8 Reasons Why Ivy Lynn Should Book Every Job Over Karen Cartwright
1:00 pm, April 16th | by
Yeah, I’m still watching Smash, what of it? Even though the beleaguered show has departed its Tuesday time slot to die a quiet death on Saturday nights, that doesn’t mean that we as a nation should abandon the very important task of emphasizing how much better Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty) is as a person, performer and employee in comparison to drab Karen Cartwright (Katherine McPhee). This divide was made even more apparent in the new episode that aired over the weekend. Check out the 8 reasons why Ivy Lynn should never be without a job and Karen should be unemployed forever, so we can all make sure we’re on the same page by the time the show gets canceled.
1.1. Ivy doesn't make everything about her.
In the most recent episode, Ivy was asked to do a nude scene in "Bombshell" after a wardrobe malfunction at the first preview of the show (it's not accident that I typed that as "perview" initially) leads to a surge in ticket sales. She considers all of her options through the lens of what would be best for her professionally and what would be best for the show artistically, before making the choice to do it — but at a different moment in the scene, retaining total agency over the character and her body. It's a mature and intelligent actor's choice.
2.2. Meanwhile, Karen can't NOT make it about her
After ditching the lead in "Bombshell" for the lead in the "edgier" musical "Hit List," Karen learns that her character's signature ballad will be sung a capella for a few seconds at the beginning of the show by another character. Rather than evaluate whether that choice makes for an effective opening scene or not, Karen can't deal with the idea of not being the first person onstage to warble a single note from her "anthem." She seems like such a joy to work with!
3.3. Ivy puts her work before her personal life
Ivy acquiesced to director Tom's decision to hire her mother to play Marilyn's own mom in "Bombshell," understanding that it would both help her performance and raise the profile of the show. She also had a difficult but necessary conversation with Tom about the need to put their friendship aside while he is runnign the show/acting directly as her boss. Neither of these things were easy, nor did she do the right thing immediately — but she eventually did what she knew would be best for her job.
4.4. For Karen, work IS her personal life
Karen might be inclined to make the same pragmatic choices, if she ever stopped to think about anything for half a second, choosing instead to endlessly seesaw romantically between her director Derek and mysterious, rage-filled composer Jimmy. Moreover, she blames the downsizing of her role on her romantic entanglements rather than the talent of her costars, alienating everyone in the production not involved in the love triangle (actually, even Derek gets fed up with her) with her "Y'all are just jealous" attitude.
5.5. Ivy lets herself be humbled
After she let her personal demons get the better of her last season, Ivy came back to New York, hat in hand, and started auditioning again for other shows (eventually landing a lead in another short-lived Broadway production). She understood that she had set herself back professionally and chose to channel all of her energy into proving herself to the theater community again.
6.6. Karen must be the star, or else something is terribly wrong
"Hit List" might be a far better show with Karen playing a smaller part, but Karen certainly doesn't see it that way!
7.7. Ivy understands the value of paying dues
Despite growing up as the daughter of an iconic (...and undermining and scary) Broadway star, Ivy chose to distance herself from an almost certain ticket into the Broadway world, auditioning and landing parts without the assistance of her mother's name. She's talented enough for it not to be a problem even if she did use it to get her foot in the door, but it's admirable that she chose not to.
8.8. Karen is the proverbial intern who thinks she should be the CEO
Finally, most irritatingly, Karen was moved to quit "Bombshell" when she, an unknown in her first Broadway leading role, couldn't agree on her character's direction with the highly successful Broadway composer (fine, also directing for the first time) who co-created the show. She is the worst, and the default position for everyone, even the restaurant she works at, should be "FIRED." #FireKaren #SpreadItLikeWildfire #BeforeTheShowGetsCanceled #AndSheGetsFiredForReal