Friday, July 18, 2008

How do you solve a problem like Maria?

I was really looking forward to watching the CBC summer reality series casting the role of Maria Von Trapp for a Canadian production of the Sound of Music. I love the story of the Sound of Music and have spent many hours listening to my mum's old LP record of the music. Plus, I love singing and music and I know a lot of the songs they perform.

The show is actually based on a British version of the same and a similar concept, only using Oliver Twist instead of the Sound of Music, was on TV while we were in England.

The show website, which the average Canadian can vote on!

But. And there's a lot of buts, I'm afraid.

There's a LOT I don't like about the show.

#1 The objectification of the women competing for the role. From the beginning of the show, the girls were assigned a colour, and each week their dresses are made of fabric this colour. So much for originality of dress; instead it's all very cutesy. The one girl who was given hot pink as her given colour, was eliminated because she was too bubble-gum pop sounding. Well it sure doesn't help that she had to wear pink every week!

In addition, the announcer insists on not describing the women as the contestants, or the singers, or as individuals but instead continaully and consistently as "your Marias." Gag. They are INDIVIDUALS and in many cases professional singers. So treat them with the respect and credit they deserve.

#2 Of the three judges, one, Simon Lee the conductor, is honest and believable and endearing. The acting judge, John Barrowman, thinks he's hot stuff and keeps referring to "back when I did that play in the West End." We don't CARE that you were in it, just give us some feedback. He's supposed to be so dreamy and wonderful, but I think he's just a jerk. And some of his comments, like "that was fantastic, fantastic, fantastic" or "you're hot hot hot." LAME.

#3 The host, Gavin Crawford, while downright hilarious at times, and certainly capable of being funny as seen on This Hour has 22 Minutes, is often cheesily over the top in his transitional comments and summaries.

#4 For being a CBC and therefore supposedly nation-wide show, why were the majority of the finalists from Ontario. There was not a single one from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, PEI, or the territories. Are we non-Ontarians simply devoid of talent?? Or just can't be bothered with a reality show?

#5 The is more just a comment than a complaint: the production of the show is at times down right awful. The crew forget to turn mikes on (which was at least part of the reason one poor contestant was eliminated when she was--they didn't fix her mike problem until almost half way through her song!) or they forget to turn mikes off, so that viewers get to hear little snuffly noises while we're hearing someone else sing or speak. The camera angles are often odd, or awkward, or poorly timed.

That said, the women performing are incredibly talented. They have amazing versatile voices and have performed really well under pressure. I've also really enjoyed seeing how the judges determine who goes and who stays. Thankfully, Simon Lee, Andrew Lloyd Webber's conductor, has final say on who goes and who stays, because he is the most thoughtful, and I really am enjoying his reasoning for his decisions.

Anyone else watching?


Peter & Lorraine said...

Nope! Not watching! Saw the ad one day and said I will stick with the movie. Like the music too much as well to bother watching another TV attempt that ends up destroying a classic.

Kirstin said...

To be fair, the Broadway musical, which the women on this show are trying out for, came before the movie...

But I know what you mean about the risk of a classic being ruined.

mammacomic said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog! Its always nice to hear from a fellow Calgarian. I didnt know that about the pesticides...I dont watch this show but am a huge CBC fan...I'm looking forward to checking out your blog!