Reviews, REVIEWS: Docs / Other films — September 21, 2017 at 10:27 am

REVIEW: The Show (2017)

By Tim Tal

Every TV network needs new ideas for shows and programs to stay relevant for their audience. Just like banks are useless without clients’ money, TV networks are useless without audience. Thus, give the masses something they want. How about a show where people voluntarily commit suicides before a live audience? And there are donations as well.

Welcome to reality TV.

The film kicks off with popular TV show host Adam Rogers (Josh Duhamel) witnessing one of his contestants kill two people, after which the show is shut down. Rogers, being who he is, soon agrees to an idea of making a new show, where people would agree to commit suicides in front of a live audience, and the money collected via donations would go to their relatives or other just causes.

On the other hand, we have Mason Washington (Giancarlo Esposito), who runs from one job to another, trying to support his family of three, and barely making the ends meet.

Meanwhile, the “This is your death” TV show with Rogers as the host, is gaining popularity, as ordinary people come into the studio and commit various types of suicides for their own reasons. The live audience loves it, the money is pouring in, Rogers is at the top of his game. Or so he thinks…

Soon however, the whole idea backfires, and it remains to be seen what the outcome will be – especially if we’re dealing with people who are on the verge of ending their own lives…

One thing that is certain about “The Show” (2017) – it is fresh. Yes, the idea has been used before, in one way or another, but the film looks fresh, reminding us about the effect a TV show can have on us. This doesn’t go only for reality TV shows.

This is the second directorial effort from Giancarlo Esposito, who is primarily known as an actor. Here, he’s both playing one of main parts and directing. It would be interesting to see what he does next as a director.

“The Show” may not win any big-time awards, but good cast (Josh Duhamel, Famke Janssen, Giancarlo Esposito, James Franco in a minor part), interesting idea and a message the film is trying to deliver, should keep the viewers from fast-forwarding through the entire movie.


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