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Series / The Rotten Tomatoes Show

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Co-Host Ellen (left) and Host Brett (right)

"Everybody's a critic."

The Rotten Tomatoes Show (commonly shortened to The RT Show) was a weekly comedy Review Show based on the filmsite Rotten Tomatoes that aired on Current TV. The show mixes elements from traditional Review Shows with Sketch Comedy and various other tropes to create a self-described "fast-paced, comedic journey through the week in cinema."

Each episode features hosts/writers/producers Ellen Fox and Brett Erlich reviewing three (sometimes two, if it's a slow week) movies that have been (or will be) released that week in theaters. Originally, Ellen and Brett were backed by webcam reviews from viewers (usually members of or Rotten Tomatoes users), comedians, professional critics, and independent filmmakers. This format changed during Season 2, when the webcam reviews were replaced by solely professional critics in front of a green screen at the show's actual studio. Fan reaction has been, uh...unfavorable.


Other than the actual reviews, the show also features various segments scattered throughout. Once an Episode segments are:

  • Top 5 Lists: Each episode contains one (sometimes two) "Top 5" lists that usually have to do with a new movie out that week in theaters or on DVD. Some of these include "Top 5 Coolest Spaceships", while others are "Top 5 Worst Sylvester Stallone Movies" and such. The two hosts alternate between presenting the lists.
  • Celebrity Top 5 Favorite Films: Exactly What It Says on the Tin—a celebrity, promoting a new movie, lists (prerecorded, usually at festivals) their 5 Favorite Movies. These celebrities range from actors like Michael Caine and Jonah Hill to directors like George A. Romero.
  • The Anticipatron: Featured before the last movie of the episode is reviewed, in this segment, Brett and Ellen show normally three trailers and give their opinion on how excited they are about it on the titular "Aniticipatron". The levels are made up puns/play-on-words about the trailer (for example, for Danny Boyle's 127 Hours, Brett rates it a low "No, Danny Boy, No!") Replaced "Trailer Time", where they would show a trailer and make a brief quirky comment on it.
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  • Weekend Peekend: The very last part of the show. Brett and Elrich recap the movies out in theaters that they reviewed along with new DVD releases, noting their "Tomatometer" on screen.

Recurring segments include:

  • Sketches: Commonly, various sketches are included throughout an episode, though this is less common recently. These sketches are usually Throwaway Cutaway Gags, sometimes during an actual review.
    • Music Sketches: Brett plays an acoustic guitar and uses it to accompany his singing (sometimes with Ellen) hilarious songs about movie-related subjects, usually as an "Ode" to said subject. Some classic examples include an "Ode to Chest Hair" and an "Ode to Indie Films".
  • Screenplay Cliche: Cliched/constantly re-used lines from various films are strung together, such as "Did I say that out loud?" A similar segment is Screenwriter's Bag of Tricks, where motifs like climbing through a vent is shown in a similar manner.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: A fake Lifetime Achievement Award "given out" to a certain celebrity. Clips of this celebrity in his various roles are then shown, such as Peter Stormare, recognized as creepy/greasy/sleazy characters in films like Minority Report, Bad Boys II, and Fargo who gets an Award for "Greasy Creepitude".
  • Where Were They Then?: Clips from an embarrassing/interesting old movie a star from one of the movies reviewed that episode did is shown, which comedic explanation of the film by Brett.
  • Secret Movie Confessions: A brief confessional given by either one of the hosts or a celebrity at a festival, where they quietly admit an embarrassing movie they like. Varies annually, such as one by Brett where he admits his attraction to Disney Animated Females.
  • In 3 Minutes Or Less: Brett or Ellen zoom through the career of a popular actor/actress chronologically while keeping it at or under 3 minutes.
  • Haiku Movie Review: A haiku description of a movie (usually when it's out on DVD) that sometimes contains a bit of a critical view on it. Abandoned around season 2. And similar in concept is the Three Word Review, which shouldn't need to be explained.
  • DVD Extra Extra: Makes fun of all the random DVD Bonus Content people throw in.

The show is not hugely recognized, but does have a solid fanbase and has been acclaimed by the majority of viewers, garnering a very respectable 8.2 star-rating on IMDb. Critical reception, however, is rather mixed. However, the show truly does live up to its promise, being fast-paced, tongue-and-cheek, and normally hilarious with charming hosts, and has provided quite the number of quotes on this wiki.

Aired on Current TV Thursday nights at 10:30 or online at its official website. Brett and Ellen each have Twitter accounts at @bretterlich and @ellenfox, respectively, with the show itself's located here.

The Rotten Tomatoes Show aired from early 2009 until September 2010, when it was surprisingly canned for unknown reasons—there were still RT Show segment on infoMania, but that's probably not enough, and infoMania was itself canned in 2011 as Current remade its schedule around Keith Olbermann and more "hard" news shows.

This show contains examples of:

  • Air-Vent Passageway: One of the Screenwriter's Bag of Tricks
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: A Three Word Review of Knowing is "Half the battle".
  • Artistic License – Physics: Armageddon (1998) 's notable Hollywood Science is pointed out once.
    "We are about to Save the World with questionable physics!"
  • Big "NO!": When Brett finds out, in the Haiku Movie Review for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, that Where the Wild Things Are will also get the movie treatment his reaction is less than enthusiastic.
  • Brick Joke: In the Pilot Episode, a Cutaway Gag about Pong: The Movie pops up briefly later in the episode.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: During the "Top 5 Summer Camps" list, in a sketch of Brett writing a letter at Camp Crystal Lake.
    "Please send some extra underwear, 'cause I just shit myself."
  • Carpet of Virility: Ellen is clearly a fan seeing as a whole ode was written in honor of them.
  • Caustic Critic: Averted—Brett and Ellen actually like a lot of movies they review.
  • Censor Box: Used for the almost entirely nude party in Caligula in the "Top 5 Movie Parties" list, and then lampshaded.
    Brett: "We'd show you more, but we actually ran out of black bars."
  • Clip Show: The "Best of The Rotten Tomatoes Show" specials that air once or twice a month.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Less than most, and of course the average cable-inappropriate swears are bleeped, but still existent. For example, in Brett's "Old McDonald" parody "Potty Mouth Kids", some of the swears are left intact to complete Brett's rhyme while the rest are bleeped out.
    • Brett on Danny Trejo: "One things for sure: he'll be kicking the shit out of your bitchass."
    • Precision F-Strike:
      Ellen: Welcome to The Rotten Tomatoes Show on Current; the TV show under investigation by the FCC for fucking awesomeness!
      Brett: And swearing.
  • Cool Shades: " Shade Tippin'" by Brett examines the phenomena in movie posters.
  • Creepy Child: "The Top 5 Creepiest Movie Children"
  • Cutaway Gag: Common, including the above mentioned Pong one in the first episode.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: During "Leonardo DiCaprio In 3 Minutes or Less", Brett is too distracted by Kate Winslet's bare breasts in Titanic (1997) to look at Jack's eyes like Jack says to in a clip from the movie.
    Brett: But how can I, when...boobies?
  • Don't Explain the Joke:
    • While reviewing the baseball movie Sugar, Brett says "And he tries to steal home, if you know what I mean. By having sex with her."
    • When listing the Space Winnebago from Spaceballs in the show's "Top 5 Coolest Spaceships" list, Brett shows a clip of the Winnebago jamming Spaceball 1 's radar with an actual jar of raspberry jam. "S-see, they jammed th-the thing with actual j-jam, and-and—Ah, God, I love this movie."
  • Down to the Last Play: Brett's song Last Second Plays mocks this trope.
  • I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham: After reviewing The Soloist, Ellen and Brett share this conversation:
    Ellen: Last week we were talking about seeing this movie and I thought I was going to hate it and you were excited to see it. So it surprised both of us.
    Brett: That's true, but it's good to know we still disagree.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre:
    • "And he tries to steal home, if you know what I mean. By having sex with her."
    • Cookie from Best in Show makes the Top 5 Movie Sluts. "Everybody's got some skeletons in their closet, but cookie's got an entire boneyard." Then he whispers "Boneyard has two meanings."
  • Lampshade Hanging: This show is very tongue and cheek, and therefore several things in it are lampshaded by the hosts. Common things are the hosts' opinions differing from the Tomatometer and certain "cheesy" jokes, amongst others.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Twice
    • Once during the "Top 5 Movie Parties" list, when Brett mentions a Toga Party Elanor Roosevelt threw in the White House to mock people who idolized her husband.
    • And then during the "Top 5 Kids Movies Least Appropriate For Children", where Ellen notes that the lead child actor in the movie The Toy grew up to be in a ridiculous sounding porn movie. Also a touch of Rule 34.
  • Oh, My Gods!: Brett's reaction to the Clash of the Titans trailer.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: When Brett plays the [[Accent Coach]] Buck Smithee, he starts losing his character accent when he teaches his final lesson: Sometimes The Best Accent Is No Accent.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Addressed during the "Top 5 Worst Vampire Powers".
  • Perverse Sexual Lust: One of Brett's "Secret Movie Confessions" has him admitting his love for various Disney animated heroines, such as Ariel, Jasmine, Jessica Rabbit, and Cute Girl Squirrel. He then proceeds to run away from the camera in shame.
  • Produce Pelting: Other than the name itself, the scene transition back to the normal show after the title sequence is a cartoon rotten tomato being thrown directly at the scene.
  • Proud to Be a Geek: Brett, who's very open about his sci-fi movie lovin' geekiness.
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud:
    • In one of the last episodes:
      Brett: Here's the Weekend Peek-awkward pause-end. Wait, I think I did that wrong.
    • Brett used this during the 2009 Year Endies Awards Show when Ellen mentions the writers of the show.
  • Shout-Out: Tons pop out over the show. Notably, the Title Sequence itself features 6 brief animated scenes where tomato(es) parody the movies (in order) Jaws, Office Space, Apocalypse Now, Forrest Gump, Brokeback Mountain, and TRON timed with the title score.
  • Show Within a Show: Generally used in throw-away skits like " Movie Theology with Father Brett" and "Prying".
  • Sketch Comedy: Throughout.
  • Spit Take: A sketch called, naturally, "The Art of the Spit Take".
  • Staring Contest: After singing their Ode to Indy Films, the two hosts break into a staring contest.
  • The Stinger: Is either a) Brett, Brett and Ellen, or Ellen in front of a webcam talking about something about next week's show, that episode, or a story one of them wants to share, or b) a Brett Blooper Reel from the episode's taping. Sometimes there's nothing altogether.
  • Techno Babble: Star Trek wins the Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Viewers Are Morons: Ellen in the 2009 Year Endies opening theme song:
    "We'll praise and pan 2009 while you sit down on your rear endies. Ha-ha you fat asses."
  • Yaoi Fangirl: While reviewing Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Ellen said that she would have preferred Scott's gay roomate over Ramona as the love interest. She then smiled and said 'But that's a different movie.'