The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
Chayefsky was apparently serious about much of this shrill, self-important 1976 satire about television, interlaced with bile about radicals and pushy career women, and so were some critics at the time.
The plot that Paddy Chayefsky has concocted to prove this point is so crazily preposterous that even in post-Watergate America -- where we know that bats can get loose in the corridors of power -- it is just impossible to accept.
Much of Chayefsky's script seems to have been written with megaphone in hand, which is close to how director Sidney Lumet airs it out. Yet in retrospect, maybe the ravings of Finch as a deranged anchorman aren't so far from surreal madness of Jerry Spring
Network taps into the hysteria of the television business at a time when the medium was still important, a monolithic and competitive media industry hungry to tap into the next big thing and do anything for ratings.
There is plenty wrong with television, plenty to satirize. But Network prudently misses the point, dishing up an outrageous razzle-dazzle stew that will ruffle no network feathers and delight a popular audience.