Hulu has carved out a powerful area of interest of salacious fact-based restricted sequence, together with a number of with a true-crime hook. “Welcome to Chippendales” checks off these bins, however in a less-appealing bundle that’s surprisingly lifeless, and even with its trashy promoting factors appears to be like under-dressed for fulfillment.
The story begins with Indian immigrant Somen “Steve” Banerjee (Kumail Nanjiani) who’s launched as a gas-station/quickie-mart attendant earlier than he gambles his financial savings by opening a high-end backgammon membership. It’s a colossal flop, however his fortunes shift when Paul Snider (Dan Stevens) and Playboy playmate Dorothy Stratten (Nicola Peltz Beckham) stroll in, later dragging him to a homosexual bar, the place Banerjee stumbles onto “a strip membership … for ladies.”
After dismissing it as “The dumbest concept I’ve ever heard,” Snider joins within the effort, however he’s a awful companion, and a grim destiny awaits him and Stratten. However that is Banerjee’s story, and he finds the assistance he wants from choreographer Nick De Noia (“The White Lotus’” Murray Bartlett), who brings a extra skilled, slicker patina to the male dance revue, turning it into “an precise present.”
As an alternative of reveling in his success, although, Banerjee seethes over the truth that the media-friendly De Noia is getting a lot of the credit score, a dynamic that isn’t helped by simply how awkward and terrible an interview Banerjee seems to be. Even letting De Noia open a membership in New York can’t cease Banerjee from insisting on attempting to show who’s the boss, which can ultimately result in dire penalties earlier than it’s over.
Banerjee’s can get away extra along with his impulsiveness and racism – highlighted by the way in which he approaches Black staff – within the late Seventies and ’80s, in addition to loads of freewheeling intercourse and medicines.
Nanjiani (who additionally produced) has already made strides past comedy in films like “The Big Sick” and “Eternals,” however he makes essentially the most of this straight dramatic function. Finally, although, “Chippendales” is outlined by its trashier features, whereas its assortment of supporting gamers and their soap-opera issues too typically really feel as in the event that they’re simply killing time. That features Annaleigh Ashford as Banerjee’s spouse, who can’t get him to take heed to good recommendation, and Juliette Lewis and Andrew Rannells as Nick’s buddy and boyfriend.
In some respects, Hulu could be a sufferer of its personal success, having set the bar excessive with Emmy-nominated productions like “Pam & Tommy,” “The Dropout” and “Dopesick.”
Grading on that curve, “Welcome to Chippendales” appears like a light-weight commodity, a type of concepts that appears nice on paper and, regardless of its wholesome serving of beefcake, not almost nearly as good within the flesh.
“Welcome to Chippendales” premieres November 22 on Hulu.