All People are Famous (2013) – By Philip Smolen

All people are Famous is a pilot for a reality TV show from creators Eric Vargas, Jimmy Justice, Roman Itkin, Dave Broitman and SoRealEntertainment. The premise of the show is that Vargas and company lure unsuspecting people before their camera under a simple premise (interviewing for a job, trying out for a movie role) and then throw them a curve ball. In one situation, a young naïve Swedish actor tries out for a gay character role in a movie and witnesses the pretend fight between his co-star and the co-star’s ‘lover’ (who are both in on the joke). In another situation, a young professional comes into what he thinks is a job interview and watches incredulously as a bunch of lackeys inappropriately touch, fondle and faun over the man he’s been interviewing with. The man then requests the applicant to “get into the spirit of it’ and give him a massage.

So what’s your tolerance for watching people being uncomfortable? If you like to see folks squirm and look like they don’t understand what’s going on, you may enjoy “All People are Famous” in its current form. My main concern with the show is that the energy levels of the performers and their “victims” don’t match. It’s clear that Broitman and company are having a lot of fun with their characters, but since their prey thinks that the situations they’re involved in are real, their reactions are, quite naturally, subdued and muted. For the most part, they just look perplexed. This blunts a lot of the show’s comic potential. The show would be much funnier if the SoReal entertainers could really get an emotional rise out of these unsuspecting folk.

The classic 1960s TV show “Candid Camera” covered much of the same territory as “All People are Famous”, however, the reason that show was an iconic hit was because of the reactions of Alan Funt’s victims, not the acting of the prank performers. If Broitner, Vargas and company can find a way to get their victims to react more strongly to their hoaxes (although that might be tough in this litigious age), this show could definitely find an audience. As unbelievable as it may sound “All People are Famous” is not as outrageous as it really needs to be.

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