Emmy Rossum gets weird in wacky series ‘Angelyne:’ review

The Peacock collection “Angelyne,” concerning the mysterious blond bombshell who graced LA billboards within the ’80s, is quirkier than your customary biopic.

Now streaming, the restricted collection follows Angelyne (Emmy Rossum, “Shameless”), nee Ronia Tamar Goldberg, who, for many years, has been an iconic curiosity driving round in her pink Corvette (suppose a extra Hollywood model of the notorious Instances Sq. Bare Cowboy) and showing on billboards the place it wasn’t clear what she was promoting — other than her personal want for everybody to know her face. 

As depicted from a nearly unrecognizable Rossum (who’s buried beneath a platinum bouffant, faux chest and Minnie Mouse voice), Angelyne’s aesthetic is an element Dolly Parton, half Barbie. The present compares her to a prototype of figures who’re “well-known for being well-known” resembling Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. (The actual Angelyne, now 71, is an govt producer on this collection.)

Emmy Rossum as Angelyne in “Angelyne,” Hamish Linklater as Rick Krause.
Isabella Vosmikova/Peacock
Emmy Rossum admires a mural of Angelyne in "Angelyne."
Angelyne admires an enormous mural of herself.

If Rossum (who’s additionally an govt producer) was on the lookout for a task that strayed so far as doable from her brunette, wired, impoverished, Chicago-based Fiona Gallagher, “Angelyne” is it. She’s clearly having a blast embracing campy glamour, infusing her efficiency with a mixture of coy attraction, ethereal melancholia, bubbly ambition and a borderline delusional willpower to manifest her personal actuality.

Angelyne’s actual title, identification, and previous as a Polish descendant of Holocaust survivors had been a thriller till a 2017 Hollywood Reporter article. The collection opens to an offscreen man studying that article to Angelyne, as she lies on pink silk bedding, earlier than flashing again to a display card that reads in pink lettering, “1981 or 1982, relying on who you ask…” 

Emmy Rossum as the older version of Angelyne, in pounds of makeup and a blonde wig.
Unrecognizable Emmy Rossum because the older 2019 model of Angelyne in her signature pink corvette.
Isabella Vosmikova/Peacock

“Angelyne” is playful with the reality: characters are based mostly on real-life figures, however with modified names. As an example, that 2017 article is by Gary Baum, however within the collection, the journalist character (performed by Alex Karpovsky, “Women”) is known as Jeff Glasner. (And, to make it complicated, when Hugh Hefner, performed by Toby Huss, briefly seems, his title isn’t modified.)

The narrative jumps forwards and backwards between depicting Angelyne’s origins by the a long time, and 2019, when older variations of the characters speak to the digital camera interview-style, giving conflicting accounts of what occurred. 

The 2019 Angelyne says that within the late ’70s, she requested her then-boyfriend Cory (Philip Ettinger) to hitch her band; in the meantime, the 2019 model of Cory tells the digital camera that he requested her to hitch his band (Angelyne additionally proclaims that he’s useless, whereas the shot cuts to Cory rolling his eyes and saying, “I’m not useless. Man, in fact she would say that”). 

Emmy Rossum wears a blonde wig.
Emmy Rossum as Angelyne earlier than her cosmetic surgery.

This type makes the collection extra zany than the common paint-by-numbers biopic. It by no means seems like we linger too lengthy on anyone period of her life, because the episodes concentrate on her relationships with totally different individuals. Amongst others, there’s Harold Wallach (Martin Freeman), who ran a printing firm and funded her billboards; Rick Krause (Hamish Linklater), her assistant and the president of her fan membership; Danny (Michael Arango), her past love; and aspiring filmmaker Max Allen (Lukas Gage), to whom she was a documentary topic.  

Toby Huss as Hugh Heffner sitting in a chair surrounded by models.
Toby Huss as Hugh Hefner, who briefly seems in “Angelyne.”
Isabella Vosmikova/Peacock

The present’s fast-and-loose strategy to information and the character of reminiscence may be irritating (and a bit distracting, within the case of some goofy wigs, resembling Linklater’s) but additionally feels applicable for such a self-mythologizing determine. 

If you would like a hard-hitting biography, this collection isn’t it. However if you would like a present that conveys some details about this pseudo-celebrity – whether or not or not it’s correct – this can be a vibrant collection that’s extra within the tales that individuals inform themselves than it’s in chilly laborious information. And in its personal approach, that’s essentially the most truthful approach to have a look at somebody’s life.

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