The Rocky Horror Remake: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
By request, here’s the breakdown of the most unnecessary musical remake since NBC started did Sound of Music Live.
Okay, let’s get comprehensive.
The first two musical numbers are actually pretty great, which inspired a lot of false hope.
Ivy Levan sounds amazing, and the intro is a great throwback to the stage version.
I LOVE THIS BRAD AND JANET. Ryan McCartan plays Brad as a campy, deeply-closeted every man, which is an interpretation that would work for any other version of this show.
Victoria Justice sounds good too, she’s clearly having fun
Reeve Carney fucking gets it. He’s Richard O’Brien 2.0. I love his Riff Raff, he gets every note right.
Annaleigh Ashford gets a lot of credit for playing a Columbia that’s a huge tonal shift from the original take. She’s a depressed rainbow emo fan girl and it works. Also, her improvised line is by far the best thing in this shit show (you’ll know it when you hear it).
Adam Lambert looks like a chimpanzee. A very skinny chimpanzee some dressed in punk costumes from Build-A-Bear, but he does sound good. Kinda?
The choreography is great, but having great choreo in Rocky Horror is like having the prettiest set in Our Town. Like, congrats, but you’re really not getting the point of this.
You have Tim Curry as the Criminologist. I get it- he’s a huge part of the original’s success. But, dude, Tim Curry just had a stroke. It’s a little uncomfortable to see him like this. Let him rest.
How do you have such a big budget for this and yet it somehow looks cheaper than the deliberately cheap looking D-Movie?
What even is Ben Vereen at this point? You have one of the greatest dancers in Broadway history in a wheelchair. And on drugs? I can’t explain his performance otherwise.
Thank God Staz Nair (Rocky) is pretty, because he’s not much else. Okay, he can sing a little and shake it in board shorts. His acting sucks though.
Christina Millian (Columbia) is barely in this, and it doesn’t seem like she’s trying. Way to waste one of the most scene-stealing roles. Literally no connection to Riff-Raff or their arc in this movie.
Okay people, take a breath. Beyond here, I skip the bullets and go straight into essay format. You’ve been warned.
Listen, I love Alton Brown’s on-camera persona as much as the next food fan. I’ve watched Good Eats since I was a wee lass, so this fact is hard for me to accept as well. But, alas, Alton Brown has proven himself to be fairly racist, sexist, and homophobic. He’s a typical older southern white man.
This blog post is what most people cite when they talk about this topic. It’s a first hand account of one of his shows, and while you could probably argue that he was just making jokes that people didn’t take very well, I personally don’t think that they were okay. Everyone’s “line” is different, but what he said according to that account is well over it in my opinion.
Over the years, he’s also made quiteafewfat-shaming comments (you may have to search in one of those, just ctrl+f “fat”, “big mac”, or “obesity”). I admit that they’re far between, but the fact that he’s basically been saying the same gross things from 2007 to 2015 makes me think that he still has those gross opinions.
Good Eats also had a few blunders into racist territory, with the portrayal of the Japanese, and I’ve seen mentions that black people are never portrayed well on the show (I can’t personally attest to this because I honestly can’t remember a time a black person appeared on the show. In fact, I can’t remember a time a non-white person did.)
I could probably go on, but I’m to be honest I’m lazy and I feel like I’ve more or less made my point. Other people have probably said it better than me, but this is the general idea. Am I saying you can’t like Alton Brown and support his shows? No. It’s just important to recognize that his on-camera persona, like every other celebrity out there, is much different to who he really is. And he’s not as perfect as we’d all like him to be.
Oooo...Cas is in 12x3! Yes! I hope he isn't sneaking out to join Crowley and lying to Mary about it and not telling Dean!
Everyone’s talking about how this season may be a season 6 reversal (and especially for Cas, starting off with a Superman reference, which last time that happened was tied to his Worst Ever Moment, tied to working with Crowley in secret)… I HOPE that’s true then and this is above board… If it’s not, it cooould be interesting as a season 6 reversal that we know the whole time and see Cas’s process as he makes the decision and have it unfolding so it creates a completely different story aside from the last minute too-late twist/agonising about the decision we got in season 6 where Cas was already too far gone when we found out about it. Obviously offering many chances for the journey to go differently.
I guess keeping secrets about what missions they’re currently on or what actions they’re going to take has made up a huge amount of the various ways strife has been crammed into the Destiel dynamic over the years since then and the writers are experts at it - they can literally make Cas going to the grocery store a secret mission Dean never finds out about, to our eternal angst. (Also: why is that already a thing. I was fishing for a ridiculous common place example and my brain went there 1 second before I realised that wasn’t an exaggeration…)
So it’s old ground to do that again, and I don’t know, since 11x23 I’ve been feeling the show might actually be able to cover new exciting ground by doing the unexpected - and 12x01 showed how the “unexpected” could be a weirdly tranquil emotional scene with very quiet emotional character moments… Even last episode with the Dean and Mary and then Sam and Mary stuff again focussed on the emotional heart of what this scenario meant for them… There’s a hopefully reasonable chance that the tone has been set and that whatever Cas and Crowley get out of working together, it can be done in a weirdly peaceful way at least without lying and sneaking, and find the drama elsewhere. After 12 seasons (and, what, this is Cas’s 8th and Crowley’s 7th?) it’s nice to think that they’ve built up enough over the years that you could still get plenty of expected character conflict and stuff that needs to be done without dragging in new emotional angst to power it…
Slight tangent, but I’ve been thinking about the MoL as well and how they present a fairly typical threat in some ways, and Lucifer as the big bad on the other side of the story is also nothing new… but they’re just going to be the conflict engine to more world building and bringing stuff out of the characters… The whole theme of the past being revisited (but not repeated?) is everywhere with Mary coming back and it suits the whole Dabb mirroring himself endlessly thing, that him in charge of the main story would be all about folding the show back in on itself over and over in different ways… Not in a bad way, maybe in like that way that steel is folded over many times to make it stronger or something…?
I’ve seen a few complaints about the bit with Lucifer getting Vince to be his vessel is old and same-y, but tbh did we see Lucifer try to get a vessel in that way since 5x01, 7 seasons ago? Revisiting it in a different way and all… The differences (everything from the dead girlfriend’s pink nightgown instead of white, Lucifer’s different goals/life experience, the difference in Nick and Vince’s lives…) is worth poking at to see how the story has changed and how it is important now - the past has a huge weight on this season (most clear with Mary and Dean ending the last episode both dwelling on photos from the past) and so I’ve been expecting many repeated moments with their spot the difference lists.
Which, to get back to the point, reminds me that the exact moment of Cas deciding to go work with Crowley was this:
which means we’re in with a not insignificant chance of next episode punching us in the face with a metaphorical pile of leaves somehow :P
(And weirdly, to borrow a potential Cas POV for a sec, hey look Dean’s all happy with Mary being back and he’s got his little nuclear family all made up - what place does Cas have in that? He wasn’t in the dinner scene so is he an outsider looking in on Dean in a place of relative domestic happiness, and when Crowley comes calling with words about doing something about a troublesome archangel that Cas has bad recent history with, what does Cas do about telling Dean because he might be happier or safer NOT getting involved and keeping Mary out of the line of fire of some big Lucifer plot… Cas has already seen Dean break for 0.3 seconds when Mary was knocked out in the car in 12x01 - he KNOWS Dean is scared for her while from Mary’s POV we’ve been discussing how she thinks he may have been trying to stop her coming to save Sam because he wasn’t sure she could do the job… If Cas DOESN’T tell Dean, would it be because he feels bad about working with Crowley? which pfft, everyone’s done it, twice, and Dean is the Last Person On Earth to judge anyone about taking extended summer vacations with the King of Hell so I think even irrational guilt about that is hard to give credit to when you think about it…)
Aaanyway who knows how much of that would happen, and the ideal trajectory and one actually possible with where everyone’s at right now, is that Cas is clear about where he’s going and who with… But I mean… if he does keep it a secret (conflict runs on secrets)… I think I’m ready for Dabb to fling himself screaming at 6x20 and turn it inside out :P
if you’ve been on my (desktop) blog in the past 18 hours or so you probably noticed a little button in the top left corner. it takes you to ko-fi.com where you can make a one-time donation of $3, or multiples thereof. I’m hoping this will help me reach my moving out goal by december.
if you like my art / sporadic writing but can’t afford (or don’t want to!) commission me, this is a tiny little way to say ‘hey, you’re rad, keep that up’.
you absolutely don’t need to feel like you have to, though, I’m going to keep shoving rhodes in your face regardless :) :) :)