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“Smash,” episode 4 – “The Cost of Art”

February 29, 2012

Cattiness abounds as Karen is tested by the members of the ensemble, and by Ivy’s pressure to get her removed from the show. The character of Ivy is developing nicely as someone with very limited self-confidence. I don’t know if New York professionals really play these kinds of games…I hope not, but I expect some do, just like immature people everywhere.

(Spoilers!) The turnaround of three of the ensemble members to befriend Karen was a bit swift, but nicely played. I felt I had to suspend my disbelief somewhat. I don’t know that three performers loyal to Ivy – or at least seeming so – would change their minds so quickly. Of course, maybe they know it doesn’t have to be an “us or them” situation, if they are mature enough!  They are all young 20-somethings, apparently, and all of them need to be validated themselves by the director (and anyone else they look up to). Please don’t let it degenerate into soap opera.

Dev is shaping up as the obligatory outsider. Often in storytelling it helps the audience if there is a sort of a narrator, and if done subtly, the audience doesn’t notice! If somebody has to explain things to Dev it can help us understand things as well.

The staging of the song in Derek’s apartment was particularly cute. I found myself smiling when Tom told the band, “It’s in G, they’re easy changes, just…read my mind.” Heh. And of course, suddenly, there is a fully-orchestrated accompaniment behind them! It was done smoothly enough that we could suspend our disbelief. It helps that we were set up in the previous episodes to follow the slide in and out of the dream world of the fully-produced show.

We’ll see if Karen’s intervention helps her deal with Derek and Ivy.

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