This episode painted portraits of the depressing lives of ambitious folk in politics and showbiz. There was nothing truly fun about “The Coup.” Especially not that cheesy bowling-turned-into-a-musical-scene bit.

katharine mcphee

Photo by: Craig Blankenhorn/NBC)

The Good Husband

It’s not a huge secret that Julia has been a jerk to her husband. Even in this episode, when he sings to her, she’s all attitude. Does she deserve someone so sweet? No wonder their son prefers his Dad.

The Saga of Ivy vs Karen

I have very strong thoughts about how the show manipulates us to like Karen more than Ivy. Not everyone agrees. But I’ll tell you how I saw this episode unfold.

Karen doesn’t want to be ruthless, and they keep her innocent by having her naive enough not to know she’s being a bad guy. And then we have to ask, is she really a bad guy for having ambition? It’s such a tricky line in show business. Is it ruthless to do something like Karen did, or is it mostly just the smart thing to do? Without showing Karen making a tough decision, it keeps her character from being real. She’s just always lucky, and gets breaks without earning them with time and effort.

katharine mcpheeMeanwhile, Ivy is the pathetic one who slept with the director and is always needing to be cheered up by people. When she’s upset about possibly losing the role of Marilyn, we’re meant to think she’s the bad guy (like the role wasn’t really hers.) When she finally does lose the role we don’t even feel that bad for her (at least I didn’t) because she’d just been such a bitch to Karen.

Ellis the Scoundrel

It was so great when Katie called out Ellis for snooping. He’s been such an obvious bad guy, like a cartoon villain.

Contemporary Marilyn

We were probably supposed to like the “Touch Me” bit, but there were only flashes there that I liked. Mostly I thought it was not a great song. The Marilyn Monroe of today would be a Paris Hilton or a Kim Kardashian. What does that say about what Marilyn really was?