater, never to return.
So Karen has exactly one day to learn the entire role of Marilyn— blocking, costume changes and all other cues included- and there still isn’t a definitive ending to the show that doesn’t, well, suck. And on the topic of sucking, it was unbelievable to me that Julia found time amid all the furious writing/orchestrating to deliver this gem of a line to Michael Swift: “I’m not running away from you. I’m running away from myself.” Ew. What the eff, Debra Messing. Make me hurl, why don’t you.
Meanwhile, Karen is on stage being flipped up and down and every which way while belting “I Never Met A Wolf Who Didn’t Love to Howl”—and let’s just note that those kinds of acrobatics would be impossible to execute while singing live in an actual Broadway show. Yet another moment of, “really, Smash?” Although I must admit, as the season progressed, those moments got fewer and farther between. Except for that line I just referenced. And while I appreciate the sentiment of Derek believing in Karen enough to think she can learn an entire show in less than a day, obviously in real life this choice would never have flown, Ivy would have been Marilyn and she would have been wonderful. But this is TV, and we don’t watch TV to watch reality. Especially not reality TV.
It was only a matter of time before this whole Ivy-Dev-sleeping-together crap hit the fan. All Ivy needed was the slightest of pushes. And all the Karenitis Derek has caught was the sequin that broke the diva’s back. In what can only be described as the most heinous and underhanded of attempts to land a part, not to mention a severe violation of girl code, Ivy tells Karen that she slept with her fiancé. Karen is in disbelief, confronts Dev, he confirms, and Karen is heartbroken. She has a breakdown and disappears into the bathroom in her underwear, like ya do. Derek and Karen have a heart-to-heart that goes something like this:
Karen: “I can’t go on.”
Derek: “Yes you can.”
Karen: “I won’t go on.”
Derek: “Yes you will.”
Karen: “You don’t understand love.”
Derek: “Who gives a—“
Karen: “Ok fine, I’ll go on.”
Directorial genius at its finest.
So, Karen pulls herself together and bursts on stage just as Ivy is ready to snatch the role, in her full Marilyn get-up, talking with Tom and Julia. Uh uh uh, not so fast little Ivy. But having to watch her get publicly humiliated once again was not enjoyable for me. And even worse was watching her tell her mom she lost the part: “I’m just in the chorus. You should just go home.” HEARTBREAK CITY, POPULATION IVY.
But now we get to the good stuff. The speed through of the show was spectacular and the only problem I had with it was that it wasn’t the whole show, but I suppose we only have an hour for this episode and there are all these feeeeelings to deal with. Lame. But Karen is fabulous, and as she’s waiting in the wings to go on for her brand-spanking-new ending number, Derek creeps out of the shadows and whispers in her ear, “Whatever happens next, never doubt, you’re a star. And I do understand love.” LIKE. WHAT? Who are you. Get outta here.
But this new ending… just yes. YES YES YES. I think/hope it’s called “Don’t Forget Me” and it was absolute perfection, really pulling all the pieces of the whole show together and wrapping them in this beautiful package with an ending note that is still ringing in my ears.
I could not POSSIBLY be more amped for next season when the show hits the Big Broad Way! The Smash team will be updating their Facebook with little tidbits throughout the summer, so I’ll keep you as updated as I am.
And so, dear friends, thus ends our time together on the Smash section of the KPRC Prime Blog. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve belted.
I’ll be back next season, bringing as much glitter and drama to your computer screen as I possibly can.
Thanks for reading, and as always, thanks for watching KPRC Local 2!