Sunday, December 8, 2013

NBC and Carrie Underwood mess with America's entertainment

As I've stated multiple times over the years, the one thing that will get Americans to act is messing with their entertainment.  The following article, which was the fifth most read story on Reuters' site last Thursday night when I included it in Overnight News Digest: R.I.P. Nelson Mandela, supports my contention.

U.S. television, Twitter, alive with new version of 'Sound of Music'
By Jill Serjeant
NEW YORK Thu Dec 5, 2013 11:45pm EST
Dec 5 (Reuters) - U.S. television was alive with "The Sound of Music" on Thursday as country singer Carrie Underwood and "True Blood" actor Stephen Moyer starred in a live version of the classic musical about an aspiring nun who falls in love with an Austrian captain.

Filmed on vast movie sets and with lavish costumes but without an audience, the NBC television broadcast harked back to the traditions of the 1950s and 1960s when live musicals were often shown on American television.

Thursday's three-hour show was based on the 1959 stage version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein show rather than the Oscar-winning 1965 musical starring Julie Andrews.

After heavy promotion for weeks, the live broadcast was the No. 2 topic on Twitter on Thursday, behind the death of South African anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela.But not everyone found the new version one of their favorite things, with many viewers taking to social media to snipe over the quality of Underwood's acting and bemoan a lack of atmosphere and chemistry between some of the key characters.
Yes, while I was posting A great song for a great man and others their tributes to a great world leader, almost as many people were tweeting about a musical.  I disappointed, but not surprised.  NBC was messing with people's memories of their entertainment, which was enought to get them riled up.

Reuters also gave some examples of both sides of the online debate.
"Don't get me wrong. I love me some Carrie Underwood but I am not digging this version," tweeted TV viewer Heather Whitford.

"Nothing will beat an original, but doing this live on TV is amazing!" countered Lonz on the micro-blogging website.
I agree with Lonz.  This reminded me of the television from my childhood in the 1960s, when this sort of thing was common.  I have to applaud NBC for attempting such a retro concent in the 21st Century.

Buzz60 shows even more scathing (and stupid) reactions in Twitter Sounds Off on 'The Sound of Music Live!'

The production of NBC's 'The Sound of Music Live!' starring Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer reportedly cost $9 million. But if the reaction on Twitter is any indication, this new version of the classic starring Julie Andrews won't be making anyone's 'favorite things' list. Kristina Behr (@KristinaBehr) has the scoop.
As I wrote, some of these reactions were stupid.  To begin with it was 1930s Austria, not 1940s Germany and a Southern accent shouldn't be any more unbelievable than Julie's English accent, but that's nitpicking.

Follow over the jump for more from Hollyscoop and two clips from NBC, one from the show itself and another from SNL.

Hollyscoop has more on the Twitter reaction with responses from the Von Trapp Family and Carrie Underwood herself in Carrie Underwood Slammed by Von Trapp Family.

Last night was the big reveal of Carrie Underwood's 'Sound of Music Live!' It was a Twitter frizzy, even the Von Trapps themselves slammed the star. Now Carrie speaks out!
The Von Trapps wanted Ann Hathaway.  I agree that Catwoman is a better actress, but I don't know if she could have pulled off the live singing.  Listen to Carrie's performance of The Lonely Goatherd and imagine The White Queen singing instead.

Carrie Underwood and the von Trapp kids perform the classic song from NBC's The Sound of Music Live!
I think Carrie did very well, even if the staging of the bedroom scene isn't as spectacular as the puppet show from the movie.  I have to admit it took me a couple of minutes for me to warm up to this version.

Finally, SNL continues in the show's long tradition of biting the hand that feeds it with Sound of Music Cold Open - SNL Highlight.

In this condensed version of The Sound of Music Live, Captain von Trapp introduces his children, including Dooneese, to their new governess Maria.
No controversial move by NBC or its sister networks would be complete without SNL ridiculing it.

Enough fluff.  Stay tuned for more SRZS BZNS.

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