January 4, 2013
Matthew McConaughey, Jenna Elfman, Ellen DeGeneres, and Woody Harrelson
In 1998, a movie called The Truman Show came out and it was
the darling of the movie world. Audiences and critics alike
were thrilled by the story of an ordinary young man whose life was
broadcast on TV live, twenty four hours a day, three hundred sixty five
days a year. The Truman Show was so well received, in fact,
that there was talk that it might win Best Picture at the Academy
Awards. And that Jim Carrey (yes, the guy who talked out of
his butt in Ace Ventura) was probably going to win Best Actor.
Yes, there were very few movies in the 90's that were ever as
universally loved as The Truman Show.
The Truman Show
Oh, and then another movie came out the next year, in 1999.
This next movie was also the story of an ordinary young man whose life
is broadcast live on TV, twenty four hours a day, three hundred sixty
five days a year. Only this movie wasn't called The Truman
Show, this movie was called Ed TV.
And as you can guess, the reaction towards Ed TV was fairly predictable.
"THIS IS JUST A RIP OFF OF THE TRUMAN SHOW!"
"THIS MOVIE JUST STOLE ALL OF THE TRUMAN SHOW'S GOOD IDEAS!"
"THIS MOVIE IS A RIDICULOUS STEALING PIECE OF CRAP! AND WHY
DOESN'T IT HAVE JIM CARREY?!"
"ED TV SUCKS! I'M NOT GOING TO SEE IT!"
Yay! Finally! A movie with Dharma!
Yes, Ed TV was universally panned the minute the first trailer hit the
movie theaters. People HATED it.
People flat out just wanted to hate it. It
was as doomed as doomed can be before it ever actually appeared on a
Yeah, but here is the thing.
Ed TV is actually nothing like The Truman Show. In fact I
wouldn't even put them in the same genre. One of them is a
drama, and the other one is a comedy. The two movies might
have the same premise, but they are absolutely nothing alike.
And I hate to say this. But I think Ed TV is actually
a better movie.
The Ed TV audience reacts to such a bold statement
Ed TV is the story of an everyday ordinary video store clerk named Ed
Pekurny (Matthew McConaughey.) He is in a bar late one night
with his brother, and they see that a TV network is holding auditions
for a new type of television show called True TV. Basically
the network wants to follow a random person around 24 hours a day with
TV cameras, and they want to turn this person's life into a TV
And, well, Ed goes over and he auditions. And the network
And before he knows it, Ed Pekurny's life is now a 24 hour a day, 7 day
a week TV show.
Ed kissing his girlfriend on TV
I don't want to tell you any more about Ed TV because it is one of
those movies that you just sort of have to experience. You
think you know where it is going, but you don't. It is much
more clever and much more dark than you would expect from such a random
little innocent romantic comedy. Although there are four
things about this movie that I would like to point out.
First off, I have to give props to the casting department.
For years, people have said that Matthew McConaughey looks exactly like
Woody Harrelson. In fact, in the years leading up to Ed TV
that was practically all you ever heard about McConaughey.
You heard that he was good in A Time to Kill, and that he was
the guy who looked a lot like Woody Harrelson.
So what do the producers of Ed TV do when they are casting their movie?
Voila. Genius! They cast Matthew McConaughey and
Woody Harrelson as brothers.
If nothing else, you should love Ed TV for the simple fact that
somebody finally cast them as brothers.
The second thing I would like to point out about Ed TV is the fact that
it pretty much predicted the rise of reality television.
Yes, I know. The Truman Show is the movie that generally gets
credit for predicting reality TV. But The Truman Show is the
story of a guy who doesn't even know he is being filmed. So
he has no idea that he is a star or that millions of people are
watching him. Yes, it is the same idea behind reality TV, but
it isn't quite the exact same thing.
Ed TV, though, well that's different. In Ed TV Ed definitely
knows that he is being filmed. And he definitely knows that
he is famous. And he definitely runs into both the goods and
the bads that happen when a person is famous just for
being famous. Ed TV is so spot on when it predicts what would
happen to TV over the next fifteen years that it is actually
kind of spooky. Because when you watch it, just remind
yourself. This movie came out a year before Survivor.
Ed's girlfriend reacts to the world being able to vote if she
is attractive or not
The third thing I would like to point out about Ed TV is that it stars
Ellen DeGeneres. Yes, you know Ellen the world famous beloved
talk show host? Well she once tried to make it in Hollywood
as an actor. It never did quite work out for her, but she did
make at least one good movie before she retired and turned into a talk
show host. She made Ed TV. In fact, some would say
that Ellen actually steals the movie.
Ellen DeGeneres, True TV director of programming
And finally, the person that I wanted to end this writeup on.
Our old friend Dharma. The lovely and talented miss
In my opinion, Ed TV is a silly movie, and it is a light hearted movie,
and it really isn't aiming all that high, but it works. It
works far better than it should just if you look at it on paper.
And the reason it works is because of Jenna Elfman.
Plain and simple, she is the heart and soul of this movie.
And every time I watch it, I am amazed that she didn't star
in more movies. And look, I will flat out admit it, I
couldn't STAND her on Dharma and Greg. But put her in Ed TV,
dress her up in a UPS outfit, make her a sympathetic character who gets
crapped on a lot, and she freaking knocks that role right out the park.
There are very few actresses in movies who I have had a crush
on over the years, but Jenna Elfman as Shari in Ed TV has always been
one of them. You watch this movie and you just want to give
her a hug.
In fact, to this day, I still wish she would have been cast in Jerry
Maguire instead of Renee Zelweger. I think she would have
been absolutely perfect as Dorothy Boyd.
In short, Ed TV needs to go down in history as something more than just
"that movie that ripped off The Truman Show." Because it
wasn't a rip off, and honestly, the Truman Show wasn't even all that
great. I mean, it was good, but Ed TV was good too.
There is no reason that one of them needs to stand head and
shoulders above the other one. They both can peacefully
co-exist, because they are both completely different movies.
As for me, I just happen to think that Ed TV is the more charming one.
favorite IMDB user reviews about Ed TV
Nearly nothing like the Truman
Show - 3 October 2001
a shame that due to the timing of when Edtv was released, it was
automatically deemed a pitiful copy of the Truman Show, a movie that
won our hearts the previous year. Now, I love the Truman Show too, very
much, and I'll admit that I was was very uninterested in ever seeing a
copy-cat version of it. It was until just a few weeks ago that I
actually watched Edtv (even with the expectation that I would most
likely not like it too much) and I must say I was pleasantly surprised!
only was Edtv funny and entertaining, but it was nearly nothing at all
like the Truman Show. I mean, the ONLY similarity is the idea of a live
TV show about an "ordinary" guy. But Truman didn't even know he was on
TV. He was just living what he thought was an ordinary life. All the
cameras and microphones were completely hidden and he lived in a town
that was entirely fabricated from his wife and life-long best friend,
to the rain and even the sun. His is a story of a man searching for an
escape from his everyday life, which little by little he is realizing
may not be what it seems. Ed on the other hand was a nobody who was
chosen to have a camera crew actually follow him around all day while
he went on about his life. His life, and in turn the show, became more
about instant celebrity as viewers became enchanted in watching this
loser become a mega-star over night. People flocked around him just as
much to meet him as to be on TV themselves and he endured some major
struggles in keeping his life and relationships normal, which was
impossible with his celebrity status and on-camera life.
movies had a theme of America's fixation with TV, and more specifically
Reality TV, but have different plots and overall themes altogether. I
think Edtv was a very enjoyable movie and Mathew McConaughey and Jenna
Elfman delivered fantastic performances. Not to mention the mind
boggling, and I think underrated, job of editing such an enormous
amount of footage. Considering that while the film cameras were
rolling, the video cameras were rolling too, and just about all of the
video footage you see was actually shot when you see it being shot, I
think that Ron Howard did a great job of keeping track of it all and
actually making it work. So when someone says, "Well, it was no Truman
Show" they are absolutely right. I think it is a great movie that
stands on its own and should stand proud.
- 14 March 1999
is an excellent look about how far our national obsession with fame can
go. The actors all seem to be having lots of fun with the script,
probably because they have had an actual experience like Ed does at one
point in their career.
Of particular note is Jenna Elfman, who
plays completely against type and shows excellent range as a dramatic
actress. Also good are Matthew McCounaghey, who finally lives up to his
hype, Elizabeth Hurley pokes fun at herself in a few spots, acting well
also, Rob Reiner, very funny as a corporate bigwig, and Ellen DeGeneres
is very good as a voice of reason throughout the picture.
movie can be considered as a well timed message from stars to fans on
showing what their life can be like at times. It is also bitingly
funny, and all together, another winner from Ron Howard.
Exposes The Vulgarity Of
Reality Shows, and The Public That Loves Them - 30 May 2005
never liked reality shows,and when this movie was shown on cable I
decided to watch it and found it really interesting.Matthew McConaughey
plays video store clerk Ed Pekurny who lives with his parents and his
big brother Ray Pekurny,played by Woody Harrelson.He is hired by a TV
company that wants to do a 24-hour reality show based on his life,and
Ed grabs the offer.In the beginning,the public tells Ed that his show
'stinks',but as they see him getting involved with his elder brother's
girlfriend,the ratings go above the roof.What's more,when Ed makes out
live with the bombshell to end all bombshells,that is Elizabeth
Hurley,the interest verges on voyeurism.The icing in the cake comes
when Ed's father suddenly turns up from nowhere,having abandoned him
and his brother years ago.The film is a well-made documentation of the
vulgarity of the public that makes up the television audience not only
in America,but the whole world.Sex and scandal will always be the
top-sellers,whether it is an ordinary man's tale or that of a
celebrity.In fact,it is Ed's scandalous life that makes him America's
Number One celebrity.McConaughey plays his role with ease,and so does
Harrelson.Ellen Degeneres is good as the unscrupulous TV producer,while
Elizabeth Hurley's brief appearance leaves the audience gasping for
more.Quite entertaining and very candidly made.
Better than "The Truman
Show" - 18 March 2001
I decided to write a comment because I am fed up of seeing this movie
compared to "The Truman Show" and always coming off badly.
it is certainly true that there are many similaritires in the idea and
plot this one wins every time for me. And here is why...
Truman Show", while an excellent movie was set an some unknown time in
the future, when it is possible for a corporation to adopt a baby
towards the selfish ends of the corporation. Whilst adoption law may
already be ropy in many places, I do not believe that "The Truman Show"
could currently take place.
EDTV, on the other hand, could
happen now. Current viewer likes and dislikes would well mean that a
show of this kind would have enormous audiences, and all in all EDTV is
a very good and clear comment on our current society. Totally relevant
to the world we live in. And therefore, much more interesting....
Not the Truman show - 29
have just seen Edtv for the first time and must say I thoroughly
enjoyed it unlike most people who have commented on it I hadn't or
don't remember hearing anything about this film. I also notice a lot of
people compared it to the Truman Show I enjoyed the Truman Show but
enjoyed this even more. This is partly due to the fact it was more
realistic in that in The Truman Show everyone around Truman is acting
and playing a part in keeping Truman from the truth. As you probably
guessed the whole nation is gripped by ED similar to the way Big
Brother is with audiences simple idea but is addictive we see this in
ED's first few days on TV when people are criticising their roommates
and partners for watching it soon they become hooked my favourite
character was Ed's step dad Al every time Al spoke in the film I
laughed every line he said was funny. Another thing I enjoyed most
about the film is that in a way you felt as though you where really
watching like the millions across America hooked on the Ed phenomenon
which I think Truman Show tried to do but didn't really succeed in
doing. I recommend the film to anyone.
at the IMDB
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