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Series / Welcome to Chippendales

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Living the American Dream can become a real nightmare.

Welcome to Chippendales is a biographical drama miniseries created by Robert Siegel (Pam & Tommy) based upon the book Deadly Dance: The Chippendales Murders by K. Scot Macdonald and Patrick MontesDeOca. It stars Kumail Nanjiani, Murray Bartlett, Annaleigh Ashford, Dan Stevens, and Juliette Lewis.

Nanjiani stars as Somen “Steve” Banerjee, the founder of the Chippendales dancing troupe. The series follows him through the creation of the troupe and his conflict with choreographer Nick De Noia over the group, leading to De Noia’s murder. The miniseries premiered on Hulu on November 22, 2022, and now all eight episodes are available for streaming.

Preview: Trailer

Welcome to Chippendales features examples of the following:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Steve Banerjee,in real life was pudgy, and stout. In this adaption he's played by Kumail Nanjiani , who is slimmer and more attractive. Along with his wife Irene Bannerjee née Tychowskyj portrayed by Annaleigh Ashford, who is fit and thin.
  • Adapted Out: Bruce Nahin, Steve's real-life business partner, is nowhere to be found here. There is a character named Bruce in the show, but he's just one of the dancers.
  • Advertising by Association: “From the creator of Pam & Tommy” declares the trailer.
  • All Women Are Lustful: Downplayed in the narrative itself, but actively invoked by the concept of Chippendales as a business. Dorothy has to spell it out to Paul to convince him to go along with it, and later, Irene suggests having men allowed in the club past 10PM in order to appease the horny women and make them stick around even after the strip show is done.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • The show portrays Steve as the one who came up with the idea for a male strip club, eliciting a baffled reaction from Paul. In reality, it was Paul himself who came up eith the idea.
    • Paul had long since died when Nick joined the Chippendales business, but in the show, Nick joins shortly after the strip shows begin and clashes with Paul over how the club is run, ultimately being the one to dismiss him.
    • The show omits Dorothy and Paul's divorce and estrangement, as well as Dorothy actually having an affair with Peter Bogdanovich, which, in the narrative, is portrayed as nothing but Paul jumping to conclusions out of jealousy and possessiveness.
    • Irene and Denise are both mostly based on real people (see Composite Character specifically for Denise), but Irene's entire backstory is fabricated due to a lack of information, and Denise's real-life equivalent wasn't a costume designer nor did she come up with the breakaway pants.
  • Based on a True Story: The trailer proclaims the series is “based on the outrageous true events”.
  • Charity Workplace Calendar: 'Velveeta' at one point depicts the inception and making of Chippendales' famous calendars. The idea comes to Steve when Ray Colon, the handyman hired by Irene, brings up photography as one of his skills, and to put the idea in motion, Steve brings the dancers (along with a few additional beefcakes to fill out the remaining months) to his house for a photoshoot, without Nick's awareness or involvement.
  • Chippendales Dancers: The series is meant to tell the story of the founding of the original troupe.
  • Clingy Jealous Guy: Paul, who's bothered by Dorothy supporting Steve's idea of a strip club for women, and throws a tantrum when Peter Bodganovich offers her a movie role, thinking he just wants to sleep with her and take her away from him. It's what ultimately leads to both Paul being dismissed from Chippendales as well as his and Dorothy's demise.
  • Closet Gay: In "An Elegant, Exclusive Atmosphere", Nick shows up to Destiny II with two women on his arm and brags about his soon-to-be-ended marriage to actress Jennifer O'Neal, but at the start of the following episode, he's revealed to be a closeted homosexual. By "Velveeta", he's become more open about it.
  • Composite Character: Denise is a fictionalized amalgamation of several real-life Chippendales employees, primarily executive producer Candace Mayeron, who worked alongside Nick in the New York club.
  • Dead Star Walking: Paul Snider and Dorothy Stratten are key players in the development of the Chippendales troupe, and their actors are featured prominently in promotional materials... But they're billed as guest stars, due to Paul's eventual murder of Dorothy and suicide at the end of "An Elegant, Exclusive Atmosphere".
  • Do Wrong, Right: At one point in the trailer, Steve is told by his wife Irene that she doesn’t mind him doing shady things, but she won’t let him do them badly.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Steve gets the inspiration to create a strip club for women from watching a male stripper perform for the crowd at a gay nightclub, and specifically Dorothy's euphoric reaction to it.
    • Denise has one of her own in "Velveeta", after sleeping with Lance and marveling over his body.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: In addition to the blatant sex scenes involving the main cast in 'Four Geniuses' and "Velveeta", the former also features a scene in which the Chippendales dancers are shown having sex with some of the club's horny and willing clients after the show.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Whatever artistic liberties the script takes, nothing will stop Steve from murdering Nick then killing himself in prison.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: A textbook example, to the point the impending tragedy seems inevitable. Steve (Melancholic), Nick (Choleric), Irene (phlegmatic), Denise (sanguine).
  • Gay Bar Reveal: Steve is initially unsettled when Dorothy and Paul take him to the aforementioned gay nightclub to unwind after a less than favorable day at Destiny II.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Very debatable how heroic it is. But Steve does commit suicide so the government cannot seize the Chippendales or any other assets thus ensuring Irene and his children will be financially set for life.
  • Hypocrite: Steve is pissed that he’s denied entrance to an exclusive club based on (what everyone knows) is his race. But then immediately gets the idea to exclude black patrons from coming into the club. This comes back to bite him hard!
  • It Will Never Catch On: Steve is quick to reject the concept for the Hunkenstein's Manster number in "Velveeta", calling it "sick and demented" and a "grotesque horror show". Later, when Nick starts his own Chippendales in New York, he's able to bring the concept to life there, and it proves to be a smash hit.
  • Love at First Sight: A more risqué take on the trope in "Velveeta". Denise spots Lance on the dance floor and is immediately drawn to him. On the very next scene, she takes him back to Nick's apartment with her and lets him take her doggy-style.
    • Love at First Note: Similarly, in "Just Business", Nick becomes enamored with Bradford after hearing him sing.
  • Meet Cute: Steve chats up an uncomfortable Irene at Chippendales bar where she's ordering a Coke and not watching the show. He introduces himself as the owner, and she sheepishly admits it's not her kind of place. He smiles and admits it is not his kind of place either, and they bond over Coca-Cola, which is on the house.
  • Moody Trailer Cover Song: The trailer features a tense, moody remix of “Any Way You Want It” by Journey.
  • Moral Guardians: At one point in "Four Geniuses", a group of women come to Chippendales to protest the club's sinfulness. They carry signs with Bible quotes, like Romans 8:12, "do not live according to the flesh." Steve actually instigated the protest, he calls a news crew to report on it, with the intention of further spreading the word about the club.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The dancers, obviously. Most notably, Otis, who's the most popular dancer of the original club in Los Angeles, and Lance, who goes on to become the star of the New York club.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Some of the shots used in the trailers are different from the ones used in the actual show. For instance: in the trailer, there's a close-up on Dorothy's face when she informs Paul that women can get horny too. No such close-up is found in the actual episode.
  • Playboy Bunny: Dorothy is a playboy bunny, and in Real Life was Playmate of the Year 1980, though that was also sadly the year Paul murdered her.
  • Pride: Steve and Nick end up in a constant power struggle over who is the creator and brains behind the operation. Ultimately Steve’s pride proves to be much worse as he has Nick murdered and orders the murder of several other dancers whom he sees as disloyal.
  • Roman à Clef: Downplayed. The character of Lance McCrae seems to be a fictionalized portrayal of real-life Chippendales dancer Michael Rapp, who starred in an ambitious Frankenstein-inspired routine just as Lance does in the show.
  • Sex Montage: "Velveeta" has one of sorts, which cuts between Denise having sex with Lance, Nick having sex with a blonde twink, and Irene left behind at the club, just dancing.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Although he's set to appear in four of the show's eight episodes, Lance barely has any screentime in the trailers, only appearing in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it capacity. This is in stark contrast to Dorothy and Paul, who are heavily promoted alongside the main cast but die at the end of the first episode.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Nick is more than happy to boast about being a two-time Emmy winner for his work on the children's show Unicorn Tales. Upon being told of this, in separate occasions, both Steve and Paul dismissively remark that they've never heard of it.
  • Stealing the Credit: In "Leeches", Steve finds himself incensed when Nick is introduced on The Phil Donahue Show as the brains behind Chippendales. They have an arguement about it, and Nick continues to do so in subsequent TV appearances, prompting Steve to make a TV appearance of his own, which he's visibly uncomfortable with.
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage: A variation can be seen in "An Elegant, Exclusive Atmosphere", with Steve, Dorothy and Paul testing out different gimmicks to make Destiny II take off, including a women's mudwrestling competition and an oyster eating contest.
  • Token Minority: Conversed through the character of Otis, the only black Chippendales dancer in a sea of white men. Although he initially rises into the role of most popular dancer at the original Chippendales club in Los Angeles, he's isolated from the others from the start, isn't completely comfortable with the harassment he gets from the women at the club, and even Steve had certain reservations about hiring him due to his skin color. Otis will eventually question this role, and this will result in a rift between him and Steve, leading to Otis' departure and him filing a lawsuit against Steve.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Dorothy is portrayed as fawned over by many men, is responsible for most of the ideas that lead Chippendales to success, and is offered a starring role in Peter Bogdanovich's movie. Unfortunately, due to her scumbag of a husband, she doesn't last long in the narrative.
  • Toros y Flamenco: One of the routines performed by Otis in "Four Geniuses" involves him dressing up as a matador, with the other dancers as his "bulls".
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Somen/Steve’s mother is not happy that he left India in the first place and did not stay behind to run the family business. The fact that he’s running a male strip club really upsets her. He becomes particularly bitter after returning from his father’s funeral.
  • Wham Shot: At the end of "An Elegant, Exclusive Atmosphere", Steve calls up Paul and Dorothy, only for his call to go to voicemail. Cut to Dorothy and Paul's bloody, naked corpses sprawled out in their bedroom, Paul's shotgun not too far off, while Steve's call is heard in the background.
  • Women Are Wiser: Irene and Denise are leaps and bounds more mature and reasonable than Steve and Nick, who become more unhinged and childish with time.