Ryan Murphy takes on Halston in Netflix’s ‘Halston,’ and just like a lot of things Murphy, it isimperfect with flashes of brilliance and mediocrity. I know I should commend him for dealing with gay and gay-adjacent subjects, buT i just wish they were all good. Serviceable won’t cut it, and ‘Halston’ is just barely serviceable.
Based on Steven Gaines’ biography so it’s not like they don’t have a lot to work with. Halston’s life is brimming with glitz, glamour, and more than enough drama to fill seven series of Netflix episodes. But we get five here that focus on different things, and shows a couple of obvious sides of this genius. We never see what made him tick,. we never really see anything beyond the surface.
Ewan McGregor tries very hard to flesh out the character but is left floundering in the air. he nails his voice, but somehow reads ‘older.’ Rebecca Dayan steals her scenes as Elsa Peretti, and I rally like Krysta Rodriguez’s Liza Minnelli, which really could have gone so bad.
The show could have been a camp classic, but it’s too shy to be that. It’s also not a blushing wallflower, it certainly can’t be described as square. the latter episodes fare better than the first ones, a conundrum for Murphy who almost always does things in the opposite direction. It’s not boring, for sure, but I found myself wandering at times. Or maybe I just can’t make up my mind? It is pretty to look at, and they nail the costume and production design. Still, it feels a tad hollow.