Idris can do everything ... as long as it's acting

2019-03-31 00:00

Turn Up Charlie

Available on Netflix SA

Starring: Idris Elba, Piper Perabo


Brand-new British series Turn Up Charlie sees Idris Elba play Charlie, a washed up deejay who had one smash hit in the 90s. The fame and money went to his head and, years later, he lives with his aunt Lydia and can barely hold down a job.

One of his best friends, Dave, returns from the US, where he has managed to secure himself a career in acting and is married to world-famous deejay Sara (Piper Perabo).

Dave and Sara have a child called Gabby (Frankie Harvey), who is what some might refer to as precocious. Really just a problem child who adds most of the drama to this show.

Given that both parents are quite busy, they rope Charlie into being a nanny, or a “manny” if you must, to Gabby. Charlie sees this as a chance to relaunch his music career as he’ll be in close proximity to Sara and gain access to her studio.

At first I thought this would be too cute for me, and it is quite quaint, but, two days after starting the series, I had drilled my way through all eight episodes and I enjoyed it. However, I don’t enjoy Idris being too close to the realm of music. The album he made to honour Nelson Mandela was terrible and lately he has this fascination with how Donald Glover can do everything: sing, write and act.

So Idris is trying his hand at being a jack of all trades and he even has a song out right now with British rappers Stefflon Don, Wiley and dancehall legend Sean Paul. I’d avoid that if I were you.

His attempt at TV, however, is not so bad and it was cool to see him using London slang, talking about man this and man that and saying the word ‘blood’ as “blat”. Reminded me a bit of his role in Guy Ritchie’s 2008 banger RocknRolla.

If you’re a fan of Idris and house music, then this is proper.

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May 24 2020