Tuesday, April 24, 2012

DINNER WILL MAKE US ALL FEEL BETTER. // WILL IT?  Oh, Smash, I wish I knew how to quit you. Because it hasn't gotten better in the two months since I last wrote about it, and the only question is whether Debra Messing's Julia has surpassed her son Leo as the most self-absorbed, unlikable character on the show. (Okay, Ellis remains in the running, but seriously: next time Leo runs away from home have him keep running, all the way to China to find his sister.)  Does anyone doubt that Rebecca's peanut allergy is the latest Chekhov's gun of the season, and the only question is whether Karen or Ivy benefits as a result?  Why am I still watching? (For completely batshit non sequiturs like the Bollywood number? Perhaps.)


  1. The original songs remain pretty solid (though, yes, the Bollywood number was a complete WTF), even if the book for both the show and the show within the show is a mess, and Christian Borle is pretty delightful (just let him play DiMaggio, though he'd need a haircut), but when at least half the characters need to be told to shut up, that's a problem, but shut up, Dev, shut up, Julia, shut up, Leo, shut up, Ellis--that's a start.

  2. I question why I'm still watching after every episode.  But then I realize I'm watching in hopes that Borle will sing and dance again, and I'm okay with it.  (Relatedly, everyone should go see "Peter and the Starcatcher."  It was lovely.)

  3. KCosmo10:28 AM

    I love the show.  I can't help it.  But what I love about it has nothing to do with Dev or Leo - I just like all the "building a Broadway musical" stuff.  You know, the stuff that the show is theoretically about.

  4. Andrew12:07 PM

    I want to like this show much more than I do. It's filmed very well, the original music is very good, and they are generally solid in using locations. But so much of the tension and drama seems forced rather than from evolving naturally out of the characters and the situation. 

    And some of the characters need to disappear.

  5. The more I think about it, the more I want this show to turn into a Broadway version of "Kind Hearts and Coronets", with Ellis becoming a Broadway mogul by killing everyone in his path.  It's not that I like Ellis (not at all), but that I hate just about everyone else too.

  6. KCosmo's neighbor12:33 PM

    Totally agree about Leo--why would they even bother looking for him? I'm beginning to think the little sister from China was actually going to be a trade, not an addition to the family. I find the music entertaining, but everything else is nutso. Speaking of nuts, did anyone else think Ellis was just going to throw a bag of peanuts into the blender (or did he, and that was just at a point where I dozed off?). I watch only because it gives me some background noise while I do my NY Magazine crossword puzzle.

  7. Mr. Cosmo5:27 PM

    I dunno.  I kinda like Ellis the Evil Footman. 

  8. Paul Tabachneck7:13 PM

    I'm enjoying it in relish of the day Ellis' world crashes down on him.  That text trick was dirty, and completely traceable, but also: HOW STUPID DOES KAREN HAVE TO BE to totally accept that Julia having the flu would mean she didn't have rehearsal?  Ridonk!

  9. Heather K8:43 PM

    Actually this leads me into a rabbit hole about the union structure on this workshop/show (because you always have rehearsal unless you are explicitly told by the stage manager that you do not have rehearsal). . . but is Karen Equity?  And if she isn't, everyone else has gotta be Equity, right?  So why isn't she?  And if she is, how the eff did she get there and still be so freaking clueless about how rehearsals work, even if ok new work in development versus Oklahoma or whatever?

  10. I don't know why I'm still watching, either, except perhaps the idea that as a "theater person" I owe it to the show?  That whole Bollywood number had me laughing throughout, and maybe that's why.  But I've thought of three reasons I still watch:
    1. Christian Borle
    2. The original songs, which are pretty great
    3. The location shooting. I work pretty close to the theater district, and I love saying, "Hey, that's the Westway Diner!  Hey, I've been to that bar!"

    But otherwise, I either hate the characters (Ellis, Ivy) or I'm bored by them (Julia and her whole family, Eileen and her bartender).

  11. Marsha12:55 AM

    Ditto. Ditto ditto ditto.