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Rocky Horror Disappoints in Ratings and Reviews

Rocky Horror

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again had rocky ratings and reviews.

The Fox musical drew in 4.95 million viewers Thursday with a 1.7 demo rating, reports Variety. It was bested by Thursday Night Football, Grey's Anatomy, and Chicage Med in its time slot. This performance was a 59 percent decline from last year’s airing of Grease: Live!, an Emmy-winning adaptation of a more mainstream musical.

Comparatively, the 1975 film version of the The Rocky Horror Picture Show was never a blockbuster. However, the movie — which starred Tim Curry as the Dr. Frank-N-Furter and Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick as a hapless couple who wanders into Furter’s castle — gained a devoted following through the years. For many, attending a midnight screening of the cult classic is a rite of passage into queer culture.

Critics were also not fans of the Fox remake, which The New York Times described as “stripped of subversive magic.”

“Although it’s moderately entertaining at times, it never makes clear why it needed to be attempted,” the Times critic wrote. “That’s the burden of any remake, of course, and from that perspective the project may have been doomed from the start. Certain performances simply can’t be topped.”

The review was not favorable toward transgender actress Laverne Cox, whose casting as the “sweet transvestite” has stirred controversy within the LGBT community since its announcement.

“If there were something revelatory to be gleaned by having Ms. Cox, a well-known transgender performer, rather than a man play the role, she and her director, Kenny Ortega, didn’t find it. Only in the show’s outlandishly maudlin finale does she really put her stamp on things," the review stated.

Twitter users also remarked that the production was stripped of its “essence.” And many complained of the more conservative wardrobe choices.

However, subversion aside, others were happy to see some of the heart of the original still beating in a version aired with corporate sponsorship as well as the plethora of gold lipstick on network television.

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