Cleaning Out The DVR Yet Again #34: The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do The Time Warp Again (dir by Kenny Ortega)

(Lisa recently discovered that she only has about 8 hours of space left on her DVR!  It turns out that she’s been recording movies from July and she just hasn’t gotten around to watching and reviewing them yet.  So, once again, Lisa is cleaning out her DVR!  She is going to try to watch and review 52 movies by the end of Wednesday, December 7th!  Will she make it?  Keep checking the site to find out!)

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do The Time Warp Again aired on Fox on October 20th, 2016.

I’ve actually come across some debate online whether the Fox version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show should be considered a remake or merely a tribute to the original film.  It really doesn’t matter.  Whether it’s a tribute or a remake, it’s way too bland to succeed as either one.  Regardless of whether you think the original film (or the original stage play, for that matter) is a transgressive mindfuck or an overrated slog, you can’t deny that director Jim Sharman, star Tim Curry, and writer Richard O’Brien fully committed themselves to being subversive and challenging the audience.  The Fox version was directed by Kenny Ortega, who is best known for the High School Musical films.  Ultimately, this version feels so safe and bland that you could easily imagine Brad and Janet watching it while on church retreat.

It’s like Rocky Horror channeled through Glee channeled through the rockmentary episode of Saved By The Bell.

(“Friends forever.  It’s a nice idea.'”)

As for the cast, I thought Victoria Justice did a pretty good job as Janet, though it’s impossible for me to see her without singing that Best Friend’s Brother song that TeenNick always used to play in between episodes of Degrassi.  Reeve Carney did an acceptable Richard O’Brien impersonation as Riff-Raff.

Laverne Cox took on the role of Dr. Frank-n-Furter and somehow, she managed to make that role boring.  You know who would have made a great Frank-n-Furter?  Adam Lambert.  But he was stuck playing Eddie, the delivery boy who gets eaten.  Lambert did a pretty good job as Eddie but let’s be honest — ANYONE WHO CAN SING CAN PLAY EDDIE!  Frank-n-Furter, on the other hand, is a dynamic character and, for a production of Rocky Horror to work, Frank has to dominate the entire show.  Far too often, Cox seemed to blend into the background.

As for the original Frank, Tim Curry showed up as the Criminologist.  Curry had a stroke in 2012 and now uses a wheelchair.  Here’s hoping the best for him!

As for this version of Rocky Horror, it will soon be forgotten.  Actually, it probably already is forgotten.  I had forgotten about it until I saw it on the DVR.  As opposed to some of the other made-for-TV musicals that have recently aired — Sound of Music, Grease — this version of Rocky Horror was not aired live.  To be honest, I think it would have been better if it had been a live production.  At the least, it would have brought an air of potential danger, the thought that anything could happen, to the production.

That’s what this version was missing.

Oh well!

2 responses to “Cleaning Out The DVR Yet Again #34: The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do The Time Warp Again (dir by Kenny Ortega)

  1. Hate to disagree with you, Lisa, but I feel Laverne Cox did well in her role. I’m not sure if she stacks up to Tim Curry (haven’t seen the whole original), but she brought zest to the role.

    Also, what did you think of the whole “A woman can’t be Frank Furter!” controversy?

    Liked by 1 person

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