Was Wham! one of the most exciting pop music acts of the ’80s? One of the most hated? The cheesiest? The catchiest? The gayest?
Whatever you might think about the English pop duo—made up of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, who were still teens when they formed the group—Wham! was everywhere, spawning multiple number one singles, a number one album, sold-out world tours, and even a timeless Christmas classic.
And that was in just four years!
A new Netflix documentary—aptly titled Wham!—will tell the story of two childhood friends who practically became pop stars overnight. Their fame blazed bright and fast, even if critics weren’t especially kind, and they called it quits right when it seemed like they were on top of the world.
Of course, George Michael would go on to become a legend in his own right, one of the best-selling musicians of all time who made history when he came out in 1998.
Andrew Ridgeley, on the other hand, never quite found the same follow-up success ad his former bandmate. After trying his hand at Formula Three motor racing, he also gave acting and his own solo music career a shot, to no avail.
Though Ridgeley has largely remained quiet in the ensuing years, his rare interview provides new insights into Wham! dazzling years of superstardom and gives the doc its structure, as he recalls making music and touring the world with his best friend.
From filmmaker Chris Smith (who tackled the Fyre Festival debacle with Fyre in 2019, and executive produced Tiger King), Wham! takes audiences back on a trip to the ’80s with music videos, archival interviews, and other footage of the guys’ lives on the road.
For our purposes, we’re most curious to see how Michael’s sexuality comes into play. At least in the doc’s trailer, Ridgeley paints his partner as much more insecure about the band’s commercial and critical success, which seems, in part, due to his struggle with living in the closet.
In other words, like many gay men before and after him, it sounds like George Michael had a case of Imposter Syndrome.
Wham! streams exclusively on Netflix beginning July 5. Check out the trailer for the film below: