Hump, Marry, Kill: The Hills Were Alive With The Sound Of Twitter

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HMK_061300Photo: Courtesy of Doug Hyun/TNT; TV Land; Nino Munoz/NBC.
Hump: Well, look at Simon Pegg doing a 1940s L.A. gangster accent like a champ in Mob City. He manages to get through almost every vowel with a proper American lilt. I personally prefer Pegg as an affable, developmentally arrested everyman in quintessential British films involving pub crawls, but you know what? If TNT wants to put more Pegg on our screens, I’m not going to complain.

Marry: I used to think the fictional TV scenario in which I would most like to live is a Heineken commercial (which is basically a Bond movie minus the murder and bomb-detonating stuff, plus more beer and raucous underground parties). But, I’d like to formally announce that I’ve changed my mind. I would now very much like to live in a TV Land sitcom. These shows are filmed in front of a live studio audience, and the actors are so aware of the overly responsive viewers fawning over them that there isn’t a fourth wall between them so much as an extremely porous, translucent membrane through which they feel nothing but adulation.

In the imaginary world of Kirstie, Broadway stars are still treated like royalty and allowed to act like diva mashups of Mae West and Ethel Merman (and trash-talk Angela Lansbury — the gall!). They live in sprawling penthouse apartments and have drivers, chefs, personal assistants, and other assorted staff members who, from the outside, might seem like the paid friends of a lonely, fading star, but they would genuinely do anything for their beloved actress/boss. (They just happen to be on the payroll — the line is a little murky.)

Yes, that’s the new, fictional television land in which I’d like to exist. Where actresses who've seemingly sat in hair and makeup for four hours just to do a two-minute scene in their pajamas are considered treasures with supposedly rich and wonderful backstories (even though they’re kind of narcissistic and blah). And, John Travolta stops by to do the Look Who’s Talking Now cast reunion Entertainment Weekly left out of its most recent reunions issue. It all looks perfectly lovely and softly lit to hide fine lines and wrinkles. When can I move in? I can handle Kirstie’s social media accounts.

Kill: The hills were alive with the sound of something Thursday night, but that something took the form of millions of cynical tweets competing to make the most "over it" jokes about NBC’s The Sound of Music Live! The network kind of threw itself on its own sword with that exclamation point (please, let us decide if we’re excited enough for the most emphatic of punctuation marks), but it also had to do the thankless job of picking someone to fill the iconic habit of Julie Andrews. And, that someone was Carrie Underwood in what is essentially her first major acting role.

Now, granted, I would rather watch C-SPAN 24 hours a day than do a live television special of a beloved performance, but NBC clearly chose Underwood for her massive fan base, not her ability to perform the part. She did okay, I guess (especially given the pressure cooker of a situation), but it was still a pretty forgettable performance in a $9 million television special we didn’t really need. (Also not needed: all those dirndls.) Furthermore, I’m pretty angry it preempted Parks and Rec. With all of that said, I would be open to Josh Groban starring in Chess Live! because, trust me, the combination of Groban and ABBA is what America needs right now — it just doesn't know it yet.