'Smash' Callback Stunner: Did They Pick the Right Actress?

smash bothWow, that was fast. In just the 2nd episode of Smash they made that nail-biting casting decision for the title role of musical, Marilyn. Experienced Broadway veteran Ivy, or fresh ingenue Karen? A lot of people were speculating that it would be a double casting, and that's what I was thinking, too. But wow, Smash surprised me! And now I'm left wondering -- with that big decision made, what will keep viewers returning? And is that really a firm decision, or are we in store for some sort of reversal?

I'm going to stop here before I go on and warn you that the rest of the post contains SPOILERS. So if you haven't seen this episode yet, stop reading here and come back after you've seen it! SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YOU.

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As I declared last week, I've been on Team Ivy, and I was still rooting for her in this episode. I was surprised to see the amount of support she got from other viewers, too. I would have predicted more American Idol fans to chime in for Team Karen, but (and this is totally unscientific) seems like Team Ivy had more members.

And from the get-go it you could see the deck getting stacked in Ivy's favor. She had a spy on Karen's dance team. Meanwhile, Karen's dance rehearsals looked really rough. Derek actually slammed the door in her face when it was over! Later, in a dramatic scene, Derek almost loses patience with Karen. "Right now it doesn't look like you're doing anything!" But then he coaches Karen into "being" Marilyn rather than "doing" Marilyn. And I was starting to think she might get the role after all.

Meanwhile, Derek told Eileen that Ivy was "trying too hard" and was maybe "too perfect." That became the theme for Ivy, and it was totally maddening! Overprepared. Read all the books, saw all the movies, knew every single move, could do the dances backwards (and in heels). And then when Ivy SLEEPS WITH DEREK -- Oh my god, not that! All I could imagine was how awful she'd feel afterwards if she didn't get cast. (I know, I'm probably supposed to be morally outraged, right? Why aren't I?)

So when Ivy does get the part (YES!) it's tainted with that horrible doubt that comes with the infamous casting couch. Was it her acting/dancing/singing chops -- or was it her ass? Will she ever know for certain? Does it matter to Ivy, or is she so jaded by now it doesn't even matter to her? I don't think we really know her well enough to say. I did think what Derek said about her was intriguing, though. "There's a loneliness there, a wound." And maybe that, more than the roll in the hay, is what finally convinced Derek she was right for the role.

Then we learn that Derek also dumped a project he'd been working on for three years -- a film based on My Fair Lady that had just been picked up by Eileen's ex, no less. And he's dumped it so he can keep working on Marilyn, That makes me think maybe his casting decision does come more from his gut and brains than from his willy. (Let's just hope Derek and Ivy use birth control.)

Great line from Derek about Marilyn Monroe: "She's not the American Eliza Doolittle, she's more than that."

Were you surprised by the casting decision this week? Do you think it's a done deal, or do you think we'll see Karen again?

 

Image via NBC.com

 

 

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