Welcome to Chippendales Season 1 Episode 5 Review: LeechesWhitney Evans at .
Welcome to Chippendales Season 1 Episode 5 was a whirlwind.
The transition to New York should have given Steve and Nick the space and time to quell their brewing animosity. The money was flowing, and Chippendales had never been hotter, yet somehow being hundreds of miles away from one another only worsened their rivalry.
And by the end of the hour, we start to see what Steve is truly capable of.
New York City in the 80s was the place to be, and in opposition to the Los Angeles brand, Chippendales could fly differently once it opened its doors in the big apple.
Considering Steve's struggles with letting go of control, it's a wonder he enjoys what the new club has to offer, especially considering it's a Nick production.
There's a sort of calm about the beginning of the hour, which almost makes you wonder if these two men could have ever changed the trajectory of their relationship.
Steve seems appreciative of Nick's efforts and rather pleased with how the club turned out, but it's all supremely short-lived because there is a total disconnect between these two men from top to bottom.
Nick doesn't seem like a bad person, but he's portrayed here as being rough around the edges sometimes. As the relationship between him and Steve collapses, he cares less and less about getting along with the man and leans into the persona that Steve has the biggest issue with.
Steve has a right to be upset about the fact that the company he built from nothing isn't being recognized as his.
It’s your creation on national television.Irene [to Steve]
Nick de Noia did not create Chippendales. He helped to make it a success, and his accomplishments are vast and a significant reason why Chippendales grows into the behemoth it becomes, but it wasn't his idea.
So, Steve has a right to be frustrated with how Nick is portrayed on television.
You could be the most selfless, caring individual in the world. But it would bother you if you created something groundbreaking and original that swept across the globe and everyone gave the credit to someone else.
Now to be fair to Nick, when he goes on The Phil Donahue Show, it doesn't appear like he's really trying to take credit so much as he's just reacting to what's around him. He's the creative director of the New York show, which is the show that books Chippendales the gig, so it makes sense for him to go on behalf of the company.
But he's not showboating as Mr. Chippendales, but more so trying to be the charming face of the company.
Steve feels slighted, and he's not wrong to feel that way, but he handles it in a way that spirals out of control quickly. And the phone call between the two sounds more like teenagers fighting than grown businessmen in charge of a multi-million dollar business.
Obviously, this story is multi-layered, and we're getting a very dramatized version of what happened. Still, it's so frustrating knowing where things are will go to see these small moments when maybe one thing could have gone differently, and the outcome could have changed.
Irene seems to be the only one of the bunch who sees sense. And while she tries to get Steve to see reason, it's a losing effort because his ego will always win out in the end.
I get that Irene loves her husband, and she gets to see a different side of him, but how she looks at him and how she's seen him treat people and believes that he's some great guy is borderline delusional. Love is blind, but come on, Irene.
The discrimination lawsuit should be a major wake-up call for her, but Steve only appears to really get a slap on the wrist about it. And it's crazy to think that he takes the discrimination he faced and turns it around to discriminate against others, forever hiding behind the idea that it's all just business.
Racism is a-okay for Steve as long as it helps his bottom line.
Each hour that passes shows Steve as a troubled and deeply disturbed man, wholly consumed with the idea of wealth and notoriety.
The series does an excellent job of including these very subtle moments that highlight just how obsessed Steve was with appearing wealthy and well-connected. He's got a crooked suit on just so people can see he has a Rolex.
And he wants to be in the presence of celebrities, not because he admires their work or wants to get to know them, but simply because they're famous and, therefore, will validate him since he's able to be in their presence.
That kind of mentality will get you doing ridiculous things because of the fear that comes with it. Steve is most terrified of losing what he's built for himself and will do anything to keep it.
It's partly why he ends up going on that talk show because he wants to rewrite the narrative Nick starts spewing about being the brains behind the brand. He's way too narcissistic to let Nick have the last word, but the thing about Steve is he's no Nick.
He doesn't have that charisma and charm and can't just turn it on at the drop of a dime.
The show he goes on doesn't do him any favors, but Steve can't sit in front of a camera and wax poetic about a male strip club. Nick won an Emmy. He knows how to get in front of a crowd and get them eating out of the palm of his hand.
Steve doesn't have that ability, and that would be okay if he were content to be in the shadows and not in front of the cameras. He cannot see the bigger picture if it doesn't involve his face front and center.
The relationship between Steve and Ray is so weird, and it's played out in the series in a way where nothing about Ray makes sense. I can't see why Ray is so beholden to Steve because Steve isn't overly friendly to him, nor does he do anything extra for Ray, yet Ray burns down a rival club for the man.
Steve's desire to have a monopoly on male stripping is so misguided, and his continuing down that path, coupled with his greed, will be the thing that brings it all crashing down.
Welcome to My Extra Thoughts
- Excellent casting job with all those talk show staples from the 80s!
- Steve calling someone else a bully is PEAK delusion.
- Denise and Bradford not getting along is small but significant enough for them to include it. Will she and Nick eventually have a falling out?
- The secondhand embarrassment of watching Steve give that interview was real.
- The 80s were different because I'm not sure you'd see male stripping on today's talk shows.
We're sailing into the final hours, which means things are about to get sad and awful for many people. Let me know how you felt about this hour in the comments, and watch Welcome to Chippendales online so you're not out of the loop!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.