Thursday, May 19, 2022

REVIEW: 'Angelyne' - Angelyne Begins Her Tale of Fame By Joining a Punk Band With Potential in 'Dream Machine'

Peacock's Angelyne - Episode 1.01 "Dream Machine"

Deep dives, punk shows, blood pacts, Corvettes, betrayals, smashed guitars, transformations; Angelyne swallows a band and a man, whole.

"Dream Machine" was written by Cara DiPaolo & Brendan Kelly and directed by Matt Spicer

"This is my story. Don't you dare try to make it about you." Angelyne declares that when she recognizes Cory dramatically trying to recreate the end of their relationship. It's the show distinctly playing with memory. Everyone wants to present the best version of themselves. They don't always want to acknowledge all the uncomfortable details that may actually make them seem terrible. A fantasy is being sold. That's the entire essence of Angelyne. She is famous for being famous. She was plastered all over billboards across Los Angeles. She drives around in a pink Corvette. Everyone has a desire to understand who she truly is. She presents with a very clear path to fame. That's what always drives her. She obsesses over a very specific view of beauty and success. She embodies it fully. She doesn't compromise for anyone. That's difficult for people to accept. People want to rewrite the story to reveal how it isn't the fantasy Angelyne has always projected it as. They want to take her story away from her. She lives in the city of possibilities and reinvention. People come to Los Angeles chasing a dream. Angelyne took her success and ran with it. Of course, she can also posit how every move she made was carefully plotted. She refuses to let others see her struggle. It all has to be effortless. It's a whole production though. One where she is constantly coloring her hair every night. She requires a lot in order to present as this person. And yet, it's the absolute embodiment of how she feels on the inside. She goes through all of this work in order to present that to the world. She seeks the rush and excitement of fame. She is surrounded by drugs. Her high comes from a crowd cheering her on. She is devastated when people betray the pacts they've made. However, she is quick to forgive because she doesn't want negative energy in her life. She is a singular presence. One that has dramatically different reactions than those around her. She always has her eye on whatever will help her achieve her ultimate goal. That story remains steadfast and true. Of course, the narrative wants to further complicate it by sharing diverging versions of events. Cory wants to believe his band was making a name for itself before Angelyne joined. He uplifts the success he found without her. His cover was just as good as anything she could offer him. He had opportunities without needing to listen to her every word. Again, it's him sanding down the details to make himself feel good. Angelyne calls that out. She won't allow the truth to be overwritten. But again, that frames her as the narrator. She can be unreliable too. That's the nature and complexity of memory and who gets to tell these stories.

Of course, all of this is framed around a reporter trying to uncover the true identity of Angelyne. He's just as obsessed as the crowds of adoring fans she has. He feels entitled to get to the truth. Angelyne feels betrayed by him. She trusted him and he reported a story she didn't want to share with the world. She gave in to his demands because he wanted so much from her. He needed to report out this story. He saw a mystery that could finally be solved. Angelyne came at a time when someone could start over anew. She could be whomever she wanted to be. She had the relationships and the tools to craft herself into this perfect image of beauty. It's what she desired more than anything else. She saw the power in that visual as well. It wasn't enough to just be this person. It also had to be enthralling to the masses. People want to present themselves as having a hand in all that she accomplished. In reality, she did all of this on her own. She is in control. That's what Rick states when he finally responds to these interview requests. Angelyne is the boss. That has been the mentality embraced by a specific community for a long time. Being in the public eye requires so much to be given. Angelyne expresses herself freely. However, people demand to take from her as well. That's the complex nature of this story. She has ownership over what she's done. In fact, it's more entertaining when she is the one steering this narrative. Whenever it shifts to Cory, it's overindulgent in order to compensate for something that was lacking in the past. It's all told with the emphasis on hindsight. But again, it's a way to present the rose-tinted version of events. That's not digging at the heart of what it took to create the entity known as Angelyne. She has a unique perspective on life. She operates with more clarity than those around her. She can recognize love for Cory. However, she always knew he was more in love with her. No matter how much he talked about going against societal expectations, he still conformed to way too many. Angelyne was the rule breaker who refused to let anything stand in her way of success. She made this vow to herself. Taking time off to relax and recuperate wasn't productive. Her mindset couldn't be challenged or changed. People were either completely onboard with what she needed or not. Some could tolerate it for a certain amount of time. Very few have endured for the entire journey. Even then, it must come with the recognition that she's the star. She must be the center of attention. And yet, many people are willing to take that away from her simply because they think they know what's best even at her expense. That hurts too.