‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ reviews: Do Laverne Cox & company live up to the original?

The Rocky Horror Picture Show” premieres on Thursday, October 20, on FOX. This past January the network had a big critical and commercial hit with another TV remake of a beloved musical, “Grease: Live.” How does their latest nostalgia musical compare?

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“Rocky Horror” isn’t a live production, so we don’t have to wait until it airs to find out what critics think of it. As of this writing the reviews are somewhat mixed with the production scoring 58 on MetaCritic and 27% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes. So perhaps it won’t sweep the Emmys like “Grease: Live” did. But airing in the fall may keep “Rocky Horror” fresh in the minds of Golden Globe voters.

Emmy nominated actress Laverne Cox (“Orange is the New Black”) stars as mad scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter, the role made famous by Tim Curry on the big screen in 1975. It’s directed by Emmy winning director and choreographer Kenny Ortega, the man behind the “High School Musical” films as well as a director of series including “Ally McBeal” and “Gilmore Girls.” And the new film uses the same 1975 screenplay by Richard O’Brien and Jim Sharman.

Dish ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ with Hollywood insiders in our notorious forums

How will the new version be received by audiences? Check out some of the reviews below, and discuss this film and more in our TV forum.

David Wiegand (San Francisco Chronicle): “Cox is magnificent, displaying a thrillingly pliable voice that easily ascends to the highest female register and then plummets to a basso profundo. She commandingly swans, dances, dips and shimmies around the set in William Ivey Long’s extravagant costumes as if she were born to play the role.”

Sara Stewart (New York Post): “For all its attempts to be outré, this version feels, well, a little tame. But that’s inevitable in a world where, thankfully, ‘transsexual’ doesn’t register as exotic anymore. (Our star, let’s remember, is an Emmy nominee and a Time magazine cover girl.) Plus, stacking it up against its forebear is beside the point: This is a ‘Rocky Horror’ for a new generation.”

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Dave Nemetz (TV Line): “Die-hard fans will notice a few updates here and there … But mostly, the remake plays it straight, letting the original’s glam-rock soundtrack and weirdo characters work their strange magic. One definite highlight: the show-stopping number ‘Time Warp,’ which gets an all-out, rock-star makeover with Riff Raff strumming a neon-blue electric guitar.”

Daniel D’Addario (Time): “As far as I can tell, people who respond to ‘Rocky Horror’ appreciate its Ed Wood-ish badness, the way that it pushes past not just norms of propriety but norms of moviemaking. The problem is that Fox’s ‘Rocky Horror’ looks great—it was directed by consummate pro Kenny Ortega, of the ‘High School Musical’ franchise and Michael Jackson’s ‘This Is It’—and is acted beautifully, with Laverne Cox selling every one of her songs as Dr. Frank N. Furter.”

Predict the Golden Globe nominations now; change them till December 12

Be sure to make your Golden Globe predictions. How do you think “Rocky Horror” will do with Hollywood Foreign Press voters? Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how it’s faring in our Golden Globe odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on December 12 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the Globes taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.

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