Smash Season 1 Episode 12

I was the one carping about how Raza Jaffrey only had lines like "Are you going in early" and "Shouldn't you talk to him?" but also had an inexplicable job we were infrequently supposed to care about (and a coworker who exists only to irritate us, the viewer, since Karen doesn't even seem to know her name). But I'm guessing I wasn't the only one or some producer screeched about how much money they were paying him and they'd better make a point of actually giving him something to do.  So that “something” turned out to be a Bollywood dance because ...of course it did.  And nobody's imaginations stretch further than Bollywood in an Indian restaurant, so that's where it went down.   

I certainly hope this was an entirely original song and not inspired or borrowed from a real Bollywood tune.  Because it sounds like nothing so much as a Jem and the Holograms tune, complete with a Misfits bridge.  I'm sure glad they didn't go to the obvious well when they were trying to think of the least stereotypical way for Dev to sing and dance.  Oh, all right, it's colourful and joyful and pretty.  It's still a damn lazy stereotype.  And the inclusion of all of the rest of the cast, awkwardly stuck on chairs because they wouldn't be able to pull off the choreography (the one shot of Julia and Frank is embarrassing) was infuriating.

Also lazy?  Everything about Rebecca.  Everything!  If you're going to have a story about a big-name film actress coming in to give your show some credibility, and you want to go off on how KOOKY and RIDICULOUS they are, it helps to at least try to understand the context of what you're talking about.  Let's begin, class.   

Nobody adopts someone like Karen without a cause.

Notice I didn't say “without a reason”.  These kinds of instant BFF-ships do pop up, especially on shows where the whole run is only 3 months.  But Karen would have had to do something to ingratiate herself.  Whisper a line, compliment a role.  It wouldn't take much, because that's the kind of person Rebecca is.  But it would take something, or else someone else would have become the pet.  It wouldn't be hard to show this to us - so SHOW.

She would have a devoted assistant.

This doesn't mean Ellis wouldn't still get stuck on supply-shopping duty (and boy did that look good on him) but she would have someone by her side (in fact, she does, doesn't she?) whose job would be to run for supplies and things.  There are many reasons to be late for rehearsal that don't involve eating potato chips.

As if she eats potato chips.

Oh, and while I'm up ...

I think you were trying to make fun of the actress's very specific dietary requirements, show, but indeed, as you yourselves pointed out, peanut allergies are a real thing.  I will suspend my disbelief that Rebecca happily ate fried pakoras and butter chicken, but please at least give her a dairy sensitivity or something reasonable.

She would never set foot in Karen's teeny little grotty apartment.

If she wanted to “manipulate the press” an actual kiss that looked like a kiss might be good.  Is this show not still on at 10 PM?

Needless to say, I could go on, but I think we've established that this character is a fake, fake person.  Why pull the punches?  Why not make it a full-on caricature if this is going to be a campy show, which it desperately needs to be in order to survive? (I could suspect this is a case of art imitating life, and that Ms. Thurman didn't want to play an OTT bitch -but then...still, why?)

It's not like they're holding back on the other storylines.  Crazy Debra Messing continuing to be bloody insane and shooting death glares at a 29-year-old playing a teen?  Sure. "I'M FAMOUS. I've had plays on BROADWAY".   NOPE.  "You screwed up your life so bad you have to run around threatening loser teenagers." NOPE.   Stage management being pulled off the gig to make smoothies? NEVER HAPPEN.  I'm sorry.

As usual, the only realism comes from Ivy, who seems more and more like she's on a completely different show.  Her manipulations - and hers alone - are understandable because she's not making dramatic demon face when she does them, and because she keeps her tone light-yet-unimpressed with Karen, and because she has the pro skills that she inexplicably lost two episodes ago back, and knows that sometimes the best thing to do is lie in wait, knowing that eventually cream rises to the top.

...But the top of what?   

Attached - Uma Thurman in a thoroughly bizarre outfit in New York last week.