Not long ago I was having a conversation with my friend about our constant craving for more reality TV. At one point, my friend turned to me and uttered a line I had heard several times before: "Ya know, pretty soon they're going to take this reality thing too far and start killing people on live TV." I'm sure you've either said or heard the same thing, but never gave it a whole lot of thought. Sure, we live in a violent world, but is a network stupid enough to approve of a show that kills people? And why even entertain the idea of bringing something like that to the FCC? Well, writer-director Bill Guttentag must have had that same conversation, though he didn't laugh it off and move onto another topic. Nope, he made a movie out of it. In fact, the inciting incident in Live! happens in the exact same way I just mentioned. But instead of two ordinary people having a conversation, we're taken inside a network boardroom where several creative types are trying to brainstorm the next great reality show idea.
Live! is a pretty easy film to sum up: Essentially, a television executive (Eva Mendes) trying to make a name for herself decides to run with an absurd idea brought up, as a joke, by one of her colleagues. What she wants to do is create a show in which real people compete in a game of Russian Roulette on live television, with the survivors taking home a sweet $5 million payday. While a documentary crew follows her around and films her every move, Katy (our ballsy TV exec) takes on the mission of convincing her network, their lawyer, their advertisers, the FCC, the media and the viewing audience that America is ready for a show like this. With ferocious stamina and her eye on the prize (which, in this case, means greater ratings than the Superbowl), Katy uses her brain -- and one tight skirt after another -- to seduce her enemies into thinking that this crazy idea might just work.