Monday, March 14, 2016

Vinyl Recap. Season 1. Episode 5: "He's in Racist Fire"

Richie and Devon Finestra: Not-so-happy together.  

What Worked, Vinyl, Episode 5: 
  • Clark's demotion to the mailroom. A bit over-the-top but let's face it....he was spotlighting some pretty crappy acts.  At least he's still in the game.
  • The showdown between punk rocker Kip Stevens and Richie Finestra in the conference room.  This is where the show shines -- when it focuses on the nitty gritty of musicians versus the all-knowing, all-powerful record labels.  Stevens mouthed off to Richie and we thought he was going to take it.  But he came back hard at him: "Shut your big f-ing mouth." 
  • Devon dancing with Hannibal in his hotel room while Richie and Cece watch.  Tense, uncomfortable, almost unwatchable -- but so interesting.  Was she going to head to the bedroom with him? Was Richie going to hit him? Was Richie going to sleep with Cece? Would Richie let Hannibal sleep with Devon to get the record contract?  Would Devon do that?  (Hannibal signs with Jackie Jervis later that evening and Jervis snorts Richie's coke.)

What Didn't Work, Vinyl Episode 5:
  • Julie's scenes with Jamie.  His sexist rant is already old and thin  -- and the show is only in the fifth episode of season one.  
  • Jamie.  Her character doesn't really work so far.  Is she supposed to be the hot girl in the office?  The young record executive with good ears? The rebel kid from a rich family? Compare her character to Peggy's character in "Mad Men" and you'll get my drift.  (Peggy was a clearly defined character with a fascinating character arc that hooked us every season.)
  • Richie's scenes with PR maven Andrea Zito.  The setup was disjointed and not easy to follow.  And the scenes were too melodramatic.  
  • Richie's alibi scene in his office with his dad.  Once again, too melodramatic.
  • The Nasty Bits recording session.  Their music just isn't that good to make this scene even remotely interesting.  
Overall Grade for Vinyl Episode 5: (B-)  The series is turning into slick melodrama, which isn't necessarily a good thing.  It's watchable and even compelling, but it's not especially memorable.  Bobby Cannavale's performance comes across as too much of everything.  He needs to be more coiled and restrained.  

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