8 September 2001 | petershelleyau
will you pay to watch the guilty pay for their crimes?
This TVM about the evil lords of pay-for-view TV hooks into the bread and circuses level of entertainment, but taking us where Jerry Springer is yet to go - live coverage of the execution of death row criminals. That the company who forms an agreement with politicians is called Tycom may be a reference to Viacom, with Sean Young as the head of programming, Len Cariou as her boss, and Timothy Daly as the convicted killer chosen for his appeal to women, who we are told control the remote in American households. Although Daly's Sean Penn Dead Man Walking bouffant gives him a sociopathic suggestion, to Young he is a pussycat, which leads her to believe that he is innocent, so director Tommy Lee Wallace gives us a race against the "countdown to justice". The teleplay by Thomas Baum hasn't decided what we ultimately should believe about Daly. It has Young leaning towards his innocence which would make her want to pull the program, but the case it offers in his defense is hardly believable and represented by Dee Wallace Stone in a I'm making the most of my few scenes performance. This therefore works against Young's character, who has been previously established as cynical and savvy, and Wallace skimps on any romance between Young and Daly. Looking very beautiful, Young gives some surprising line readings, and provides a memorable howl. The climactic execution set reminded me of something from Triumph of the Will via Network, with the Big Brother/Big Business implications chillingly realised.