"It's a boom time for celebrity documentaries," said Anita Singh in The Daily Telegraph. David Beckham and Coleen Rooney "currently have their vanity vehicles". Now we have the four-part "Robbie Williams" (Netflix), a "deep dive into the former Take That star's tortured psyche".
Each episode involves Williams looking at footage of himself in his heyday, and commenting on it. Williams is pretty candid about his life ("he doesn't even put his trousers on" for most of the documentary, and is mainly seen in his pants or under his duvet). And though it feels like "an extended therapy session", and endless shots of the singer pacing around his palatial home in LA become rather deadening, the series offers some valuable insights into the costs of fame.
As a "hardened" Robbie fan, I was really looking forward to this series, said Camilla Long in The Sunday Times. There is a wealth of material here: 30 years of private footage of Williams "baring his arse", pulling faces, going on mega-tours. But every time something crazy happens, we cut back to the star, now 49 and all skinny, sitting in bed, telling us about his misery, anger and resentment. By the end, I wanted never to be in the presence of this "tedious, withered 'want monster'" again. This is in many ways "a familiar story of fame, excess and a late-in-life descent into civilised domesticity", said Nick Hilton in The Independent. But it's also a "tender portrait" of a star, which combines "titillation and pity as effectively as its namesake does braggadocio and vulnerability".
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