Ranking The Stars Of NBC's The Sound Of Music According To How Much Damage Control They're Already Doing

'We're NOT trying to remake the movie.' - Laura Benanti.

Longtime readers of this site will know that I'm already on the record with my reservations about Carrie Underwood playing Fraulein Maria in NBC's forthcoming The Sound Of Music. (I was actually being polite in that earlier post; it's less "reservations" than "horror," and her extremely unnecessary performance of "Yesterday" at the Emmys this fall did nothing to allay my fury.) And now that the "First Look" trailer has appeared online...well, I've watched it very closely, and I believe I'm not the only one. The trailer features talking-head interviews from the five main stars of the production: the aforementioned Underwood; True Blood's Stephen Moyer, who plays Captain Von Trapp; Smash alumnus Christian Borle, who plays Max Detweiler (he's the promoter-type dude); Audra McDonald, who plays the Mother Abbess at Maria's convent; and Laura Benanti, who gets to play the actual best role in the show — The Baroness (duh). And even though everything they all say seems excited and positive...I have read between the lines and seen into their souls.

Here are the stars of The Sound Of Music, ranked from least to most defensive about their participation in the project.

Screens: NBC

Screens: NBC

"This is going to be so great! I logged so many hours doing live TV on American Idol that I might be the most experienced member of this cast! I know some of you might have your doubts about my playing a character who's so iconic and beloved, but I assume I obliterated them all when I accompanied my rendition of 'My Favorite Things' with a totally appropriate shoulder-shimmy! DID YOU SEE MY BRAID?????" - Carrie Underwood.

The Sound Of Music

"Carrie's great. She obviously sings beautifully, and as for her acting, she has very pretty hair." - Stephen Moyer.

The Sound Of Music

"The set was an old NASA hangar, and I think 'NASA hangar' says it all! ...What's that? You'd like me to comment on our lead's performance? Maybe you didn't hear me: I THINK 'NASA HANGAR' SAYS IT ALL." - Christian Borle.

The Sound Of Music

"We've got great performers from Broadway, and Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer are also present for some reason, as though actual stage-trained triple threats weren't everywhere in New York, including working as PAs on this very production and seething, seething their way through their torturous days. ...Come back to me." - Audra McDonald.

The Sound Of Music

"This is a televised version of the stage production. We're not trying to remake the movie. Nobody can remake the movie. I know you have beautiful memories of the movie. We're not trying to compete with them. We know you consider it sacrosanct. We just hope you'll give us a chance and understand that some of us need to earn a living however we can. So please, think about it that way, and please, let me come home for Thanksgiving, Mom." - Laura Benanti.

  • bristlesage

    "No way, BETRAYER."
    --Laura Benanti's mom

  • Profreader

    I don't know who does Carrie Underwood's eye makeup, but ... are they trying to give her Coraline button eyes?

  • frogprof

    Oh, no. No no no no no.
    It's like the stage version of "Mary Poppins" or "Singin' in the Rain" -- you just have to wonder WHY.

  • http://previously.tv/ Sarah D. Bunting

    AHHHHHHH (this)

  • ferretrick

    Honestly, I get the "we aren't remaking the movie; we're doing the play" argument. But, still, just...WHY? Why would a network do anything this risky? Why would any actor with a lick of common sense accept a role? Even if you think you are doing the play, you have to know that making it a network TV special without a live audience is going to make people compare it to the movie and performances so beloved you can't hope for more than to make people not hate you. Not to mention that the movie is such a fluke-a storyline and script so saccharine diabetics should avoid watching it. There is no way it should work, but it totally does. But what are the chances that lightning like that will strike twice? And with a movie that's as much of a cultural touchstone as this one, if you are anything less than 1000% stellar, it's going to be trashed. If it even achieves good, it won't matter. People will still hate it. Who needs that kind of pressure?

  • choosybeggarmike

    I've said this elsewhere, but it bears repeating: this whole thing is uncannily reminiscent of the live Christmas Carol broadcast from Scrooged. The casting, the promotion, the wrong-headednes... it's unreal.

  • choosybeggarmike

    I was asked this and I think it's an important question: Are you planning a liveblog/livetweet of this epic event? Because what I'm really saying is, I think it's a very strong idea.

  • TaraAriano

    We will definitely be covering it; I don't know about a liveblog/tweet.