REVIEW: 'A Christmas Story Live!' Wasn't As Bad As You Think

RELAX! It was an adaptation of the musical (NOT the movie).

December 18, 2017

Juliscalzi | Dreamstime

Live TV musicals are a BIG undertaking for any network. FOX set the bar very high when they did a critically-acclaimed broadcast of Grease Live! in January 2016, so viewers were hopeful that last night's broadcast of A Christmas Story Live! would spread Christmas cheer.

But if you asked many viewers and critics, last night's broadcast was as disappointing as a warm rain on Christmas morning.

However, the likely problem here is that it was actually just different than viewers expected. 

Most of the tweets last night were comparing last night's broadcast to the 1983 cult classic film, but that's where the trouble begins because it's not a fair comparison.

Last night's broadcast was not an adaptation of the original film, but instead an adaptation of the 2012 musical. So for some it was a little jarring to see a musical numbers filling time in places that you may not have expected, but that's HOW a musical works.

The musical had a ton of star power behind it. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul worked on the adaption, and those guys know what they're doing. In fact, they're the team behind La La Land and Dear Evan Hansen.

Andy Walken led the incredible group kids who starred in the movie, with his role as Ralphie Parker.  The adult stars in the musical were nothing short of amazing: Maya Rudolph, Matthew Broderick, Chris DiamantopoulosJane Krakowski, Ana Gasteyer were all perfect in their roles. 

So, perhaps, instead of thinking the musical was bad, audiences were just disappointed that a classic had been converted into a musical. Bottom line: it's okay to be mad about the adaption, but it's probably not fair to hate on the incredible production value of last night's show.

In the meantime, here's hoping network TV doesn't air an adaptation of Elf: The Musical any time soon, as it would likely face similar criticisms. 

I guess sometimes you can't mess with a well known classic.