Who and What I am into the Week:TV, Twitter and The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music Live! - Season 2013

Well, it seems we are all sitting in the same room watching TV now. Last night while I was tuned into the live version of the Sound of Music on NBC, I glanced at Facebook and saw that one of my friends was caught up in the twitter commentary. Naturally (or unnaturally), I had my phone in my hand so I headed over to twitter and did a search. Wow! EVERYBODY had something to say. Some people sang the show’s praises and some people participated in snarky verbal sparring. One thing for sure, people trying to deliver funny one liners ruled the stream of chatters. I found myself so caught up in it (admittedly laughing out loud) that I missed part of the show.  Tom said something funny (he does that better than I do) so I tweeted it. I “favorited” the comments that managed to be funny without being mean but then I thought even if they are funny, is this really what we should be doing as a collective?

Here NBC was doing something different than other television outlets. They were hoping to bring back live musicals, something you can watch with your family. A form of television that doesn’t involve gratuitous violence ( please, don’t EVEN get me started…) and yet we act too cool and witty to appreciate the efforts of the cast and crew. This from a nation of viewers who watches Duck Dynasty and Real Housewives.

Then I put myself in Carrie Underwoods shoes. I started feeling a little bit grimy for having stared at twitter so long. I found myself hoping she wouldn’t read the commentary on twitter. I hope none of the cast does, people even commented on  the young Gretel.

Artists put themselves out there when they preform. It takes guts to show your work and talents as an artist. It makes you vulnerable and it makes you brave.

The way we respond  is a reflection of ourselves, I suppose. Are we that uncomfortable with the arts?  How important is it to us to be heard and seen through social media platforms?  When did it become so important to be cool and witty?

What if our response as a nation is squelching our attempts at any form of originality or creativity?

We were celebrating Rogers and Hammerstein’s fabulous score, performed by talented singers. Why all the comments about Carries hair?  If we would have seen this in a theater on  Broadway would we have appreciated it more? I think so. Not all of us can get to a theatre, so I for one, give NBC an A for boldly bringing it to our living rooms. I give social media a D for dumbing us down a bit in the process.


  • Ah yes. Monica, we had the exact same thought process last night. I got on Twitter thinking “How bad could Twitter be right now?” and of course, it was a deluge of comments (I don’t know why I expected anything different!). I eventually tossed the phone aside since I could not take it anymore and just enjoyed the show.

    I think as an artist, we have to put things out there, and not everyone is going to like it, and not everyone is going to focus on what we want them to focus on. If I showcase my work and by chance a company that is totally unrelated to my interests and target sees it, they may laugh in my face. They might talk about how weird my blog is or how I look strange in my “about” photo – they may completely overlook my actual work and talent – but since they are not my target market, I have to take a deep breath and focus on those in my target audience, focus on their words and find the ones that are solid critiques, the ones I can actually benefit from. Putting ourselves out there means we may hear commentary from “the cheap seats” (as my husband calls it, haha!) but you have to focus on those who really came and paid to have a seat and appreciate your work. Long story short… I completely agree with you! Thanks for talking about this on your blog 🙂

    • I love your husbands comments about the “cheap seats” i think we should start a movement in America where we are not ALL sitting in the cheap seats!

  • I couldn’t agree more. I had all the same thoughts. I kind of felt bad I was laughing at the witty comments and also thought about Carrie Underwood who might read them when she is such an amazing artist. If anything, the outcome of the show for me was what you wrote here, a moment to think about art, our culture, and how social outlets can be used for good or evil. We are responsible for how we use them. (I’m getting ready to speak about this, its on my mind.) Thanks for this Monica.

    • Shelly! It is funny asking ourselves to be responsible when it is so “cool” to approach life with the disdain of a teenager now. Why is it only little kids can get jump up and down excited? It would be wonderful to change the climate of how we respond to things but it would be a large task indeed. (Frankly, we’d have to start with those political shows where they are all so disrespectful to each other face to face! Gadz!)

  • Jody Ohlsen Collins

    Monica, My children watched the original ‘Sound of Music’ so many times they wore out the videocassettes. They are now each 34 and 37, and my GRAND children watched this show last night with great anticipation. I texted them both when the show started then said, ‘gotta go….’ ’cause I wanted to focus; I didn’t look at Facebook and I don’t tweet–so I got to pay attention and enjoy THIS Sound of Music for what it was–a beautiful, true story of love and the power of music, sung by talented people…. I still loved the songs, the story, all of it. Thank you for this insightful post.

    • Good for you for absorbing the arts (unlike me) who multi-tasked while doing it!

  • Guin Reese

    I watched the entire show without checking Facebook or Twitter. I love that it was live reminded of television from youth. I wasn’t expecting it to be Julie Andrew’s version for the what it was worth the actors, singers and production was great. I set DVR to record when it started so I can watch again when I want.

    • I taped it too, and was happy to hear the stage version of songs I had not heard before!

  • Yes. I so appreciate this perspective, as well as the thoughts raised here in the comments. I still haven’t read any of the comments on Twitter, but this morning I woke up with a pit in my stomach FOR Carrie Underwood, and I’m not even a fan of hers. Fan or not, I have deep respect for artists and the brave way they put themselves out there, time and time again.

    Thank you for this challenge to me to consider how I use social media because, whether I liked last night’s show or not, my use of social media will continue and I need to keep this perspective in mind.

    • Thank you Deidra, it’s one of those things what if I was sitting in the room with the cast watching it? Would I have made witty comments or genuinely picked out the good things?

  • Rachel Smith Johnson

    Thanks for your post. It is totally true. It seems like the age of being constantly entertained has found everyone a critic. That’s easy for folks who were never dressed up year after year in the church Christmas pageant, school play, chorus or band performances. The drain of young people from churches, slashing of art programs in our schools has shallowed our consumer viewing pool of empathetic performers and their nervous parents. Apathy too, is another battle. I feel sorry for folks who live in a passionless “meh” attitude. People who have never been passionate enough about anything to take the risk to “put themselves out there” miss the thrill of living on the edge of a new level of self-discovery, trying new things to see someone’s eyes light up, a new way God arrives just in time….

    • I completely agree…we have become so “meh” about everything and out children don’t nee to witness that!

  • Chip

    This thinly veiled “oh, that’s the girl that made fun of Obamacare at the CMAs, so lets be mean” is showing its ugly head on twitter. Headlining a three hour LIVE performance for the first time had to be daunting. Yeah, Carrie wasn’t perfect but, had I paid for a ticket to see it in a theater, I wouldn’t have been upset and asked for my money back. Considering the 18.5 million time slot viewers, pretty sure we’ll see more of this type of thing in the future. YAY ART!!!

  • Sheila Delgado

    Great post Monica! I missed all but the last five minutes, I was totally bummed. And I forgot to record it.
    The thrill of seeing a live theatrical performance should be available to everyone. Children sorely need this enriching experience. Bravo NBC! It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is so much better than watching a bunch of fake women in tight clothes fighting over a man or the crime show du jour.
    High five to Carrie for having the courage to take on such a classic role. Julie Andrews is a treasure. I think it is pretty safe to say she would wish only the best to the performers in this production, and so I think should we.