Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story (2022)

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7.5 Overall Score

The scope and danger of celebrity power unchecked

Probably difficult for non-English audience to understand Jimmy Saville's scope

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A very British monster

Jimmy Savile is a man with power in the United Kingdom.  A popular DJ, host, entertainer, and philanthropist, Jimmy has celebrity friends, is contacted by the Crown for help, and is a frequent guest of people like Margaret Thatcher.  The rumors persisted through Jimmy’s career, but as the internet starts to explode, people start sharing stories, and Jimmy’s secrets are starting to become exposed…but is it too late?

Jimmy Savile:  A British Horror Story is a Netflix true-crime documentary.  The story tells the criminal behavior of celebrity British host and entertainer Jimmy Savile (October 31, 1926-October 29, 2011).  The series was released in two episodes on April 6, 2022.

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He hangs with royalty…

I didn’t know Jimmy Savile.  I lived in the UK a bit in 1997 and saw some of the fanaticism that surrounded British celebrities which had a different tone than in the United States.  With state run TV and close ties to productions, Savile was protected and revered by many…and this documentary tries to get into the real Jimmy Savile.

The series can be difficult for non-British people who don’t understand the level of Jimmy Savile.  He’s got the ear of the monarchy and the heart of the people…he was too big to fail in a non-connected and less PC world.  If I were to guess (as an American), Savile would be almost a Dick Clark combined with a Captain Kangaroo…almost a Bill Cosby situation without a racial aspect.

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Power friends…powerful protection

Despite the difficulty to connect, it is an important story about how predators work.  Savile put himself in situations where he could be in contact with younger women and also realized he needed protection.  As a philanthropist, he was believed to be a hero to the general public and having the connections to the public made Jimmy Savile important to the politicians who realized that a close collection to Savile was helpful to him.  People like Margaret Thatcher realized that Savile was a means to keep power and rally voters.

Savile remains a bit of an enigma through the whole documentary.  His motivation, his past, and his actions are hard to pin down simply because he knew how to keep it hidden in plain sight.  He would joke about going after young girls and the joke became part of his shtick…he was allowed to joke about it (and make it normalized in a weird way).  Like a Bill Cosby, the Savile that victims knew, was a contradiction to the Savile that the world knew…but also people around him who didn’t want to see it.

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Gary Glitter and Jimmy Savile team up for Clunk Click…nope…nothing bad will happen here…

Jimmy Savile:  A British Horror Story is a tricky story to tell since Savile is distinctly British in both popularity and humor.  As an outsider, Savile is creepy and dangerous looking…but for those who grew up with him, the story told in the documentary might still be hard to swallow (especially when he did provide for people as a philanthropist).  As much as he helped some people, he horribly hurt and scarred people for life.  Jimmy Savile is a cautionary tale of power and betrayal.

Jimmy Savile:  A British Horror Story Complete Episode Guide

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“Making a Monster”

Episode 1 Making a Monster Release Date:  04/06/22

Jimmy Savile was one of Great Britain’s biggest personalities and philanthropists.  On TV and radio, Jimmy was a star that the Royalty turned to for advice and people like Margaret Thatcher pushed.  As people question his background and the rumors surrounding Jimmy as Jim’ll Fix It continues to be a hit series, Jimmy Savile is revealed to be a predator of dangerous proportions.

jimmy savile a british horror story episode 2 finding the monster

“Finding the Monster”

Episode 2 Finding a Monster Release Date:  04/06/22

The stories of Jimmy Savile’s illicit behavior continues to plague him.  As Savile gets older and the internet becomes popular, stories of Savile’s past begin to surface…but time is slipping away and Savile has protection of the highest power.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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