‘The Right Stuff’ looks back and up with first US astronauts

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This image released by National Geographic shows Patrick J. Adams, center, in a scene from “The Right Stuff.” (Gene Page/National Geographic/Disney Plus via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — When Hollywood does biopics on musicians, we’re used to lots of saucy tales of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Not so much when it comes to astronauts.

That changes with “The Real Stuff,” an eight-part National Geographic scripted series that shows the often ugly birth of American space exploration.

Alan Shepard comes off as a cocky, serial womanizing cad, while John Glenn is a little too preoccupied with his place in history, and Gordon Cooper’s seemingly happy marriage is a sham.

The series, which premieres on Disney+ on Friday, opens the day Shepard became the first American to fly in space.

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