We were talking about the insane Twitter flame-fest that erupted during and after NBC’s live version of The Sound of Music. What the hell was up with that? I was shocked and saddened. What do people expect of live television? Something really classy like the f*%$#ing Grammy Awards?
Look, the original Sound of Music was corny even when it was new, and this stage version didn’t add much in the way of sophistication. But we’re not talking Schindler’s List here. You had good-looking people doing a pretty good job with all the goofy numbers, and in a way it was kind of refreshing to see a big star like Carrie Underwood laying it on the line without the possibility of her inevitable gaffes being edited. I’m not her biggest fan, but she showed some guts there.
Some of the commentary was sporadically amusing, like this Vanity Fair report from too-cool-for-school Michelle Collins. But really, she’s making fun of The Sound of Music itself, not this particular performance. Believe me, she’s not the first to point out the disconnect between all those bouncy tunes and the rise of the Third Reich.
My only problem with the show was the perpetual audio hiss, like somebody was deflating a giant innertube just backstage. You’d think the producers might have had technology capable of defeating that. But one thing I’ve learned in the few crude videos I’ve made: the audio is the hardest thing to get right. So enough about that.
Back to Twitter. It has become this giant snark echo chamber, with everybody competing in real time to come up with the wittiest and foulest insults imaginable. Retweets uber alles! People are so absorbed with creating rapier-like Twitticisms that they kind of lose focus on what they’re actually mocking. I think that’s what happened here.
Don’t you hate the verb “tweet,” and also the noun? Not that it isn’t apt, expressing a fleeting sort of consciousness, a certain shallowness of understanding. But damn, is it ever tiresome. Especially when we get major news stories based solely on the reactions of a bunch of hunched-over tweetists. Even the networks now feel compelled to supplement every report with screenshots of various tweets. Probably because the vast majority of us are still not looking at Twitter on a regular basis.
And so it was with NBC’s The Sound of Music. My guess would be no major network tries something like this again. I think that’s too bad, because I’m getting kind of tired of all the heavily scripted talent shows, and lackluster CSI knockoffs, and endless awards shows, and reality shows drained of any semblance of reality.
If they can figure out that audio problem, I’d tune in to something like this again. Well, as long it has evil Nazis in it. Maybe Cabaret?