True Story with Ed and Randall is a wholesome and uplifting concept that puts the burden on celebrities to add the extra to the ordinary.
Ordinary people get to have their incredible stories told in True Story with Ed and Randall. The show features the ever affable Ed Helms and Randall Park listening to a non-famous/non-celebrity stranger’s story which is recreated by an all-star roster of famous people. Helms and Park have never heard the story prior to the taping and are able to react genuinely to the unique and not quite Hollywood-polished stories of the guests.
As the guests tell their story, the show cuts in with re-enactments of the events occurring in the story performed by an all-star roster of celebrities. It is akin to Drunk History only without the intoxication and with the added element of interpreted dialogue rather than relying solely on the guest’s narration. It is a truly charming and wholesome attempt, that doesn’t quite find its footing. Read more in our review below:
True Story with Ed and Randall Review
There is an age-old adage that you can learn something from anyone. While philosophically it is sound and harkens to the best of human nature, practically, and perhaps pretentiously, maybe not everyone. True Story with Ed and Randall aims to prove everyone has a story to tell by getting people that are relatively unknown to society to share their tales and famous celebrities reenact them in an attempt to get people to care. It is essentially an entertainment-focused version of a fluff piece that can be found on the local news. Albeit, with much more production value and a higher budget.
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The concept is solid and personally, I believe in everyone getting a chance to tell their story. However, people need to learn how to tell their stories. Which is the biggest hindrance of the True Story with Ed and Randall. The incredible likability of Ed Helms and Randall Park, even with their expertly directional questions, can only get so much out of the guest and storyteller. This is not to say the storytellers are boring or bad, but they are not of the standard audiences have come to expect on a television show.
The way the stories are rendered is nearly identical to Drunk History, however, the storytellers do not have the same skillset as experienced performers, nor do they necessarily understand the concept of the show. The storytellers are there just to tell their stories, not necessarily tell them narratively to be reenacted. This is why the series performers/writers also throw in lines to carry the story along. It is a hit-and-miss attempt, one that I think can be polished and perfected. But currently lacks the polish to hook most audiences.
While the premise is great, the confusing amount the reenactments attempt to adhere to the storyteller’s tale creates a widely uneven experience that distracts from the story. It just never finds the right balance of indulging and following that Drunk History immediately had. This is disappointing, as the stories are undoubtedly great, but the ability to tell it from both the storytellers and the show’s side are lackluster despite the best efforts of the show’s hosts.
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True Story with Ed and Randall has the potential to be a great platform for ordinary people to have their stories told and reach a wider audience than they normally could. Randall Park and Ed Helms are thoroughly likable hosts who have the ability to draw out the best of the stories. However, the inconsistent adherence to the story in the reenactments needs to find the right balance of highlighting and telling the story without distracting from it. Once it figures it out, it’ll undoubtedly be a fun show for everyone. Unfortunately, as it is, the show just doesn’t do much to elevate fluff pieces on the local news. True Story with Ed and Randall review gets a 2.5/5
True Story with Ed and Randall releases all six episodes of the hybrid scripted/unscripted comedy on Thursday, January 20, 2022, on Peacock.
True Story with Ed and Randall Trailer
About True Story with Ed and Randall
Cast: Ed Helms and Randall Park
Executive Producers: Tim Bartley, Hamish Blake, Andy Lee, Ryan Shelton, Ed Helms, Randall Park, Mike Falbo and Tracey Baird, who will also serve as showrunner.
Produced by: Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Warner Horizon, Pacific Electric Picture Co. and Universal Television Alternative Studio
Format: 6 x 60 min episodes, Original Unscripted
Hosted by Ed Helms (“The Office”) and Randall Park (“WandaVision”), the comedic and heartwarming series highlights everyday Americans as they share their most extraordinary true stories with surprising twists along the way. As each story unfolds, the events are brought to life by a cast of notable guest stars and comedians in dramatized re-enactments.
Are you excited about True Story with Ed and Randall? Were you a fan of Drunk History? What story would you tell if you were on the show? Let us know in the comments below and share your reaction and thoughts on the series with us on Twitter @the_illuminerdi.
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