'Peter Pan Live!': Best and Worst Moments

Allison Williams singing (yes, seriously), Christopher Walken tap-dancing, all the super fun flying and that dead maid in the closet
Virginia Sherwood/NBC
'Peter Pan Live!'

Peter Pan Live! wasn't the massive disaster that last year's Sound of Music Live! hate-watchers and critics expected (or were hoping for).

Read more 'Peter Pan Live!': Hollywood Reacts to NBC's Live Musical

The live broadcast of the musical based on the J.M. Barrie tale was generally well-received throughout Hollywood, thanks to a handful of standout moments:

1. Taking flight for the first time

Allison Williams, as the title character, taught the Darlings how to soar before heading off to Neverland. After the quick tutorial, Peter Pan and Wendy (Taylor Louderman), John (Jake Lucas) and Michael (John Allyn) flew throughout the studio for a scene that was undeniably fun, despite their very visible wires.

2. Dancing along with Walken

Captain Hook's got some serious moves. Christopher Walken's take on the one-handed villain was spotlighted by a tap-dance sequence aboard his very, very clean pirate ship. Right next to him in the number was Christian Borle as Mr. Smee (with pretty bad teeth and large tattooed biceps), just minutes after he appeared as a cold and buttoned-up Mr. Darling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. "I Won't Grow Up" 

By the time this favorite song rolled around in the broadcast, Williams had more than proven her singing abilities on "I've Gotta Crow" and "Never Never Land." The nostalgic number was well choreographed and had viewers on Twitter cursing their adult state (rather than the broadcast, as they did last year).

Read more 'Peter Pan' Producers Reveal Emergency Plan, Casting Challenges and Upside of Snarky Tweets

4. That Nana though

The broadcast used a real animal to play the family pet onstage, and the big fluffy gray dog kept stealing EVERY nursery scene. Spinoff special for Nana, please.

5. Minnie Driver's moment

After offering bits of Julie Andrews-like narration throughout the show, the About a Boy actress briefly brought some major emotion as an older Wendy Darling who's been waiting years for Peter to return. Maybe it's because she did it with the subtlety that that television close-ups demand (sorry, Louderman).

 

But not every scene of the three-hour event was a high note. Another handful of onscreen stunts fell flat:

1. The creepy closet maid

"She's supposed to be working, but she sometimes dozes off," Wendy tells Peter of the random, dead-looking maid in the bedroom closet. Umm, okay.

2. "I've Gotta Crow"

Williams — good singer, awkward crow. When added to the actress' British accent and the Dancing With the Stars-like tan, the bird call was another accidentally hilarious moment. Plus, it's hard for millennials to accept better crowing from anyone who isn't Robin Williams in 1991's Hook.

3. Tiger Lily and her tribe

Yes, NBC did change the lyrics of the controversial song "Ugg-A-Wugg," which originally was full of nonsensical lyrics that were stereotypical to Native Americans. Yet for viewers, it wasn't the song that was the problem, but the people who sang and danced the number. Twitter users wondered why the Lost Boys weren't as diverse as Tiger Lily's oddly mixed-race crew.

 

4. Applause for Tinkerbell?

When computer-generated Tinkerbell needed a ton of applause to keep her light alive, Williams turned to the camera and asked viewers at home to start clapping for Peter's flying sidekick. It's a gimmick that works well onstage and in front of an audience, but if Kevin Spacey can barely get away with breaking the fourth wall for an awesome one-liner in House of Cards, it's a no-can-do for a xylophone-playing fairy.

Read more 'Peter Pan's' Christopher Walken on Always Playing the Villain, Doing Live TV

5. Shape-shifting crocodile

First, it was a human in a suit, wonderfully crawling around onstage and intimidating with its ticking. But when Hook fell off the Jolly Roger and into the water, the animal nemesis was suddenly a CGI creature onscreen. Too bad, because a completely committed Frankenstein-like reptile was all Walken wanted, really. Look how awesome that is!

Email: Ashley.Lee@THR.com
Twitter: @cashleelee

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