A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again is a remake of the 1975 film with a new cast. Many of the bawdier jokes from the original movie are softened for network TV: There's no nudity (all nipples remain covered, though cast members do wear very tight and brief costumes, including underwear) and few of the super-raunchy moments. There is a lot of kissing and references to body parts (a "hot groin") and sex (an "orgasmic rush of lust"). One character seduces a man and woman in turn; we see them in bed cuddling and nuzzling and smacking each other on the behinds. A song discusses the joys of cross-dressing and gender variance; another uses the word "dammit" repeatedly. Characters who act as if they're boyfriend and girlfriend reveal themselves to be siblings late in the movie. A character is stabbed and thrown out a window; we later see his dead body in a coffin being used as a table. A woman is slapped, kicked, and pushed during a song; later a character strokes her body while she's physically incapacitated and screaming.
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What's the story?
Based on the original 1975 cult classic movie, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW: LET'S DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN is a television remake with an (almost!) all-new cast. Laverne Cox takes on the now-gender-flipped role of Dr. Frank N. Furter, while that role's originator, Tim Curry, is now the narrator/criminologist relating the nefarious goings-on at the Frankenstein Place. One fateful night, straitlaced couple Brad Majors (Ryan McCartan) and Janet Weiss (Victoria Justice) have car trouble while returning from a wedding. Intent on finding a phone, they visit a foreboding castle to find creepy servants Riff Raff (Reeve Carney) and Magenta (Christina Milian), as well as flippant groupie Columbia (Annaleigh Ashford) and a whole lot of punk rock weirdos in the middle of a very strange party. You see, tonight's the night the Master's going to bring his new creation, Rocky (Staz Nair) to life. But before the night is over, Frank, Brad, Janet, and all the rest get more than they bargained for.
Is it any good?
The cast does tolerably, and the jump to TV doesn't dial down the naughtiness too much -- it's just that this comedy has lost some joy in translation. Without the cult history of the original, The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again is simply a campy musical, albeit one whose messages about gender and sexuality have aged remarkably well. The idea of a bisexual character is no longer shocking, nor is one who enjoys cross-dressing (though since Cox is a trans woman who spends the majority of the film's running time dressed in sparkly and brief lady-dancer costumes, that bit might be a tad confusing to new viewers); the songs have held up, and so has the idea of satirizing an old-time movie.
Cox is no Tim Curry, though she seems to be doing an imitation of him, with a terrible English accent that frequently lapses into New Zealand-ish tones, particularly when she calls for "Bred" and "Jehnet." For that matter, few members of the cast give performances as lovably idiosyncratic as the originals and frequently seem to be trying to give the exact same line readings as their predecessors. Which asks the question: If you're going to do a shot-for-shot remake and add nothing but a new cast imitating the old cast, why bother?
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the themes of The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again and how they resonate now. What do the protagonists learn about themselves? Why is it important to be yourself?
Families can also talk about cult classics. Why do you think this particular story struck a chord with so many people?
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