Movie Review: Stay Tuned (1992)

Synopsis: Roy, a failing plumbing supply salesman spends all his free time in front of the television, creating marital problems with his much more successful wife, Helen. Shortly after Helen breaks his TV during an argument, a salesman approaches Roy with an opportunity to upgrade to a high-tech entertainment system with 666 channels. This turns out to be a trap and Roy and Helen are sucked into a demonic television world. If they don't survive 24 hours, they will lose their souls to Satan.

Who's in it? The movie stars John Ritter, Pam Dawber, Jeffrey Jones, David Tom and Heather McComb.

Review: I knew about this movie for quite a few years but had never took the time to watch it until coming across it yesterday morning and finishing it yesterday evening. While I thought John Ritter did an OK job, I honestly wasn't as entertained by the film as I thought I would be.

The biggest problem with this film was, even though the overall premise wasn't a bad one, it really didn't work as well in a full-length feature movie setting as it might have worked in a more concise platform, such as a television episode. The writers seemed to have an issue coming up with things for Roy (Ritter) and Helen (Dawber) to do because a large portion of this film was obviously filler material - promos for fake shows and scenes featuring the kids (Tom and McComb) flipping through channels to find their parents.

Part of the issue, I think, was the decision to have Roy and Helen transport to a large number of shows rather than focus on only two or three. I feel like the movie never really gave them a chance to do anything other than look for another portal and, while some of the television spoofs were kind of funny (I did like the Three's Company scene, for example), it did feel a bit redundant after a while. In fact, part of me wondered if maybe the filmmakers originally intended to just do a series of short spoofs and decided to add Roy and his family later.

I also feel like the movie didn't give the main bad guy, Spike (Jones) enough to do. The villain can make or break a movie like this and, in this case, the villain mostly just stood around looking at monitors. Even his final battle with Roy was drawn out and extremely dull and that's not the kind of thing you want at the end of a movie.

Final Opinion: Ritter was a talented comedian but even he wasn't able to save this movie. It had a couple funny moments but just never reached a point where I felt it was worth watching.

My Grade: D


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