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‘Angelyne’ Transforms Emmy Rossum Into The ‘Billboard Queen’ In A Two-Dimensional Appearance


“Angelyne” approaches its subject incorrectly: it’s large, attention-getting, and has all the depth of a billboard. Emmy Rossum stars in and produces this limited series, which is a counterfeit of the truth rather than the reality itself. Consider this proof that excellent makeup alone isn’t enough in a year that has already given the world the superior “Pam & Tommy.”

The plot shows the title character as a lady of mystery, one with huge goals who fastidiously avoids queries about her history and repeats “I’m not a woman, I’m an icon” like a mantra, making good use of period music to set both time and whimsical tone (Electric Light Orchestra gets a workout).

Angelyne sings with a bar band, declares her desire to be “like Barbie,” and converts one man after another, the most important of whom is a billboard king (Martin Freeman), who acquiesces to her wishes, even if the ultimate goal of plastering her picture all over Los Angeles remains a mystery to everyone except her.
The issue is initially so impenetrable that the focus changes to an entertainment reporter (“Girls'” Alex Karpovsky) seeking to peel back the curtain on who Angelyne truly is, using the familiar trope of fake direct-to-camera interviews.

The biggest issue is that the first few episodes do not inspire enough patience to keep watching. Rossum dives into the role with a honeyed voice, mastering an attention-getting stride even before the character gets her huge cleavage. The only real flaw is that the characters continuously question one other’s accounts of events, which becomes old soon.

Angelyne is being painted as the original “Famous for being famous” influencer/social-media star, although one who operated in an analog world. She’s also depicted as the epitome of a Hollywood dreamer who painstakingly crafted her image and metamorphosis.

“Angelyne” is “a story about Los Angeles and everything the city means to people who relocate here and to people who dream about moving here,” according to executive producer Allison Miller in the press notes.
Whether you believe in the romance of that vision or think of Hollywood as a modern-day “Twilight Zone,” “Angelyne” fails to reach the third, let alone the fourth, dimension.

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