HBO’s “Vinyl” skips a beat

By Alyson Jurgovan

Staff Reporter


HBO’s new hour-long series “Vinyl” covers the transitional phase the American music industry experienced in the 1970s while following the journey of struggling record executive, Richie Finestra, played by Bobby Cannavale.

The period piece boasts a few of Hollywood’s biggest names (Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger are creators of the series). While the likes of Scorsese and Jagger deemed a promising debut, the series fell short from the beginning.

The two-hour pilot was packed with enough storyline to fill an entire movie, but of course being meant for a series, it came off as slow, dry and at some points hard to follow.

Viewers learn from the get go that the protagonist is not a lovable one. We follow Richie Finestra throughout his long career in the record industry, starting with young artists in the 1960s, moving to the iconic rock n’ rollers of the 1970s and making the not-so-smooth transition into the punk rock era of the 1980s.

We see how Finestra struggles with staying afloat as what it takes to be successful in the music industry requires more and more as time moves on. His drug issues and lack of presence in his family home combine to make his life a complete mess; add a murder-mystery into all that, and “Vinyl” becomes a hodgepodge of a storyline.

  There are a few enjoyable attempts in the series. Viewers see plenty of cameos of rock legends from the past such as Robert Plant, John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Also, the story line with Lester Grimes pays homage to the exploited black artists that are responsible for popular music throughout American history.

However, for viewers, the series may be a one-hit-wonder.


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