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Giancarlo Esposito
Josh Duhamel, Giancarlo Esposito, Famke Janssen
Writing Credits:
Kenny Yakkel, Noah Pink

A reality TV show becomes a hit based on the deaths of its contestants.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 105 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 11/7/2017

• “Making The Show” Featurette
• Cast/Crew Interviews
• Previews and Trailer


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The Show [Blu-Ray] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 31, 2017)

At least since 1976’s Network, we’ve gotten projects that look at the increasingly depraved levels to which TV will sink. Add 2017’s The Show to that list, a film that takes on the topic as it connects to reality TV.

Adam Rogers (Josh Duhamel) hosts Married to a Millionaire, a dating series. However, the show takes a tragic turn when a contestant opens fire on the air.

Rogers prevents greater bloodshed and becomes viewed as a hero, but he doesn’t accept that designation. Instead, he holds himself and his network responsible for the tawdry way Married exploited its contestants.

After Rogers unburdens his soul on a morning talk show, network exec Ilana Katz (Famke Janssen) pitches a new series in which contestants will commit suicide on the air. Rogers agrees to host but only if the show uses the deaths as a way to contribute to the “greater good” – a choice that brings struggling janitor Mason Washington (Giancarlo Esposito) to a crossroads.

If nothing else, Show brings attention to itself via its director. Best-known as an actor, Esposito does double-duty here as both performer and director on Show.

This marks only Esposito’s second directorial effort and his first since 2008’s Gospel Hill. I never saw that one, so I was curious to check out Esposito’s work behind the camera.

Unfortunately, The Show leads me to think Esposito should stick to acting. While the film occasionally seems intriguing, it struggles to find consistency.

Much of the issue stems from its tone. One minute The Show attempts to offer biting social commentary, while the next focuses on somber character material – and it tosses in an odd “meet cute” romantic relationship between Rogers and TV producer Sylvia (Caitlin FitzGerald).

The broad nature of the different elements makes The Show feel like a longer story chopped down to its basics – and it also leaves us with a muddled narrative. The movie flits from one direction to another without much clarity or logic.

Face it: as much as the movie wants us to believe it explores deeper issues, it really offers the same kind of tawdry thrills as the reality programs it disdains. This becomes especially true as the story progresses and goes down less and less believable situations and paths.

Granted, The Show starts from a point of incredulity, as its basic premise stretches what the viewer will accept as logical. It goes downhill from there, though, and turns less and less credible along the way.

All of this leaves The Show as an erratic mess of messages and genres. An awkward mix of schmaltz and social satire, the movie doesn’t connect – it’s a theme with a film built around it.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus D+

The Show appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie boasted a largely strong image.

Overall sharpness worked well. A few interiors looked a smidgen on the soft side, but those remained in the minority, so most of the flick appeared tight and well-defined. I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and both edge haloes and print flaws remained absent.

Inevitably, The Show went with a palette of orange and teal, as those tones dominated the presentation. Predictable as the colors tended to be, the Blu-ray rendered them in an appropriate manner.

Blacks looked dark and deep, while shadows seemed smooth and concise. I felt pleased with this high-quality presentation.

The Show came with a low-key DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, as most of the mix concentrated on subdued environmental information. The track added a little involvement but failed to use the speakers in a particularly involving manner.

Audio quality worked well. Speech seemed concise and distinctive, while effects appeared accurate and natural. Music was warm and full. The lack of sonic ambition left this as a “B-“ mix.

Minor extras fill out the disc, and we find Making The Show, a 12-minute, 42-second featurette with comments from director/actor Giancarlo Esposito, producer Michael Klein, and actors Josh Duhamel, Sarah Wayne Callies, Famke Janssen, and Caitlin FitzGerald. “Making” looks at story/characters as well as cast and performances and Esposito’s work as director. It’s pretty superficial promo stuff.

Cast/Crew Interviews breaks into six segments. We hear from Esposito (3:39), Duhamel (2:40), Janssen (3:19), Callies (3:38), FitzGerald (2:53) and Klein (2:25).

These snippets use the same sessions found in “Making”, a fact that renders the prior featurette largely moot – if you watch both, you’ll see a lot of repeated remarks. This means we get similar topics, and without much more depth. The interviews remain lackluster.

The disc opens with ads for Unlocked, Black Butterfly, Aftermath, Extortion and Misconduct. We also get a trailer for The Show.

As a satire of reality TV, The Show comes with the potential to deliver biting social commentary. Unfortunately, the movie meanders across too many paths and loses any logic or consistency as it goes. The Blu-ray offers very good picture along with decent audio and some minor supplements. Despite a few intriguing notions, The Show lacks punch.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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