Today, we review two shows that recently dropped on Netflix. One, the new Dave Chappelle comedy special has already sparked outrage from the LGBTQ community, while the second is a tepid musical that surprisingly is headed to Broadway.
Dave Chappelle The Closer (Netflix USA) – No sooner did this 6th Netflix comedy special of Chappelle drop on the streaming platform and the LGBTQ community, emphasis on the T for Transgender, were demanding it be pulled out of rotation. There’s been no love lost between Chappelle and the T community for more than a decade now, so it wasn’t that much of a surprise; but given the militancy of the T movement of recent years, the immediate reaction is an interesting one, and it’ll be curious to watch how effective their call will be. So if you’re interested at all to watch what riled them up and judge if Dave went overboard, catch the special while you still can. You won’t be surprised to find that the ‘offensive spiel’ is actually a rehash of what Dave talked about when he performed here at Solaire in early 2020.
If anything, I’d say the ones who got the short end of the stick in this special are Walmart, the Jewish community, the #MeToo movement, and the Asian origin of COVID-19. Chappelle has always been about social commentary mixed with comedy that provokes, and doesn’t just tease or nudge. It’s been his shtick to really stick the knife in to get a reaction and make you think. So it’s hardly unexpected to find him doing commentary on COVID, on how he did get sick, but was asymptomatic. And his true beef with the trans world is in relation to the black man – as in why can Caitlyn Jenner change gender and be Woman of the Year in just ‘her’ first year as a woman, and has never had a period, while Cassius Clay got Hell for just trying to change his name to Muhammad Ali? See, it does make you think.
Diana, The Musical (Netflix USA) – OK, to be perfectly honest, I was really confused by the logic behind this one. It’s a musical based on the life of Diana, and opens on Broadway in November, but we get to watch it on Netflix a month earlier? Isn’t this like a death sentence on the Broadway run? And more to the point, can’t we just leave the poor woman alone already? How many iterations of her ‘poor, little rich’ life are we going to be subjected to? And so I started watching the Netflix show and decided the producers must be genius. They sold the rights for the streaming, correct? Well, that’s money in the bank for them. For unless Middle America rises, and makes this a must-watch when they visit big bad New York, the Broadway run of this show is doomed.
You say the run starts in November? Well, that’s Thanksgiving month, and this show is a real, genuine turkey! The songs are atrocious, the choreography leaden, the acting is just posh English accents galore, and the narrative is obviously a retread of books and films that have already been released about Diana. From The Crown, to the upcoming Spencer movie; it seems like there’s no end to us being asked to sit through yet another version of her sorry life. Me, I was keeping myself glued to the screen as a responsible reviewer, hoping for some sparks to fly, or some merit to be detected. But honestly, I don’t understand how a show this bad could get a Broadway run, when I’m certain so many off-Broadway productions are more deserving of that slot. Avoid this at all costs, I sat through it on your behalf… and suffered.