Admittedly, we've been passive reviewers of NBC's latest hit show, Smash. Its been sitting on our news desk for a while now, and we've been more absorbed in watching the show than sharing a review of it.
Jumping into it: Katharine McPhee stars as Karen Cartwright, who is the understudy who loses the Marilyn Monroe role to a more experienced Ivy Lynn played by Megan Hilty. She gets to be in the chorus though, and for her its a consolation she's more than happy with.
Smash is of course, more than just two women fighting for the role to play Marilyn Monroe in a broadway production, it covers the makings and behind the curtains of what it takes to make a broadway musical. We have no experience in this, but rest assure its no walk in the park.
There's sex with directors, affairs with lead singers, and constant politicking and the search for funding. After all, not everyone is a fan of the arts.
What blew us away in this latest episode, titled "Chemistry", the sixth in the season, was the fact that we couldn't wait for a scene with McPhee to come up. If only she had more screen time, but alas, there are other storylines in the show too.
The episode starts out with Ivy's voice catching up, and she's forced to go on medication which gives her side effects of somewhat hallucinating and paranoia. Karen might just get the role after all. But no, not in this episode.
She takes on a bar mitzvah job that Ivy passed on to another chorus dancer that passed it on to Karen. In it, she performs Florence and the Machine's Shake it Out. Not the kind of Bar Mitzvah song you would expect, but apparently 13 year old kids these days know a good song or two. Respect.
And doing Florence is no easy feat. Her distinct voice makes it incredibly hard for anyone to emulate her. McPhee chatted with AOL Music about the decision behind the performance.
“Believe it or not, when I was told I was going to sing with a bar mitzvah band, I thought, ‘What could we do?’” the ‘American Idol‘ alum said. “Of course everyone thought it should be an old standard but the label and I put our heads together to think what might be very cool and also fun.”
“We went through a bunch of songs and when I heard this last year, I knew we had to do it,” McPhee gushed. “Florence + the Machine’s record had not come out yet but we had heard the song and thought this would be amazing especially in this setting. So far this is one of my favorites.”
The result? She nails it. I watched the scene three times. Looked on YouTube for it. And found it. Not the actual performance but at least, something to push you in the direction of wanting to watch the show.