Review: Smash Season 2, Episode 4

"The Song" continues the predictability and frustration of watching the second season.

“The Song” is literally about the composing of a song. The metaphor of finding one’s own song isn’t lost on the characters or the show itself, as it struggles to find a balance between character stories and stories about producing a show.

“Smash” has always been a “love it or hate it” type of show. While Joshua Safran cleaned up the distracting plots that critics despised last season, the addition of Jimmy makes up for all of that in season 2. Jimmy is the focus of the main story line, writing “Can’t Leg Go” for Veronica’s concert. Every second of his arc is predictable. Derek needs a song, so Jimmy writes one and Derek isn’t impressed. Jimmy gets upset, so Karen makes him feel better, and Jimmy rewrites it, and then Derek approves. Basically everyone can see where that story is going.

If anyone can predict his next movement, why bother watching it? Moreover, his outrage, anger, impatience, and arrogance come out of nowhere. They are more like personality tics that happened to fall on him. The idea that his talent can justify these weaknesses is difficult to believe.

Meanwhile, Veronica is looking for her own voice in this song Jimmy is writing. She is seeking to break out of her career as a “Broadway good girl” and wants to transform to mature performer. Although judging from her age and appearance, she does not feel like someone who needs the transformation.

She performs two versions of “I Got Love,” with the second version significantly sexier, which is of course, a suggestion from Derek. Breaking down the grooving rhythm, Veronica is unwillingly surrounded by dancers, who suggestively interact with her, bringing her back and forth, left and right on the stage. At first, Veronica looks very lost in the rush and movement of the surrounding dancers. But when she finally brings it onto the stage, the performance is brilliant. She transformed, and her dance reveals her independence and her voice speaks of temptation.

Having Julia exposed to the criticism of her own script in an acting class is merely interesting. Another unexpected way to explore Marilyn Monroe is another moment that reminds us of the initial attraction of “Smash”: watching the production of a Broadway musical. “Smash” never lacks music or personal stories, but it needs more of those production stories to find the voice that drew viewers to it in the first place. Maybe it could get some more viewers and critics in the “love it“ side.

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