Streaming Releases: The Show (2017) Reviewed

This. Is. Your. Death. 

A great cast rounds out the new thrill based social commentary, The Show. What could have been an excellent satirical bit turns out to a mostly flat experience that never quite delivers on its massive premise. When an on air death occurs, a new show about on air suicide is spawned to huge success. 

Featuring performances from Josh Dumamel, Famke Janssen, Giancarlo Esposito, and Sarah Wayne Callies, this death laden journey into the world of televised suicide casts a heavy shadow on our modern obsession with instant gratification and the abandonment of all morals for the sake of entertainment. As we become more interested in violence, greed, and an absolute lack of values, this game show of bloodshed takes several hard shots at the realm of reality programming and our sad desire to soak up human pain and suffering. As a game show based on self inflicted death sweeps the airwaves, The Show throws all respect for life out the window. And it never creates a vibe of darkness that's so needed in a movie like this. Each time it seems like it may finally go full bore into new territory, Esposito (also the director) pulls back the reigns, unfortunately nullifying the effect he's going for with his movie.

Duhamel leads the project with a new found flair for creating a pompous, self gratifying game show host as Janssen continues being her usual convincing persona. This woman never ages. But that's beside the point. Giancarlo Esposito creates a father that can't live up to the high financial expectations of his wife while Mrs. Callies continues to drum up another believable role as an unsupportive sister with a head full of problems. They all chew up this script and spit it out with little thought. All the leads here take up the challenge of righting a floundering screenplay by giving it a high dose of steamy melodrama that's lined with their years of experience. Without a doubt, the actors here up the ante on a movie that could have abysmally failed otherwise. Still, there's just something missing. 

Welcome to my new show, This Is Your Hair.

Again, this is a decent little film that exposes taboo topics. But the finished product feels hindered by flat cinematography, no real soundtrack, and truncated plot points that needed more rounding off. This is good time filler but really nothing more. If this had gone the cinematic route with a larger budget and a more experienced director, things could have turned out much better.