smash episode 4 nbc 'Smash': Nick Jonas learns 'The Cost of Art'

In the fourth episode of “Smash,” Derek Wills (Jack Davenport) tells us, “The road to Broadway is exceedingly long.” Obviously, the “Marilyn” director is working on a quotable quotes book about time, as last week’s fortune cookie saying from Derek read, “Life is long. Theater is longer.” Either way, here’s hoping the show can stick around for the lengthy journey. And after this week, I’d say the show definitely had more sizzle in its (occasionally uneven) step.

Let’s start with The Smashing elements of the episode:

Nick Jonas as Lyle. I don’t want “Smash” falling into the big black hole of stunt guest-casting like “Glee” did once upon a time, but I thought the littlest Jonas brother worked in this role. Now, Eileen (Anjelica Huston) approaching him to buy her art? Different story entirely.

Ivy’s insecurity. It’s grating on my nerves a wee bit, but it’s emblematic of something I really like about the show thus far: twists! I do believe the writers are going to throw us for a loop with
this one like they did by giving Ivy (Megan Hilty) the part instead of
Karen (Katharine McPhee). I mean, aren’t we all thinking that Karen is
somehow going to take the part away from her? That leads me to believe they wouldn’t really take us down such a predictable path, no?

The music. It bodes well for the show that it can weave original songs from “Marilyn” with the likes of Adele without seeming contrived, like it’s trying to tap too much into the pop culture vein. Too many radio hits, though, will of course lead to even more “Glee” comparisons.

Dance karaoke bars. I need to find one of these, stat.

The Not-So-Smashing:

Catty chorus turns earnest ensemble. It didn’t make a ton of sense for Karen’s co-chorus members to be so snarky toward her in the first place (why are they so defensive of/loyal to Ivy again? I mean, she already got the part), but the sudden change of heart because of a couple of tears seemed downright bizarre. And I love a gal-pal, makeover moment as much as anyone, but come on, a sudden teachable dance party in Karen’s living room to the tune of Adele? Fine, I loved it. But still, nonsensical. And really, as witnessed by the dance karaoke at the end of the episode, they didn’t end up transforming her into an ensemble member that blends well — they only forced her to the front even more.

Ellis. He’s distracting. He’s served his purpose (if there was one?). And I don’t really want to hold my breath waiting for him to drop some bomb that he garnered from snatching Julia’s (Debra Messing) notebook.

What did you think of this episode of “Smash”?

Posted by:Jennifer Harper