I have a confession. I’ve never been a Sound of Music maniac. I remember seeing the movie as a kid, of course, but it didn’t make that much of an impression (I was much more of an Annie kid). People say there are two types of people in the world – those who love The Sound of Music and those who hate it – and I’m firmly in the third camp, those who don’t care that much. But I did play Louisa (the most boring Von Trapp) when I was 12, so when the Carrie Underwood live production was announced, I thought, “Oh, that’s going to be an interesting… fiasco.”
And so it was, my dears. And so it was.
Where can I even start? The set looked like it had been salvaged from The Young and the Restless. Vampire Bill from True Blood was playing Captain Von Trapp, perhaps the foxiest fictional Austrian ever, in a casting decision that will probably never make sense. The only notable people of talent in the entire production were NBC-friendly Broadway stars Laura Benanti (recently of NBC’s Go On, as well as the world’s greatest living soprano/heir apparent to Barbara Cook) and Christian Borle (whose work on Smash familiarized him with the process of appearing in a televised musical fiasco), as well as Living Goddess Audra McDonald, who was obviously hired to class up the joint after some executive wrinkled up his nose and went “Ew… Carrie Underwood?” These three people were the only bright spots in a three-hour slog through one of America’s most beloved musicals.
Oh, wait. Rolf’s knees in his Nazi short-shorts were also pretty special. I mean, Rolf himself looked about thirty-five (way too old to be a mailman scamming on a 16-year-old), but dem knees.
Otherwise… what else is there to say? Shall we dwell on the fact that Carrie Underwood spoke in her normal Oklahoma-girl voice, but sang with a weird quasi-British accent, as though she learned all her lyrics phonetically from the Julie Andrews soundtrack? Should we talk about how the backdrop of the Austrian mountains looked like the set designer just blew up the picture on the Poland Spring water bottle labels? Is it even worth bringing up that NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD EVER CHOOSE BE-CURTAINED HICK CARRIE UNDERWOOD OVER BILLIONAIRE BARONESS CORPORATION PRESIDENT LAURA BENANTI?! Like, I can sort of overlook that plot point in the movie, because Julie Andrews is incredibly charming, but if you had to choose between a woman of taste, sophistication, and elegant cheekbones and a bleach-blonde nun school dropout, and you chose the latter… well, I don’t know what to tell you.
Like, there’s just no comparison.
Whatever, though. I’m not mad, and I don’t feel like my three hours were really wasted. What else was I going to do on a Thursday night? Go out, like a person with a social life? Naaah. I’d rather stay home and watch an American Idol derp her way through one of the great American musicals.
And to be perfectly honest, while the broadcast itself wasn't that funny, watching Twitter and Tumblr alongside the show made it a hundred times better. It actually stopped me from tuning out, because you have to stay engaged with a show if you're trying to come up with a zinger that'll get you a ton of retweets. Live-tweeting is basically the best way to watch any sort of television event - all the fun of sitting around taking the piss in a bar, without the hangover or having people shush you for talking out loud. It's a total experience enhancer.
Can’t wait for Kellie Pickler in Funny Girl, coming this spring to NBC.
Liz / @lizbelsky