Hands Down The Best Moment From Last Night's 'Sound Of Music Live' Sh*tshow
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Hands Down The Best Moment From Last Night's 'Sound Of Music Live' Sh*tshow

By Joanna Robinson | TV Reviews | December 6, 2013 | Comments ()

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We knew it was going to be bad. And it was. Not laugh out loud bad. Mercifully, nobody fell down. It was just flat and lifeless. But in casting the single threat Carrie Underwood, NBC made one of their canniest programming moves in ages. The numbers for The Sound Of Music Live last night were phenomenal. We’re talking record breaking. While many, I’m sure, were huddled around their TVs watching in utter delight (America, what are you gonna do?), there were also legions of us watching in utter spite. That’s right, this was one of the most hate-watched events of the year. My Twitter feed was flooded with gleeful snark. Sometimes from the strangest sources.

Basically we were all collectively echoing this, my favorite moment from the fabulous Laura Benanti.


But in casting Underwood, NBC not only drew on the the more forgiving American Idol lovers, but also those of us who were consumed by rage. She was a twofer. The numbers show that gamble paid off. So good for them. I guess. They murdered something I loved. But good for them.

Let me just voice one more irritation before I end on a positive note. Why did they stage the most youthful and effervescent number, “16 Going On 17,” on a gorram hillock? Those two young performers (Ariane Rinehart and Michael Campayno) were GREAT dancers. Why did you make them twirl and lift on uneven terrain half obscured by trees. WHO MADE THAT DECISION?! I WANT THEIR HEAD!

Ahem. As promised, I’ll end on a high note. Here are Laura Benanti and the amazing Christian Borle (actual musical performers with talent, grace and charm) knocking the hell out of this song and doing the best they could with a wooden Vampire Bill. Enjoy!

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Is it me, or since the internet, has proof-reading in journalism gone completely out the window? I see stuff like this all the time: "NBC not only drew on the the more forgiving American Idol lovers" So annoying. Am I the only bothered by this trend or has it just become acceptable to read an article and whiz by the most basic of grammar mistakes? I mean, I mistakes all the time but I'm not writing an article and am not a journalist.

  • The Replicant Brooke

    The only thing I can think of when I see Vampire Bill:


  • Cowtools

    I've still never seen Sound Of Music.
    Sound I watch this version or the original?

  • e jerry powell

    This was a televised performance of the original.

  • Cowtools

    No no, what I meant was, should I watch the the 1965 film or this performance?
    I mean, the 1965 film has Julie Andrews & Christopher Plummer, was directed by Robert Wise and had a script by Ernest Lehman.
    While this one has a genuine American Idol winner AND one of the dudes from True Blood!
    Decisions, decisions...

  • e jerry powell

    I will always say "watch the play first." Always.

    This particular production, maybe not, but it's still the play versus the film.

  • I loved Smash, but I always thought Christian Borle was a little over the top. He seemed perfect on this, but I guess that's the difference between theatre and TV. You need to dial it back a few notches for television.

  • Three_nineteen

    That could be partially a director's fault, or maybe Borle realized the disaster going on around him and was trying to be a distraction.

  • I am a huge fan of the movie, even went to see some filming locations when I was in Austria as a teenager. However, this is a version of the stage show and like any play there are really awful parts but the odd moment that makes it worthwhile. I really wish they had different casting but I am glad that I could see the stage version as it gave something I love a different perspective (and I didn't have to pay for a ticket)

  • IngridToday

    It's distracting how incapable Vampire Bill is of showing a convincing emotional reaction. He comes off as an extra who's not good enough to have an lines, but, won't go away.

  • Walt Jr

    Dayum! That was harsh. I loved it.....

  • BWeaves

    The Baroness' songs are my favorite bits of the play.

    I wish they'd forego the stunt casting and actually put on a real play with real Broadway performers.

  • e jerry powell

    Indeed. But what kind of ratings would that pull?

    Rule #1: Never lose sight of the bottom line.

  • While I - like Arran - carry no torch for musicals in general or this one in particular.... I just found this whole idea laughably akin to the live extravaganza "Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol" from Scrooged. All this mess needed was someone stapling tiny Nazi uniforms onto mice.

  • IngridToday

    This seems like something they'd do on 30 Rock.

  • Al Borland's Beard

    Carrie Underwood is certainly attractive and seems to be a good, if somewhat boring singer. That being said, she inspires nothing, but a collective shrug from both my penis and I.

  • mats19

    Is it odd that she was the ONLY blonde in the entire show... when the whole story is taking place in Austria a widely blonde haired people region... I thought that was seriously strange.

  • SVR

    I tuned in toward the last hour, just in time to see actual goddess Audra McDonald sing "Climb Ev'ry Mountain." I figured it was probably the most worthwhile portion of the evening. (Christian Borle notwithstanding)

  • janetfaust

    I really enjoyed it because my expectations were incredibly low, even though I love the movie version so very much. Nothing can take away from the movie, honestly, I watch it just about every year and have since I was a kid. I still found it refreshing to hear the songs in different places and additional dialogue (I have never seen the actual musical version, just the movie), and I really enjoyed the additional music with the nuns.

    I don't care for Carrie Underwood all that much but I don't hate her. I remember her from American Idol - she was a dead-eyed robot pageant child with a great voice filled with false emotion. Watching her in this last night, I realized she has honestly come a long way. No, she is not a good actress, but she didn't try to imitate Julie Andrews, and she did radiate a kind of naive innocence that was believable. No one they cast was going to become the new, definitive Maria, so Underwood did the best she could. I would have not chosen some of the outfits for her as they made her look younger than what I felt the character should be. I thought everyone else was great. I loved the kids, I loved Frau Schmidt and the Reverend Mother. I would love to see more modern versions of musicals on TV like this, live or not, so if the ratings are great, maybe they will make more and the quality will improve.

  • Arran

    That's the thing; while I had no interest in this, I was actually kind of pulling for it to do well so that we might see some more big live events in the future. Maybe next time it'll be something I actually want to watch!

  • e jerry powell

    Indeed. There are a great many things out there worthy of the live network treatment.

  • Arran

    The Twitter snark over this was about the least funny thing I've ever seen. All those professional funny people and hardly any of it rose above the level of "Carrie Underwood sucks lol" and "Nazis, amirite?"

    (NB: I was completely ambivalent about the whole enterprise. I had no interest in watching but don't hold the film in especially high regard—I have nothing against it, I'm just not a big fan of musicals.)

  • You should have seen the Di Giorno Pizza Twitter account last night. They were practically frothing at the mouth over this. It was quite amusing.

  • Al Borland's Beard

    And to think, I missed another week of Parks and Rec over this. Fuck you, NBC. You deserve last place.

  • chanohack

    What, no mention of Rolfe's teeny shorts? Where am I?

  • BWeaves

    I already made an unintentional joke about tiny "Liederhosen" (sic) on a previous thread.

  • chanohack

    I know, I replied to it.

  • Maguita NYC

    I missed it! Only watched that moment where Beeehll finally thawed out in front of his kids by squeezing his eyebrows together. Someone needs to find a pic of those tiny shorts.

    Also, "Sister" Maria had too much make-up on, almost like she was an escapee of Religious Circus School.

  • I didn't watch, but I totally want a series based at a religious circus school.

  • THANK YOU. Didn't watch, but from the pics/clips I've seen, looks like they grease-painted Underwood up to be "Convent Barbie" (comes with a few of her favorite things!)"

  • JoannaRobinson

    I couldn't see Rolf's shorts behind Maria's enormous hot air balloon sleeves.

    Besides, in a post-Candelabra world, I think we need to reassess the word "teeny."


  • chanohack

    Fair enough, and thank you.

  • IngridToday

    Candelabra is now my go to movie for when I'm sick and want to feel better.

  • the_wakeful

    Carrie Underwood and The Sound of Music are two of my least favorite things. No way were they getting my demographically-valuable eyeballs.

  • Wicked

    Pfff Sound of music is the shit yo.

  • I am so very, very glad that my usual Thursday dinner out with the ladies ended up being delayed and then running long, as I managed to miss the entirety of this nightmare. That said, the singers in the clip above were quite good.

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