When I heard about Turn Up Charlie, I have to confess it sounded like some form of Charles in Charge or Who’s the Boss? Basically, a down-to-earth DJ turning into a nanny for a celebrity family. Maybe even a bit of Fresh Prince thrown in there. CANCELLATION written all over it, in my view.
Except the DJ is played by the creator of the show, and it is, wait for it…Idris Elba. WTF? On that basis alone, I would have to up the prediction to RENEWED. Luther, Avengers, Dark Tower, The Wire, take your pick of shows where he had definite presence. Here he is a bit of a fish out of water…he is struggling to make ends meet, and ends up looking after his rich friend’s kid for a day when Dad has to dash off while shopping. He bonds with the kid who is difficult with nannies, and a plan is hatched. Hire DJ Charlie, and get the kid squared away while Mom and Dad struggle with work/life balance. Elba is good, but you knew that already.
Piper Perabo plays the mom, and while I loved her in Covert Affairs and Coyote Ugly, I was a pass for Notorious. I don’t know if she’ll have a big role here, but it wasn’t promising in Ep1. JJ Feild plays Dad, and he’s okay, nothing exciting to see. Two supporting roles of wacky locals are played by Guz Khan (best friend and mooch, Del) and Jocelyn Jee Esien (landlady Auntie Lydia who’s a caricature, not a character). Meh.
Which leaves a lot of the attraction of the show to rest on the shoulders of the kid, aka Gabrielle. She’s nervous about starting a real school for the first time, plus she’s left alone too much so she acts out for attention. Nothing too serious, but well, it wouldn’t be funny if she didn’t have hijinks. Frankie Hervey is the actress, and it’s her first role. She is a bit uneven, but watchable.
In the end, I would predict RENEWAL on Elba alone, and the rest of the cast is different enough not to fall into Silver Spoon territory. But it wasn’t interesting enough to me to keep watching. Okay, nothing special.