Smash “Previews” Review

Smash (NBC) Previews Episode 14 (4)

For once, the teasers following last week’s episode of Smash painted a very accurate picture of the drama that would unfold in tonight’s episode. “Previews” opened with Dev and Ivy waking up in bed together after a night of regrettable drinking.

Last week, Karen had been complaining about Dev being too clingy. She was upset with him for showing up unannounced and she was angry that he proposed to her during tech. Tonight, the minute Dev stops chasing after her, she begins to wonder where he’s been. She obsesses over why he’s not responding to her texts, she becomes a clingy girlfriend.

I couldn’t understand how the “tech” period had been too stressful a time for Karen to deal with Dev, but during the previews (which were essentially a set of full dress tech rehearsals in front of test audiences) she had plenty of time to fret about Dev’s whereabouts.

Once she was able to track Dev down, she set things in motion again – only this time, things would happen on her terms and according to her schedule. She tells Dev that she doesn’t care about RJ and that now she’s ready for him to propose to her. Now he can give her the ring. Now they can start planning their lives together. She might not even realize what she’s doing, but it sure seems a lot like “whatever Karen wants, Karen gets.”

Later, when Dev told Karen that he had something “very important” to tell her, she interrupted him to take a call. She ditched him and ran to Rebecca’s side without hearing what he had to say. I’m sorry, but when my significant other tells me that he’s got something “very important” to tell me, he’s got my full attention.

Dev is not – and will never be – Karen’s priority. Dev needs to understand that and get out of this relationship before he goes farther down a dark path in an attempt to fill that void.

I realize that I might be the only Smash fan who doesn’t totally hate Dev right now. That’s primarily because I still can’t get past Karen’s treatment of their relationship, but also because Dev actually seems like he’s going through some kind of complete nervous breakdown. I don’t know where the old “perfect boyfriend” version of Dev went, but I’m assuming that on top of his career drama, being in a relationship with Karen drove him to temporary insanity. Not that Karen-induced temporary insanity is any excuse for his recent behavior, but he just doesn’t have all the other sleazy characteristics of a professional scumbag like Derek. I can’t really explain Dev’s complete 180 from Mr. Perfect to Mr. Cheater unless it’s because he’s gone a little nutso.

Speaking of crazy people, Michael returned and proved, once again, to be the completely creepy stalker who can’t understand that when Julia says “no,” she seriously means “NO.” Can Julia get a restraining order against him while they’re still working on Bombshell together? He’s got all the makings of a total psycho.

Tom and Julia’s friendship felt the most real to me during their argument in the theater. As Julia went on and on about how she felt like she had been betrayed and victimized, Tom very clearly reminded her that he did all he could to try and protect her family, but that it was her own mistakes that put all of them into this terrible position. Of course, from the depths of her self pity, that was not something Julia wanted to hear from her best friend. The reality is that a best friend might be the only person who would be honest enough to tell her exactly what she needed to be told, especially when she didn’t want to hear it. She’s struggling with some very difficult stuff right now, but I’m so pleased to see that she’s keeping up her fight.

Smash dove right into soap opera territory after an attempt was made on Rebecca’s life. Even Rebecca admitted to knowing that someone had put peanuts in her drink, but she was so stressed about the show that she didn’t want to care. Rebecca had been such a loudmouth diva that I would have expected everyone in the cast and crew to be aware of her deathly peanut allergy but Rebecca’s assistant seemed like the only person who was at all alarmed by the thought of this attempted murder.

The music recently has been really incredible and the integration of the non-theatrical songs has been much more natural than it had been in the past. I absolutely loved the “Smash” number with Karen and Ivy singing opposite one another, but Sam stole the show tonight. I had no idea that he had such an incredible set of pipes! I hope he doesn’t stay a soft spoken member of the chorus for much longer because with that voice, he belongs in the spotlight.

Ivy finally confronted Derek about his inappropriate relationship with Rebecca. Like he had done during the party at his apartment earlier this season, Derek told Ivy that his non-monogamous behavior was simply part of his job. He was completely unapologetic and basically told Ivy to suck it up – which uunfortunately, she did.

What might be the most depressing thing about Ivy’s scenario is that neither Derek nor Dev have ever looked at Ivy in the same way that they have looked at Karen. More than being Ivy’s rival for stardom, Karen is unwittingly upstaging Ivy in her personal life.

Now that the question of “who will play Marilyn” is back in the air, I’m hoping that Ivy will snap out of her recent slump and get back to being the intimidating force that she was in the early episodes of Smash. I’m looking forward to a season finale that keeps the drama close to the theatrical production and puts Karen and Ivy back up against one another to fight for that top spot.