Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Vinyl Recap. Season 1. Episode 3: Whispered Secrets

The wife's dilemma: The agony of Richie Finestra's wife Devon
(as played winningly be Olivia Wilde, above) helped elevate  episode 3.  

What Worked, Vinyl, Episode 3: 
  • Opening credits.  Gets better each time I see it.  
  • The opening tribute dinner scene honoring record executive Maury Gold.  The below-the-belt cracks by comedian Jackie Jervis set the tone: funny, deadly, clever and dangerous.  It made me both laugh and squirm (this series needs more of the former).  
  • Richie Finestra's meeting with his staff where they rate the acts on the label.  Sharp, crisp, rat-a-tat dialogue.  An incisive, cynical view of the record industry leavened by some good wise-cracking (thank you Ray Romano!)
  • The argument between Richie and his wife Devon.  Once again, well written with sharp, pointed dialogue.  The battle didn't go over-the-top or last too long.  But it told viewers a lot we needed to know about their relationship and the pain of being his wife.
  • Joe Corso's "Angela Davis" reference to the rockin' Afro sported by Richie's African-American assistant.  I was probably one of the only viewers who caught it.  
  • The Andy Warhol "Do you want to sell it (the portrait of Devon)" scene.  I haven't been a fan of the few Warhol scenes in the series (the character comes across more like something in a "SNL" skit featuring Dana Carvey) but this one was tense and dramatic.
  • Joe Corso putting the squeeze on Richie to get his lover a recording contract.  Yep...that's probably how it works.  

What Didn't Work, Vinyl Episode 3:
  • Richie always rubbing his nose and sniffling.  Yep...we get it.  He uses coke.  Now please move on.
  • Julie's rant about The Nasty Bits and his sexist comments about secretary Jamie Vine.  Too one-note and too harsh.  The character needs more dimension.
  • Alice Cooper scenes.  It was clever how Alice strung along Clark but overall the bit went on too long and was too convoluted.  
Overall Grade for Vinyl Episode 3: (A-)  This was by far the best episode of the series.  Almost all scenes were interesting and well written.  Most of the acting was more nuanced and restrained.  Let's see if episode 4 can continue this trend.  

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