Idris Elba has joined the ranks of a many a Hollywood celeb and now has his own show on Netflix called 'Turn Up Charlie which he stars in and co-created alongside Gary Reich.
Elba is known to many as a man of action in 'Luther' and as an actor who intimidated as Stringer Bell in 'The Wire' and is constantly backed to play the next Bond. This time around however, Elba tries his hand at comedy and he's not half bad at it.
'Turn Up Charlie' centres on the titular Charlie (Idris Elba), a struggling DJ who had a nineties-one hit wonder who is given a final chance at success when he reluctantly becomes a ‘manny’ to his famous best friend's problem-child daughter, Gabby (Frankie Hervey). Piper Perabo of 'Coyote Ugly' fame and JJ Feild also star.
From the word go 'Turn Up Charlie' pitches its tent as a comedy and tries just a little too hard. The jokes are predictable and feel a little clunky and it's rife with character tropes from the goofy best friend to the precocious (self-described) kid.
Despite all this, 'Turn Up Charlie' has moments where it really works. The heart of the show is the friendship between Charlie and Gabby - it's sincere and entertaining to watch develop and Frankie Hervey is simply marvellous in her eye-rolling delivery. It's also great to see a softer side of Elba on screen and it's here that he really shines.
Elba's Charlie is not without his flaws and he knows it. He's selfish at times, ego-driven and has only himself to blame for his failed career. If Idris Elba doing a comedy about being a DJ seems a bit random to you, it's actually not all too far-fetched. The actor is also a musician and DJ when he's not busy on screen and is even playing Coachella in April. Charlie would be so proud.
'Turn Up Charlie' does have a great Latitude festival episode that impresses visually more than anything else as it's pretty rare to see a TV show cover a music festival so vividly. The same goes for the Ibiza episodes later on - no production is spared in making you feel like you too are partying it up, Ibiza style.
The problem with 'Turn Up Charlie' is that it brings the real conflict in far too late. The best scene comes halfway through the final episode and while there's not a cliffhanger as such, you are left wondering why they didn't get to any of this a lot quicker and not really satisfied with any particular outcome.
It's fine. Easy-watching and really quite sweet at times. It showcases a different side to Idris Elba which really seems to be the whole point. Seriously though, someone just make him Bond already and we can let this be the forgettable show it was destined to be.