The difference between 2012 and 2020 (well, one of them) is that when Tom suggests doing a Marilyn Monroe musical without men, we're supposed to laugh. But today I thought, "God, that sounds amazing!"
Less amazing is listening to Karen Cartwright whine about going to a baby shower in Iowa—or the whole subplot of Ivy Lynn sleeping with Derek. There's another difference between 2012 and 2020: That storyline would not be so casual today, and thank god for that. But boy is it painful to see Ivy Lynn developing feelings for him, even as he tells Karen that she's too good to be in the ensemble but she's there anyway. Since this is, as far as we know, Karen's very first professional job it's a little frustrating that she sulks about it as much as she does here but that's our Karen!
Personally, I'm trying very hard to not develop feelings of loathing, unadulterated loathing, for Ellis but man! Of all the awful men on this series, he is absolutely the worst. Imagine being an assistant that entitled and that rude to your boss' writing partner! Not to mention snooping through Julia's purse and then later gaslighting her and chiding her for having a temper. Maybe some tea would calm her down? Julia does not appreciate the suggestion, but if a man creates a tea drawer, he's going to use it.
Julia, meanwhile, is trying to convince herself that marriage is a good thing now that Michael Swift (Will Chase) is back in the picture. Like every other man on this show, Tom is too self-involved to notice that she flinches every time they bring him up. There's a story there, Tom! Pay attention! Eventually she comes clean about her affair with Michael to Tom. Apparently, absolutely no one knows that they made out in public on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Jerry should be paying more attention, too, because he gets blindsided by another of Eileen's cocktails to the face. And she needed that drink, too, because she just went downtown to see a Bruno Mars jukebox musical at La MaMa. I will never understand this show's predilection for dropping in real places and people into contexts that don't really work; La MaMa is hardly a bastion of jukebox musicals, even one as screamingly "experimental" as this one. Why not say MCC and call it a day? Later, Jerry tries to take control of the Marilyn musical from Eileen and earns another Manhattan to the face for his efforts.
Back in Iowa, Karen is at a karaoke bar baby shower singing "Redneck Woman" with Rebecca Naomi Jones and Jenni Barber. What we don't know is that her father is lurking in the audience to watch her. Totally normal parent behavior.
The episode ends with the contemplative "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," performed by Michael Swift and Ivy Lynn. A far cry from the pulse-racing original songs from the first two episodes, no? And one of the very few low-key songs in what will eventually become Bombshell. (Spoiler!)
Will Chase, Condola Rashad, Jenni Barber, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Manny Azenberg
"Grenade," "Redneck Woman," "Mr. and Mrs. Smith"
5 (Julia, Dennis, Ivy)