Smash Season 2 Review “The Dramaturg”

Most of the characters on Smash have gone their separate ways since ‘Bombshell’s future was cast into doubt, and, proven by this third outing, ‘Dramaturg’, the show is now much more concerned with the business of Broadway than any of the soapy personal problems that invaded season one of the series.

The biggest change might be in Derek who, after being knocked down a couple of pegs when his illicit dalliances with various actresses came out, is almost humble. His relationship with Karen has shifted ever so slightly to the point where Karen can convince her former director to take a look at a random bartender’s ideas for a new musical. It takes them a while to arrive in the same room together but, eventually, Jimmy outlines his story ideas for Derek. It needs some work, but it looks as though we’ll be following the birth of ‘Hit List’ over the next few weeks.

But if ‘Bombshell’ and ‘Hit List’ weren’t enough to be getting on with, we also have Ivy’s new production of ‘Dangerous Liaisons’, in which she wins the role of Cecile. It’s nice to see Ivy achieve something without Karen ready and poised to take it away again, and I hope this solo project can exist even after she inevitably becomes embroiled with the rest of the cast’s adventures again. With Karen still in the role of Marilyn should ‘Bombshell’ ever actually make it onto the stage, she’s a free agent and making the most of every second.

Then there’s Veronica’s one night only show, which she asks Derek to produce/direct in an effort to break out of her performance rut. We don’t know enough about her character to really care what she does, but her voice is so spectacular that I can overlook that problem for a while. I predict that we’ll probably end up with something that involves all three of the girls, but it’s hard to theorise right now what that might be. They’re living completely separate lives as of now, but it’s still very early days.

In contrast, Julia and Tom are still neck-deep in fixing the problems with ‘Bombshell’, and someone is brought in to go over the story with Julia. He’s attractive, of course, and rubs Julia up the wrong way immediately. Peter is clearly being set up as a love interest but, for the time being, it’s nice to see the show holding on to their slightly meta attempts to improve the show within a show. For viewers who grew tired of season one’s slow descend off of a cliff, ‘Bombshell’ is just a stand-in, and we’re being allowed to ponder on what went so wrong the first time around.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.