Netflix's Halston: Miniseries Review

Halston, the most classic and well-structured of all Ryan Murphy's Netflix shows, is the result of his landmark production agreement. At just five episodes, it's also the least structured. Apart from Ewan McGregor's performance as Roy Halston, the end result is a very simple rise-and-fall biography that hits all the right notes, beats and themes.You'd be wrong to predict that the entire story would end in the way you expected. The first two episodes represent Halston's rise, while the third shows his career peak and the last two show his crushing decline. McGregor's magnetic charm is enough to get us through the majority of this story. However, Halston is a character who has evaded his abusive rural upbringing so determinedly that he has created an entire persona. This disguise includes arrogance and jealousy as well as affectations that serve to deflect and deny. Even in his most vulnerable moments, Halston is a drain on those around him. He sees others' needs and wants as betrayals. This is a double-down on superficiality, which can sometimes push us away. Once-famous hatmaker whose lids were worn by Jackie Kennedy, Halston reinvented his self and American women's fashion during the 1970s. In the midst all this, Halston was on the brink of bankruptcy and sold his company and name to Norton Simon Inc. which gave him national fame and mass production. Why is it that Halston's story ended so tragically? You can probably make a good guess based on the era, the trappings and the AIDS epidemic, as well as the fame and fortune. Although this is someone's actual life, we aren't going to be pointing fingers. However, the limited series makes these key events feel like narrative clichés. There is very little in the episodes to make Halston's self-destructive or excessive behavior interesting.Halston Gallery 16 IMAGESLoadingMcGregor portrays Halston with a infectious bravado. Although Halston may not be an inspiration, his drive and real genius make him a good enough character to allow for hanging on and passing friendships. The most interesting interpersonal dynamic in Halston's life is his codependent relationship with Liza Minnelli, a formidable Krysta Rod. However, the series doesn't really dive into any deep enough to make it resonate. The series is almost entirely career-focused, and then it leads us into the paranoia & cruelty that comes with drug abuse. The show ends up feeling almost as superficial and minor as Halston's forward-facing façade. These are Halston's trusted team, who crack and fade in the designer's fog of opulence. Some of them betray him while others he pushes aside during pride-addled tantrums. While Bill Pullman's David Mahoney (who should be the business liaison from Norton Simon that Halston furiously bangs heads with), becomes one of the most important friendships on the show. Mahoney is a friendly, curious suit who not only recognizes genius and art but also pursues the bottom line. This character is the perfect balance for Halston, the showman and the innovator who "sold out." The best part of the series is the one that showcases one of Halston’s greatest successes while also tethering the show to his harsh and calamitous childhood (which we barely get to taste). This was Vera Farmiga's perfumer Adele and Halston’s laborious creation the most successful fragrance of the '70s. While Halston might have broken some of his principles by not being interested in certain projects, he was determined to make sure that it represented him in all aspects. He didn't just make a perfume. He would begrudgingly work on it. It would have been nice if the rest of the series had balanced Halston's work with his inner turmoil.