Entertainment

Kumail Nanjiani in Shallow Hulu Show – The Hollywood Reporter


There is perhaps no universe in which a true story that combines murder, money, and men in revealing clothes is not at least one. small slightly interesting, so Hulu’s Welcome to Chippendales there’s that going for it.

Also in its favor was an apparently generous budget to recreate the story’s cocaine-filled 1980s setting, through lavish settings, carefully curated costumes, and comprehensive soundtrack (ABBA, Queen, Kiss). Then there’s the undeniably talented cast — led by Kumail Nanjiani — who each get a chance to show what they can do with a connotative look, a smirk, a little bit. hysterical in another measured voice.

Welcome to Chippendales

Key point

A well-acted disappointment.

What? Welcome to Chippendales however, lacks a larger vision to hang all of these blessings on. Over eight 45-minute parts, the miniseries never quite fits a particular tone, style or point of view, and never finds much to say about what it shows us beyond a few molds. vague cliché about immigrant greed, pride, and experience. It’s a dirty story, okay, but not one presented here with any real weight.

A certain emptiness appears from the very beginning. To be fair, the premiere was written by creator Robert Siegel and directed by Matt Shakman (WandaVision), there are a lot of platforms to cover. Our lead role begins now as a humble Indian-American gas station manager named Somen and ends with Steve, a nightclub owner who has become wildly successful thanks to the novel idea of ​​organizing events. an all-male strip show for an all-female audience. At the same time, it needs to sow the seeds of a good partnership between Steve and his choreographer Nick De Noia (Bartlett), the bloody ending that’s why we’re all here. (The series is based on the book by K. Scot Macdonald and Patrick MontesDeOca Deadly Dance: The Chippendales Murders.)

But Welcome to Chippendales Access to the most predictable biographical shortcuts to get it done. Steve’s name change comes after he stumbled across a new number plate that read “Steve” after being bullied by two gas station customers for racist behavior. Playmate Dorothy Stratten (guest star Nicola Peltz), whose husband Paul Snider (guest star Dan Stevens) became Steve’s club promoter, establishing the practices of the times with a perfunctory list of sexual revolution-themed terms: “Erica Jong, deep throatthe pill.” In the second episode, Steve meets the shy accountant Irene (Annaleigh Ashford); he marries her in her third year, before we have a chance to figure out what attracts them came together beyond a common knack for business and a shared passion for Coca-Cola.

Welcome to Chippendales will improve in the second half as the tempo is a bit more stable, the drama increases a lot and so the actors are given more engaging material to munch on. Nanjiani and Bartlett bring different flavors of outrage to their characters’ explosive animosity, and Ashford has perhaps performed best as Irene, holding back her emotions until her lines come to her. She sounded so calm that she was completely calm. However, their best efforts could not make up for the feeling that Welcome to Chippendales have very little idea about any of these people actually arD. When handyman Chippendales Ray (Robin de Jesús, showing off the mostly ungrateful part) knelt down to literally kiss the ring, his devotion to Steve was clear. Why he’s so devoted, the series never bothers to explain.

All the pieces for a good movie seem to be here. The deteriorating relationship between the characters is indicated by legibility. Each major development step is carefully heralded, and each individual chapter moves fast enough to keep our interest from wandering. But the entire series feels built from the outside in. Steve’s arc follows a clear ascending and descending structure, but is his inner journey one of a good man going bad or of an already bad man getting worse? worse as Walter White? Is Steve’s rift with his family in India the cause or the result of his malicious greed? Welcome to Chippendales did not provide an answer.

If Welcome to Chippendales provides some insight into Steve, it is even less concerned with the people around him, who exist primarily to react to Steve or to react to others reacting to Steve. Error though it could have been, Pam & Tommy, another recent Siegel miniseries that harkens back to old titles, benefiting from flashy style, a sense of humor, and a self-righteous purpose. Opposite, Welcome to Chippendales is less amused by its excessive setting — even the striptease scenes are not filmed to look particularly sexy — and reveal little curiosity about the broader cultural, political, or historical context in which it operates. put in. everyone, including star dancer Otis (Quentin Plair), and his own bitter grievances about America’s poor treatment of brown immigrants like him—but no What’s more rhetorical to say that racism is bad.

Throughout the series, Steve is obsessed with the pitfalls of status and doesn’t value art or craft as anything other than a means to achieve and manifest even greater status. He was a man who would order a custom suit, only to ask the tailor to ridiculously short his sleeves to show off his Rolex. disappointment of Welcome to Chippendales is that it shares a bit of that mindset with its protagonist. It has the production value, stellar cast, and compelling true-crime source material of classic Emmy lures; the finale even ended with one of those gimmicky long shots that became reality rigor for prestigious shows. But there’s a difference between buying the right thing and knowing what to do with it. Welcome to Chippendalessadly, don’t know what to do with it.

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