TheVine story: “As It Happened: The INXS mini-series ‘Never Tear Us Apart'”, February 2014

I was asked to review Never Tear Us Apart — Channel 7’s dramatised mini-series covering the rise of Australian rock band, INXS. The following timestamped piece was the result. Read the excerpt below or visit TheVine for the full article.

INXS header

Matt Shea revisits some childhood demons to review the first instalment of Channel 7’s two-part INXS mini-series, Never Tear Us Apart. Part 2 screens next Sunday 16th February.

01:30: Let me just say it was my bro, Bob, who was the big INXS fan. Not me. That’s him, with the teeth. My other bro, Ant, is on the right. He’s still grumpy. I’m in the middle with the massive head.

Choice bros

We’d rock around New Zealand on family holidays, and at every stop 11-year-old Bob would be throwing on Kick, singing lyrics such as “Love baby love / It’s written all over your face” like it was the most natural thing in the world. Then again, it was either that or Glen Campbell’s Rhinestone Cowboy. Utmost players.

02:00: Actually, I think when I didn’t want to move to Australia and I was crying on our couch in Wellington like a little shrub it was in part because of INXS. They were one of the only things I knew about Australia and they were strange and Australia was strange. This has nothing to do with Never Tear Us Apart. Sorry.

02:30: Anyway, we’re at Wembley Stadium in 1991, INXS’s most iconic live performance and the one which most people have on VHS DVD HD-DVD Blu-ray (srsly just watch it on YouTube). All I can think is that the guy playing Kirk Pengilly really looks like Kirk Pengilly — surely the cornerstone of any effective INXS dramatisation.

pengilly 1

03:10: They’re very casual about this Wembley gig. I think Never Tear Us Apart and INXS folklore in general would have this as the apex of the band’s career. But the band’s time had arguably already passed. Kick was almost half a decade old. And then there was this town called Seattle and this thing called grunge…

03:46: Four pills?! Fuck Michael you fucking crazy fuck.

04:00: The Wembley gig serves another purpose as a circuit breaker between the real band and this bunch of dudes playing the band. Via a very liberal use of stock footage they become INXS. (Indeed, Google search the band’s name and an image of these guys pops up. Well played, Never Tear Us Apart.) I’m a bit worried about the guy playing Tim Farriss, and perhaps he’s over egging it. But then I remember Tim used to dance around like a dickhead anyway.

05:30: You didn’t think it was actually going to start with Wembley, right? In that case, Jon Stevens would be appearing after the third ad break. No, it’s time for a flashback. Or a flash forward. Or a flash forward, then a flashback. So many haircuts. I’m confused.

For the full article, visit TheVine.

One Response to “TheVine story: “As It Happened: The INXS mini-series ‘Never Tear Us Apart'”, February 2014”

  1. […] The second and final instalment of my Never Tear Us Apart review. Check the excerpt below or visit TheVine for the full story. Read the review of the first episode here. […]

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