Ah, yes, you’re thinking… we definitely need a four-part documentary about how to exorcise the dining table. There’s always been something weird about that mahogany bookcase handed down from great aunt Petunia.
No, it’s not about that kind of Chippendale. This show is in fact about fake tans, dodgy mullets, pinging man-thongs, and even murder – all ingredients of the inescapable male dance troupe of the 80s and 90s, the Chippendales.
The story is rooted in how founder Steve Banerjee became jealous and fearful of his business partner and resorted to murder and attempted murder. And according to Benji Wilson in The Telegraph, what better place for this story than LA in the early 1980s, where “everyone appears to have been either making money or having sex. It’s a miracle they had time to murder one other.” He goes on to admit that there has been a glut of true-crime on TV recently, but “when the story is this good, this bizarre, this wild, this paranoid, flamboyant and nostalgia-fuelled, why change the tune?”
In The Guardian, Stuart Heritage thinks the Chippendales have all the ingredients for a “jaw-dropping” story. Across the four episodes he says, Curse of the Chippendales “unfolds like a pacy airport paperback. There is sex. There are drugs. There are mullets. There are men in tiny pants thrusting their genitals into bowler hats.” He says that halfway through the series “you can see the success of the Chippendales start to gallop out of control. The bigger they get, the more opposition they encounter” and “internally, the two men in charge lock themselves into a battle for total control of the group. Before long, one of them is dead. At this point, Curse of the Chippendales becomes a full-on true crime documentary.”
The Independent quotes executive producer Jeanie Vink who says of the Chippendales, “people remember the cuffs and collars” but have either forgotten or never knew about “the most bizarre murder-for-hire crime in the FBI’s history, by their own description… It’s a story of greed – and how it ate away at everyone and everything that the business touched.”
What a cracking story it is. And not a can of Mr Sheen in sight.
First shown November 2021.