Ever since 2013's The Sound of Music Live was a smash hit on NBC, live TV musicals have been a staple of the holiday season. Some have been hits, like Jesus Christ, Superstar, and The Wiz Live! Others have not been so fortunate (sorry, Peter Pan Live!). For 2020's take on the genre, NBC turned to The Grinch. Following the show's Dec. 9 debut, the tweets and memes about Matthew Morrison's The Grinch Musical are proof fans were not prepared for what they saw.
It is perhaps the most 2020 thing for one of the few holiday traditions still left in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic to go wrong. But the dirty truth behind these live musicals (including the ones on ABC and Fox that followed in the wake of NBC's success) is that half the time, they are hot messes. Fans may not remember now, but even The Sound Of Music Live, which kicked off this trend, was generally considered pretty terrible.
And yet, there's something about these musicals (yes, even the off-the-rails ones) that fans love. That's why, even though viewers at home couldn't stop skewering The Grinch Musical, they also couldn't look away from it.
That The Grinch Musical starred Matthew Morrison, once known as Glee's music teacher Will Schuester, was not lost on anyone. Glee was a surprise critical darling when it first debuted in 2009, and although viewers and critics alike soured on the show fast, it remains a cult favorite. Naturally, jokes about Morrison's past with the musical show abounded.
While Glee was a popular reference for many memes, there were plenty of other Twitter critiques for non-Gleeks.
While the show's plot and performances certainly took some jabs, what fans really couldn't get over were the makeup choices and trippy visuals.
But, like all live musical shows, there are silver linings.
Let us all give thanks this holiday season for the memes.