Series 7: The Contenders

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Series 7: The Contenders ★★½ 2001 (R)

Reality TV takes to the big screen in this morbid but insightful portrayal of a fictional show called “The Contenders” in which the participants hunt each other down to their ultimate, televised, demise. Pic is presented in the form of a marathon of the show, which stars eight-months pregnant Dawn (Smith), the champ who takes on five new challengers, including an 18-year-old girl (Wever), a cancer victim and artist who was also, coincidentally, Dawn's first boyfriend (Fitzgerald). Revealing portrayals make all the contestants sympathetic, but Dawn and Jeff's unique plight is the most interesting. A scene where Dawn casually guns people down in a convenience store while bystanders look on is a highlight in this interesting social satire. 86m/C VHS, DVD . US Brooke Smith, Glenn Fitzgerald, Merritt Wever, Michael Kaycheck, Richard Venture, Donna Hanover, Marylouise Burke, Nada Despotovich, Danton Stone, Jennifer Van Dyck, Angelina Phillips, Tanny McDonald; D: Daniel Minahan; W: Daniel Minahan; C: Randy Drummond; M: Girls Against Boys; Nar: Will Arnett.