Here’s Your New Maria von Trapp! Carrie Underwood

No, NBC, you may not ruin The Sound of Music. But Haha! Who are we kidding? This is NBC we’re talking about. Today it was announced that NBC has cast country singer Carrie Underwood as Maria Von Trapp in their three-hour Sound of Music live broadcast. We assume this means Taylor Swift never made it to the top of their short list? Seems totally unlikely, we know. But maybe she was preoccupied house hunting for a place to live exactly seven inches away from her latest love interest.

The 1965 film musical version of The Sound of Music, which has become a holiday staple for generations, starred the wonderfully gifted iconic actress and songstress, Julie Andrews in the title role and the exceedingly charming Christopher Plummer as the stoic turned softie Capt. Georg von Trapp who along with his children steal Maria’s heart after she brings music back into their lives as their caretaker –- of course all of this is set in Salzburg, Austria. So, yeah, naturally American country star Carrie Underwood will be stepping into the role and it will be produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, producers of NBC’s Smash. Well, nobody saw that coming. The producers of an underwhelming freshman NBC series will be responsible for resurrecting a long beloved favorite by millions. No pressure there. No pressure at all. Have we all so quickly forgotten the Umapocalypse of early 2012 that saw the Kill Bill star singing horribly while putting her in a weird backstage drama where she ingested curtain closing peanuts?!

Some are already speculating that the choice of Underwood is solely ratings driven with the hope of possibly pulling in that “real Americana” demographic that we assume is hard to wrangle in 2012 on NBC? The network that has obviously been lost to fairy tale Grimm Reaper cultists, sexy firemen, and science fiction-make believe electricity wars? A country twangin Austrian nun turned governess is surely next on the “to do” list.

Obviously, attempting to attract perhaps one of many qualified Broadway actresses that currently put on live musical performances for a living was out of the question, or one of the equally talented Hollywood ingénues who could handle a role with such vocal gymnastics that The Sound of Music offers including Anne Hathaway (she co-starred with Andrews) or Amy Adams, would have been too much. Somewhere Lea Michele is asking “Why not me?” in a long confessional with a Barbara Streisand poster. And well, we hate to say it, but, “Why not Lea Michele?” That chick has “Wants to Sing Julie Andrews Songs” written all over her throat box. Yep. So Carrie Underwood it is. Does this mean the premise now changes? Will the venue now be Nebraska instead of Austria? Will those play clothes made from curtains now be from Sears? Oh, Sears, your performance khaki.

It’s really hard to know, but three hours is a long time to pick apart a performance if it strays too far away from the original material and lands with a thud in an un-Sound of Music worthy thing tailor-made for Carrie Underwood’s resume, which includes, er, not a lot. AND we haven’t even begun to contemplate who’ll play Captain von Trapp. Who’s in with Billy Ray Cyrus?! ANYONE?! ANYONE AT ALL?! Head. Wall.

Well, we’ll have to wait until late 2013 to find out if this thing will careen into train wreck territory (waves at Liz & Dick) or if we’ll have to possibly admit that Underwood wasn’t a bad choice. And by bad choice we mean getting lost in the script and/or reading the wrong lines and ad-libbing horribly or something extra special like this.

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