In Review

Chivalry review: an explicit but clever satire of Hollywood’s gender politics

Steve Coogan stars as a ‘slimy’ film producer in this #MeToo Channel 4 drama

“It’s a brave comedy that steps up to satirise gender politics in Hollywood in the wake of #MeToo,” said Carol Midgley in The Times. “Thin ice and eggshells are words that leap to mind.” Channel 4’s sitcom Chivalry enters this territory, but it does play it fairly safe.

Steve Coogan stars as Cameron, a “slimy” film producer who has to work with “take-no-shit” director Bobby (Sarah Solemani), after she is parachuted in to “detoxify” one of his films. “She’s the feminist they brought in to put the dinosaur’s dick in the mangle,” one character says of Bobby, which is a “pretty succinct summary of the situation”.

The series, which was written by Coogan and Solemani, has a “wily, low-key humour”, and it is made all the better by the presence of Sienna Miller, who is “fabulous” as the film’s leading lady. Chivalry is “highly engaging”, said Sean O’Grady on The Independent, but be warned: it’s also so graphic that it borders on the pornographic, and the dialogue is a mix of “barrack-room swearing, porn-movie set directions and the sort of intimate technical terms you might encounter during a gynaecological case conference”.

I don’t know whether there are or should be boundaries around what is seen and heard on TV – but “Chivalry has helped me find my own boundaries as a viewer”. This language is “explicit”, said Anita Singh in The Daily Telegraph, but try not to let that put you off. Solemani and Coogan have achieved “what seemed impossible: a nuanced, intelligent take on #MeToo that doesn’t stint on jokes”.

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