Monday, May 24, 2010

Worried About the Boy

The BBC drama portraying Boy George's pre-fame years and the rise of the "new romantic" movement.

Whatever you think of Boy George, you can't argue with the fact he's an integral part of Britain's artistic heritage and that, as a cultural icon, people like him only come once every two generations.

But even if you're not particularly interested in what motivated him into pursuing his popstar dreams, Worried About The Boy will make excellent viewing as it recreates one of the most fertile periods in the history of pop culture.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Britain was at a crossroads between punk and new wave - with at least another dozen youth cultures mushrooming up at the same time: ska, skinhead, heavy metal, goth, mod revival etc.

The rise of early electro along with the legacy of the glam rock years spawned one of the most interesting subcultures - the so-called "new romantic" movement. With his androgynous fashion sensibility and music taste, Boy George found himself at the core of the new eclectic scene.

Worried About the Boy is possibly the first official full tribute to the new romantics ever seen on national television. Thirty years on, this unique "youth subculture" that produced a number of legendary bands (aside from Culture Club, think Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, the Human League, Visage, etc) is finally portrayed in all its glory.

The TV Drama focuses on Boy George's pre-fame days: his spell as a squatter in London, his time as a cloakroom attendand in what was to become the mecca of the new romantics (the Blitz Club) and, above all, the singer's most tormented aspect: his lovelife.

There is one scene when George confesses to his mate Marilyn that he seems to have an uncanny tendency to pull "straight" blokes. His meeting with future bandmate Jon Moss will fall exactly within the same pattern.

And while their love affair may twistedly provide the fuel for Culture Club's meteoric rise into one of the most successful bands of the Eighties, it will also prove their eventual undoing.

Worried About the Boy is part of the BBC Eighties Season.


Lizz said...

oh I watched this, it is brilliant.

Patrick Gray said...

Culture Club remind me of my older sister. She was just so in love with Boy George and desperately hoping that he wouldn't bat for the other side...

Anonymous said...

I thought Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran were at the forefront of the 'New Romantic' movement, rather than Culture Club, a classic pop band competing with Wham for the No1 spot. Or do you really want to hurt me?

claude said...

I'll leave you to it; sort out a point-based system and let us know what the final "new romantic" table was.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Heh (with regards to your comment at 922 this morning Claude).