In a Hail Mary move for corporate preservation, the San Francisco based Northwest Broadcasting Corporation launches True TV, a new network which will broadcast the life of an Average Joe or Jane, 24/7 live and thus unedited, the subject chosen signed initially for one month. The project is conceived and led by one of the producers, Cynthia, but her boss, NWBC president Whitaker, will take the credit if it succeeds, and let her sink as the captain of the ship if it fails. The network is rebranded EdTV when Cynthia believes she's found her subject, Ed Pekurny, a native Texas hayseed, who fits the two main criteria that she is looking for in the person: he is easy on the eyes, and he has what seems to be a potential trainwreck of a life in that he he is thirty-one years old, spends most of his time hanging out at the bar, and has no ambition beyond his longtime dead end job as a clerk in a video store. Ed did not actively campaign for the job - his blowhard of a brother Ray was the one ... Written by
Feared this would be a gritty, angry Truman Show, but was pleasantly surprised.
Even though I like most of the players, I really wasn't expecting much from this movie. I wound up surprised by its freshness, wit and thoughtfulness. I feared a poor person's Truman Show, but this film took a lot of the same themes and spun them in different directions. The film lacked Truman's sadness and humanity but made up the difference with more concise and challenging social commentary (not to mention a better supporting cast). Issues of celebrity, entertainment, the media, the information age were all handled in interesting ways. When it needed to be abrasive and shocking, Ed TV took its shots, but it usually remained in a very comfortable and entertaining middle ground. As a viewer, I felt like someone who had spent the previous 15 minutes surfing channels before finally finding a gem worth watching.
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