McCartney 3,2,1 (miniseries)

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McCartney 3,2,1
Written byMark Monroe
Directed byZachary Heinzerling
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes6
Executive producers
  • Paul McCartney
  • Rick Rubin
  • Scott Rodger
  • Peter Berg
  • Matthew Goldberg
  • Brandon Carroll
  • Jeff Pollack
  • Frank Marshall
  • Ryan Suffern
  • Chloe Chapman
  • Paul Crowder
  • Eric Lynn
  • Mark Monroe
CinematographyStuart Winecoff
Running time27–31 minutes
Production companies
Original releaseJuly 16, 2021 (2021-07-16)

McCartney 3,2,1 is a 2021 American documentary miniseries starring British musician Paul McCartney and producer Rick Rubin. The six-part series features the pair discussing McCartney's career, from The Beatles and Wings to his time as a solo artist. It was digitally released by Hulu on July 16, 2021.


The series features a sit-down between Paul McCartney and music producer Rick Rubin, as the pair discuss McCartney's early life, work with The Beatles, Wings, and his 50 years as a solo artist. The series also covers the songwriting, influences, and personal relationships that formed McCartney's songs.[1]


No.TitleOriginal release date
1"These Things Bring You Together"July 16, 2021 (2021-07-16)
Paul McCartney talks about his early years in the music industry, including his boyhood friendships with John Lennon and George Harrison.
2"The Notes that Like Each Other"July 16, 2021 (2021-07-16)
McCartney discusses his influences, ranging from Johann Sebastian Bach to Fela Kuti.
3"The People We Loved Were Loving Us"July 16, 2021 (2021-07-16)
McCartney lists musicians that inspired The Beatles, as well as their formative experiences traveling in India.
4"Like Professors in a Laboratory"July 16, 2021 (2021-07-16)
McCartney and Rubin break-down the methods The Beatles used to challenge musical conventions.
5"Couldn't You Play it Straighter?"July 16, 2021 (2021-07-16)
McCartney discusses the transformations in his bands' colors and sound through the years.
6"The Long and Winding Road"July 16, 2021 (2021-07-16)
Rubin and McCartney go through McCartney's journey as a songwriter and artist, as well as the significance of his partnership with John Lennon.


The series was announced on May 17, 2021, and digitally released via Hulu on July 16, 2021.[2] The trailer was released a week before the series' debut, on July 9.[1] Internationally, the series premiered on Disney+ on August 25, 2021.[3]


Critical response[edit]

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 97% based on 33 reviews, with an average rating of 8.7/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Casual listeners' mileage may vary, but audiophiles and Beatles devotees will love seeing Sir Paul McCartney and producer Rick Rubin come together to talk shop."[4] Metacritic gave the series a weighted average score of 85 out of 100 based on 14 critic reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[5]

Steve Green of IndieWire gave the film a grade of "A–" and wrote: "There's an electricity in the music itself, paired with Rubin and McCartney's parallel reactions to discoveries buried deep in these song mixes, that the show almost doesn't need that added visual momentum. But Heinzerling has a deft touch for when and where to augment the proceedings with an extra light show or to turn McCartney himself into a dolly track pivot point."[6] Writing for Variety, Chris Willman said: "McCartney 3, 2, 1 is such an unerring delight that it sets a very high bar for Beatlemania satiation this year. Not because it's that artfully created or brilliantly hosted, but maybe because it doesn't aspire to impress anyone with anything except how effortlessly it prompts the most talented musician of the last century to empty out a good portion of his brainpan for public perusal."[7] Stuart Jeffries of The Guardian rated the documentary 4 out of 5 stars, writing, "This bounteous feast for Beatles fans sees Paul McCartney dive into the back catalogue with producer Rick Rubin – who then does something truly amazing."[8] Martin Brown of Common Sense Media rated the miniseries 3 out of 5 stars, praised the depiction of positive messages and role models, citing creativity, thoughtfulness, and compassion.[9]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
Golden Reel Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Non-Theatrical Documentary Jonathan Greber, Leff Lefferts, E. Larry Oatfield, Bjorn Ole Schroeder, Kim Foscato Nominated [10]
Cinema Audio Society Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Non Fiction, Variety or Music – Series or Specials Laura Cunningham and Gary A. Rizzo (for "These Things Bring You Together") Nominated [11]


  1. ^ a b "'McCartney 3,2,1' First Trailer Arrives In Front Of Songwriter's Series Debut". Deadline Hollywood. July 9, 2021. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
  2. ^ "'McCartney 3,2,1' Featuring Rick Rubin Coming To Hulu July 16th". May 17, 2021. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
  3. ^ "Paul McCartney's docuseries 'McCartney 3,2,1' coming to Disney+ in the UK". NME. 2021-07-20. Retrieved 2022-07-03.
  4. ^ "McCartney 3,2,1: Season 1 (2021)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  5. ^ "McCartney 3,2,1 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  6. ^ "'McCartney 3, 2, 1' Review: Paul Leads a Hulu Documentary That's a Musical Commentary Track for the Ages". IndieWire. July 16, 2021. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
  7. ^ "Paul McCartney and Rick Rubin Have a Field Day Going Down Beatles Rabbit Holes in 'McCartney 3, 2, 1': TV Review". Variety. July 19, 2021. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  8. ^ "McCartney 3, 2, 1 review – the Fab Four as you've never heard them before". the Guardian. 2021-08-25. Retrieved 2022-07-03.
  9. ^ "McCartney 3, 2, 1 TV Review | Common Sense Media". Retrieved 2022-07-03.
  10. ^ Pedersen, Erik (January 24, 2022). "Golden Reel Awards: Sound Editors Crank Up Nominations For 69th Annual Ceremony". Deadline. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  11. ^ "Cinema Audio Society Announces CAS Awards Nominations for Outstanding Achievements in Sound Mixing during 2021". Cinema Audio Society. January 25, 2022. Retrieved January 25, 2022.

External links[edit]