I’m only giving the TV docuseries Myth & Mogul: John DeLorean a favorable review only because it goes into such detail to tell us the man was such a crook and bad person. Like the docuseries on the Frye Festival, there’s so much you can listen to before you get the idea, but DeLorean was a victim of his own ego.
As I was watching the first of this three-part series, I had to stop and think if I had seen this before. I knew it had just recently dropped on Netflix, but I had to double check I wasn’t watching it again. If you’ve seen Framing John DeLorean, then a lot of this may seem like a refresher rather than an eye-opener.
At least that movie released in 2019 mixed documentary with docudrama as Alec Baldwin played Alec Baldwin playing John DeLorean. That exposed why the complicated history of the automaker went so long without a TV movie of the week, miniseries or biopic being made.
The DeLorean was featured most prominently in the Back to the Future trilogy which is only barely mentioned here. The popularity of the vehicle has lived on for almost 40 years thanks in part to that trilogy as well as the complicated history of the DeLorean Motor Company which was in operation in Belfast, North Ireland during the Troubles of all periods.
The docuseries doesn’t shy away from portraying DeLorean as a bad person. And while many people are busy talking about Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and a number of other billionaires having done unscrupulous things for wealth, DeLorean is no different. He wants to live the lavish lifestyle regardless of profit.
While the docuseries makes well use of the infamous cocaine bust by undercover FBI agents, it seems almost a footnote. More I think was discussed in The People vs. Larry Flynt about this matter than in the docuseries.
The overall theme is simple. Some people just never learn their lesson and it takes a huge downfall. Earlier on in his youth, it is mentioned DeLorean ran a scam of securing money for advertisements in the local Yellow Pages but was busted and given some leniency. For many people who do wrong in their youth, this would’ve been a sign to stay on the straight and narrow.
But for DeLorean, I think it was a sign of how far he could push things. The docuseries keeps jumping back and forth between DeLorean’s life from his time as General Motors to his complicated time in Belfast while seeking funds from the government to the cocaine trial to a period in which he tries to set up an investigative reporter who wrote about the that drug arrest. It does get a little confusing but I don’t think a more linear narrative of DeLorean’s life would’ve told the story more effectively.
The popularity of the car is almost due to its infamous history. Sadly, those around DeLorean are left to be victims of his wrong doings. Interviews with his son, Zack, and ex-wife, Cristina Ferrare, really get to the heart of how they believed in DeLorean and then were left cheated by his actions.