IF there ever was a band screaming out for episodic TV treatment to bring to life their chaotic - albeit brief - lifespan, then it's the Sex Pistols. There's been plenty of more acclaimed and successful punk bands, but none have a story as notorious as Johnny Rotten & co.
Of course it's a story already covered in all its dirt and safety pin-piercing detail through the documentaries The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1980) and The Filth & The Fury (2000) and the 1986 film Syd and Nancy, starring Gary Oldman.
The six-part series Pistol - directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire) - is based on Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones' 2016 memoir Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol, so naturally the story is told predominantly from his point of view.
When we meet Jones, played by Australian Toby Wallace (Neighbours) he's an emotionally-damaged working-class teenager, seemingly headed for prison due to his kleptomaniac tendencies. After being rescued in court by eccentric bondage shop owner Malcolm McLaren (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Jones is encouraged by McLaren to form a punk band.
These "shiny young saboteurs" are the Sex Pistols, who McLaren envisions more as revolutionaries than musicians.
While the Sex Pistols story of unsettling the conservative British establishment and their tragic demise, amid bassist Sid Vicious' heroin addiction, makes for compelling viewing, Pistol misfires unfortunately due to Boyle's cartoonish portrayal of punk culture.
Frequently Boyle incorporates '70s news footage of events depicted in Pistol, but the series is unable to replicate the danger of the times.
Anson Boon's performance as John Lydon is particularly grating, as the complex Johnny Rotten is watered down to a punk caricature. Not surprisingly Lydon unsuccessfully attempted to prevent the use of the Sex Pistols' music in the series.
Pistol's finest moments are when Boyle steers away from the outlandish punk antics and focuses on the relationship between Jones and a young and unknown Chrissie Hynde, played by Sydney Chandler.
RICKY Gervais' comedy - unless we're talking about The Office or the beautifully written After Life - has never been for everyone.
Like many of the best known male comedians he's a sucker for controversy and he's latest Netflix stand-up special SuperNature feels cynically created to generate a storm.
Stand-up comedy has often seen itself as an art form railing against political correctness or "wokeness", so naturally the growing mainstream acceptance of trans people and pronouns has become a target for people like Dave Chappelle.
Gervais zeroes in on the trans debate within minutes, along with the other common bugbears of cancel culture. There's some hits, and there's some misses.
SuperNature has been slammed for being "transphobic" and "dangerous", and undoubtedly Gervais is loving the attention, much like a mischievous teenager.
Gervais isn't for everyone, but if you like some outrage served with your stand-up, then SuperNature won't disappoint.
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