Smash 1.07 ‘The Workshop’ review: SMASHing!

We’re almost midway through Smash and it’s freakin’ amazing! The critics were right; this show is just fabulous! And I’m sorry for not recapping it until now. But here goes.

Episode 7, as its name suggests, primarily features the workshop. The transformation of all the hell everyone’s been through to an actual show. And to be honest, the workshop was one my favorite parts about the episode. But more on that later.

Here’s a quick walk-through of what went down during the episode:

Julia realizes the mess she has created with Michael by sleeping with him (even though, at the beginning of the episode, they’re totally lovey dovey) especially after her son implies that he knows about the affair and after his son visits the rehearsals.

“I do know what you’re in the middle of,” her son tells her, “And I think it’s sucks. I think you suck!”

He has a family. She has a family. Plus, everyone knows about them by now. Tom catches the two kissing. And Ellis (can I kill Ellis, please?) tells Elieen about them, too. So Julia decides that it’s time she ends things with him. (Uhm, about time! I like Michael, A LOT. But this whole affair thing is probably one of the worst subplots of show. They ruined this care-free vibe Julia had about her by burdening her with things like adoption and cheating. STOP RUINING JULIA.)

Karen visits Bobby’s Raskin’s studio, a big time producer apparently, and he asks her to come again… during the workshop. Even though it’s a huge opportunity, Karen decides she won’t give up on Marilyn even if she’s just in the chorus. (Oh, c’mon. We all know where this is going. SHE’s going to play Marilyn, eventually.)

Bernadette Peters as Leigh Conroy, Ivy's mom

My absolute favorite part of the episode was DEFINITELY Ivy’s subplot with her mother. It’s like we finally got a glimpse of why Ivy is so insecure in her own skin. It’s because of her mother, Leigh Conroy (played by special guest Bernadette Peters), this big-shot Tony winner who everyone loves and respects. She seems selfish and self-centered and tries to bring down Ivy every chance she gets.

Ivy: “You’re my mother and you can’t even say one kind word. And you know who else had a mother like that? Marilyn. Look how she turned out.”

Her mom: “She was a legend.”

Ivy: “She was an unhappy drug-addicted disaster because her mom didn’t love her. That’s what Marilyn was.”

I thought Megan Hilty’s performance in that particular scene was award-worthy. I LOVED it.

By the end of the episode, Ivy’s mom tells her that she’s that way because she loves her. She’s her daughter and she doesn’t want this business to break her heart. (Something the business has been doing a lot to Ivy, if you ask me.)

Okay, the workshop! How spectacular was that? The acting was amazing. (Will Chase is fucking awesome. And Megan Hilty for ALL the awards.) And the music — oh, the music! I love this show because of the music. I loved the montage part where we got to listen to music previously performed on the show, like “The National Pastime,” “20th Century Fox Mambo,” and of course “Let Me Be Your Star” transitioning between its two stars, Ivy and Karen. It was like a reminder of how far the show has come and a reminder that you can’t help but love both Karen and Ivy. I still cannot pick a team. Please don’t make me.

I may have loved the workshop, but the rest of the people don’t. The reviews about the workshop are down-right awful which Derek believes is because of Ivy. But then Tom suggests that it could be because of Michael. He knows firing Michael would be the best thing for Julia right now. So both Julia and Eileen agree. And there’s that. No more Michael Swift. Sniff, sniff.

There were three new songs performed in this episodes, (Not new as in original but new as in never performed in an episode before) and here’s what I thought about them:

Everything’s Coming Up Rose, Performed by Leigh Conroy: This song was previously sung by Peters, who plays Conroy, in the musical revival of Gypsy: A Musical Fable which is probably why the song felt so right for her. I wasn’t a huge fan of the song, though. It didn’t give me the thousand emotions other Smash songs give me. Peters was amazing; don’t get me wrong. I just didn’t like it as much as I’ve liked other Smash songs before. Grade: B-

On Lexington & 52nd Street:, Performed by Michael Swift: One of the reasons I LOVED this song is because it’s an original one. Smash has made me root for it because of its excessive use of original songs. It doesn’t Glee everything. And let’s face it, Will Chase was AWESOME performing this song. His voice is just so sexy. I also loved the lyrics of the song because they summarized what everyone, at a certain point in time, thought about Marilyn. I didn’t like though when they made it about Julia, even though his tears kinda broke my heart.  Grade: A-

Brighter than the Sun: Performed by Karen Cartwright: Originally by Colbie Cailat, this song was probably one of the lightest songs performed on the show so far. It was just a cute preview to show that Karen can do anything whether they’re show-tunes or not – she’s a star. Grade: B.

Did you watch the episode? Did you like it? And what did you think about Michael being fired?

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About the author: Heba
Heba
Heba could watch television forever. And she LOVES writing about it. She was never meant to be born in a land so far away from TV Land! Her favorite shows are Mad Men, The Vampire Diaries, Happy Endings, Community, Cougar Town and MUCH MUCH more. Follow her on twitter: @ClumsyHibz

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