Television period dramas were once stuffy affairs, usually British and sometimes involving a teddy bear but that's no longer the case as production houses mine any old decade for content.
For many of us, the 1980s feel like yesterday, barely having had time to simmer away in the juices of hindsight, still too underdone to offer up anything or anyone for historical evaluation, especially in a creative sense, yet audiences continue to show a dogged fascination with the era that left us with aerobics and a big hole in the ozone layer.
Now streaming on Disney+, Hulu's Welcome to Chippendales is the latest pop culture supertrawler to dragnet the '80s for inspiration and represents a near triumph of style over substance, much like the decade itself.
The makers of the series - the origin story of the global male stripper brand - are the latest to sniff the wind and exploit what seems, for those who lived through it, at least, an odd obsession with the late 20th century.
Netflix's Stranger Things has already shown how this obsession can drive the consumer zeitgeist (commiserations to any parent tasked with securing a Sony Walkman for their ironic child this Christmas) but whereas Stranger Things brings a story to a particular time and place, Welcome to Chippendales is a story of time and place.
In this respect, the show is a scripted archaeological dig, joining the likes of the ABC's The Newsreader or Apple TV's Physical or Netflix's Halston, where artefacts are as important as narrative. The costume designers are having a field day; every nose supports a pair of gaudy spectacles, every wrist a chunky timepiece (so much more satisfying than the soulless, self-peaching smart watches of today).
Not to be outdone, the writers, headed by Pam & Tommy's Robert Siegel, are just as relentless with the pop culture references, which, for a certain sort of nostalgia tragic, is reason enough to hang around. The Six Million Dollar Man is on the telly, Gabe Kaplan, from Welcome Back, Kotter, is standing on a kerb, Peter Bogdanovich is prowling the restaurants for his latest ingenue.
This is all great but there's an element of the magician's misdirection among these inconsequential trinkets because they paper over a production lacking in substance, if not effort.
Heading up that effort is Australia's Murray Bartlett, who sweats bullets in his portrayal of Nick De Noia, a triple-threat showbiz toiler who brought real razzamatazz to the hulking Chippendales troupe. There's a certain symmetry in Bartlett taking on this role. He's been around the traps for decades now and is finally getting the recognition he deserves after stealing the show in the first series of HBO's The White Lotus (his presence is being sorely missed in the second season).
De Noia's business partner in the breakout L.A. clubbing enterprise, Somen 'Steve' Banerjee is played by Kumail Nanjiani, an equally dedicated performer who brings the required ruthlessness to a character, which, in lesser hands, could have easily veered into irretrievable sympathy.
But excellent individual performances aside, and perhaps reflecting the very business it dissects, we come home a little unsatisfied after a night at Welcome to Chippendales.
At the heart of this story is real menace. The series is based on the book Deadly Dance: The Chippendales Murders, a true-crime tale about how the Hollywood dream can so often be the stuff of nightmares.
When this kind of story is done right - Paul Schrader's Auto Focus comes to mind - the layers of Hollywood can be stripped back to reveal an industry town with a heart as black as any American city of coal or oil or iron but Welcome to Chippendales shies away from this rabbit hole, content to bring more gloss than grunt, more syrup than sleaze.
But sleazy isn't easy and Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights remains the exemplar of how the era and industry of exploitation can be brought to the screen without compromising on nuance or impact.
Yank the pants off Welcome to Chippendales and we're left staring at Boogie Nights lite.
You might want your stripper bucks back.
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