Bomb Rating: 

Everybody I've heard talking about "Edtv" -- from director Ron ("Apollo13") Howard to star Matthew McConaughey -- has repeated the following words in one form or another: "Edtv is nothing like 'The Truman Show'." Well, guess what, boys: "Edtv" is a lot like "The Truman Show." That's why people keep pestering you with that particular question. Throw in "Pleasantville" and that makes you the third riders on that horse and despite what you may think, the old nag ain't quite bucking like she used to.

Here's the big difference between "The Truman Show" and "Edtv": Ed knows the camera is following him. Otherwise, the plot unravels in exactly the same way: Ed (McConaughey) becomes really popular, realizes the experience is screwing up his life, and tries to get the camera to stop following him. Oh no, certainly nothing like "The Truman Show." Message to Ron and Matt: Your shit does smell. Maybe it has a slightly different aroma when you're standing on a mountain of cash, but it's all the same stench down here.

Ed gets onto television after auditioning for producer Cynthia Topping (Ellen DeGeneres). This seems like a great idea until chaos overtakes Ed's life because, apparently, being famous totally blows. Ed falls in love with Shari (Jenna Elfman), the girlfriend of his brother Ray (Woody Harrelson), and Ed's estranged father (Dennis Hopper) reappears (again, nothing like "The Truman Show"), causing trouble between his mother (Sally Kirkland) and stepdad (Martin Landau). Despite all the money, Ed decides he wants out, but he has to outsmart Topping's boss (Rob Reiner) to do it.

Films like this one are merely thinly-veiled cries for sympathy from people like "Opie" Howard. The thrill of being quadzillionaires has worn off, and they're trying to send a message about how it feels to have paparazzi taking pictures of them sunbathing naked on their yachts. Feel sorry for Opie, but don't go see his movie. Maybe then his career will spiral into the toilet, and he can rejoin us regular people, happily flipping burgers, freed from the living hell that is a life of fame.

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