TV Review: FX’s ‘Pistol’ Lovingly Recreates the Origins of Punk Rock in the 1970s

The 1970s punk rock aesthetic that made Disney famous Cruel such success can be traced back to the Sex Pistols, a legendary punk rock band that had a huge impact on pop culture in a short period of time. Effects explores the band’s rise and fall through a six-part limited series streaming exclusively on Hulu May 31. According to the memoirs of Steve Jones, Gun approaches the band’s history with a respect for the irreverent.

(Miya Mizuno/FX)

Centered around Steve Jones (Toby Wallace), the early years of the Sex Pistol reveal the guitarist’s tumultuous past as he leads a movement that upends polite society. From rock music to fashion and language, the series chronicles the origins of punk rock and the band at its center. In addition to the core members of the band (Johnny Rotten played by Anson Boon, Sid Vicious played by Louis Partridge, Paul Cook played by Jacob Slater, Glen Matlock played by Christian Lees), the series also features the strong women who helped the band to achieve great success. hits, including Chrissie Hynde (Sydney Chandler), Vivienne Westwood (Talulah Riley), Pamela Rooke, aka Jordan (Maisie Williams) and Nancy Spungen (Emma Appleton).

If you didn’t know Gun was a 2022 release, you might assume it’s an archival documentary. Stitching together archival footage and settling on a vintage-looking production design, onstage shots of David Bowie performing “Moonage Daydream” flow seamlessly into actor Toby Wallace sneaking onto stage after set for steal equipment. The effect is convincing, creating a blur between what is real and what is being played for this production. The series also leans back into the era with a 4:3 aspect ratio, as if it was all made for TV audiences in the late 70s.

Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) directs the production with a clear vision that translates well to the screen. Adapted by Craig Pearce (Red Mill!), Gun balances iconic musical moments with the grit and drama of the story behind the songs. Fashion plays a central role in the series, as you would expect with a character like Vivienne Westwood among the ensemble. Many of the shots look like a 1970s-style time capsule paired with a typical London landscape.

Although no prior knowledge of the Sex Pistols is necessary to appreciate and appreciate Gun, that probably helps. Not having much prior knowledge, I felt like the story was making assumptions, especially in the first episode, about what the audience should already know. It is clear that an effort has been made not to frequent an integrated audience, but this is done at the cost of a certain alienation from newcomers. However, there is an exciting story to be told against the backdrop of 1970s London at the dawn of a movement. In this 6-part miniseries, the filmmakers are able to deliver the story with the justice it deserves.

I give Gun 4 out of 5 conversations about David Bowie’s lipstick.

Gun premieres May 31 exclusively on Hulu.

Diana J. Carleton