Monday, 20 September 2021

TV review: Myth and Mogul: John DeLorean, Netflix (2021)

This show is very short but it’s nicely made with lovely retro establishing shots that use large-format numbers to indicated the year to which the narrative is about to turn. The numbers are set up on the screen and the years change with support from the soundtrack, scrolling until the correct year is selected. The numbers in these cases are red and in a large, bulky font that reminds you of the shape of the car, which came out in a production model in the early 1980s. 

The car had a stainless steel body and gullwing doors – they opened upward instead of outward – which, in the first batch delivered to the US for a waiting market, failed to open in some cases. This was potentially catastrophic for DeLorean but even more damaging was the change of government in the UK in favour of Margaret Thatcher. DeLorean had secured financial support from the previous (Labour) government to set up his factory in Northern Ireland and to fund initial production but Thatcher pulled the plug on supply. DeLorean subsequently got involved in an FBI sting but a couple of years later won a court case in California, saved from incarceration by a jury who felt the FBI had enticed him into the “crime”.

DeLorean’s life was epic. His wife finally left him when confronted by certain aspects of his personality that she didn’t like. From living the lifestyle of the rich and famous, DeLorean ended up selling watches online and living in an apartment in New Jersey. His legacy is cemented by a film and he was, while working for GM in the 1960s, intimately involved with the movie business. 

He had cosmetic surgery done to strengthen his jaw so that he could better fit in with the jet set, and his wife was a model. DeLorean’s poor upbringing – at least in an economic sense – probably helped to forge his narcissistic personality and his tendency to sociopathy didn’t endear him to some he had dealings with. The series might’ve been longer (it only runs to three episodes) in order to flesh out some details, including his embezzlement of funds from his motor company and in order to better explain a failed business venture involving a cooling system for cars. Overall I was happy with this show and the soundtrack is suitably vintage.

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