Vinyl on HBO. My newest obsession.


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.

Admittedly I’m a tad biased in that this show takes place in 1973, my senior year of high school. The music for all intents and purposes is my soundtrack.

Whatever actual “vinyl” my mom threw out, I just recently downloaded. I had truly forgotten how this particular year changed my tastes in music, forever.

*Check out this link to see the 20 albums that helped shape 1973.

The show has only aired two episodes, but I’m kinda hooked.

The attention to the subtle details of this time, costumes, locations, design and texture of this time, something Scorsese is known for, is simply brilliant. You can’t fake it and he doesn’t. I find my eyes wandering around the frame to see what tiny props, posters, t-shirts, or details are there to remind me yes, it is in fact 1973.

The cast.

The characters are rich and deep. Bobby Cannavale is killer as Richie Finestra frustrated and psycho manic founder and Prez of American Century Records who’s having a “personality crisis” of his own. Trying to rekindle the passion he once had for music in a business that’s clearly changing right before his eyes.

I’m having trouble connecting with his meathead partners….”Julie,” Scott and Skip. Played by Max Casella, P. J. Byrne and J.C. MacKenzie respectively.

Hard to imagine Richie would pick these knuckleheads for partners as they seem to clearly lack the understanding he does for the music business and finding new fresh talent. Or even giving a shit about the business any longer. I’d fire all their asses. I have to admit they are all pretty worn out, torn up and tired of the drugs, the deals, the booze, the lies, all the shit they have been dealing with and dealing out for years to make this company even somewhat successful. The company is bleeding right now but Richie can’t let go.

I’m wondering if they’re the right ones to help bring this company back. It seems just too hard for them.

Zak Yankovich played by Ray Romano is beginning to bring something honest and real to his character for this all night party. His marriage sucks, he’s hurting and clearly in pain and torn between selling out and starting again.

Olivia Wilde as Richie’s wife Devon, former model and Warhol muse kills it on screen. You simply cannot take your eyes off her when she’s on camera. *Drool.*

Perhaps my favorite character is Jamie Vine played by Juno Temple. This overly ambitious assistant in A&R is out of her fucking mind. But she has the passion Richie is looking for to help him rebuild this dinosaur. She’s a fucking keeper.

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 6.29.43 PMLots of other strong characters like James Jagger, Mick’s son as Kip Stevens lead of The Nasty Bits, a Richard Hell of Television and The Voidoids type character. He’s leader of a wannabee punk band trying to break into the business. No spoilers here for those who haven’t seen it yet…..Give it a shot. Let it grow on you. You won’t regret it.

After all…..Jagger, Scorsese and Winter.

I mean WTF?!?!?!?


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