Turn Up Charlie - Series Review


‘Turn up Charlie’ is a new comedy series from Netflix. It stars Idris Elba as an ‘has been’ DJ/producer whose broke and lives with his aunt. At a wedding gig , he re-connects with an old friend from high school who is now a famous actor married to one of the world’s most popular DJs . He is soon thereafter offered the job to be their menacing daughters ‘manny’ , he accepts the job as a means to make money and possibly get studio time to kick start his musical career .

Idris Elba is the super-coolest, most badass actor around today. Whatever role he takes, he turns to gold. In real life Idris is an DJ and producer so being this type of character would come naturally to him . He also co-created this show , which makes it even harder to understand , just what exactly went wrong with this show ?

The premise of the show is great, a down on his luck DJ trying to make it ‘big’ again, but it’s so hard to like it when the acting is bad, the dialogue is lazy and their aren’t enough characters to care about.

Apart from Idris Elba and a few others , it’s really hard to really care for any of these characters. The parents of the show are just downright horrible and probably the world’s shittiest parents. They never seem to give two shits about their daughter and are only obsessed on what is going on in their careers. The mother , the DJ, is high on drugs just about half the time. The father is always feeling sorry for himself, is never at home and is only worried about his career. And yet the writers of the show seem to want us to sympathise and care with them.

As for the daughter , who I think is supposed to be 11 years old, is also exposed to drugs & alcohol , and again we as viewers are supposed to be ‘ok’ with it. She makes friends with another child, who again is 11 years old, who is also constantly on drugs. We are also introduced to another character , the ‘manager’ who is either drunk or high in every scene he is in, and not for humorous purposes just because that’s how his character is. Its as if the writers of the show tried to make it seem ‘cool’ or ‘hip’ to be high on drugs , and that it’s supposed to pretty much acceptable.

The daughter in the first few episodes is likable and has reasoning to her behaviour but all of that just gets flushed down the toilet towards the end and she really becomes annoying.

In the first episode there are glimpses of what this show should could have REALLY been. There’s two really funny scenes , one where Idris’ character is heckled by a party goer for a song request and another where he is forced to read out sponsorships at a gig. We as DJs, connect to these moments and seeing as how big DJ culture is nowadays the creators should have capitalised on this and they should have put more moments of these throughout the show. There’s not enough comedy or heart going on and these moments are few and far between. Its really hard to believe that an experienced DJ and producer had a hand in this show because there is so much going on in the world of DJing that could of been exposed or made fun of and that it’s really sad that none of it was added, It really is a shame and a squandered opportunity.

Idris Elba is one of the very few who shine in this show along with the characters of his aunt and his best friend/flatmate who also bring life and heart to the show. ‘Turn up Charlie’ does showcase an awesome soundtrack and killer theme song. But with these few positive points, it’s just not enough to salvage this show