‘Angelyne’ TV Review

Angelyne‘ is a miniseries featuring five episodes that tells the story of Ronia “Rachel” Goldberg, a billboard model known as Angelyne. Nancy Oliver worked as the series creator. It was co-produced by The Hollywood Reporter and streamed to the Peacock app.

Angelyne (Emmy Rossum) is a billboard artist from the 1980s who has somewhat fallen out of fame, despite being a Los Angeles icon. She is contacted by The Hollywood Reporter pundit Jeff Glaser (Alex Karpovsky) to do an expose. Though he only gets riddles and lies from her, he learns how the billboards were paid for by magnate Harold Wallach (Martin Freeman) against his daughter Wendy’s (Molly Ephraim) objections. Her early singing career with Baby Blue via guitarist Cory Hunt (Philip Ettinger) is explored. He meets her “fan club” president Rick Krause (Hamish Linklater) and hears how he got roped into being her assistant. As Jeff grapples with what is real or fantasy, he finds himself pulled into her bizarre sense of reality.

I have nothing against the cast. Emmy Rossum did a good job portraying Angelyne and I also thought Martin Freeman was brilliant as the poor businessman who fell for her wiles. Everyone else did a good job bringing the story to fruition.

My issue is, why was this made to begin with? While it could have been interesting, Angelyne’s mythos is somewhat restricted to the LA scene. Of course, that is the bubble the entertainment industry lives in. Seriously though, Angelyne is not some ethereal thing. She was a billboard artist who sometimes dabbled in music, acting, and a variety of other publicity stunts. Okay.

Judging from the trailer, I was expecting some larger-than-life persona, but instead, I got a depiction of a narcissistic grifter and moocher who was just sort of famous for being famous. What was worse, the show was trying to display these traits as eccentric, cutesy, or even noble at times. They made numerous comparisons to other celebrities like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. That definitely fits. Like both of their useless “shows,” Angelyne’s contribution to pop culture has been… wearing a lot of pink.

I also was curious why the media was portrayed so lovingly. Granted, Peacock is owned by NBC which owns NBC News and MSNBC, but still, it was salivating to compliment them. Then I discovered through a search engine that The Hollywood Reporter had a hand in the production. Conflicts of interest all the way around, if you ask me.

That is not to say Angelyne does not have some interest as she is a part of California culture in some ways, but it backfires with this miniseries. Whether accidentally or on purpose, they instead make you roll your eyes at the attempt to portray a narcissistic “influencer” as some hero for having her face on billboards. In that sense it, it does a disservice to its subject.

Check out the trailer below:

PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong foul language, Violence, Sexuality, Inappropriate humor

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my reviews of Senzo: Murder of a Soccer Star and Under the Banner of Heaven. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.

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