Why am I watching Fox’s ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW remake? Why? It’s like my fingers ache to change the channel, but my eyes can’t look away. No, it’s not the trainwreck of NBC’s live musicals, but it’s not good either.

One thing that works well is framing the story as a movie being shown at a theatre and switching from being in the action to seeing it on the screen and seeing the audience interact with it. That was a nice touch. Reeve Carney (Riff Raff) has the strongest performance in terms of acting and singing, and Victoria Justice (Janet) is reasonably solid. Surprisingly, I didn’t love Adam Lambert, and Tim Curry’s frailness makes me sad, though given his stroke, it’s good to see him at all.

While the upgrades to the set and costume budgets are nice to look at, part of me craves the less polished and perfect look of the original. Also, I’m not keen on some of the musical changes, the “softening” (sound-wise) of the songs. They don’t feel like they have quite the punch and crispness of the original.

I’m usually not one to complain about camp, but it feels like the show is trying to out-camp the original in a way that makes the camp feel more like parody. That’s leaving a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. In many parts, it seems like the actors are trying to imitate the original in terms of intonation and delivery, physicality, and that’s a losing battle, because they aren’t ever going to be the original cast.

The original movie cast doesn’t have anything to worry about their performances remaining the definitive ones. There’s often an odd sort of odd disconnect between the cast here. For example, in “Sweet Transvestite” Laverne Cox feels completely detached from everything and everyone around her. She might as well be in a room by herself for all the connection she makes. I also hated her performance of “Blue Skies.”

I want to watch the original so bad right now.


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