'The Sound of Music Live': Five reasons we couldn't stop watching
Against our better judgment, we watched the three-hour live staging of The Sound of Music on NBC Thursday night. Like most things on NBC these days, it was kind of a train wreck. Unlike most things on NBC, we couldn’t stop watching. Here are five reasons why.
UPDATE: Apparently you couldn't stop watching either; early Nielsens ratings show that a whopping 18.5 million viewers watched The Sound of Music Live, averaging a 4.6 rating among adults 18-49. It was easily the most-watched program of the night.
1. Twitter. Is it a surprise that the tweets were 1,000 times more enjoyable than the actual show? The Best Live Tweeting award definitely goes to @DiGiornoPizza. Yes, that's the Twitter account for "It's not delivery, it's DiGiorno" frozen DiGiorno's Pizza. Bizarre. Our favorite? This gem, tweeted right after Climb Ev'ry Mountain: “CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN, FORD EVERY STREAM, FOLLOW EVERY RAINBOW, UNTIL YOU FIND A SUPREME (PIZZA FROM DIGIORNOOOOOO) #TheSoundOfMusicLive”. Click here for more of our favorite tweets.
2. Boy, was it real easy to tell who had lots of stage experience and who didn’t. Instead of focusing on the negative (yes, Carrie Underwood had no business being there and the chemistry between her and Stephen Moyer was laughable), we'd like to applaud the theater vets for bringing some much needed gravitas to the proceedings. Thank goodness for Christian Borle and the great Laura Benanti, as the affable Max Detweiler and Elsa Schrader. We were definitely rooting for the captain to run away with the baroness instead of Maria.
3. And that brings us to Audra McDonald. A.k.a. a FIVE-TIME TONY WINNER, a.k.a. the best thing about this whole thing. Maybe the producers should have just handed all the parts over to her. Seriously, she could have done it.
4. Costumes. Yikes, what did Carrie Underwood do to anger the costume designer? One minute she looked like the St. Pauli Girl, the next like a '60s flight attendant. We understand The Sound of Music is set a long time ago, and the outfits have to be of the time period, but come on, that wedding dress? Ooof. And anyone else temporarily blinded by Rolf's shorts? Thanks for that, NBC. (Another reason we adored Benanti’s baroness? Fierce ensembles. That pink shirt-red pants combo was to die for.)
5. Real talk: Half the reason we tuned in was to see what could go wrong. And there were plenty small hiccups -- a dark object sneaking its way into the frame, some sort of weird white noise issue persisting throughout the show -- but our favorite was the painfully awkward interaction between Moyer’s Capt. von Trapp and the line-flubbing lead Nazi in the second act.
We should make it clear that we wholeheartedly support live theater, and live theater on TV is an interesting idea. With a better musical (one that doesn't have to live up to the hype of such a classic movie and, honestly, can get pretty boring at times) and the right casting, this could have been a lot more genuine fun -- and not just fun to make fun of.