Welcome to Chippendales has one of the best pilots of the year. Full of great storytelling, strong acting, and a setup for what is ahead with the series. Job well done by everyone.
We recap the Hulu series Welcome to Chippendales season 1, episode 1, “An Elegant, Exclusive Atmosphere,” which contains spoilers.
Hulu has a brand new series, Welcome to Chippendales, starring Kumail Nanjiani, which tells the story of Somen Banerjee, the man behind the Chippendales. Does the series start with a bang? I will share my recap of the premiere and let you know.
Welcome to Chippendales season 1, episode 1 recap
First, whoever created the opening was brilliant because the song, mixed with the montage and color palette, was perfect. The episode starts with us seeing Somen at the gas station sorting through some stock and two kids walking in and stealing some beer. He confronts the duo when one ends up spraying a beer all over him and walking back out the door. They mock his accent and name before leaving.
Next, we meet Somen’s boss at the gas station, and Somen talks about how numbers are up over 15% from last month. Then, he invites Somen over for dinner. So, his boss invited him over for a reason, and that was to promote him to the general manager of his seven gas stations. He thanks him for the offer but says he has decided to leave and can’t take the job. Somen talks about how it’s not his dream to run a gas station, and his goals have changed since coming over. Instead of a gas station, Somen will open a backgammon club.
We see him buying a place and settling on the name Destiny 2 based on some stuff he read in business journals. However, things aren’t going as planned, with the place empty on a Friday night. Now we meet Paul Snider and Dorothy Stratten, the latter being a playmate in the upcoming Playboy magazine. Paul breaks down how he could fix up things because that’s what he does, as he is a nightclub promoter. As Paul leaves, Somen chases him down to offer him a job, and after negotiating, Somen gives him 25% of the company.
Well, backgammon isn’t working, so they changed the place to disco dancing, and well, that wasn’t much of a hit either. Next, they tried women’s mud wrestling, which didn’t work either. Then, it was an oyster-eating competition. Finally, Dorothy was a little fed up with what was happening, leading them to a gay bar. While Somen is about to leave, a performance begins, and he realizes they might need to make it a strip club for women. Dorothy gives the stamp of approval, and the guys head out to find themselves some men.
Somen breaks down the name, Chippendales, and the opening night is off to a strong start. The men hit the floor, and things go amazing as the women go crazy. The club begins to be more and more packed as the days go by. Enter Nick De Noia (Murray Bartlett), who tries to come in, but Somen turns him away until he tells him who he is and piques his interest.
Now, we go to lunch between Somen and Nick, where he gets a feel for who he is. Then, Somen wants to know why he didn’t like the show. Nick tells him he doesn’t do anything for free and wants to get paid for his services. So Nick says he likes a challenge and starts training the men on how to perform. Dorothy and Somen seem to be on the same page, but Paul doesn’t love the idea of Nick being around. Shortly later, Paul gets upset and leaves with Dorothy.
Paul takes Dorothy to a fancy place to eat some food, and while they are there, a director named Peter Bogdanovich interrupts their meal to talk to Dorothy. He asks her to join them for a few moments and offers her to read a part for a role. Paul is visibly upset with what just happened, insinuating that the guy only asked her because he wants to “f**k her.” We see him SNAP at her loudly at the restaurant, causing a commotion in front of everyone.
Paul storms into the bar and explains his frustration with what just happened. Nick storms in and say he can’t work in this hostile environment because Paul is loud and weird. Moments later, Nick fires Paul, telling Somen to set him straight so he can’t do that. However, Somen sides with Nick, saying he gave him full authority for all creative matters. Of course, he snaps and storms away.
Welcome to Chippendales season 1, episode 1 ending
The first night with Nick in charge is starting to come together. But, first, Dorothy comes up with the idea of doing cuffs and collars to follow Somen’s obsession with Hugh Hefner. Then, the men hit the stage with a ROARING crowd of women. The choreography is a massive hit with the crowd making Somen very happy. Paul, upset, grabs Dorothy and leaves the place. Somen heads backstage to congratulate the guys and Nick for what they did.
As Somen gets home, he calls to leave a message for Paul about the stuff needing to be done for the next day at the club. However, as he leaves the voicemail, we see the camera pan to his house and blood everywhere. It looks as if Paul shot and killed Dorothy and took his life shortly after. I’ll be honest, this was one of the better pilots I have seen in a long time. Well acted, directed and has an ending that makes you want to come back for more.
What did you think of Welcome to Chippendales season 1, episode 1? Comment below.