Lengthy earlier than Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian made an business out of being well-known, there was Angelyne, The Billboard Queen. Within the early ’80s, her bare ambition was on show throughout Los Angeles. Her efforts to change into well-known, and maintain onto that fame, are fictionalized in a brand new miniseries concerning the blonde bombshell, who ran in the latest gubernatorial recall election in California.
ANGELYNE: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?
Opening Shot: A blonde lady mendacity on a mattress of crimson satin sheets, telling herself, “I’m not a girl. I’m an icon.”
The Gist: Most individuals know Angelyne (Emmy Rossum) as “The Billboard Queen”; within the early Eighties billboards together with her image on them went up throughout Los Angeles, mystifying anybody who noticed it. In 2019, the close-to-70-year-old movie star, full with a foul boob job and cosmetic surgery that makes her look a lot youthful than her age, is profiled by Jeff Glaser (Alex Karpovsky) from The Hollywood Reporter. Her supervisor, Rick Krause (Hamish Linklater), reads the article to her to reassure her.
There’s some dispute as to how Angelyne was “found.” Cory Hunt (Philip Ettinger) claims to have found her in a bar his band, Child Blue, was taking part in in again in 1977 (ish), asking her to hitch once they began a relationship. Angelyne, for her half, at first claims that Cory is lifeless. However then she begins telling her model, the place Child Blue was an unpopular and ragtag group, and she or he made them higher and extra in style when she agreed to be their lead singer.
She forces them to get a keyboardist, and her horny, come-hither singing fashion appears to conflict with the band’s punk-ish fashion; the drummer, Bud Griffin (Antjuan Tobias), is particularly resentful of her presence, and needs Cory to fireplace her. However simply as he’s about to try this, she will get the band a coveted gig on the well-known Whiskey a Go Go membership. However, as Cory places it, all of it comes crashing down in 1981 when he achieved a minor hit. After all, Angelyne has her personal model of how they broke up, which is likely to be nearer to the reality.
What Exhibits Will It Remind You Of? Angelyne is a little bit of a drama/mockumentary hybrid, as if the interviews from a present like Abbott Elementary are paired with a campy present about ’70s and ’80s Hollywood a la ‘.
Our Take: There’s a narrative to be instructed about Angelyne, who was born Ronia Tamar Goldberg, and the way she compelled her option to fame via the sheer pressure of her personal character, effectively earlier than Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton led the “well-known for being well-known” revolution of the ’00s to now. And Rossum’s transformation into Angelyne is sort of outstanding. However we’re not a giant fan of how the miniseries Angelyne tells that story, which is predicated on Gary Baum’s profile of her for THR.
Showrunner Allison Miller (Rossum and Sam Esmail are additionally among the many government producers) ceaselessly jumps round from 2019 again to the ’70s and ’80s, contrasting how Angelyne took management of her profession when she was younger to how she simply looks as if a campy punchline now. However the scenes from the relative current are in each narrative and mockumentary interview type. It’s not essentially complicated, however it does make for a disjointed story, particularly when occasions are instructed by another person’s perspective, like Cory’s.
What Rossum does with Angelyne, although, is infuse her with a confidence and righteousness that tells us simply how Angelyne completed no matter fame she achieved. When she talks about why she desires a Corvette, why she desires Child Blue to go to the following stage, or why she doesn’t need to depend upon a person to attain what she desires, Rossum shines.
We hope there’s extra of that within the subsequent 4 episodes of the collection, combined with Angelyne’s penchant for Marilyn Monroe worship and quirky affirmations, and fewer of the mashed-up storytelling that appears to kill any momentum within the first episode.
Intercourse and Pores and skin: Surprisingly little or no. Although Rossum does sport an professional set of prosthetic breasts, particularly when she waltzes in on Cory in rehab, her newly-expanded chest on full show.
Parting Shot: Krause tells Glaser that she will be able to shut down the interview at any time. “Angelyna is at all times in cost.”
Sleeper Star: We’re curious to see Linklater and Karpovsky play off one another, provided that their characters are in opposing camps. Glaser is attempting to dig deep on Angelyne’s life and profession, and Krause is there to guard her.
Most Pilot-y Line: “I’m an excessive amount of,” Angelyne tells the digital camera. “I’m like uncut heroin.”
Our Name: STREAM IT, however just for Rossum’s efficiency as Angelyne. The storytelling of Angelyne leaves loads to be desired, however Rossum’s efficiency cuts via the script gymnastics, making us interested by what components of Angelyne’s life the collection will discover.
Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about meals, leisure, parenting and tech, however he doesn’t child himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared within the New York Instances, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.com, Quick Firm and elsewhere.