Smash: Season 1, Episode 4

The Cost of Art (27 Feb. 2012)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Musical
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Despite their respective roles in the production, the seeming battle between Ivy and Karen continues into the workshop. Ivy is mad since she wasn't told previously that Karen would be in ... See full summary »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Houston (credit only)
Joshua Bergasse ...


Despite their respective roles in the production, the seeming battle between Ivy and Karen continues into the workshop. Ivy is mad since she wasn't told previously that Karen would be in the ensemble. Ivy, despite or because she knows Karen is talented, does whatever she can to ensure that Karen gets as little work in the background as possible. Karen is mad as she learns that Ivy and Derek are in a sexual relationship, something she knows she could have had with Derek if she wanted, and something she knows got Ivy the part regardless of talent. She is also mad because of the stunts Ivy is pulling to minimize her work. Regardless, Karen is determined to be the best ensemble player ever, without truly understanding what that really means. Karen ultimately gets some unexpected support in making her way through her first ever Broadway musical ensemble. Meanwhile, Derek is throwing a birthday party for former Broadway child actor and now television star Lyle West. The party adds another ... Written by Huggo

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Drama | Musical






Release Date:

27 February 2012 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


I Never Met a Wolf Who Didn't Love to Howl
Music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman
Performed by Nick Jonas, Debra Messing, Megan Hilty, Jaime Cepero, Will Chase and Ensemble
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User Reviews

Pretty good episode
1 March 2012 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Just to correct another review of this episode, the art work that Anjelica Huston's Eileen is trying to leverage for money to put into the workshop is actually a sketch by Dégas, not Renoir. She has trouble with that because, although her estranged husband Jerry gave it to her, his name is on the paperwork as owner.

The episode is generally pretty fun (yes, lots of moments that are not exactly 'realistic' or 'authentic,' but to me it's worth putting up with a little of that, if they make it all fun and engaging enough). I especially enjoyed seeing Broadway diva Ann Harada, though in a role that I sincerely hope will have more scope; she plays what appears to be some kind of stage manager, announcing when it's time for rehearsal to break for lunch. That's part of the weirdness of this show, for folks who are real theater and Broadway fans: seeing people who are, to us, great stars, playing sometimes tiny roles that don't let anyone see the marvels of which they're capable (for instance, the thought of having Brian D'Arcy James around and not singing is just bizarre--hopefully that will eventually be rectified). This is not a new phenomenon, given all the television work that New York actors get (especially, historically, soaps, but also shows like the LAW & ORDERs and others), but seems even stranger, since the setting for this show's story is the actual professional world in which they loom so large. I remember seeing Ron Bohmer, an absolutely phenomenal singer and actor, in a fleeting role on a L&O a few years ago--it's just weird, knowing the ratio of talent and ability to the little bit they're doing. Then again, that's how I used to feel, seeing Matthew Morrison in little roles in MUSIC & LYRICS and DAN IN REAL LIFE, and now he belongs to everyone.

Anyway, how likely would it be, in real life, that a youngish, paid-her-dues, experienced, theater performer getting her first shot at a role (beyond ensemble) in a Broadway show--and the lead and title character at that--would behave in such a selfish, unprofessional way as Ivy is doing in these rehearsals? I think very unlikely, at least in as blatant, open a fashion as is being portrayed here. But, for the story, I'll go along. For me, the unrealistic point that bothered most was when Karen's colleagues from the ensemble ask her where/from whom she's taking dance classes, and she appears to be clueless, as if the idea of dance training is completely foreign to her. Her character is supposed to be a trained, professional singer/dancer/actress, and has declared herself so, so why have this silly moment? The writers should have just had her name a studio or teacher, which her colleagues could have then shot down, telling her she must come study where they do. It would accomplish the point, without undermining what we're supposed to believer her character is. Also, in the scene where Eileen arranges for Nick Jonas' Lyle to see and hear a number from MARILYN, his joining in, with correct lyrics, along with some of the others who join in, is somewhat fantastical. But, again, I'll suspend the disbelief because they made it work well enough, and entertained me enough, that I'm willing. Onward and upward, hopefully.

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