Thursday night as we left a memorial service for a dear friend my wife made it clear that whatever we do we WOULD be home by 8 PM to see the Sound of Music live.
While my wife enjoyed the show our cultural “elites” were unimpressed:
Kevin Fallon, the Daily Beast:
‘Sound of Music Live!’ Review: The Hills Are Barely Alive
Was Carrie Underwood a good Maria? No. Was NBC’s decision to do a live staging of ‘The Sound of Music’ a good one? Maybe not. Was it fun anyway? Actually, kinda.
Last night’s broadcast of the Sound of Music LIVE was met with mixed reviews, Carrie Underwood’s vocals were AH-MAZE but her acting was…not. (Just take a look at the live tweets from last night!)
Charlotte Alter Time Magazine:
How Do You Solve A Problem Like Carrie Underwood?
9 things that went wrong, 6 things that went right, and 4 people who should’ve played Maria instead
Seija Rankin: Refinery 29
How do you solve a problem like Maria? If you’re the real Von Trapps, you get Anne Hathaway on board. After last night’s, ahem, interesting, live rendition of The Sound of Music
Hank Stuever The Washington Post
NBC’s ‘The Sound of Music Live’: An impossible climb after all
America infrequently gathers around the tube anymore (except, of course, for football games), but you could sense millions drawing near Thursday night for a skeptical look at NBC’s “The Sound of Music Live,” an ambitious — yet disappointingly stiff — staging of the original musical.
Alessandra Stanley The New York Times
‘Idol,’ Meet the Trapps: The Perils of Tinkering With Favorite Things Carrie Underwood in NBC’s Live ‘Sound of Music’
Nobody could solve the problem of this Maria.
Tom Gliatto People
Sound of Music Live Without Much Life, Says PEOPLE’s TV Critic
Yup the cultural elite of the left spoke with almost one voice. Carrie Underwood and the Sound of Music was not one of their favorite things. Everyone seemed to agree.
…except the viewers
Matt Webb Mitovich TV Line
How do you solve a problem like a boorish, overly snarky Twitter feed? By hushing the haters with huge numbers.
Facing off against 100-percent original broadcast competition throughout its entire three-hour run, NBC’s The Sound of Music Live! on Thursday night put 18.6 million total bums in the seats (as they say on Broadway), while scoring a 4.6 demo rating (per finals).
That marks NBC’s largest non-sports Thursday audience since May 2004 (when Frasier’s finale night averaged 22.6 mil) and its best non-sports Thursday demo number since the April 2009 ER finale (5.2).
For all the desire of the left to see Carrie Underwood fail, for all their critique of her performance, Ms Underwood did something that the left’s favorites like The Office, Parks and Recreation 30 Rock et/al could not. It won Thursday.
Michael O’Connell The Hollywood Reporter:
TV Ratings: NBC’s ‘Sound of Music Live’ Sings With 18.5 Million Viewers
UPDATED: The peacock’s three-hour presentation of the musical ties “The Big Bang Theory” in the demo and propels the network to an impressive nightly win — its biggest on a Thursday since the “ER” finale in 2009.
Just as importantly is the type of show it was. This was a program that had:
No suggestive dialogue
No hints of nudity
No redefinition of Marriage
No re-writes to to make it more culturally “inclusive”
This was in every aspect the type of story that traditional American Culture embraces and the left rejects and worse of all it stared a darling of the American Right that directly made fun of the cultural left’s god in the White House.
And it produced a ratings earthquake for NBC.
Think about it: Carrie Underwood went toe to toe with The Big Bang Theory the funniest show on television and stood tall.
The cultural arbitrators of the left might not be impressed but I guarantee you every person in the advertising and business looking to place an ad was.
This should be a lesson to NBC and the networks that appealing to Red America pays dividends even with 300+ channels to choose from.
But even more important, it should be a lesson to us on the right who want to win the message war. That’s a fight that has to be made in popular culture. If we produce a quality product with appeal to that broad American public that we can engage in popular culture and win.
Full disclose: I watched the Big Bang Theory (one of my favorite shows) upstairs while my wife and oldest watched Sound of Music Downstairs. When I got back from picking up my youngest from work I went upstairs my wife had the Sound of Music on up there so she could watch it then hit the sack as soon as it was done so I watched it with her.
I thought it was pretty good but I also don’t compare it to the Julie Andrews iconic movie performance.
There’s a huge difference between a Movie where you have multiple takes and dubbing or even a stage performance with an audience of thousands that is repeated night after night and a one shot live broadcast with millions watching and all the technical worries that come with it.
A tip of my Fedora to Underwood, Moyer and the entire cast, particularly the kids. they all took a really big risk leap of faith and risk and pulled it off.