THE SHOW, directed by actor Giancarlo Esposito, is an intense social commentary about the world’s fascination with reality television. Adam Rogers (Josh Duhamel) is a reality TV host who witnesses a murder/suicide on his show when a bachelorette, in love with the bachelor, doesn’t get picked and reacts by shooting the millionaire bachelor and aims for the winning bachelorette, who Rogers steps in front to save. Even though Rogers is seen as a hero he is affected by the ordeal and gives up the job.
That is until the network decides to pitch a show. Real suicides on live television. Rogers considers this his chance to redeem his image and create a show where people die for a noble cause. This concept is simple – people come on and commit suicide in front of an audience when they feel they have no other alternatives as a way to better the life of the family they are leaving behind.
This film affected me in the same way “13 Reasons Why” affected so many in how it deals with the issue of suicide, except it also combines it with the strange obsession the mainstream audience has with reality TV. I am a true believer that a story comes first with any film and this film is no exception as it truly does deliver especially in regards to the quality character arcs within the film.
All three of the lead actors are amazing and the film showcases the talent and care that Esposito has as a director but it’s his performance as Mason Washington, an older man having to work two, even three jobs (along with his wife), just to raise his family. They are on the verge of losing their house and their health insurance for their disabled child so Mason decides to apply for the game show when he feels like he has no other alternatives. I can’t imagine the weight a decision like that would carry on any person and I couldn’t help but feel the pain in Esposito’s powerful performance.
Duhamel also delivers as the show’s host, a man caught between trying to give a voice to those who feel forgotten and his own obsession of the world of make-believe reality. In the end, I can’t thank Esposito enough for making such a great film.
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