Last night I like seemingly everyone else I follow online, I watched NBC’s Peter Pan Live. I watched their live version of Sound of Music earlier this year and found it to be mostly a train wreck, but as such something extremely enjoyable to watch while reading everyone’s snarky tweets about it. Although they screwed up that production mostly by casting a bunch of people who were not able to pull off both acting and singing, I felt like there was potential for them to make future live productions that were actually good.
I was not entirely thrilled when they announced that Peter Pan would be their next show. I was happy they were going to do it again, as I think it is wonderful that they’re broadcasting live theatre productions on television, but Peter Pan is not a show I’ve ever particularly cared for. I do remember watching the Mary Martin version as a child, but I never really loved it and Peter Pan was always one of my least favorite Disney movies. Despite my feelings about the show itself I was willing to give it a chance.
I remained hopeful about the production when they announced Allison Williams as Peter Pan because I already knew that she could both sing and act. I know a lot of people who were going to snark all over this no matter what, but I was determined to give it a chance before going that route. It seemed like overall at least the people I follow on Twitter were much more positive about this than they were about Sound of Music, and I concurred.
Despite my general problems with Peter Pan itself, I found this to be a vast improvement over the Sound of Music Live. They actually cast people who belonged in the roles for the most part. Christopher Walken was a little too Christopher Walkeny at times and definitely no longer has a spring in his step, which made the dancing he had to do a little sad. Overall though I thought they did a good job this go round. Assuming this got the ratings I expect it did based on how many people I know that were watching it (though admittedly I run with a crowd who is predisposed to this kind of thing) I’m guessing NBC will continue to do these on a periodic basis. I’m hoping they’ll do a show I like better than Peter Pan next time.