Review of "Vinyl" on HBO From The TV MegaSite

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"Vinyl" review by Suzanne 3/11/16
Airs Sundays 9pm on HBO

If you like Martin Scorsese movies, you'll probably like this series. He created it, along with Mick Jagger and a few other guys. It has very good actors, such as star Bobby Cannavale, as well as Ray Romano, Olivia Wilde, and many others. The writing is good, but it's not what I would call tight. There is a lot of self indulgence going on here. They're not afraid to explore various nuances and character moments that others might cut out. I guess you can do that when you're a big powerful director/writer and HBO lets you do what you want.

The show takes place in the early 70's, and they seem to do a fair job of getting the clothes and other styles right. Cannavale plays Richie Finestra, president of an aging record company.  He has dark secrets, and we see some of them via flashback. He also does a lot of drugs and drinks a lot, and his wife is not too pleased about that.

His partners at the record company are happy that they're about to sell the company to Germany's Polydor, but something happens to Richie at the end of the first episode that changes everything. That scene really shocked me and made me want to watch the next episode.  The show really does grab you when you're not expecting it, and reels you in.

The characters are really rich and interesting, and the actors do a great job of bringing them to life. It's just that sometimes the story gets in the way of that. Two things that I really like about this is that it's about the music business, and that they use young actors to play real rock stars like The New York Dolls and The Who. I guess having Mick Jagger helping to create your story will give it those kind of great details. There's also a lot of great music, although not as much as I would have expected, given the subject matter.

HBO must really like this show because they already renewed it for a second season. It's definitely a show worth watching if you can get through the decadence and meandering plot lines. It's worth it for the shocking things that happen and for the great performances.


Created by Mick Jagger & Martin Scorsese & Rich Cohen and Terence Winter, this new drama series is set in 1970s New York. A ride through the sex- and drug-addled music business at the dawn of punk, disco, and hip-hop, the show is seen through the eyes of a record label president, Richie Finestra, played by Bobby Cannavale, who is trying to save his company and his soul without destroying everyone in his path. Additional series regulars include Olivia Wilde, Ray Romano, Ato Essandoh, Max Casella, P.J. Byrne, J.C. MacKenzie, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Juno Temple, Jack Quaid, James Jagger and Paul Ben-Victor. Scorsese, Jagger and Winter executive produce along with Victoria Pearman, Rick Yorn, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, John Melfi, Allen Coulter and George Mastras. Winter serves as showrunner. The 10-episode first season debuts February 14th.

Watch the first episode for free!

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