Smash Season 2 Review “The Surprise Party”

We’ve reached the final stretch, Smash fans! Our weekly appointment with Broadway madness has been moved to Saturday evenings, and it’s only a matter of time before NBC swing the axe down on the struggling series. Still, there’s plenty for us to still enjoy in these last few episodes, and ‘Surprise Party’ didn’t disappoint in terms of soapy relationship drama.

There was a disappointing lack of music in this episode and, sadly, the plot seemed to confirm a lot of criticisms critics and viewers have had about Smash in the past. Instead of grand musical productions and compelling industry drama, we were handed a whole hour of couples working out their issues – whether it was the friendship between Ivy and Tom or the unrequited yearnings of Derek for Karen. The fight between Tom and Ivy about her birthday party, in particular, felt very slight for a show all about the big feuds.

And the love triangle between Karen, Jimmy and Derek is getting really tiresome, no matter how much I love that grumpy director. As an audience, we haven’t really been encouraged to like Jimmy all that much, and most sympathy lies with Derek simply because he’s been around longer. Then again, I’ve never really liked Karen at all, so it’s no surprise that I’ve lost interest in this storyline. There’s at least some movement on ‘Hit List’ this week, as Julia is brought in to work on the show with Kyle.

I like that the shows are now overlapping in terms of personnel, but am a little apprehensive about the re-emergence of Derek and Ivy’s relationship – let’s hope that was just a quiet, friendly birthday drink. Other characters are doing much better in their love lives, however, with both Julia and Eileen getting new love interests to move forward with. Eileen taking up with a journalist probably won’t end well for ‘Bombshell’, but maybe this second – and probably last – season will leave us with a happy ending for everyone?

What did you think of the episode? Did you enjoy Liza Minnelli’s guest appearance? Let us know in the comments below.