Why I Was Wrong to Trash The Sound Of Music Live

nbc-releases-first-sound-of-music-live-trailerI owe Carrie Underwood an apology.

Like 18.5 million other viewers, I sat down to watch The Sound of Music Live last night. And like many of them, I almost immediately took to Facebook and Twitter to trash the show:

Jennifer L. W. Fink
13 minutes into the Sound of Music on TV, and I have learned this: Carrie Underwood can not act nearly as well as Julie Andrews.

 

 

 

I even shared other people’s negative comments about the show:

 

This morning, I woke up feeling regret for my actions, because I realized this: I’d done exactly what I hope my sons never do. And worse yet: I did it with them in the room, sharing the “funny” tweets with them and laughing, together, at Carrie’s efforts.

We’ve all heard so much about online bullying, about kids who say and type and tweet mean things about other kids. As adults, we shake our heads and talk sternly to our kids and set rules regarding social media usage. We talk about respect, and every now again, we’re forced to confront the fact that “our words matter far less than our actions, when it comes to parenting kids.”

I wrote those words nearly a year ago, in a post about bullying and gun violence. And yet, last night, I sat on my couch and ridiculed Carrie Underwood. I chortled when someone posted a pic of a wooden board with the caption, “Carrie Underwood’s understudy,” and I called her acting “high school musical level.”

Then I realized, this morning, that high school musicals may well be the extent of Carrie’s theatre experience. Before she went on American Idol, she was, by all accounts, a small town girl from Oklahoma. Since then, she’s mastered the role of country music superstar. Her vocals are stellar. Her videos, powerful. And her concerts are great. (I went to one earlier this year.)

So maybe “nailing her to the cross,” as my mother would say, for not nailing her performance of an iconic theatre role was a bit extreme. Doing it in front of my children? Absolutely wrong.

Ms. Underwood took a chance. She tried something new. She tried something incredibly difficult. (Can you imagine trying to sing without a twang, when you’ve sung with a country-sound your whole entire life? When that sounds is what made you famous?) And instead of supporting her, I slammed her. Online and in print.

And you know what? I had fun doing it. I enjoyed trading barbs and comments and insights with all of the other people online who were trashing the show. I was part of a social phenomenom, part of “the cool kids.”

At the time, I didn’t see anything wrong with my actions. I was simply stating my opinions and observations. I was sharing and agreeing with others’ opinions and observations. The fact that our opinions and observations might hurt the feelings of some very real people never entered my mind.

I think that’s how our kids feel when they participate in online (and in person) harassment and bullying. Most of the kids, anyway, aren’t trying to cause damage or harm. They’re going along to get along. They’re stating what they think to be true facts. They’re trying to remain part of the herd so they’re not the next targets.

I want to teach my boys to always, always be considerate of other people’s feelings. I want them to value basic human dignity above social status. I want them to support others, not tear others down.

If those are my goals, I need to start role modeling respect on a consistent basis. I need to make sure my online actions align with my real life behavior, and that both align with my core values.

I need to tell my boys I was wrong last night.

They’ll shake their heads, tell me I’m too sensitive and soft and defend many of the comments we made last night. But I need to tell them anyway. They need to know where I stand, for real. They need to know that everyone, parents included, makes mistakes, and that the first step toward making something right is acknowledging that you were wrong. So tonight, I’ll talk to my boys.

Now, I’d like to apologize to Ms. Underwood and everyone else who poured their hearts and souls into The Sound of Music Live: I’m sorry. I judged you harshly. I admire your efforts, strength, passion and enthusiasm. Thank you for making live theatre a part of this holiday season, and thank you for being among the dreamers and doers in this world.

104 responses to “Why I Was Wrong to Trash The Sound Of Music Live”

  1. Pamela @RedWhiteandGrew

    It takes courage to see when we’ve done something wrong and then confess it, hoping others will learn from our mis-steps. There have been moments when I’ve stumbled into the “criticism abyss.” In the Information Age, it seems to get wider and longer and easier to stumble into.

    Thanks for sharing your story. I really appreciate it.

  2. Jackie Dishner

    Busted! Me. too.

  3. Christina Katz

    I only agreed with those who were grousing…so, um, do I have to apologize, too? Because it totally validated why I was boycotting in the first place. So I feel like it might undermine my whole boycott if I have to now apologize.

    Hmmm…conflicted in Oregon, and still not liking the whole idea, and thinking that studio executives must have come up with it, and wanting them to be sorry and to promise they will never do it again…but deep down, you are right, I like Carrie Underwood just fine and don’t want her to feel badly.

    1. Rosemary

      I think it was a great way to get FAMILIES to watch something wholesome and different together. Also a great chance to expose kids to great talent like Audra Odonnell. I go to live thearter often and have performed myself, as have my kids, but not that many people have that opportunity to even see live thearter. I am glad NBC did it and is committed to doing it again next yr. Can’t wait to see what show they pick and what pop star will be brave enough to step outside their comfort zone! I, for one, will definitely be watching and hoping for the best for them.

  4. Jennifer Fink

    I got so many great comments on this post, both here and via email and other social media channels. And I’ve thought about the whole thing a lot.

    I’m still not impressed with The Sound of Music Live, and I think it’s fair to say that, both out loud and in writing. I think it’s fair to comment on the good and not-so-good parts of things, especially professional-level productions of any kind (theatre, music, sports). I don’t think it’s OK to GLEEFULLY criticize something. But that’s what I did, and I did it in front of my children, thereby setting an unspoken example that says such behavior is OK.

    Want a better free/cheap theatre experience than The Sound of Music Live? Watch some of the classic movie musicals, including the 1965 version of The Sound of Music. Check your PBS listings (and the PBS webpaget and app) for live musical performances. One night, I watched a whole stage version of “Memphis”, a Tony-winning musical on PBS.

    Community theatres often put on good shows too. Season subscriptions to Broadway series (Broadways shows that travel around the country) are also fairly reasonable, especially if you pick a matinee package. I currently have a season subscription to the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and the tickets come out to just over $20/ticket for high quality live theatre. (So far this season, I’ve seen Ragtime, Venus in Fur and Noises Off).

    Of course, if your really love live theatre and Broadway, a trip to Broadway is in order. Insider tip: you can get discounted tickets on same-day shows at TKTS ticket booths in New York.

    1. Richard Hutton

      Jennifer, you present a respectable and reasonable sense of regret here, and that is to your credit. But I think your apology to Ms. Underwood is unnecessary.

      “Ms. Underwood tried something new.”

      Yes, she did; in Prime Time and with a fat paycheck. She was willing to take the fat paycheck without being willing to acquire the skills the job requires.

      And that’s why she and NBC should be criticized. She delivered a substandard product, and so did the network. And they made a lot of money using her as a gimmick.

      I’m not criticizing her as a human being; she may be lovely. But the show and the genre were not honored by her presence.

      1. David Eppley

        Ah, I was not aware that someone receiving a big fat paycheck is an excuse for us to mock them in a callous and cruel fashion. That our human decency and grace is inversely proportionate to how much someone makes. The more they make, the less we have to pretend they are human and can be insulted by slings and arrows.

        Yes, we are allowed to criticize and make judgement over the performance. We are allowed to not like Carrie’s performance or how the network cast her simply for her star power. However, we do not need to behave like a bunch of rabid dogs, piling insult upon insult on her. As Jennifer said, we do not need to do such things GLEEFULLY.

        And we should not try to assuage our guilt over doing so by claiming it’s ok because she was paid a lot of money.

    2. Jim

      Sorry Jennifer…but I must tell you that all in all you are a day late and a buck short…..stating your opinion is one thing but ridiculing Carrie the way you did was just totally wrong to begin with…bottom line you need to grow up..it should have never happened to begin with which says that you did NOT think before you acted….granted Carrie is not perfect as none of us are and that task belongs to God. Had you simply T H O U G H T before you spoke you wouldn’t have had to post an apology……and last…you are very lucky your lack of thinking was about this….. and not for other reasons… as people are dead today simply because someone DID NOT THINK BEFORE THEY ACTED !!!!!! Enough said…

      1. Sally Burgess

        Yes, I agree with Jim above. I think it is very sad that an adult would not have thought before they spoke. Could you have done anything like Carrie Underwood did? Are you qualified to sound off – especially as a parent in front of your kids. This is a sad situation indeed. I hope the lesson is learned and not repeated.

      2. mel

        I feel like you are pretty unfair. Yes, you should think before you act. That is best. But we all do things we regret. It is important to rake ownership of those things and forgive people. Carrie is a Christian. I am sure even she would be understanding of that. Forgive. It’d be great if we never needed forgivingness because we all do the right thing. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work that way.

      3. Vicki

        Geez Jim & Sally, Jennifer admitted she made a bad decision & that she was wrong. She came to that conclusion on her own & she felt bad about it, which is more than what most bully’s ever do. She publicly admitted her wrong & apologized for her bad choice. She even stated she was going to talk to her kids about this & let them know she was wrong & that this was not acceptable behavior, which again, is more than what most others would.
        What more do you want from her?
        We should be commending her for taking the time to publicly admit she was wrong and apologize for it. No need to lay into her when she already admitted & apologized for what you are condemning her for.

      4. Brian McMann

        People make mistakes, Jim and Sally. It’s human nature. Yes, thinking before acting is ideal but in real life that doesn’t always happen. And sometimes, even if you do think, bad consequences happen anyway. The most important thing is that Ms. Fink reflected on her actions, had a change of heart and is making amends. What more could you ask for? If only more people would learn from their actions like this. That’s what life is about: learning. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way. It’s not like she made a decision of worldwide welfare that backfired, this is simply a matter of admitting that she may have hurt some feelings and owning up to possible rudeness. There is no need to make her feel like the entire guilt of the world must rest on her shoulders.

    3. Madeleine Middleton

      I am involved in the production of Sound of Music in a small community in the Arkansas Ozarks. We are using a historic and renovated movie theater stage. All our cast, crew and orchestra are volunteers. Sound of Music “live” in any venue will never be as “perfect” as the iconic movie, but I applaud the Carrie Underwood production for their efforts and Carrie for her bravery to jump into something different(and potentially scary). She did not deserve the bullying. Fortunately, our small (but extremely talented!) Theatre Company, which has produced on almost every on and off Broadway musical, drama, comedy there is, has as wonderful and faithful following and has NEVER had the misfortune of being bullied like this. The Ozarks, I guess, just manages to produce caring and courteous folks who THINK before they act. Want to see SOM again with some hard-working amateurs who are going to knock-’em-dead with their performances? Come to the Harrison, AR Historic Lyric Theater December 13, 14, or 15. You’ll be glad you did!

  5. Neil Monroe

    Critics ignore several things: Ms. Underwood’s star value was critical in attracting 18 million viewers, the largest audience at NBC since 2006.

    Ms. Underwood’s singing was remarkable; while others could possibly match her skill, no one could have done better.

    Ms. Underwood demonstrated great courage for stepping out of her comfort zone, with everything to risk and little to gain, to attempt this role.

    Ms. Underwood’s acting, while stiff, was enthusiastic. And, I’ll bet if this were a film role, rather than a live, unvarnished production, we’d be amazed at her acting skill.

    1. Jennifer L.W. Fink (@jlwf)

      Excellent point. Ms. Underwood’s willingness to undertake such a tremendous challenge was, I’m sure, a huge factor in the network deciding to move forward with this project. And it may be that casting her in the role exposed a lot of Carrie Underwood/country music fans to Broadway.

    2. Biz

      I think quite a few Broadway actresses could have done far better than Carrie vocal wise for this role. They would not have grabbed the amount of viewers though.

  6. Jeannie

    Thanks for for this, :) .. As a Carrie fan, I can tell you, she worked really hard, trying to make this something special.. I think they all did just that.. :)

  7. Aline Marie

    As a Carrie Underwood’s fan, I thank you for the retraction, Carrie has an amazing heart and is very brave to do what she did without having any practice on Broadway. I guess nobody thought of it before criticizing, she did live and with great courage.

  8. Buie

    What a lovely thing to do! And what a great example for your sons.

  9. Helena

    Apples and oranges. Bullying “civilians” and tormenting kids is very different from criticizing a performance or production. Everyone in the business knows that being evaluated and critiqued is a part of the job….the price they pay for being paid well to perform. I thought the show was pretty bad….like a high school play with a big budget for sets. I have always thought Carrie was arrogant and cold – she acted entitled from day one on American Idol, imnsho – so that does color my views of her performance, but I thought she was a mediocre actor, at best. So was Paxton. I will say that Carrie’s voice was very pretty….much better than I expected. Though it had that throaty country tone now and then, her voice really was lovely. Her acting, and the production….not good. It was VERY immature of her to tweet to SNL about their spoof of her show “Mean People Need Jesus.” Please, Carrie, grow up…the spoof was nothing to get your panties in a wad about.

    1. Schrodinger

      @ Helena I’m not sure where the idea came from that Carrie’s tweet was about the SNL skit. It was made before SNL aired. Carrie was also not responding to thought out criticism. She was respond to people who tweeted things like, You Fking B*tch If see you, I’ll knock you down and kick you Fing head off.” There were numerous very nasty tweets in that vain as well as really cruel snarky ones. Oh and let’s not forget the death threats she received both before the show and after.

      As for your opinion that Carrie is arrogant and cold, it is the exact opposite of the truth. She is actually shy. As for Idol, she was a country girl from a small town, heck when she went to California it was the first time she had ever been on a plane. If you want to know what Carrie is really like do a little research on what people who work with her say. For example, David Wilde, music critic for Rolling Stone would take serious disagreement with your characterization, as would almost every one who works in the Country Music industry. You might also look at what the cast of SOML has to say. They have had nothing but glowing comments about how nice she is, how normal, how hard she works and how very teachable she is.

      Before you engage in character assassination I respectfully suggest you know what you are talking about.

    2. Long Duong

      Sorry Helena but you couldn’t be more wrong about Carrie’s character. She is rather shy, even around fans like me who have gone through meet-and-greets with her.

      As for her “mean people need Jesus” tweet, she directed that toward people sending her vulgar messages and death threats, just like Schrodinger said. People like you need to read past headlines and perhaps do a little research before making a response.

      Informed critique is welcome and expected, but threathening someone is criminal, and that’s what some d-bags did to Carrie. Oh, and adults are bullied too, not just children. Adults with diminished mental capacities, those who don’t agree with the political party in power, etc.

    3. Theresa

      Helena- no offense- but Carrie ia about as “arrogant” as Snoop Dog is an Opera singer. Carrie admitted many times that she is awkward and shy- to a fault- and has been her whole life. She said she sits in a corner at parties and doesn’;t know how to mingle, and that she has panic attacks in crowds. She is not cold or arrogant- if anything, she lacks confidence. She is kind to all her fans, sends flowers to a fan who died recently and does so quietly, without asking for credit. She does alot of charity work and is a kind, down to earth person who stays out of the tabloids and stays out of rehab/jail like the Mileys and Lindseys of the world. She is not cold or arrogant- and you are wrong to say so.

    4. Sue

      I find it interesting that you think you can make character judgements of somebody you don’t know. It is fair to critique her performance but I hardly think you are qualified to critique her character. The cast and crew on the production have universally praised her attitude and work ethic. I have personally never heard her utter a negative word about anybody. It’s too bad others can’t give her the same courtesy.

      1. Jack

        Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Because we live in the land of the free. I admire Jennifer to state her regret but it was not for any one on this blog, it was for herself and her kids. She did not apologize so that Sue would feel better. She admitted that she said something without thinking and apologized. Everyone has done that, we are humans. We make mistakes. Admitting them takes a bigger person. I could only hope that more parents would start admitting their mistakes, and being honest with their children. Teach them words hurt, marriage is for life and how to say I’m sorry.

    5. mj

      I have never posted a comment on any type of blog or forum on the internet ever before but I must say… Helena, I think you are the one that needs Jesus! You don’t have to like her performance but to judge her character by what you see on tv, the internet & magazines is not cool. Have you ever met her? Have you ever seen her other than in pics or on tv? You have no idea what she is like in real life. I have never met her but I definitely do not think she comes off that way! I also have never read anything about her acting arrogant or cold towards anyone. In fact I’ve only heard good things about her. I think she is extremely talented & a great role model. You on the other hand are probably just jealous because you aren’t half the person she is & you don’t have half the talent she does! In my experience its people who are envious of what they don’t have that do the bullying. I’m sure you couldn’t do what she did.

    6. Stephen Hollenbeck

      I would beg to differ with you. I am friends with someone in the music industry. He claims Carrie is one of the nicest and genuine people he has worked with in his 30 years.

    7. iconoclast

      Jennifer – I can not believe that so many people posted so much blather about this non-issue w/o anyone noting that comparing blogging on a professional performance to bullying comments posted about people you personally know is bonkers. That is until you came along. So congratulations. Although you did interrupt the laugh fest of the year.

      As to Jennifer and all the others – Ha, ha…HA.

  10. Bobbi Carr

    I chose to enjoy the production for what it was. Many people seemed to be comparing Carrie Underwood and her performance to Julie Andrews and her movie.
    Perhaps, because I am a counselor in a middle school, I try to give the benefit of fairness to different situations but it seems to me that by making this particular comparison people have missed the point. These two productions are not the same.
    It is like comparing apples to oranges. Everyone has their favorite. I love the movie and I liked the Live show. Was the acting perfect? No, but it was live with no retakes.

  11. Jon Daly

    Dear Jennifer:
    May I call you Jennifer? I figure, why not, what the heck, after reading in your reply to comments that you are a season ticket holder at Milwaukee Rep which means that you’ve seen some of my work ( I was in RAGTIME, and currently am in NOISES OFF). People come up to me in grocery stores, or smile at me on the street. In fact, both of these happened today. Strangers feel they know me, they call me by my first name. most of the time, I really like that. I am part of a community: the Milwaukee arts community and, ultimately, a community of performers, people who put their reputations out there for public scrutiny on a regular basis and feel a little bit of pride and joy when they’re praised, and of course a little dejected when they’re ignored. I’ve only gotten a few really bad reviews in my life, when I was younger, and they hurt. A lot. I never really got over them, but we actors have to be philosophical about that. I mean, part of public performance is being critiqued and criticized. We even notice, those of us in NOISES OFF, when we catch sight of somebody in the audience who most definitely appear to be NOT having a good time. they sit, stone-faced amidst other faces convulsed in laughter, and I feel sorry that they’re not having a good time. But I slough it off by thinking: farce is not everybody’s cup of tea. Some people really think it silly and a waste of time, and I respect their point of view. I don’t take such indifference personally, because I look around and see so many people enjoying themselves. Maybe I’ve developed a tougher skin after doing this acting thing for three decades. But deep down I know that if I got slammed for my work I would be crestfallen. Some of us, we actors, will never admit to that; but I do.

    Which brings me to your painfully honest and thought-provoking comments. I think it took a lot of courage and self-awareness to write what you did, and I’m touched by your candor. I didn’t see the whole SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE ( I was working!), but I saw enough snatches of it later on you tube to get an idea of how the whole thing went. On one hand, I was kind of pleased to see a network return to something i remember fondly from childhood: a live television production of a musical. Mary Martin’s appearances in PETER PAN and THE SOUND OF MUSIC are special childhood memories. But they were televised accounts of two musicals that had benefited from hundreds of performances, and the actors had worked for months honing their work in front of live audiences. Mary Martin originated both roles. She was working in the form she knew best, in work that she had created. Carrie Underwood,by contrast, was doing something markedly different from anything she had ever tried before. she sang really quite well, certainly as well as countless Marias in hundreds of stage productions that have gone on for the past forty years after the original play.

    I suspect what has prompted all the criticism has little to do with Carrie Underwood. THE SOUND OF MUSIC is a jarring contrast to the usual fare that passes for entertainment on television these days. Considering that Miley Cyrus was “twerking” half naked on national television about a month ago, and simulating sex with another Celebrity singer, THE SOUND OF MUSIC looks stilted, contrived and decidedly “square” to an audience raised on raunch. I think a lot of people were mocking entertainment that they thought hopelessly out of date. People who go to the theatre, on the other hand, expect and applaud “revivals”. They have a sense of history, an appreciation of context, and,oftentimes are going to a play precisely to escape into a world that, if you believe the modern judges of entertainment and culture, no longer exists.

    All the talk about this show was its cost, its big risk, its casting of a country star in the lead. Artistic concerns were obviously not a high priority. It was calculated to make money, and I’m sure it did really well. I think that its detractors were aching to take potshots at an expensive, commercial gimmick. but unfortunately, these enterprises need actors to produce them. We go out there and we’re the ones in the line of fire. No one talked about how brilliant Audra McDonald was as the Mother Abbess , because that wasn’t the story. They didn’t mention anything about the context of the play– a retelling of a true adventure story from real life about a family’s escape from the Nazis– because that wasn’t on anybody’s mind…except for the creative people who carried the flag–the actors, the designers, the choreographer, the camera operators. Even if an unknown, extremely well-cast actor had been playing Maria, the response would have been the same. but Carrie Underwood was an easy mark, and she took the bulk of the abuse.

    I am so much in agreement with everything you had to say, and I am truly touched and impressed with your second thoughts on the day after. If your kids are really listening when you tell them, they will understand a very compelling truth that is clear to me after reading what you have to say: that you are a compassionate, loving mom. And your kids are very lucky indeed.

    Sincerely,
    Jon Daly

    1. Jennifer L.W. Fink (@jlwf)

      Jon,
      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. (And your great work at the Rep! I thoroughly enjoyed both Ragtime and Noises Off.)

      You bring up a really interesting point, about The Sound of Music being radically different from what passes for entertainment on TV and online these days. You may have a point there. Definitely something to ponder.

      One thing I didn’t mention in my original post was that I enjoyed the second part of The Sound of Music Live much more than the first. Could it be that I relaxed into the rhythm of the show? That the actors and actresses relaxed into their parts? That I turned off the Internet for the second half?

      It could be all of the above, but I’m thinking the fact that I turned off the Internet had a lot to do with it. (And lest you or anyone think that a brilliant, calculated move on my part, it wasn’t. One of my kids got sick, so was comforting a sick kid while watching, instead of tweeting and watching).

      One of the things I loved about the second half: The set work in the music festival scene. And as you pointed out, Audra McDonald’s performance was incredible.

      Thanks again for your comment. I look forward to seeing you in upcoming shows at the Rep!

  12. Janice

    Thank you for this because I am a fan of Carrie and she and we the fans were very much hurt by so many people’s total lack of restraint. We completely understand constructive criticism because it is more then fair that people have the right to give that and say what they thought was good and bad and she and we fans know it was not perfect but for some to be flat out vicious was just not right. People told her she should kill herself because of Sound of Music. Is this really what we have come to. I mean she did a 3-hour live performance without one single mishap in dialog or delivery of a song and they did this with a limited 6 week rehearsal period. But I do appreciate what you have said here.

  13. Theresa

    Thank you so much for this post! It actually made me tear up a bit, as I am a die hard Carrie fan and the last few days have been BRUTAL on the internet. I feel so bad for Carrie that I would not be surprised if she closed her twitter account and never acted again- if people are this cruel.

    I know she is a newbie at acting and unpolished. She clearly could use some acting lessons and a better acting coach. But the thing that people forgot in their haste to trash her, is what you said earlier- THIS WAS LIVE! No way to re-do an awkward scene. No way to fix a weak delivery of a line. This was it- like it or leave it. No second chance.

    Julie Andrews adnitted that they all lip synced the singing for the movie, as they pre-recorded their vocals to make them perfect. Christopher Plummer’s singing was dubbed by a different person altogether to make him sound better. lol This is a documented fact.

    Julie is one of the greatest actresses and singers in the world- and the classiest too. Her support of Carrie through this meant so much to Carrie (she said in interviews) that Carrie was planning to write Julie a personal letter thanking her.

    But the truth is– the original cast of the Sound of Music had MONTHS of rehearsals, re-do’s, 100 takes to make their scenes perfect, and they lip synced. BIG difference from what poor Carrie and her cast had to endure the other night.

    I am not saying that Carrie’s acting would have been perfect even if this was not live- but I think it would have been much better as they would have saved her best scenes and cut the rest– just like they did foR Julie and the rest.

    Going live is so nerve-wracking that people fail to give credit for the fact that none of the cast missed a line or sang off key or tripped or sneezed or coughed. haha

    They all worked so hard– but we as a society are spoiled and used to seeing perfect movies and perfect tv– because people lip sync and re=-shoot their scenes over and over again till they get it right. Carrie was not afforded that opportunity– which makes her live singing all that more impressive. It was flawless.

    I wish the critics focused more on her strong points: They did admit she sang beautifully- all of the critics admitted that, even snarky NY Times and NY Post and LA times.

    But they said it almost in passing, like the vocals were irrelevant to the overall performance. All they cared about was the acting.

    Anyway- I am grateful for your blog. I tweeted it so hopefully Carrie will see this, if she ever goes on twitter again. (sad)

    She got death threats and people telling her to Go die, go kill yourself, and saying unrepeatable swear words. She did not deserve that. Then they mocked her today for her tweet defending herself, when they don’t realize the level of hate, death threats, and nastiness she got.

    I wish Twitter would have moderators so we could ban people who send threats of violence to celebs. Justin Bieber gets them daily. Can’t something be done??

    1. Jennifer L.W. Fink (@jlwf)

      I’m not going to lie: I’m a little bummed to learn that Christopher Plummer’s vocals were dubbed. But I’m not surprised to hear that the vocals were lip-synced.There’s no other way to get such good sound during a “singing on a mountain” scene.

      You brought up a really good point: Ms. Underwood’s vocals were mentioned only in passing in most articles and critiques, and that’s sad. Her voice truly is amazing.

  14. Janice

    @ Helena, yeah Schrodinger is right because it is painfully obvious you know nothing about Carrie Underwood. If you talk to anyone in the country community that know her (and they have stated this publicly), they will tell you she is painfully painfully shy and all have said she is the least arrogant person they have met. Her cast members have all stated how surprised they were at how totally warm and down home and completely unassuming she is and totally without any entitlement what so ever – each and every one has said that. You are doing just what Jennifer wrote this article about – using this bullying behavior without knowing anything about Carrie – and this is from someone that has met her. You totally missed the point of Jennifer’s remorse over her behavior. Please take a lesson out of her book and have a little humility yourself.

  15. Bill

    While I think it was admirable for you to apologize for the sake of your children, I still have to pose this question to everyone who trashed this Live Broadway Stage production.. You all do know this was NOT a movie and really should NEVER have been compared in any way, shape or form to the original movie or movie actors???

    1. Rosemary

      I also think it would have been better if their had been a live audience to feed off of. Hard to do things live without the audience!

  16. Scott

    @Helena … What you and everybody else should stop and think about is the fact that this project brought LIVE THEATRE back to television for the first time in 50 years. There’s a reason why this is … Performers are frightened to take the risk of live tv for a full production. Stars fumble and bumble as announcers and presenters on award shows that are live … Imagine performing for several hours live.
    As for Carrie … Musically she was wonderful … She had a lovely look ( more authentic then Julie had in the movie as well) and for her first time at bat in a medium that is no longer done … She gets a hats off.
    The cast and crew have brought theatre into millions of homes who can now see there’s a world beyond sitcoms and crime dramas.
    BTW … Who is Paxton ? Stephan Moyer ( HBO’s TRUE BLOOD) was the male lead … Not Bill Paxton . Moyer himself is an accomplished actor in film, television and musical theatre (Chicago at the Hollywood Bowl) and the live aspects going out to millions was unnerving to him as well.

  17. Lisa V

    I appreciate the very thoughtful and kind remarks about Carrie. Her efforts should be applauded and her courage admired. I can tell you with certainty that she is neither arrogant or cold and I, for one, am extremely proud of her!

  18. Kate

    I think people were out of hand yes. However, she was improperly cast and the main reason she was in it was for her last name. I know how talented she is, and how hard she probably worked towards this but trying to remake a classic in general was a mistake. Some things are better as originals. They should have cast either an unknown or another famous broadway actress. I feel bad for carrie for the immature comments people made towards her singing. I give her a ton of credit for trying, and some of the music really suited her, like the lonely goatherd, however, her acting was not present and that’s okay–because she’s not an actress. As an actress myself I know what it is like to be hated on for something out of my control. I honestly think the whole thing went a bit too far in my opinion. It was an average performance and that was not only her fault it was the cast as a whole.

    1. Rosemary

      Any theater company who performs this classic “remakes” it all the time! No reason that this show is so special that it should be off limits. Carrie Underwoods “Maria” was a young vulnerable girl. Others have played her as a more confident girl. Different interpretations is the nature of theater.

  19. joe fitzgerald

    The problem is that there are woman out there who have studied there whole lives to play that role. I like Carrie but she should never have attempted this role. It is clear she has no acting training and I for one don’t feel bad about dishing her for it. She put it out there. This is not bullying it is criticism for something she had no business doing. Are we not allowed to critique a performance anymore. How much money was wasted on that production. Why did they not pick a woman who could sing and act….they are out there I guarantee it. And why was Carrie not smart enough to say no….she was not trying to expand her horizons…otherwise she would have waited a couple of years and taken acting lessons. No, this was a travesty and should have never been allowed on television.
    I am not a bully but you put it out there you need to take the consequences when people tell you the truth….and that is what people are doing…telling the truth!!!!!

    1. Long Duong

      I’m fine with well-constructed critique, that’s not the problem. The problem is calling Carie @q+#ap or any number of vulgar words or threatening to beat her up or kill her.

  20. Brian Edwards

    A: You invite critique when you take on any role, let alone an iconic role. I say this as an actor.
    B: if you listen to the negative comments and take them to heart, you’ll get eaten alive. She’s a star. It still can hurt her feelings, but I think she won’t care.
    C: That’s also an object lesson to kids. Learn to take negative criticism and don’t be afraid to give a critique you can back up.
    D: Tell those kids “Do as I say, not as I do”. You can love them and treat them with kindness, but bottom line is you can BE hypocritical. How can a president send troops to die who’s never been in combat? Life is full of crap that’s unfair. Learning that fact and how to deal with it is a life lesson that’s better to learn young.
    E: She didn’t read your tweets, man. She doesn’t know they exist. It’s not the same as posting about a classmate.

  21. Steve London

    Well I’ll have to check it out on you tube and form my own opinion.

  22. Dina Santorelli

    This is an excellent post. Thank you for your honesty. I think if more people apologized when they believed they have done something wrong, the world would be a better place.

  23. Denise Schipani

    Jenny, this is wonderful. And it’s such an important lesson for us as parents. For the record, I didn’t watch any but about 10 minutes of the show. I love the original so much that I just couldn’t. But I wonder if I’d seen it live, if I wouldn’t have liked it because live musical theatre is the correct venue for this, not TV. But TV criticism aside, all the mean live Tweeting IS a lot of fun (I did read some tweets that night and the next day and got a laugh out of the cleverness).

    But that’s the thing: we can all be clever and have fun trading puns and barbs, and forget what example we’re setting for our kids, especially when we tell them so strenuously how important it is to be kind, to not bully.

    Good for you for coming clean about your regrets – that’s the best lesson of all.

  24. michelle rahn

    Good for her to realize her role modeling was leaning to the negative side! She admitted her mistake…..what a fabulous concept! Thank you!

  25. Warren Hoffman

    What an interesting thread. I too made some comments online following the broadcast and to an extent, have had some remorse. Where I feel less remorse is that Carrie Underwood, in addressing her detractors, said that “mean people need to find Jesus.” Really? That’s your response? As someone who isn’t Christian (and even if I was), is the issue here that I need to “find Jesus”? I’m glad that she finds strength in her religion, but I found this comment equally off-putting.

  26. Amy

    This blog post, along with the other positive and supportive comments made, has restored my faith in humanity. This might sound like hyperbole, but I am absolutely serious. I recently took a break from Facebook. I did this mainly because I personally wanted to “unplug” for a bit and not be so constantly tied to my smart phone, but it was also because the cynicism and negativity found on social media, even among my “friends,” can be really overwhelming. Last Thursday I settled in to watch the entire production of The Sound of Music. I immediately noticed Ms. Underwood’s rather wooden acting, but this did not deter me from the simple pleasure of watching a FAMILY-oriented musical production. It reminded me of growing up in the 80s, when, especially during the holidays, the whole family gathered around the television to watch Christmas specials, many of which are not aired anymore. Family-friendly variety shows were starting to become a thing of the past, but they still existed. While my critical eye (I was a theater minor in college) could list a number of weaknesses in the production, I was amazed at not only the quality of the vocals or the bravery of the actors (most of whom were not veteran theater actors) but most of all, amazed at the fact that NBC would even air such a production. There was no sex! There was no profanity! No violence! It was completely different from what usually airs on a Thursday night on any of the networks (I mean really, did anybody catch Scandal this week? That torture scene? Yikes). While I watched, I checked in with my Twitter feed (I didn’t give up all forms of social media). Many comments were supportive, but many were not – actually, most had to do with folks who were perplexed by the “changes” in the production, due to the fact that this production was based on the original musical, not the movie. My husband reported what was happening on Facebook (including his own jab at Carrie’s acting!), and all of it was disappointing. As another commenter noted, if it hadn’t been for the star power attraction of Carrie Underwood, not as many people would have tuned in (in case anyone forgot, the purpose of airing anything on network television is to attract viewers and make money). And really, you’re going to hate on American’s Sweetheart? Here is one celebrity who has never been in the news for showing her private parts to the world, or making racial or sexist slurs, or punching a photographer, or any of the extreme behavior we see from young people who “make it” at a young age. She doesn’t deserve the kind of slander – and yes, cyber bullying – that was thrown at her. If you want to critique the production from a professional point of view, that’s fine – but yes, the mean, snarky comments were out of line. I’m not a prude in any sense of the word; some of my fave shows are on HBO – but I could never watch any of those shows with children. I’m also not innocent of making fun of other adults, both online and offline, but this experience will make me think twice before I do so again. I am happy for the success of this production, and I can only hope that it pushes the networks to produce more of the like.

    Well, all of this to say…THANK YOU for writing this blog post. Your perspective was wanted, needed, and appreciated!

  27. Michael J. Curtiss

    Very timely article, especially given that we are in an age where we are all tasked with the moral imperative to eradicate bullying, no matter what form it takes, and to provide sterling examples to our children of what to do- and NOT do- when they see it.

    To quote another R & H staple: “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught.” Well done.

  28. Steve S

    You made a comment about “high school level” musical. Not to pile on, but I do find that comment offensive. Guess you can’t win. lol. You should encourage your readers, if they want to see great theater, to go to see the local high school and even middle school productions. Some of these kids are amazingly talented. Living in LI NY, I can see live broadway shows anytime I want. However, I prefer the local school and community theater productions. Not only are some of the kids immensely talented, but I know many of them personally and it give more meaning to what they are accomplishing. I also feel good about supporting the kids and local theater and music programs. There are numerous studies showing how music experience early in life leads to more success in the future. These kids, including my son Allen who was never off stage from 10 to 18 years old, work really hard, are high achievers, and deserve our support.

  29. Rachael

    Good for you. It is excellent that you acknowledge this and exemplary for you to share your insight and learning for the rest of us. May you feel God’s love wrapping you in His forgiveness as He smiles over the tender heart of his daughter. Thank you!

  30. Irene

    Hmmm…are legitimate critics who post their honest opinions participating in “online bullying”? I think not. If you were overboard, good for you to acknowledge it. However, if you did not like her performance or the show itself, saying so is fair and reasonable. Everything in moderation.

    1. Brian McMann

      You’re quite right. Legitimate critics, and even amateurs, who offer constructive and well-reasoned critiques are always welcome in my book. I love reading Ben Brantley, for instance. Even when he doesn’t care for how a role was cast he is always careful to still complement the actor in one way or another. And usually his critiques are about why he felt so-and-so wasn’t right for that particular role, not for why so-and-so is an abomination who deserves to die, etc. Talent comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it is misued, but even when it is we can still be polite in saying so.

  31. Melissa Panici

    Being a HUGE Carrie fan myself and having the opportunity to meet her, I am so thankful that you realized you were wrong to have been so mean towards her. Thank you for that. Carrie might be shy and awkward, but she is the most loving human being I have ever met. She treats people with kindness and respect. Carrie, her fans, family and friends were hurt to see some of these bullying tweets. Threatening Carrie is NOT OK.

  32. Barbara Laughter

    I remember the first time I saw Reba McEntire act. I think the name of it was “Tremors”. Her acting was really bad in that picture. Then she went on to have a very successful series on TV called “Reba”. Just because they are great singers doesn’t mean they can act like professionals. Give her a break. I couldn’t do any better at acting than she did. Can you?

  33. Linda Crawford

    OMGSH…..well, this is a first for me, too. I never respond to these things….but the question I want to pose is this…what other family entertainment is on TV…some nude used to be teen idol riding a wrecking ball? Where have our family values gone. Carrie Underwood admits she’s not an actor…she can sing though and as for entertainment….it was very easy to overlook a few flaws in favor or a sweet girl who fit the profile of a postulate better than anyone else these days. There is all kinds of press people can get. Some of it deserved but this…..honestly….hang your heads. My only advice to Carrie is to toughen up….you will never be loved by all….just know that most who are throwing the stones do live in those glass houses…..and just keep doing what you are best at….singing and loving life. You have given so many people joy….look to that. Move on and be yourself.

  34. Mel

    An apology is only as good as the meaning behind it. If you meant to make an excuse for poor behavior, bad judgment and rudeness you have defeated yourself. You already showed the kids that it was ok to demean someone. Next time you make that choice maybe you should put the phone down and take a walk!

  35. Janice

    @Jennifer, actually Christopher himself has admitted they dubbed his vocals with a different person because they determined his were not good enough in their eyes even with his studio recorded vocals. They laid down his vocals but then did not like them and used a sub. And yes it would be hard to do it on the hills but I would bet they would have lip synced anyway because that is just what they were doing at that time.

  36. Janice

    ^ But I meant to add that look at what Carrie did – she had to run up and down the stairs and skip and jump on a bed, all while singing live and I must say, did it without lip syncing and did not miss a beat.

  37. John Eric Jacobsen

    It get’s even worse! What’s sadder is that the bad reviews will prevent money hungry TV producers from airing another live play. This will deprive the young people of today their much needed culture, since their only role model is the stripper Miley Cyrus!

  38. Sarah

    @ Mel, I have to admit your post kind of rings true. While I applaud Jennifer for trying to do the right thing, people can’t completely unring a bell with an apology. All the very nasty uncalled things said via bullying behavior is still out there once typed and sent. I mean with these teens that commit suicide after being bullied, you can’t exactly then just say sorry and all will be OK. The bullying behavior and “pack” mentality used by some, should be thought about and determined not acceptable before hitting that send key or tweet button, etc.

    And I am not talking about “thoughtful” critique here with opinions on what was possibly good and not so good. That is of course acceptable behavior.

  39. Robert Armin

    Interesting that “You’ve got to be taught” was mentioned. It was sung in the movie version of South Pacific by Bill Lee (dubbing for John Kerr), the same singer who dubbed Christopher Plummer in The Sound of Music. Small world, isn’t it?

  40. TL

    I applaud Jennifer’s thoughtfulness and sensitivity. I think a discussion with her kids is warranted. On one hand, a funny/clever/mean posting about a celebrity or politician will unlikely personally or professionally hurt that person.

    On the other hand, a funny/clever/mean post/tweet/rt about a friend, neighbor, or classmate has the potential to have a much more direct and long-lasting negative impact on the target (to say nothing of the conscious or unconscious loss of compassion on the part of the poster). The consequences could be small or really big, and discussing the responsibility one should take before making such a posting is a worthy discussion to have with her kids – that, as well as discussing the responsibility one must take immediately and sincerely should a posting made in jest blow up into something more sinister.

  41. Steve Shapiro

    It’s not bullying…it’s criticism, an integral part of the arts, or at least the business of art. It’s bullying when the victim has done nothing to invite the criticism he’s getting (and bullying also usually infers the threat of physical violence). But if you’re going to put yourself out there and perform one of the iconic roles of the twentieth century, you naturally open yourself to criticism. Reviews are a part of the process.

  42. Sarah

    @Steve with all due respect, you are just not reading all that is being said in here obviously. People are not talking about the constructive criticism and I don’t think Jennifer herself was apologizing for that and she wouldn’t be expected to. People were telling Carrie to go kill herself over how “bad” she was in SOM and yes she is getting death threats and yes they are calling her filthy names with those threats (just think of every name that comes to mind and you will cover it) that somehow were barely related to discussing how SOM was. Yes, that is bullying. WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM. We are talking about hate tweets etc!!!! Please go read the comments out there in twitter world and then comment about “it is criticism not bullying.”

    1. Long Duong

      Thank you Sarah for recognizing most Carrie fans welcome constructive criticism.

      “Carrie’s lack of acting experience, coupled with a short rehearsal schedule and perhaps a bad acting coach, contributed to stiff and uneven acting on her part”. That is acceptable, welcomed and expected critique. This is NOT acceptable: “Carrie you are @#*@*!? Please @#(/@! yourself”. That is what I have a problem with. Please read WHY Carrie said “mean people need Jesus” – she directed at those who want her to die and want to kill her.

  43. William Mark Bailey

    In our small town of Arkansas, I and a hometown cast are about to perform The Sound of Music in our historic theater. I guess being “hicks” from Arkansas, we were proud to watch Carried and the cast perform the same play we are in on worldwide television. I think we were more proud of the fact that Carrie had little theatrical experience and yet found her way in this wonderful role. Kind of gave us simple small town actors hope! Anyway thank you for thinking over your former thoughts and writings. I don’t know why I thought this, but immediately after reading your article, I thought of the movie, Willy Wonka when he is holding the “Everlasting Gobstopper” that Charlie Bucket left on his desk, rather than keeping it and selling out Wonka’s competitor, “Slugworth” I think was his name. Anyway as Willy Wonka held the candy he softly said, “So shines a good deed in a dark world.” Jennifer, very seldom do we read of adults admitting they are wrong and telling all the world they are, especially their children. Yes, Willy Wonka would be proud of you….”so shines a good deed in a dark world.” :)

  44. Janet

    I am glad that she feels bad and admits that it’s not the thing to do. I think people feel that they have this great power, with online forums and social sites.

    She did an admirable job, for non-actress, and I did not expect her to be Julie Andrews. I personally liked Mary Martin more, than Julie, but I still enjoy the movie version and enjoyed this version.

    I was always taught, if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing. I still subscribed to that line of thinking. Everyone else should, too.

  45. karin

    Kudos to you for being able to step back and re-assess your actions. Bigger kudos for explaining to your kids that you felt you were wrong. Everyone makes mistakes. Admitting and (if possible) correcting them is the hard part and I think you taught your kids more than one valuable lesson.

  46. Nick

    I’m sorry, but while I don’t endorse the kind of live-Tweeting this woman did, this piece is insulting to the thousands of kids (and adults) who are legitimately teased, bullied, and tormented every day. There’s a big difference between being bullied at school for who you are and being criticized or even mocked for being paid to appear on television in a remake of a beloved musical. We’re talking about an adult professional here. Who cares if she’s not a trained actor? She took the job. Everyone involved knew what they were getting into and they all got paid. Save the tears for a real victim.

    1. Long Duong

      Yes but adults and kids should NEVER have death threats thrown in their direction, EVER. Why is it that everyone seems to forget that constructive criticism is needed in the entertainment industry, but wishing to harm someone to the point of killing them is not? It is NEVER acceptable and needs to have law enforcement involved no matter who the target is.

  47. David Garcia

    I am an actor and I have received much praise for some of my work on stage and some much less than good. In the case of Ms. Underwood you put yourself out there girl you did your best . Were you prepared ? maybe not. I question the motives of those who cast you in a part that required a strong actress and singer however. This was an abuse of the power of those seeking to capitalize on a name over the promotion of GOOD artistic performance. This happens over and over again here in the U.S. more so here than perhaps any where else and it does nothing to promote the arts in general in this otherwise great country.

  48. Larry Renz

    I love “The Sound of Music”, but this show was not the best that I have seen. I have to fault the producers not the actors. Some of the music did not fit the scenes. “My favorite Things” should have been sung during the thunder storm. “The Lonely Goatherd” should have been sung in a happier time.

  49. Theresa

    ^ larry- the songs were sing in the order of the Broadway musical starring Mary Martin from 1959. They were done perfectly in the order they go in the Play version. This was not the movie version and not a remake of the Julie Andrews film. It was THe Broadway play version- so the songs were in the right order.

  50. Todd

    Comparing a live performance to the movie is unfair. Julie Andrews had multiple takes and the advantage of splicing the best parts together. The real story here is not the stars or the other cast. It is the fact that NBC had the guts to present a live version of this classic. This is a nod to the past, where all networks produced live music performances. Very risky, but it paid off in the buzz created, even if at the expense of Carrie.

  51. Steffen Gliese

    Oh, it is fun to make up all these acid sentenses, we all enjoy Oscar Wilde’s many quotable efforts; but publicising them is a different matter, and we need to learn the difference of the privat living-room and the internet!
    That said, we also need to sport some more public spirit for public activity – like this live performance: this is not the first or the last The Sound of Music to happen, there will be others, better and worse, as there have been.
    For some this will open their mind to the art form, for others it will confirm their lack of interest. For us, who love it, it is just yet another experience with an inspired work of art, another variation on a theme.

  52. Melissa Panici

    @steve Were you a bully? Because your comment was the most ridiculous thing I have read all morning. Threatening Carrie and telling her to kill herself is bullying. I don’t care if your famous and put yourself out there or not. It’s WRONG.

  53. Nichole

    Thank you so much for writing this. You are a brave woman for sharing it. Everyone is entitled to their artistic opinions, of course! But I agree that our kids are learning the art of snide little comments from us. So hard for them, because if I as a 42-year-old mom can’t control my biting remarks, how can I expect my 11-year-old to have the maturity to not engage in that little game with her friends?

  54. Jason Jehosephat

    The key would have been not to trash Ms. Underwood for her mediocre acting ability but the people who selected her for such a visible role *despite* her mediocre acting ability.

  55. Wendell

    While I think everyone should be able to freely express their opinion, the comments I saw on social media were just catty, rude and not at all about Carrie, actually. They were all a lot of theatre actors who were not working being mean. This is ultimately good for the theatre community as many Broadway actors were employed by this production. I actually wrote a blog about my experience on social media with this as well: http://thatsagoodblog.blogspot.com/2013/12/an-open-letter-to-all-theatre-snobs.html

  56. James

    Back in the day there were many live productions that not only employed stars, but gave opportunities to relative newcomers like Leslie Anne Warren in Cinderella. Julie Andrews herself was a newcomer at one point and when she was, people looked at her and said, “wow that kid has something – I’d like to see more of her.” New talent showed up on Ed Sullivan & The Tonight Show – America helped Discover them. I don’t think people bashed people the way they do today. I thought Carrie had some truly wonderful moments and I’d like to see where she goes from here. She got better as the night progressed. The notion that she should “have been apart enough to say no” or “wasn’t willing to do the work” is just sort of lame. There has to be a balance between the business side of things and the creative – it’s not necessarily a meritocracy. If there were more productions like this, then maybe there would be more chances for the “more deserving” actors out there. And by the way – Julie Andrews, for all her brilliance in SOM, also gave some pretty bad performances in her long career even though “she had done the work.”

  57. PK Stegen

    While the performance was not perfect, I think the other thing our kids need to learn is that if you try something – if you extend yourself beyond your comfort zone – and it isn’t “perfect,” that’s ok. And what harm was done by an imperfect performance? The show was entertaining enough, and it exposed the public to the stage version of SOM. We are all so used to perfect, polished shows with slick production values, but this was a good old-fashioned stage play, live gaffs and all. That’s what a live show is about. Bravo to NBC for doing it. I wish there were more live broadcasts, and more candid moments. We might, as a society, benefit from learning to tolerate a little more “imperfection.” That includes the kid with the funny walk, or the person who doesn’t dress quite the same, or the person who is a bit too shy and awkward.

  58. Guyla

    PK Stegen, I love your comment. What happened on social media is one reason our kids (and adults) are afraid to try new things. SO WHAT it wasn’t perfect? It was a fun and entertaining – and CLEAN – family show. Carrie did just fine and did not deserve the stuff thrown at her.

    Thank you, Jennifer, for having the strength of character to speak out and change directions. I applaud you in that!

  59. Bianca

    Jennifer, I think you are amazing! You have the awareness to examine your actions, and the courage to admit when they are out of line with the principles you are trying to teach your children. Children LOVE when their parents admit they are have faults and are human. I doubt Miss Underwood read your initial comments (although she may be hearing about your apology, which I’m sure she’ll love), but that’s not the point: those comments didn’t sit right with you and that’s the important thing.

  60. Chuck

    The point is how can you try to improve on perfection.. it was doomed at the start. I am a theater performer, and there were too many bad decisions that just made it boring to watch. I have seen plenty of live Sound of Musics to know.

  61. Tony Vaguely

    I thought she was awful too, but then again I was only watching it for Stephen Moyer

  62. Brian McMann

    I am very, very impressed with your insights Ms. Fink. I, too, have been guilty of jumping on the criticism bandwagon and lashing out with every bit of witty contempt I can muster. But lately I have tried to adhere to a new philosophy and your article brilliantly articulates my feelings on the subject. The world of theatre, musical theatre in particular, stirs very intense passion in its fans and oftentimes that passion can lead to very strong opinions. Whenever “our” view of what constitues “good” theatre isn’t demonstrated, we sometimes get defensive and oftentimes angry. However, open mindedness and the willingness to accept that different types of performances are valid is important, no matter how difficult. I wrote an article about such a thing:

    http://celluloidstage.blogspot.com/2013/01/patti-glenn-sunset-analyzing-two-very.html

    Not everyone has to like a certain performance, true, but constructive criticism does not have to be destructive criticism. We can point out where things were lacking or where improvement is perhaps needed without resorting to hostility or cruel jokes. I applaud you for taking the time to think about this and offer a new perspective. If only more people would take the time to think and analyze the way you did, instead of offering up more knee-jerk reactions, this world would be a much better place. Thank you again for your insights.

  63. Brian McMann

    Very mature.

  64. Far Fig Newton

    What is about? I didn’t read it. Too many words. Pictures people Pictures! They’re worth a thousand each. Couldn’t we have summed all this up with 2 selfies?

  65. Stan

    Carrie Underwood was horrible in the Sound of Music Live! It’s a fact and you shouldn’t feel bad for saying so. Critiquing her acting ability is not the same as bullying. We have to stop being so PC all the time. Sometimes the truth hurts, but maybe it’ll motivate her to work on her acting. Don’t feel sorry for someone who has it as good as she does. She didn’t put the work in on the front end. Carrie can act, watch her videoes. There’s some acting involved with them. Besides, I’ve seen her be snarky to people behind the scenes. She’ll be fine.

    1. Long Duong

      If you have been paying attention, most people are fine with the critiques. The problem me and others have is with people issuing threats of violence against Carrie.

  66. Melissa Panici

    @Stan ONCE AGAIN we don’t mind critiques. It’s the death threats and telling Carrie to kill herself is what we have a problem with. Pay attention to what is going on and being said.

  67. NotHavingIt

    Hypocrite, much, Carrie Underwood? Mean people need Jesus, indeed.

    “Obamacare by Morning” CMA Awards Carrie Underwood & Brad Paisley

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR3_mM4bpCY#t=75

  68. Heather Lovatt

    There’s nothing wrong with not liking a singer or actor. You have an expectation when you come to be entertained.

    But there IS something wrong in believing every person, beside yourself, is there for your sport, whether you were just expressing your opinion (and back in the day, you did it once, in a review and got on with your life) or seeing a bookburning and wanting to add a log.

    I think it has a lot to do with how important–or unimportant–we see people, beyond ourselves.

    It frustrates me to see a league of haters, online, who, instead of lurking and saying nothing, like so many others do (who may even LIKE the entertainer), chew people up like so much gum.

    In my view, it diminishes us all, as human beings. It deters me from reading the opinions of others.

    Like this one. *grin*

    Thanks for posting.

    Heather

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