Fred Willard and Jane Lynch‘s hilarious parody of Entertainment Tonight-ish hosts in For Your Consideration highlights what Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries do best – it shows blinding American enthusiasm at its zenith. So, if the aggressive cheeriness of network entertainment shows leaves you in sugar shock, you’ll likely gravitate towards the flavor of The Rotten Tomatoes Show.
Something like The Insider sprinkled with ironic humor, The Rotten Tomatoes Show is a good concept that just hasn’t had enough time to cook.
Billing itself as “a fast-paced, comedic journey through the week in cinema,” TRTS delivers on that promise while attempting to be in on the joke at the same time, but ends up becoming a mish-mash of competing forces. Hosts and contributing writers Ellen Fox and Brett Erlich (of Viral Video Film School), a stable of side kicks, and professional and amateur film critics do their best to keep the energy up and the jokes flowing, but this viewer was left feeling ambivalent towards the series.
The show is good enough, managing to be both amusing and unique at times, and it does offer fair, thoughtful film reviews, but it doesn’t quite reach its intended level of edginess. TRTS seems to suffer from an identity crisis born of trying to be all things to all film lovers. The nearly half hour online show is a fresh kind of film review, a show for the ADD generation, which overwhelms itself with multi-tasking. There’s so much going on – so many quick cuts, tangents, segments, background musack, and gags – that it falls short of its ambition. Is it satirical, ironic, sarcastic, or playful? Can all four elements really co-exist within a half-hour program for movie critiques?
Still, some of the segments are and memorable. A standout segment is the Secret Movie Confession piece in which a guy named Brett shamelessly adores the 1950’s musical Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. He cleverly details why a straight man in his twenties would treasure such an outlandish musical, and doesn’t have once ounce of shame.
Another standout segment is Top Five Films which features D-list stars such as Bai Ling and porn star Sasha Grey. It’s fascinating to watch the porn actress soberly name her favorite obscure art films for a show that consists largely of humor gags and is not at all pretentious.
While the hosts share good chemistry, their banter is scripted and the show’s segments lack a cohesive flow. These are film reviews for the Twitter generation, who probably can’t sit still through an entire film anyway.
Watch The Rotten Tomatoes Show at Current.com.