​Jezebel's Advent Calendar of Crap, Day 2: The Sound of Music, Live!


Welcome back to Jezebel’s Advent Calendar of Crap, an accounting of the pop cultural travesties barreling down the track towards us. Yesterday, we discussed the sadly inevitable Fifty Shades of Grey movie. Today’s edition: NBC’s insultingly unnecessary live production of The Sound of Music.

Excuse me: The Sound of Music, Live!

Let me be clear: I’ve got no beef with Carrie Underwood. She’s a pretty good singer! And judging by the soundtrack (which was released today, even though this offense against Rodgers and Hammerstein is supposedly live, HMM), she does a perfectly respectable job with the show’s most beloved songs, even the yodeling on “The Lonely Goatherd.”

It just sounds like karaoke night, that’s all. Like, if you wandered into a Nashville karaoke bar and there was Carrie Underwood, belting out “My Favorite Things,” you’d say, good for you, Carrie Underwood! But this isn’t a karaoke bar, or one of her concerts, or a Carrie Sings the Christmas Classics album. This is a full-fledged musical theater production, and her acting resume is pretty scanty.

Pop her into the Austrian countryside and it’s just weird. Why are you here, Carrie Underwood? Why is your hair in Heidi braids? Did you steal that costume from the It’s a Small World ride at Disneyland? Ditto Bill the Vampire as Captain von Trapp. Gorgeous voice, but I just can’t help feeling like he took a wrong turn, wandered onto the set and decided hey, might be nice to wear some clothes on TV for once.

And speaking of scenery—what the fuck is going on with the sets for this thing? It’s all being filmed on a soundstage, and for some reason the von Trapp family home looks like a McMansion. The Alps in the “outdoor” shot look like they were printed at Kinko’s, then glued onto a piece of plywood two feet away:

Of course, everyone involved wants to reassure fans by pointing out this is actually a remake of the 1959 Broadway musical, not the beloved 1965 film version. Totally different, guys! Like we’re supposed to temporarily suspend our knowledge of a version starring the divine Julie Andrews—in this, the age of instant video streaming.

Not to mention the trailers, my God, the trailers. They’ve just all looked wrong. Way wrong. Like walking in on your parents having sex wrong. The minute Carrie Underwood opens her mouth I just want to scream FUCK YOUR FAVORITE THINGS, CARRIE UNDERWOOD. NO ONE CARES.

Hanging over the whole production is a single word: Why? Why? Why why why? It’s like a discarded 30 Rock plot.

Thank Christ that at least Audra McDonald will be appearing as the Mother Abbess and so there’s someone who can knock “Climb Every Mountain” out of the park. That might be the only thing holding devoted fans of the original back from storming NBC, madder than a bunch of French revolutionaries in a rainstorm.

But of course, we’re all going to watch it. So let’s stock up on the peppermint schnapps, order in some schnitzel and get ready to drown it out with our own drunken versions of “Do-Re-Mi.” And at least history teachers across America will finally have a way to explain the Anschluss to bored teenagers using Carrie Underwood.

Christopher Plummer is probably loving this.

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