Will Chase and Debra Messing in SMASH - Season 1 - "Let's Be Bad" | ©2012 NBC/Patrick Harbron

Will Chase and Debra Messing in SMASH - Season 1 - "Let's Be Bad" | ©2012 NBC/Patrick Harbron

Stars: Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee, Jack Davenport, Angelica Houston
: Julie Rotenberg & Elisa Zuritsky

Director: Jamie Babbit
Network: NBC, airs Mondays
Original Telecast: March 5, 2012

“Let’s Be Bad,” as an episode, is all over the place, but on the plus side, the SMASH writers have backed off on a couple cliches. They went hog wild on the others, though, including a final scene you could see coming from the back balcony far corner with restricted sight lines in that sound dead corner of the auditorium.

We start out with Julia (Debra Messing) still behind on pages for the show’s script, but also fighting off her male star Michael (Will Chase) in spite of feelings for him.  He talks her into going out with him to talk about the script and Julia gets a call from a strange number and ignores it.  Bad move. Julia’s partner Tom (Christian Borle) gets the call next during his less than great date with attorney. He takes it and it’s Julia’s son Leo, who got busted for pot, even though he wasn’t actually smoking, just hanging with someone who was.

Karen’s boyfriend Dev (Raza Jaffrey) is trying to get a promotion in the mayor’s office, but finds out there might be some competition. Which makes things even more interesting, since Derek (Jack Davenport) is behaving like a class a-one jerk. First, he embarrasses both Karen and star Ivy by having Karen sing in front of the cast, and then insisting Ivy take lessons from her. Gee, surprise, surprise, Ivy takes it personally.

Ivy decides to confront Derek, which does end up with them in bed, although it seems like she’s getting the idea that for Derek the show comes before all else. Karen, on the other hand, complains to Dev about what Derek did, only Dev is a little more worried about his promotion. Funny how that pretty journalist is helping him along. So Karen decides to bring what she has to the party – and wins the day. While Dev is at one table impressing the powers that be, Karen ferrets out his unknown competition.

We get one great new tune – “Let’s Be Bad,” based on Marilyn’s work in SOME LIKE IT HOT, so it’s got a nice 20’s vibe. But even more fun is Karen’s whaling on “It’s a Man’s World.” Then Michael, after showing up on Julia’s doorstep uninvited and ingratiatingly himself with Leo, starts a lovely cover of the old Leon Russell tune “A Song For You,” sung to Julia, which leads to the expected kiss which leads to Leo seeing it, which you know is coming no matter how slowly the camera pans upward to the window to Leo’s bedroom. Yes, Chase is a great singer, etc., but they have so got to find a way to dump that character. It just doesn’t work.

The musical numbers are still the best part of SMASH, hands down, and they are a lot of fun. The relationships that work the best are the most interesting ones, such as Tom’s flirtation with the attorney – they finally have sex and it’s terrible and they’re laughing about it. This seems to me like the basis for a really good, fun relationship. I am so tired of the usual jealousy and affairs – and you certainly see that on the way with the Dev/Karen story line. It’s like here we go again. It would be really interesting and different if Dev stayed faithful. It was getting interesting with Julia pushing Michael away – and it wasn’t entirely clear that she was giving in to the big kiss. I sure hope not.


Related Link: TV Review – SMASH – Season 1 – “Chemistry”
Related Link:TV Review – SMASH – Season 1 – “The Cost of Art”
Related Link:TV Review – SMASH – Season 1 – “Enter Mr. DiMaggio”
Related Link: TV Review – SMASH – Season 1 – “The Callback”
Related Link: TV Review – SMASH Series Premiere

Related Link: Exclusive Interview with SMASH executive producers Justin Falvey & Darryl Frank

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  1. In an episode called “The Price For being Bad,” the first scene has Julia, Michael and the others working on the show. In walks Frank, Julia’s husband. Julia sees him and sees the look on his face. he is not happy and a chill goes up her spine as she watches him head not toward her but Michael. Michael looks up just in time to see Frank’s fist flying toward his face. The impact breaks Michael’s nose and sends him crashing to the floor. Julia knows her life is about to change dramatically. Frank shakes his hand, reealizing he had probably broken at least one knuckle. He walks up to Julia who takes a step back. In a quiet but firm voice he says, “I want all of your things out of the apartment by midnight tonight. What’s still left will be tossed out on the lawn.” He hands her a large envelope. I’ve filed for divorce. I suggest you get a good lawyer. You’re going to need one. Tears begin to stream down Julia’s face. “Frank…I’m sorry. Please let’s talk -” Franks puts his hand up. “The time for talking has passed. Did you actually think you got away with it the first time?” Did you actually believe I didn’t know about your “show crush?” Does referring to him that way make not seem so bad to you? How pathetic. I was stupid for ever thinkingOrt maybe I am for thinking you wouldn’t do it again. That I and Leo meant more to you than that. Obviously, I was wrong. Oh, and Leo never wants to see you again, but I think he’ll get past his hatred for you, eventually. I won’t.”

    Julia sobs uncontrollably. Everyone stands around in stunned silence. Michael slowly gets back on his feet, ashamed of himself. As Frank walks out, Michael’s wife walks in. “Your turn” says Micheal,quietly. Tom gasps. “Oh crap, this just gets better and better!” Michael’s wife walks up to Julia and slaps her hard across the face, causing Julia to stumble and nearly fall. Michael goes to grab his wife but she wheels and faces him with seething anger. I’ve changed the locks, so don’t bother coming home. All of your stuff is in the hallway. I’m filing for divorce. We will work out some arrangement where you can see the kids, but not anytime soon. Hope it was worth it. Goodbye, Michael.”

    And scene.

  2. Pingback: TV Review: SMASH – Season 1 – “Let's Be Bad” | internettablets.co.cc

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