The Andy Warhol Diaries review – Netflix docuseries from Ryan Murphy gets under the skin of an icon

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Andy Warhol is one of the most interesting, enigmatic and talked-about artists of all time, and much more than that he is someone who has dominated pop culture for many decades and long after his death still continues to influence artists, musicians and thinkers.

This Netflix documentary series is produced by Ryan Murphy (he of American Crime Story among many others) and therefore as you might expect is not only a substantial work, but one that has been crafted with skill and care. The programme is written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Andrew Rossi.

What is The Andy Warhol Diaries About?

The series is based on the diaries of Warhol himself, which weren’t really diaries in the traditional sense, but were actually transcripts that his friend Pat Hackett kept of phone calls between the pair. Between 1976 and 1987, shortly before Warhol’s death a regular phone call took place between the pair at around 9am each weekday. It began at first as a way that Warhol could keep account of his expenses for taxation purposes, but as time went on and as the series reveals it soon became a much more deep and sprawling conversation that revealed a lot about the life and mind of Warhol. Hackett released these diaries as a book in 1987 after Warhol’s death, and it is this 800 page plus book that forms the central spine of the six-part series.

As you will see in the review below (always best to watch them if you have time), this series is a mix of the diary excerpts, found footage, interviews with people who knew him and were influenced by him, and reconstructions. One of the great twists is that the sections of the diary are read by an artificial intelligence version of Andy Warhol, which give a strange and quite haunting feel to the show in places. However, as Warhol has in his lifetime said he’d wished he could be a machine, perhaps this is quite a fitting twist to what is an excellently crafted story.

How can I watch The Andy Warhol Diaries?

You can watch the whole of The Andy Warhol Diaries right now wherever you are on Netflix.

Tim Glanfield

Tim Glanfield is a journalist, editor and broadcaster with more than 15 years experience writing about television, film and the entertainment business. He has been editor of RadioTimes.com, a writer for The Times (of London) and the Guardian as well as a freelance contributor to newspapers, magazines and websites across the world. He is author of the book Digital Economy or Bust: The Story of a New Media Startup and makes regular appearances on TV and radio in the UK.

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