'Smash' Recap: It's a Man's World!
'Smash' Recap: It's a Man's World!
This week, Smash tried to establish the theme that women have it hard in a man's world, but it didn't quite work as intended. Karen expressed uneasiness about other men's stares, Ivy had a big musical number of Marilyn that basically touched on the same feeling, and Julia couldn't escape her past with another man. Sprinkled between all that was soapy moment after soapy moment. So let's run through them.

New Attraction

Since Derek is sort of a lovable villain/skirt chaser and already tried his moves on Karen who bravely dismissed him early in the series, he has to try again to get that sexual tension going between the two. Problem is, Derek is sleeping with Ivy, who, of course, had to compete against Karen for the role of Marilyn and tried to get her fired from the production last week. So when Derek tries out a few dance steps with Karen before the main star gets to rehearsal, Ivy obviously has to walk in on them and interpret their luscious embrace as intimacy.

Bedroom Karaoke

Jealousy also looms on the horizon for Karen, who's hotshot boyfriend works closely with an attractive reporter from the New York Times by the name of RJ. Karen had heard the name before but always assumed RJ would be a "fat white man with bad teeth." Too bad that in TV land, everyone is physically immaculate. And too bad that instead of going to a dinner with her boyfriend later, Karen prefers to stay home, strip to her underwear while longingly staring into the mirror and singing "It's a Man's World". Just ... bizarre.

Distant Director

Back at rehearsals, Derek is inexplicably grumpy and annoyed with Ivy. More specifically, her vibrato is not at all like Marilyn's. Predictably, he calls on Karen to let everyone hear how it's done. "I've heard it before," he accurately states. So Karen gives her best Marilyn impression and Derek sets up a rehearsal just with the two rivals, which, of course, is not really the best of ideas but we are in TV land after all, and drama has to be conjured up. When the big moment of confrontation arrives, Ivy simply tells Karen to not get ahead of herself (whatever that means) because what Ivy brings to the table, just like Marilyn, can't be taught (whatever that means).

Vaporizer in Central Park

Julia's adoption plotline resurfaces again! But before getting to that, let's discuss her son Leo's antics. He gets arrested because he walked through Central Park with a vaporizer, which, as we are taught by the show, is an artifact used by today's youth to smoke weed. But, weed is not found on him and he is soon released, only to be grounded by Julia, of course. Now, the problem is that the adoption might be in peril if someone in the Houston family has any run-ins with the law.

Inescapable Past

So while Julia is at home dealing with her family crisis all by herself (her husband is MIA and the excuse for that is so laughable that I can't even think of it anymore) while Joe DiMaggio Michael is getting suspiciously flirty around her. After the big deal he made about the fact that he loves his family so much a few episodes ago, being that ambiguous with his old flame smells a little bit like rancid character development on the writers' part.

In addition, he shows up drunk at Julia's place for some reason and bonds with Leo over dinner when he tells her that she used to smoke some weed herself to relax after stressful rehearsals. Later he tells her bluntly: "I wanna be with you" and sings her a song. So his family at home is completely forgotten. They certainly were when he kissed Julia - under the watchful eyes of Leo, no less.

Sane Director

Ivy, also drunk, finally confronts Derek about his coldness to her during rehearsals. As predicted Derek just wants to separate private feelings and professional work ethic. "If you have to have feelings, they should be about Marilyn not me", he tells her, which sounds like a reasonable advice. Derek comes out of this whole story like the only one who seems sane and aware of what's necessary for the show.

What did you think of tonight's Smash? Are you enjoying how the Karen/Ivy rivalry is set-up so far? And did you like this week's musical numbers?

Jan Cee
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of NBC)