1. Karen auditions for “Bombshell” with “Beautiful.”
Because nothing says Broadway and Marilyn Monroe like Xtina.
2. Leo is upset that his parents are thinking about not adopting a new baby.
No teenage boy cares this much about not getting a little sister — especially a kid as needy as Leo.
3. Karen experiences her first fantasy musical number.
And it’s a sultry cover of Blondie’s “Call Me.” Though intended as a clever way to add pop songs into a Broadway-heavy show, this is the first of many awkward and forced dream sequences.
4. Eileen throws a drink in Jerry’s face. Again.
She seriously never gets tired of this.
5. Michael is performing in a Bruno Mars musical.
In what circle of Hell would this kind of thing get made?
6. Ellis steals Julia’s notebooks because he’s pissed that he’s not getting credit for the Marilyn idea.
Then he makes vague threats and returns the notebooks. Best villain of all time.
7. Karen returns to Iowa and performs “Redneck Woman” at karaoke.
It is the least convincing version of any song, ever.
8. Ivy and Michael sing the terrible “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” and somehow the producers still want this musical to get made.
Really, it’s awful.
9. Members of the ensemble give “Iowa” a Broadway makeover.
These people go from monsters to mentors in a split second.
10. Lyle instantly knows how to sing and play “Never Met a Wolf Who Didn’t Like to Howl.”
Fast learner, that one. It’s uncanny.
11. Karen and her fellow cast members perform a flawlessly choreographed “Rumour Has It.”
Which they learned … when, exactly? Must have been during all the downtime from the musical they’re constantly rehearsing.
12. Rehearsals continue with more major dance numbers, even though “Bombshell” still doesn’t have a book.
This is not how Broadway works!
13. Leo gets arrested for smoking weed in the park.
On the page, Leo’s marijuana bender is believable enough, but the actor can’t sell it. Not even a little.
14. Julia gives Leo an absurd speech about the dangers of drug addiction.
Like he’s the only teenager in New York who got caught getting high in the park. Whatever. Parenting.
15. Karen learns to be sexy, and it’s embarrassing for everyone.
Also, the message seems to be that women should use their sexual wiles to get ahead. Stay classy, Smash!
16. Michael and Julia kiss outside of Julia’s house, even though her kid is right inside.
Someone needs a refresher course in extramarital affairs. Infidelity 101?
17. Julia still hasn’t written a book for this show, and Tom defends her.
Because she has adoption drama, you guys. And it’s not like Bombshell isn’t coming together perfectly without a goddamn script.
18. Julia and Michael carry on their clandestine affair without being clandestine at all.
If they’re in a public place, they’re either making eyes at each other or full-on nuzzling each other’s faces.
19. Ivy has to take prednisone after losing her voice, and she acts like it’s a hardcore drug.
Prednisone. You know, what they give people with asthma, the hardest drug abusers.
20. Ellis gets in Eileen’s good graces, despite being the most unlikable character on a show filled with unlikable characters.
21. Karen has no idea what a Bar Mitzvah is.
She’s from Iowa, OK? They don’t have Jews there. And they definitely don’t have Jews on Broadway.
22. Karen dazzles the crowd with everyone’s favorite Bar Mitzvah song, “Shake It Out.”
She’s not even all that good, but some big-shot music producer sees big talent there. OK.
23. Julia and Michael have sex, then continue being the worst at having an affair.
Keep it in your pants. Christ. You’re at work.
24. Karen gets studio time based solely on her mediocre Bar Mitzvah performance.
It’s a tough business, unless you’re Karen.
25. Ivy’s mom is basically Bernadette Peters playing herself, and this is the first we’ve heard of it.
If your mom is one of the biggest Broadway stars ever, I think you’d have a pretty serious leg up. The family name alone would sell tickets to that show. And would getting a backer really be that impossible?
26. Leigh performs “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” for the “Bombshell” cast.
With minimal prompting and no preparation. Sure, she loves attention, but she’s not even getting any publicity from this. Broadway divas don’t just give it away for free.
27. Michael and Julia ad-lib a scene between Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe.
I’m just not sure there improv skills are there? Also, the scene mirrors their lives perfectly, because it’s that kind of show. Also, also, why can’t Julia write the fucking book already?
28. Eileen’s sexy bartender love interest hires illegal labor to get the heat fixed.
Like you do.
29. Everyone acts like the workshop is a disaster, even though Ivy is the only real talent here.
Megan Hilty consistently kills it. Don’t try to pin this on her, producers.
30. Julia breaks it off with Michael, who brings his wife and kid along for the ride.
Why break up with your mistress on your own? Bring along the whole family to rub her face in it.
31. Leo faces a judge for the crime of trespassing on grass.
Not smoking grass, mind you. He’s seriously in trouble for walking where he wasn’t supposed to.
32. Karen goes behind everyone’s backs to test out an edgier Marilyn show.
There are strobe lights and masks and underwear. It’s somehow even worse than Bombshell.
33. Frank finds Julia’s new song and manages to piece together that she’s been cheating on him.
Oh, was it not obvious enough when they were constantly macking on each other in public? Frank goes from shockingly oblivious to so intuitive it’s downright supernatural.
34. Frank punches Michael in the face.
But only because he didn’t have a martini to throw instead.
35. Karen is cast in an orange juice commercial where she’s forced to wear a full-body latex suit.
Because it’s all green screen, and I guess she’s supposed to be a disembodied face? Orange juice!
36. Norbert Leo Butz is starring in this bullshit musical about angels.
I guess stranger things have happened. Did you hear about the Bruno Mars musical?
37. Ivy loses herself to substances, because prednisone is a gateway drug.
Her descent into addiction happens with terrifying speed, but hey, isn’t that how it always goes? (No.)
38. Ivy makes a complete ass of herself on stage.
I’m sure lots of performers do drugs backstage. But they generally don’t fall flat on their faces, especially if they want to have any sort of career in the future. That’s our Ivy!
39. Karen and Ivy perform a Rihanna duet in the middle of Times Square.
In a series full of absurd and unwatchable musical numbers, this is one of them.
40. Ivy and Karen are friends now, even though Karen just stole the part of Marilyn.
They sang Rihanna. That’s what happens.
41. Ivy imagines herself as Marilyn and sings Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway.”
Ah, “Breakaway,” that Marilyn Monroe standard.
42. Julia and Tom see a production of the first show they ever wrote, which is unbelievably bad.
Like, it would have been outdated before they were born. And yet, somehow, it started two great careers on Broadway. I’ll never understand showbiz.
43. Nick gives Eileen a bunch of money that he has stashed away for when he needs to invest in a Broadway show.
44. Rebecca was apparently hired without anyone checking that she could sing.
And she can’t! Reminder: she’ll be starring in Bombshell, a musical.
45. Ellis foils his own plot when he forgets how call waiting works.
Gold star for you, Ellis.
46. Derek imagines a really silly number because he’s still fantasizing about Karen as Marilyn.
It must be her charisma!
47. Rebecca is suddenly able to sing and dance.
Yes, all it took was one episode for someone who didn’t really know what a musical was to perform the big showstopper.
48. Rebecca decides to become best friends with Karen for no apparent reason.
Karen is dull, and Rebecca is very, very famous. But sure, they should definitely hang out all the time.
49. Karen imagines a Bollywood number that ends up being the worst thing “Smash” has ever done.
50. Rebecca sings “Happy Birthday” as Marilyn.
It’s more embarrassing than My Super Ex-Girlfriend.
51. Karen turns down Dev’s proposal with the best line of the series.
“I can’t get married — I’m in tech.” In a way, aren’t we all.
52. Ivy and Dev meet as strangers, which makes very little sense.
And then they have sex. That I’ll buy.
53. Julia blames Tom for Michael getting rehired.
Yes, it’s Tom’s fault you had a bunch of extramarital sex with Michael. Also Tom’s fault that the new DiMaggio dropped out. Fuck Tom, basically.
54. There is a homoerotic steam room number.
The more we see of Bombshell, the more perplexing it is.
55. The entire cast and crew goes to church.
Because that’s how we do in Boston. What. And once again, Karen is trying to steal the show, this time screwing over this poor church choir.
56. Rebecca is poisoned with peanuts in her smoothie.
This happened. We let it happen.
57. THEY ARE STILL WRITING THE FUCKING SHOW.
Opening night, y’all. OPENING. NIGHT.
58. Ellis admits to poisoning Rebecca, and somehow isn’t arrested.
All’s fair in love and Broadway, even attempted homicide.
59. Karen scrambles to learn the part of Marilyn, because Rebecca didn’t have an understudy.
Bombshell has to be the worst planned musical in history, and that includes Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.
60. After months of speculation, Karen performs as Marilyn, which was a foregone conclusion.
Suspense, my ass: this was the way it was always going to go. Meanwhile, Ivy pops pills backstage, and we stare in wonder, struggling to understand why we put so many hours into this unequivocal mess. And scene.
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