Vinyl Review

HBO’s Vinyl is one of the most anticipated TV shows of the year but does it Rock or Roll?

Vinyl tells the story of record industry executive Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale: Boardwalk Empire) who is on the search for the next big thing.

The series opens in 1973 in New York City, with Richie, who describes himself as a guy with a golden ear, a silver tongue and a pair of brass balls. He is a major label executive at American Century Records and is getting high by using his car mirror. When he hears a concert taking place in a warehouse, we flashback five days, to where Richie is looking to sell his label to a West German conglomerate.

The record company, which has already said no to ABBA, is working on a deal with Led Zepplin. However, the company looks set to fall through as it struggles to find artists and stay afloat in the ever-changing music industry, which has just welcomed a new era of punk and disco.

Joining Richie along for the ride is business partner Zak Yankovic (Ray Romano) (Parenthood), who is the morally questionable head of promotions, and Skip Fontaine (J.C. MacKenzie), who is worried about Richie’s erratic behaviour throughout the series. Will they be able to turn the label around and at what cost?

Oliva Wilde (House), who plays Richie’s wife Devon, also deserves praise for her performance. By the end of the pilot, she seems to have a story that will unfold as the series develops.

Richie is such a complex character and Bobby Cannavale fits the role perfectly, sucking you into the character and the series. Trust me when I say his performance will be rewarded come awards season.

Being set in the music industry of the 70’s provides a backdrop that is full of sex, drugs and Rock and Roll, and with that comes a killer soundtrack that not only sets the scene but tells us a lot about the characters.

But Vinyl is about so much more, and this is only a taste of what the two-hour pilot has to offer. It is certainly going to be a series that is best enjoyed with the element of surprise.

Created by Terrence Winter (Boardwalk Empire) and directed by Martin Scorsese, with input from Mick Jagger, Vinyl already had the potential to be a hit before it even started, and the pilot certainly delivers a show that grips you from the first second through to the final breathtaking shot two hours later. Pure perfection.

Vinyl definitely rocks and will be the best show of 2016,

5 Stars

Vinyl premieres 3:30pm Monday on Showcase and is repeated at 7:30pm.