If you're a fan of The Sound of Music (the film and/or the stage production) you no doubt went into last night's live recreation on NBC starring Carrie Underwood (huh?) and Stephen Moyer (huh??) with apprehension. And while it didn't quite hit train wreck proportions most of us expected, it certainly didn't do the original justice, instead making viewers desperately yearn for Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. At least, that seemed to be the consensus on Twitter, where just about everyone watched and hilariously snarked together.
Of course, even with missteps (and missed notes), this was a pretty noteworthy -- not to mention rare -- thing to watch on modern primetime television. Here are the highs and low-dee ode le her o, de lay hee hoos of The Sound of Music Live!.
High: Carrie Underwood's Yodeling Abilities
Choosing the Southern-rooted Underwood for an Austrian-based musical made little to no sense to begin with. But that country music background came in real handy for the yodel-friendly number "The Lonely Goatherd." It briefly made me get over the fact that there were no marionettes. Only briefly.
Low: Just About Everything Else Carrie Underwood Did, Especially Emoting
Look, to be fair, Underwood's acting resume included a stint as not-Ted Mosby's wife on How I Met Your Mother and the inspirational surf movie Soul Surfer. Well, that and she's just not a good actress. For as much as Underwood strained to get some of the musical numbers down pat, it was watching her try to emote as the beloved Maria that was truly the hardest thing to stomach. She had no chemistry with Moyer's Captain Von Trapp (just as much his fault as hers, but more on him in a bit) and the whole thing just looked like work for her.
Hell yeah, Kurt. Hit those high notes, young man.
Ugh, Rolf. (That said, Michael Campayno is super fine and hopefully he no longer gets cast as Nazis thus no longer causing some seriously conflicting feelings).
High: Broadway Stars Save the Day
For the first time in Sound of Music history, everyone was rooting for the Baroness and that is entirely thanks to Laura Benanti just killing it. Christian Borle briefly made a nation miss Smash with his turn as Max, but really it was Audra McDonald who stole the whole show as Mother Abbess. McDonald's rendition of the showstopper "Climb Every Mountain" could give even the most cynical viewer goose bumps. Benanti, Borle, and McDonald gave this production the major gravitas it needed, but it was also a reminder at how wildly miscast non-stage vets like Underwood and Moyer were.
Low: Stephen Moyer, You're No Christopher Plummer
Moyer's scary/sexy vampire face makes sense on True Blood, but in the Sound of Music you just keep waiting for him to say "SOOKEH" and then suck Maria's blood. It was unnerving, to say the least. Giving credit where it's due, he did sing "Edelweiss" pretty nicely.
High: Being On Twitter During the Broadcast
Man, there were some gems on social media last night and it made it the biggest, funniest viewing party possible. Even if you weren't watching live, reading the tweets about the show were a comedy gold mine. (Anna Kendrick may have taken the cake.)
Low: Technical Difficulties
Hey, it's live television, so shit is bound to go wrong. Still, all those trips and costume snags and annoying microphone cutouts and feedback can grate on you after three hours.
High: The Songs. Yes, the Songs!
This presentation of The Sound of Music may have been off at times, but the songs -- even when butchered – still hold up. Admit it, you have been singing "My Favorite Things," "Do-Re-Mi," and "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" for the past 12 hours now.
Low: Ohhhhh Right, All That Nazi Stuff
Yes, yes, if you're familiar with The Sound of Music you know a huge chunk of the plot deals with Nazis. But there is still something so wildly surreal about seeing an American Idol champion, a cable vampire and a gaggle of precocious children sing their hearts out in front of swastika banners.
High: Maybe This Will Become a Thing?
Seriously, they could do this once a year with a variety of different shows and we'd watch the hell out of it. In fact, we have some suggestions .
Low: The Wardrobe
When Carrie Underwood wasn't dressed like the Swiss Miss girl, she was inexplicably dressed like a Pan Am flight attendant. There were also Nazis in short shorts and some seriously terrible-curtains-turned-terrible-matching-ensembles.
Think you've got game? Prove it! Check out Games Without Pity, our new area featuring trivia, puzzle, card, strategy, action and word games -- all free to play and guaranteed to help pass the time until your next show starts.
MOST RECENT POSTS