Yes, even in this economy, TV shows about misunderstood, publicly shamed and belittled women are a dime a dozen. Over the last few years, networks have invested heavily in actors looking for immersive, historically accurate roles and a startling amount of latex to take them over the top. Following in the footsteps of Impeachment and Pam & Tommy comes Angelyne, a makeup-heavy bio-series that’s truly only for people that lived in the Los Angeles area during the 80s and 90s.
For those who don’t care that much about L.A.’s bustling billboard scene, Angelyne is a model who started advertising herself on massive signs along the Sunset Strip in the 80s. Known for her massive blonde wig and massive other features, Angelyne created a pop-culture cult surrounding her mysterious identity and intentions. She’s an icon around L.A., even though most people have no idea who she is or why she has a billboard.
Angelyne is a limited series based on her life, but not totally. It’s an “homage,” of sorts, with mockumentary elements and a massive wig budget. Here’s the trailer:
Angelyne isn’t a traditional biopic. Unlike The Girl From Plainville or The Dropout or House Of Gucci or I, Tonya or The Eyes Of Tammy Faye, the latex in Angelyne isn’t in hopes of making a true crime more true. Angelyne isn’t even a real biography, according to showrunner Allison Miller.
“Angelyne is an homage to the Real Angelyne who became a cultural icon in Los Angeles,” Miller said in a statement. “This isn’t the true story of Angelyne. It’s not a straight forward biopic. It’s a story inspired by everything Angelyne represents and so it’s a magical story, a hopeful story, a story about becoming the person you were meant to be and believing in your own inner strength to manifest your dreams. It’s a story about Los Angeles and everything the city means to people who move here and to people who dream about moving here.”
Like all of the aforementioned shows and movies, this one’s got a killer cast bringing the alternate history of Angelyne to life. Emmy Rossum stars as the titular Angelyne. She is joined by Martin Freeman, Hamish Linklater, Michael Angarano, Molly Ephraim, Philip Ettinger, Lukas Gage, Charlie Rowe, Alex Karpovsky, and David Krumholtz.
“As a society broadening our understanding of identity, this story plays with large questions,” Rossum said in a statement. “Are we defined by the historical facts of our life? Or can we define ourselves? To self-actualize, to embrace whoever we are on the inside and live whatever truth feels most accurate. When everyone’s experience of reality and truth is personal, can there ever be one true story? I’ve spent the better part of 4 years thinking, living, and breathing this project. I love Angelyne. She’s as if Marilyn Monroe got into an easy bake oven with a 80s punk Barbie Doll, and a dose of new age spirituality. She’s a trailblazer, a hustler, a visionary, the original influencer, a living-breathing piece of art.”
All episodes of Angelyne premiere on Peacock on May 19.