The Sex Pistols miniseries is not the docuseries we expected

God save the screen.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Jun 30, 2022

Even though their career only lasted 3 years, it is undeniable that the British punk rock band, Sex Pistols, completely flipped pop culture and music history. They not only revolutionized what music can be, but they also challenged the establishment with their incendiary sound and controversial antics.


Major rock bands such as Guns ‘N Roses, Nirvana, and Green Day have been heavily influenced by the Sex Pistols, even though their career phased out at the end of the ’70s.


The Sex Pistols have been subjects of a variety of films and books over the years. However, the story of the controversial band is now presented in a 6-part miniseries titled Pistol, which is directed by Danny Boyle and premiered on Hulu last month.


The new miniseries is actually based on Steve Jones’ 2016 memoir Lonely Boy: Tales From a Sex Pistol. The guitarist served as one of the executive producers of the show. But the origins of the series began with Danny Boyle, who is best known for cult classics such as Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting. He liked the book and decided to make a series out of it.


Sex Pistols: The Original Recordings, a new compilation album, was also released at the same time as Pistol. Along with singles and B-sides, it includes notable songs from the soundtracks to “Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols,” and “The Great Rock and Roll Swindle.”


The infamous 1976 interview with Bill Grundy was one of the key moments in the history of the band. This is where they used obscene language and Jones shared that that interview ultimately lead to the demise of the Sex Pistols.


The history of the band and the period surrounding them remains an object of fascination. But Pistol appears to be less of a docuseries and more of a dramatized version of the band’s history. Though the series does attempt to stick close to historical records, there are times when it steers away.


Boyle made sure to state that he never intended on telling a definite story, because there isn’t one version of the truth, or one way that the events played out that could be retold in a linear manner.


Ultimately, the series proposes examining the certain events and elements of that part of history from a modern and contemporary viewpoint—primarily through actively centering the women who played an essential role in the bands’ rise to fame.


You can now watch the full series on Hulu.


Want more music content from Hulu? Check out the XXXTENTACION documentary trailer.


Photo via Hulu