Wham! – The DVDfever Review – Netflix documentary – George Michael

Wham is the mono-worded Netflix documentary which tells the tale of how the pop band came to be, charting its rise…. and fall, once George Michael decided he was, after all, planning to go solo, which I presumed was much to Andrew Ridgeley‘s annoyance, since George was his money tree.

They hit it off straight away, meeting at the start of senior school, with Andrew being 12, and Yog – as Andrew called him – being still 11.

This documentary is more a canter through their younger years, rather than The Cook Report, as they go from nobodies missing the charts altogether, to the biggest band in the UK since The Beatles, and striving for four No.1 singles in 1984, their plans potentially being thwarted as the months wear on.

In fact, when they started, writing songs such as Club Tropicana, and with the demo tape of Careless Whisper it’s interesting to note that these were two of their songs which recording studios just weren’t interested in, and thus go down in history, just like being the studios which turned down the aforementioned Liverpudlian quartet.

They came to my attention around 82/83, when I was about 10, with tracks like Wham Rap, and Club Tropicana, and it all seemed to end too soon when they brought things to a close with The Final in 1986. As George Michael broke away, I assumed he eschewed Andrew for solo stardom, but according to this Andrew was right behind it; and while the latter hasn’t had much musical success, and has largely stayed out of the limelight, Wikipedia certainly confirms he’s made a packet out of royalties from songs like Careless Whisper.

As for the backing singers, I didn’t realise that alongside Shirley, they were initially joined by Dee C Lee, prior to Pepsi, but there’s no chat from any of them in this 90-minute jaunt, unfortunately.

With this documentary coming just days after what would’ve been George Michael’s 60th birthday (on June 25th), the fact this features plenty of archive vocal interview footage, feels as if they reached back in time and pulled all those clips out, and brought them into the present. How come it’s all been in the vault for so long?

It’s interesting when George says he was very shy, at first, so put on a showy persona. I guess a lot of people ‘fake it till they make it’.

Briefly, there’s also interview clips with the band and Timmy Mallett, who’s still about, today, as well as Paula Yates, who sadly passed away in 2000.

Thanks to our friends at Netflix for the screener prior to release.

Wham! is not available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but is on Netflix from July 5th.

Wham! – Official Trailer – Netflix

Detailed specs:

Running time: 90 minutes
Release date: July 5th 2023
Studio: Netflix
Format: 2.00:1

Director: Chris Smith
ProducerS: John Battsek, Simon Halfon
Music: Tim Atack

Himself: George Michael
Himself: Andrew Ridgeley
Herself: Shirlie Holliman
Herself: Dee C Lee
Herself: Helen DeMacque