Sunday, April 17, 2016

TV Show Review: Vinyl Season 1

Martin Scorcese and Mick Jagger have joined with Terrence Winter, who I'm not sure will still be available to work with the show, to make a 1970s drama about the struggles of a record company to make hits during an interesting time in music. Vinyl revolves around American Century run by Richie Finestra and his business partner. Bobby Cannavale finally gets his lead performance after being an amazing villain in Boardwalk Empire and plenty of other impressive performance.

Richie's behavior is often off-the-wall outrageous and his drug usage causes him no end of grief. He ends up estranged from his wife played by Olivia Wilde. She has caught the eye of Andy Warhol and leaves the record company owner for a photographer. Despite Finestra's begging, she refuses to fall for his ploys anymore and put her children in harm's way.

The record company has tons of financial issues after they don't sell to a German company and fall in with the mob. Finestra also has to deal with the fact that he was involved in a murder of a guy that controls the radio waves. The mob doesn't help out much with Paul Ben-Victor, a great character actor who has played plenty of gangsters including the Greek connection in The Wire, moving into the office.

Ray Romano turns to a dramatic performance after a long career in comedy and has some exceptional scenes as another partner in the record company. The episodes where Zak Yankovich and Richie got to Vegas was one of the best of the show. 

There are plenty of worthwhile performances in this show though it takes a long time to get going. The cocaine use is off the charts but this is the seventies. The score, of course, is awesome and it is cool to see this time period depicted again. 

Some of the actors I really enjoyed were James Jagger, Mick Jagger's son who plays the lead singer of the band the Nasty Bits who the record company depends a lot on, Ato Essandoh as a talented singer but his throat was destroyed by a mob attack, Jack Quaid as Clark Monelle, a promoter demoted to the mail room who pushes a new dance track at the local clubs, and Juno Temple as the coffee girl who discovers the Nasty Bits. 

There are other actors that helped this show along and the directing in several episodes was pretty awesome but this show might not have what it takes to go more than a few season. I don't think the ratings are very high but I hope Cannavale gets plenty of new roles!

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