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
During one scene, after Shari has left, Ed is in his video store and sees a woman in a wig and sunglasses outside whom he recognizes as Shari in disguise. In the background you can see a poster for the movie Vertigo (1958), which features a woman disguising herself in a similar fashion. See more »
Ed's feet change position between shots when he is sitting in the bathroom on the hamper and talking to Cynthia. The hamper also changes position in the overhead shot. See more »
[talking about Ed's dad]
He cheated on you?
Well, he had medical problems, he said the woman he was with was a nurse.
And you believed him!
Well, she had white shoes.
So does Grandma! So does Sahquille O-Neil!
See more »
In fact, throughout this dull and relentless tale of ordinary Joe Ed turned real-life 24-hour television star, Director Ron Howard consistently resists the obvious satire on the fallout of fame and focuses on the cloyingly saccharine romance that lies at EDTV's mushy core.
If you doubt this (and considering Howard's track record, you may), visit EDTV on DVD and you'll be treated to numerous deleted scenes that satirically drive home the point that fame is indeed a bitch. Unfortunately, these scenes are also some of the darkest, funniest and most telling in the script. (An entire subplot about an EdTV imitator that ends with tragedy was completely eliminated from the final cut.) Why then did they end up on the cutting room floor? Howard can't seem to get away from Mayberry sentimentality enough to make EDTV the film it needs to be by it's very nature. In fact, the stars of the film (Hurley, DeGeneres, Harrelson) could have made a more interesting documentary on the price of fame than EDTV does at it's cautious best.
All hail, however, the film's bright spot, Ellen DeGeneres. Yes, Ellen. With her balance of quirky humor and self-doubting charm, she manages to infuse the film with some sense of purpose and it is she (not wrongly cast lead Matthew McConaughey) that we care about.
See it for Ellen. Or, better yet, rent THE TRUMAN SHOW and cap it off with a re-run of TV's ELLEN. I guarantee more laughs and heaps more satire than the botched EDTV can ever provide.
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