1979 Tired of working at a gas station, Indian immigrant Somen Banerjee (Kumayl Nanjiani of The Eternals) decides to build his own business. After several failed attempts, Steve (the character’s adapted name) comes up with the idea to start the West Coast’s first male strip club. However, the business idea gradually turns into failure and leads to murder.
Hulu continues to valiantly supply its audience with true-crimes of all stripes: after the successful and award-winning “Pretend”, “Pam and Tommy” and “Retired”, the streaming service has taken on another real story. “Welcome to Chippendales” enters the territory of passion, dance and habitual greed, once again emphasizing the danger of the “American dream” concept. True, the result comes out diligently rehearsed, with the absence of even a fraction of the madness that happened in reality.
Steve has always been considered an outcast in his own family, betraying national guidelines with values. That is why the dream and the task of becoming the new Hugh Hefner was an essential necessity for him. With the help of new friends (accidentally wandering Dan Stevens and Nicola Peltz), the hero suddenly realizes: what will happen if you think about women’s desires? So, on the site of a crumbling bar in Los Angeles, Chippendales appear, giving visitors the pleasure of looking at male bodies.
A special focus in the series is given to choreographer Nick De Noye (Murray Bartlett), a two-time Emmy winner who is in a divorce and creative crisis. Seeing how the strippers move chaotically after the opening of the club, he offers his services and achieves stunning results. Bartlett is perhaps the main acting success of Chippendales – the Australian continues to conquer television after last year’s White Lotus, goes all in with a new drugged image of a proud director who is annoyed by the arrogance of the boss and censorship of creative decisions.
Investigation of intrigues and scandals turns into a waste of time without the slightest stylistic identity. Hulu continues to rely on the interest of the audience, believing that the ratings will forgive everything and more. Steve revels more and more in status and greed, which makes him somewhat related to streaming executives and authors (writer and showrunner Robert Siegel moved from Pam and Tommy to the series). Again, bad omens and the transition to the dark side of entrepreneurs who ride the wave of success and go in their self-destruction to the very end. Since Walter White, few people have succeeded in depicting obsessed anti-heroes on television, which does not at all prevent giving money for new pastiche. It’s good that “chippendale” is also the style of English furniture of the 18th century – it’s far from Rococo here, but nothing will hurt to compare the show with fittings.
However, he copes with the role of Nanjiani quite confidently: an unexpected dramatic role suits him, especially after a series of stand-ups and comedies. In the second plan, Juliette Lewis (The Hornets) and Annalee Ashford (American Crime Story: Impeachment) come to the rescue with lifeless roles. The length of the action and the obligatory eight episodes again play a cruel joke, turning the season into a “Wikipedia” with a lack of imagination, sliding into decorative absurdity. Instead of the submissive end of Chippendales, it makes sense to wait for February and the third Magic Mike – Soderbergh will definitely not offend the viewer.