Rotten Tomatoes Editor in Chief, Matt Atchity is no stranger to podcasting. He’s a recurring guest on the Adam Carolla Show and the mastermind behind one of its most popular bits, “Rotten or Fresh.” He has his own theme song as well.
It was no surprise to see his podcast pop up in the iTunes featured category either. Not only is the movie reviews website the most popular there is, he personifies it with it a genuine “schlubby guy” persona, his theme song’s words on the Carolla show, not mine.
If you’re unfamiliar with how the Rotten Tomatoes universe works, it’s relatively simple; the Tomatometer score you see reflects positive reviews (3.5 stars out of 5) given to a particular film. If a movie has a critic’s score of 75 percent, that means 75 out of 100 critics who saw the film gave it a positive review. It has to be 60 percent to be “certified fresh.”
Got it? OK, now imagine an hour of deliberation on what I just described for you, and you have an episode of the Rotten Tomatoes Podcast. I sampled this brand new show recently, episode three to be exact. For the sake of time stamping, the hour’s early discussion revolved around the rottenish Transcendence, starring Johnny Depp. (They also cover TV; Game of Thrones has an entire episode devoted to it.)
As always, it’s important that I predicate any criticism I make of a new podcast with a qualifier. Matt Achity’s show is still a toddler. Very wobbly. But here’s what I noticed.
If you like talking about film, this show, surprisingly, is not for you. The discussion revolves around why critics like or dislike certain movies, not unlike the game Atchity brought to the Adam Carolla Show. It lacks heart. Even though it’s assumed the hosts have seen the movies being discussed, all critiques are flat and guarded.
Perhaps it’s my love of the Film Vault that taints this new podcast for me. Maybe I like a little more irreverence and palpable conflict in my movie reviewers. Either way, the Rotten Tomatoes Podcast just didn’t do it for me. Pretty boring stuff.
RT Senior Editor Grae Drake co-hosts the show and despite her comfort behind the microphone, something just doesn’t work about her personality. It grinds against Achity’s soft spoken proclivities. And her jokes feels a bit forced.
I’ll check back in on this one in couple weeks, but it’s sitting at about a 52 percent on my Tomatometer. Audience score of course.