“Welcome to Chippendales” is a story of unrestrained ambition and desire, among other things. It is the story of a man who wanted to do something big but, in the process, became so apprehensive and anxious that he lost his way and forgot what he wanted from life when he had started in the first place. Inspired from K. Scot Macdonald’s book “Deadly Dance: The Chippendales Murders” and directed by Richard Shepard and Matt Shakman, the series focuses on the life of an Indian entrepreneur named Somen Steve Banerjee, played by Kumail Nanjiani. “Welcome to Chippendales” is inspired by true events, though in many instances, creative liberty has been taken by the makers to add to the drama and entertainment. “Welcome to Chippendales” is that kind of series that slowly grows on you. In the beginning, you believe it to be this mainstream drama that would dwell on the surface and would not take any effort to explore the complexities of human emotions and relationships. But your perception changes as the narrative proceeds. So, let’s see what plans Steve Banerjee had in mind to start his entrepreneurial journey and create his own legacy.
Somen Banerjee Wants To Open A Backgammon Club
Somen “Steve” Banerjee had a very keen business mind. He was a manager at a gas station owned by Mr. Singh. But Somen didn’t want to do that all his life. He didn’t have a lot of resources to spare, but he was audacious enough to aim for the sky. Mr. Singh invited his most trusted manager to his home for lunch, as he wanted to promote him to the post of general manager. But Steve had already made up his mind to quit his job and chase his dream. Somehow Steve had managed to save 90 percent of his earnings and had enough capital to open a gas station of his own. Mr. Singh was amazed at how a man could save almost everything he had earned for the last five years. Steve told Mr. Singh that he had no social circle or any expensive hobby that would make him spend money. Steve realized that even after working so hard for years, he had no respect or standing in society. He craved to do something big and create his own legacy in a foreign land. He had already decided that he would buy a property in West Los Angeles, where earlier a discotheque used to operate. Steve Banerjee was going to open a backgammon club, as according to his analysis and research, not even one such club existed in Los Angeles, even when millions of Americans loved to play the board game. Mr. Singh thought that he had lost his mind, as it was not making any sense to him. Steve wanted to create a sophisticated setting where the players would not only enjoy the game but also have the opportunity to spend some quality time in an elegant and exclusive environment. So, Steve Banerjee bought the place and named it “Destiny II.” Steve thought that just because his business idea filled the lacunae that existed in the market, the crowds would come pouring in, and his club would attract customers from all over the city. But nothing of that sort happened. He forgot that marketing one’s product was the key and unless and until people were aware and curious about it, it wouldn’t prosper. The place was vacant even on the weekends. No celebrity or known personality had graced Destiny II with their presence. In those days, for the success of any club, it was imperative that customers saw the who’s who of society visiting the place. Steve was unaware of these marketing tactics. He desperately needed someone who knew how to work things around, and that is how he met the man who claimed to be the biggest Nightclub Promoter of Los Angeles, Paul Snider.
‘Welcome to Chippendales’ Episode 1: Ending Explained – What Happened To Paul Snider And Dorothy Stratten? What Happened Between Nick De Noia And Paul Snider?
Paul Snider came to Destiny II with his girlfriend, Dorothy Stratten, the Playboy model. Paul looked like an arrogant and ostentatious man who liked boasting about his opulent lifestyle and social circle. Dorothy, on the other hand, was quite down to earth, and even after being named Playmate of the month for Playboy magazine, she was not at all pompous or conceited. Paul and Dorothy were the only customers present in the club, and that is why Steve wanted to create some impression on them. He tried pretending that the place was mostly full and that they were lucky to find it this empty, but Paul knew the reality. Paul was a nightclub promoter, and he gave some tips to Steve. Steve knew instantly that if he wanted his business to prosper, he would have to hire a man who understood the intricacies of the market and had some tricks up his sleeve that would help Destiny II stand apart from the crowd.
Steve offered a 25 percent stake to Paul Snider and brought him on board. Steve was satisfied as he knew that with Paul by his side, his club would become the talk of the town. But contrary to all the expectations, Paul wasn’t able to bring any celebrities to the club or create any sort of hype. He tried contacting the actor, Gape Kaplan, who was also a professional poker player. But it was not easy to convince any celebrity unless and until you had some great contacts. Though Paul had said that he was great at what he did, with time, even Steve realized that he was merely bluffing. Steve caught Paul when he saw that his Rolex had stopped working and realized that it was a fake. Paul accepted that he was not the biggest nightclub promoter in Los Angeles and was struggling to maintain his opulent lifestyle. He told Steve that he wanted to impress his girlfriend, and that is why he had lied in the first place. Paul was a jealous and insecure man. It is said that insecurity is no less than a disease which feeds the anxiety and lowers the self-esteem of a person. Paul constantly felt that his girlfriend would leave him if she realized that he was not the important man that he pretended to be. The insecurity, at times, got the better of Paul. He didn’t like it if she talked to any other man. He always felt that every man she met was just trying to flirt with her. Dorothy felt disrespected because she saw that her boyfriend didn’t have any trust in her. She was a loyal partner, and contrary to what Paul believed, she was not there with him only because of money or status. Things became even worse when Paul took Dorothy to an expensive place for lunch, where she met Peter Bogdanovich, the film director. Peter called Dorothy to have a talk with her and offered her a role in his upcoming film. Dorothy had felt that Paul would be happy for her but instead he lost his temper and created a scene in the public place. The rift between the couple was widening, and it was not because of some actual issue but only because Paul was overthinking and was inviting all sorts of doubts.
The backgammon club was clearly not working, and Steve came up with the idea of opening a strip club for women. He wanted to name it “Chippendales” after the 18th-century cabinet maker Thomas Chippendale. Steve had recognized that there was a hole in the market that needed to be filled. There were millions of strip clubs for men, but not even a single one for women. Women started coming to see the brawny men strip and titillate them. One day, the two-time Emmy winner, choreographer Nick De Noia, came to the club. Steve didn’t recognize him and asked him to leave as it was an all-ladies club. Nick called the dancing and the performance a crass spectacle that was nothing more than a cheap gimmick. Those words stuck with Steve. He wanted his business to be sustainable, and clearly, for that, he needed to give the customers something new every time they came. Steve contacted Nick and asked him to come on board for a couple of months and choreograph the performances. Nick was given full creative liberty and that aggravated the insecurities of an already troubled Paul even more. Nick despised the man and didn’t like the negative energies that he brought with him to the place. He asked Steve to fire Paul from his position. Though Paul was not exactly fired, he was no longer hosting the performances. This made Paul even more annoyed as he saw that Nick was given more importance and power as compared to him.
The Chippendales started making huge profits, and it was crowded almost every day. A long line of ladies stood outside the club each day to experience the stimulating dance moves and have the time of their lives. Though the venture was a huge success, Paul had become a victim of his own unstable mind. He was assuming things, and his insecurities were getting the better of him. In addition to constantly feeling that his girlfriend would cheat on him, he started having issues with the kind of control Nick exercised in the club.
Nick’s tenure as a choreographer ended. Though he wanted to have a long-term association with Chippendale, he didn’t say anything at that moment and left quietly after taking his paycheck. In the last scene of the first episode of “Welcome to Chippendales,” we see Dorothy and Paul lying in a pool of blood in their apartment. The police said that Paul killed Dorothy and then shot himself too. The first episode of “Welcome to Chippendales” ended on a sort of cliffhanger where you still weren’t able to ascertain the kind of man Steve Banerjee was. He looked like a simple man who was sincere towards his work, but surely there was another side to him, hidden underneath that innocent disposition that was yet to be peeled off and explored.