FORD EVERY STREAM: So many of us were excited to see The Sound of Music live on NBC last night, and knew that at least if it sucked we'd have a lot to talk about, and it ... well, it didn't completely work.
The primary problems, as I see it, were one avoidable problem and one unavoidable one. The latter is aesthetic: outside of soap operas and SNL, viewers are no longer used to seeing fake sets on live (or shot-to-tape) television. The hills in particular were not alive, and it was jarring to have to get in one's head "okay, I'm supposed to use my imagination here," because we're just so used to seeing on-location shooting.
The avoidable problem was Carrie Underwood. Could she sing the part? Yes, actually pretty darn well, esp. with something as demanding as "The Lonely Goatherd." The acting, however, wasn't there in any compelling way, and it distracted the whole time. I think it was just a fundamental miscasting—had NBC started with Underwood and then figured out what musical to adapt, they could've found something more suitable like, say, South Pacific? Because I can totally see Underwood as a more credible Nellie Forbush. (Hugh Jackman as Emile, Matthew Morrison or NPH as Lt. Cable, Alec Baldwin as Luther Billis?)
Despite that, I want NBC to try again next year with a different musical, because live television and big events are fun and there is so much great talent out there. Audra McDonald, Laura Benanti, and Christian Borle (basically doing Rooster Hannigan) were all great, as expected. The kids were fine, even if Rolf's shorts remained jarring throughout.
So, what do you want to see NBC try next? Previously.tv has some thoughts.