With 18.5 million viewers, The Sound of Music Live! was NBC’s best-rated Thursday show since the ER finale in 2009 — which makes it a certified success among NBC executives. In terms of general audience reaction, however, the television musical failed to awe.
“The show wasn’t half as good as the 1965 Julie Andrews original… When Carrie Underwood stepped out on the (wooded, not grassy) hills and started singing, I wished the hills were alive with the sound of hungry mountain lions,” Times‘ Charlotte Alter said, noting that expecting anyone to match Julie Andrews’ portrayal was asking a lot.
The Hollywood Reporter‘s Marc Bernardin made similar observations, adding Carrie wasn’t the only cast member who failed to deliver the “emotional weight” the 1965 film provided.
“They found a clutch of children who didn’t have (too much) of that child-performer pomp. And they got Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer to play the lovers. And, well, whoops,” he said of the estimated $9 million production.
Still, some of the harshest criticism may have come from beloved Sound of Music alumni. Although Julie Andrews supported NBC’s new version, Kym Karath — who played Gretl in the film — said she was “mystified and disappointed” by the special.
Watching the show with Charmian Carr (Liesl), Kym shared her criticism on Twitter.
Must admit some scenes are actually painful to watch .
— Kym Karath (@KymKarath) December 6, 2013
Kym clarified this morning that she didn’t mean to insult anyone, but…
“To be clear I love Carrie Underwood. Just not as Maria. She was brave to take it on,” the former child star said. “And this doesn’t lessen my respect for her talent.”
Did you watch The Sound of Music Live? What did you think?