However, this is no Mickey & Judy look at us have fun project. (Rooney and Garland.)
Instead this is a group of cut-throat people who will backstab to get the project made.
Anjelica Huston plays Eileen who is trying to produce the play despite limited funds due to a divorce and an angry would-be ex who has frozen their funds. Debra Messing plays Julia, the lyricist who apparently also writes scenes. Her partner is Tom who writes the music. Katherine McPhee plays Karen who auditions to play Marilyn Monroe in the musical (now called "Bombshell") and despite being tremendously qualified, she gets shoved into the chorus and the too broad (in acting and physique) Ivy gets the role instead. Jack Davenport plays the director Derek. He propositions Karen and she turns him down. He's no longer interested in her for the role. Ivy doesn't turn him down and she gets the role.
The workshop is a joke. They fire the guy playing Joe DiMaggio. Why? Because Julia slept with him. That's it. He was not the worst thing. But married Julia renewed her affair with Michael and so she and Tom both insist he be fired. Derek rightly notes that Ivy is the weak link. Eileen obviously agrees because she and Derek ask Karen to work on a new number.
Ivy is the weak link. She's an obvious choice for Marilyn which is why she's all wrong. She doesn't bring anything to the role other than what is already visible. She also lacks sex appeal, as Derek has pointed out.
Ivy screws herself over by going onstage in the chorus of Tom's other play Heaven On Earth and doing so while she's drugged. She loses that role and damages her reputation so badly that she can't get hired by anyone else.
If you haven't already checked out the show, hopefully, the above recap interests you. Uma Thurman joined the cast (for a few episodes) last Monday as a movie star they want to play Marilyn.
In every episode, there is Ellis.
That's Ellis, played by Jaime Cepero, watching Eileen. It's precisely Ellis as he should be captured, always watching, always calculating.
In the first episode, Ellis showed up as Tom's new assistant who was making Tom's life so easy and simple. Tom's returning home and Ellis already has everything set up to make for an easy return. Julia takes an immediate dislike to him and his fixing comfort foods for Tom. Julia and Tom are talking about writing a new musical -- really about not writing one. Ellis says that they should do one on Marilyn Monroe. Julia dismisses the idea and Tom's not really interested. Then Tom thinks about it and decides it's a good idea and convinces Julia.
Ellis thinks he has a right to the musical as a result of his limited input.
He hates Julia -- who fired him as Tom's assistant until Tom hired him back -- and can't stand her. When he discovered her affair with Michael, I thought for sure he would out her. But by then he was already angling to be important to Eileen. He's now become Eileen's assistant. He 'forgot' to inform Tom. But how stupid is Tom?
Ellis is his personal assistant and Ellis is at Eileen's office every day for at least two days. Shouldn't his boss Tom be aware of that? At the very least that Ellis isn't showing up for work?
Tom's such an idiot.
So Ellis got Rebecca (Uma Thurman) for the play and he now wants to be a co-producer. Eileen laughed at the idea two episodes ago but last week seemed more open to it.
Ellis is the Eve (as in All About Eve).
You'll love him, you'll hate him. You'll marvel over how he'll stab anyone in the back to advance, how he'll sleep with anyone to advance.
When he first showed up, I thought he was gay. I ended up surprised when he was apparently sleeping with a female roommate. Then, to get Rebecca for the musical, he sleeps with her male agent.
Who is the real Ellis?
He's played it dumb. When a video of a Marilyn number showed up online, it was Ellis. Julia fired him for that. He explained he didn't leak it to anyone, he just mailed it to his grandma (or mother, I forget). Tom felt sympathetic for him.
But I think Ellis leaked it. I thought that then and think it now. I also believe we don't know the half of what Ellis is capable of or what his actual background is.
I wouldn't be surprised if the season finale has a great deal to do with Ellis.
I don't do comments at this site. This goes back to the issue that came up with The Common Ills. Keesha is one of the community members present from the start. Back then, TCI allowed comments. Keesha objected because, as an African-American woman, what she experienced at other sites were dog piles from various White commentators. C.I. said if that happened, comments would be shut down. Blue dog Democrats piled on to Keesha who was apparently too left for them. C.I. closed the comments and that's how they've stayed.
I've followed that. But the season finale will be here next month and I'm offering my guess. A lot of e-mails come in on Smash. If you'd like to leave a season finale guess, a comment on the acting or the writing or anything Smash-related, feel free. I'm allowing comments on this post.
By the way, if you're an Ivy fan, please feel free to leave praise for the character. I have avoided naming the actress in my criticism because I'm critiquing the character.
Ivy has many supporters and fans. If you're one of them, feel free to sing her praises below. Oh, also, if you have an opinion on the love triangle of John-Tom-Sam, feel free to leave that as well. I am strongly in favor of John and think Tom's treated him horribly. If you disagree, your comment and opinion is as valid as mine so feel free to say so. (I also think Tom would be better paired with Derek, based on two episodes ago. He has no chemistry with Sam or John.)
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):