User Reviews (93)

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  • I absolutely loved everything about this series and am so sad it was only one season. In my opinion, it was a work of art. The acting was superb, the story engaging and edgy, and the music was breathtaking. Clearly a labor of love by the creators. I recommend that you ignore the hateful reviews and try it for yourself. Just watched it in 2017 and loved every minute of the story.
  • Some people here imply that good reviews on IMDb are paid critiques. Well I hope somebody paid me to write TV shows reviews, but it is not the case.

    I liked this show a lot and I regret that HBO has decided to kill it after a great first season.

    Many people complain of a clichéd depiction of the rock and roll 70s, with all the drugs, the sex, the deals and rising stars. Clichés come up in the first place because they represent an established perception or behavior, so if you set the action right at the time when those behaviors were taking shape, you can't really find fault at this. It is as if you watched a movie about the Belle Epoque and you complained that women look like flappers. It's simply not fair.

    I also find negative reviews are quite contradictory. While some say they have been bored, others point that the frantic atmosphere is excessive or that there are many parallel plot lines.

    I get the feeling that just because many people (myself included) lived through that period, they all consider they own the "real truth" about rock-and-roll and the 70s, and so they tend to measure up the show against their own memories or experiences, and they suppose the series should have reflected their subjective imprint about the time and the culture. This is also not fair.

    I liked the show quite much. The talented and experienced people who set their hands on the show did a fantastic job, the music, story, characters and performances were above standard from every point of view.

    Also, the cast was magnificent, particularly Bobby Cannavale whose performative skills I have come to appreciate, having seen him on Nurse Jackie and Boardwalk Empire. He is an extraordinary actor who filled the role and even offered more.

    If you are open-minded and fair, if you trust on the great team involved in The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire and other outstanding shows, please give this a try. Yes, there are drugs, sex, rock and roll, and excess everywhere, and the embrionary stages of the recording label industry which, in later years, would destroy the music we loved. It is, precisely, the whole point of the show. And it is wonderfully well portrayed.
  • It is a shame they canceled this series. I lived the 70s rock n'roll, and it is the way it was. I lived with those people. Totally authentic. Smoking cigarettes, drugs, the music, the clothing, the "scene", the all of it. Does anyone think that Mick Jagger wouldn't know how to authentically portray the 70s? Martin Scorsese is brilliant. Mick Jagger's son is amazing. The story line is believable and I felt it the entire way through.
  • Let's be clear. This show is NOT an attempt in social realism. Nor, is it trying to present the viewer with an accurately documented history of the biggest rock stars of the 70's or actual industry insiders.

    What it does do, is take an interesting idea, create fictional characters and look at how they behave and react against each other, while referencing real performers from the period. Vinyl is no more of an attempt to convince its audience that what it portrays really happened than say House of Cards is in presenting a factually accurate representation of a US President or the American political system. Once you accept that, you can sit back and enjoy the real story. It is the story of a 'record man', Richie, and his conflicts, his demons, his dreams, his selfishness and his inability to seemingly make any good choices. The characters, like the clothes from the period are flamboyant and loud and colourful. Clichéd? Sometimes yes, and that is partly why it does work. This is not straight a rock 'n roll drama, how could it be with so many interwoven scenes where 'stream of consciousness' musical performances suddenly interrupt the plot? There is plenty of humour here too - perhaps a nod from the creators that they don't take it all too seriously. There is also some subtle and clever historical references (no spoilers), such as a throwaway comment about a food buffet while Mamma Cass is in a background scene, and a scene following a Vegas performance where a clearly unwell but pre-heart attack Elvis rubs at his left arm.

    It does not really matter that the rock stars portrayed do not mirror their real life counterparts as some reviewers on here seem to get upset about. They are incidental to the overall story and if the creators of this show had focused on that then this would have been a story about the greats of the 1970's music scene. Instead, we have something better, a fictionalised story that is set amidst the 1970's music scene. And it is a great story with good characters, over the top stories and excellent performances.
  • this is a real window on the music business. It is a business filled with evil no talent people who prey on artists, suck their blood, throw them away and move on. But this series shows how messed up and unhappy the "hit makers" really are, even after stealing the careers of others. If Frank Zappa was still alive he'd have been an executive producer as he knew full well what absolute--- can I swear?--- terrible people control the music business; how they use real violence to be on top.

    I applaud HBO for taking this on. It hits on so many levels that whoever was the source researcher must be terrified. The delete business was a well known industry insider scam. Concerts? hahaha who took that dough? Chargebacks? How many glasses of top shelf were billed over and over to artists by cats that didn't drink?

    this show is scary to many as was almost famous. The truth is leaking out as procol harum said in a souvenir of London. enjoy this show. says much about our society and be not surprised when justin beiber dies broke.
  • halldors7818 April 2016
    Great show, with great music and its nice to hear some songs i hadn't heard before not just play the typical ones or the typical hit bands. yea it has lots of drugs and sex and stuff like that and so did the 70's, can't understand the crying from some people here about drugs and sex and calling it a cliché, this is like it was in the 70's, and people did smoke cigarettes and did do bad things and they were thought of as cool. but i understand why the big companies started to hire just some people who could sing or could'nt sing, just do anything they want and let them write songs for them like a lot of the so called big stars today that can barely sing or write a song or play an instrument. it must have been very hard at times to control 5 guys drunk and out of their minds on drugs most of the time but still great artists and musicians that wanted to do their own thing and new things, that is what made those times so great and the music even better. but at least we still have thousands of great bands that are big but will never be as big as the bands from the 70's, but at least they are doing their own thing and get a following on the internet and through touring. but back then also a lot of bands didn't get anywhere because of company problems and inside troubles, but having a hit on the radio is probably more about the looks and stuff then the actual music itself. and yea you have to get used to the actors playing the famous people but you will get over it, they do their job well but of course they don't look exactly like the people bot close enough.

    but watch this show if you want great music and a little inside look of the live in the 70's, of course you have seen it many times before both better and worse but why now relive again??
  • I loved this show. I just subscribed to HBO because of this show and after bingeing on it discovered it is not renewed. I'm really disappointed. I loved the music and the acting. I grew up in the 70's and it really takes me back (to the music). Loved it! I highly recommend this to anyone who grew up in the 70's or that is just curious about how the recording industry was at that time.
  • al_johnson_uk24 July 2017
    As a former record producer at the top end of the international rock / pop business who came a generation later than the protagonists of Vinyl, who knows intimately the reality of the music scene that the show documents, I found it superb.

    I can only laugh at the ignorami bleating "cliche" and thinking they're clever for it. Clichés typically become clichés because they're accurate and true...

    I can't even begin to count the people I've met irl who could so easily be characters in Vinyl. This show totally hit the nail on the head, which makes it even sadder that HBO couldn't see the value in it, and cancelled. But they do that with almost every single decent show they produce, so no surprise there.

    The energy, the momentum, the desperation to stay afloat... it's all there. The direction and performances are top-notch too. 10/10. RIP.
  • The dark, organized criminal setting of Martin Scorsese is infused with the gritty, rock and roll ambiance of Mick Jagger.

    The editing, cinematography, and music in the show are all spectacular. While Vinyl does clearly rely heavily on this sense of style (which it excels in due to amazing production values), it also does feature a compelling story set around the diverse and evolving music industry in NYC during the 1970's.

    Bobby Cannavale is fantastic as Richie Finesta, a record company executive who began his career in the music industry because of his love of music which in turn gave him a good ear for talent. However the greedy, dehumanizing elements of the corporate aspect of the industry have disenchanted Richie to the point where he now views musicians merely as products.

    The trials he faces as a business man in the music industry are interesting to behold, from loudmouth rock stars to borderline crazy, drug- addicted radio personalities, to foreign business partners.

    The corporate side of the industry is contrasted well with the artistic nature of the music itself. The powerful and inspirational effects of good music are demonstrated in a flawless fashion during a few distinct scenes. Crowds go wild to the revolutionary sound that was the epoch of punk rock.

    The concept of being "in it for the music" vs "selling out" is also a reoccurring theme seen in Vinyl. The heart and soul of a good musician longing to sing the blues outweighs the temptation of selling out to a big record company. Richie's thrill of discovering new and exciting artists is at odds with his plan to sell his record company.

    The themes depicted in the pilot episode of Vinyl are exciting and clearly come from an experienced eye (Jagger's). This makes the show all the more exciting to behold. Only time will tell if they are built upon in a manner as compelling as that seen in the premiere.
  • Vinyl, A New York music executive in the 1970s hustles to make a career out of the city's diverse music scene. Created by Rich Cohen, Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese you wouldn't think it could go wrong. Ah, but it does. I can forgive the inaccuracies. This isn't a documentary even though real life musicians are depicted. It has that loose fast pace the Scorsese is know for, which I adore. The biggest problem is the budget. 30 mil on the first episode? The problem may be the use of so much copyrighted material and people. DJ Kool Herc is presently suing because they used his likeness without permission. ($10,000 just isn't enough, eh?) If you don't know who he is unfriend me now. How can they carry on with the average 7.5 per episode? To top it off Casey Bloys is the new head of programming at HBO and BOOM, Vinyl gets the boot. Coincidence? Maybe. Rarely do series succeed in the beginning (Seinfeld had terrible first season ratings). But this could have blossomed into something epic. Maybe it will get picked up by someone else with a big budget vision. A girl can dream.
  • Firstly, the premier is 2 hours long but from the beginning til the end it did not feel that way due to how captivating the show was and will continue to be. I have never written a review, but I wanted to be the first to write this specifically on behalf of this unbelievably interesting, funny, dramatic and overall awesome show. It is not just for music lovers but for anyone who can recognise and appreciate great entertainment. And if you never had any interests towards the 1970's culture and its music, you certainly will after watching this.

    Also any fan of Scorsese's or Winter's work will not be disappointed, that is a guarantee.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I wanted to like Vinyl. It's my time period. I was 20 in 1973 and very involved with local music and musicians. But Vinyl is not really about the music of 1973. It is about out of touch record executives scheming to find the next person they can screw, both literally and figuratively. So much of it seems like a parody of 1973 rather than reality. The scenes with the German Polygram executives seemed straight out of Fawlty Towers ("Don't mention the war"). The treatment of the Lester Grimes character is pretty much criminal for a man who is supposed to be able to spot talent. Too much name dropping - e.g. constant references in the first episode to Led Zeppelin, and a painfully awkward scene backstage with a preening Robert Plant. The cocaine use seems like simply part of the required checklist - after all it is New York in the 70s. Have to include massive amounts of coke, right? The acting is uniformly good. The sets are great and costuming nearly perfect. Hairstyles are embarrassingly accurate. (Check out one guy's mutton-chop sideburns.) But for all the surface perfection, Vinyl feels hollow and inauthentic. Nothing but the anarchic punk club scene seemed anything like reality to me. And that seemed to come right out of Sid and Nancy. Beautifully done but ultimately empty and disappointing.
  • I have no real criticisms of this production. It's a tale of excessive cocaine use by a music executive and his downward spiral, which sports a beautiful array of gravitational incidents of both luck and ill luck, and very human fallibility that portrait the lead as basically a good enough fellow, though when he does something underhand the viewer is suitably and entertainingly dumbstruck by both his stupidity and his bravado. But his aim is not underhand, and a genuine love of music, and to save his company as a beacon of that music, always shines through sufficiently to help us want to watch the next episode.

    The soundtrack is beautiful. I personally loved the raw power of both the blues-man and the punk rocker the lead takes under his belt. New and old, the soundtrack is sophisticated and, though a tad incongruent and perhaps not always the best choice for an overlay (though usually it is), it is refreshing and also entertaining.

    I read some reviews that criticize the acting. The acting is brilliant. It's HBO. The characters are complicated and well-portrayed.

    It's odd that a story of addiction and its consequences should rivet such interest, but, like other good movies such as Blow, Scarface and Goodfellas, it does. The production is also big budget quality.

    My only small criticism is perhaps the cover of the DVD box, which radiates a certain serenity amid chaos and is misleading. There is no serenity and the chaos is the fun with this show. It's a tale about music and if one is a music lover you should really enjoy this. I eagerly look forward to a sequel.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Simply put - it's clichéd, tired, nostalgia-porn. It's got a checklist for a screenplay, a long list of things that the pilot needed to have - basically a list of nostalgia/rock 'n roll checkboxes, some Scorsese ones and the obligatory HBO ones.

    This is the checklist: 1. Drugs - lots of it. Adds nothing to the story. Peaky Blinders had drug use, Mad Men had it, Breaking Bad had it. Here, it's forced and given too much attention. Vinyl tries to be edgy with something that already gets tons of screen time and hasn't been taboo on the screen or off for a long time. Check.

    2. Sex. HBO style sex. Sex for no purpose. It's bad. GoT's Littlefinger teaching his prostitutes how to fake an orgasm bad. Again, sex on TV is not new or taboo. It's not edgy. You wanna know how bad it is? The executives have a meeting in an orgy. They're all dressed, having drinks at a table in the middle of a 30+ person orgy. It's so fake and forced. Seeking controversy for controversy's sake. Check.

    With both the sex and the drugs - a strong story doesn't care what people think. This one cares too much and tries to hard.

    3. Trashing an apartment. A record executive smashes his guitar on the TV screen. For no reason. Check.

    4. A building collapses during a concert. The protagonist just happens to be there. Check.

    5. Backstage dealings. Check.

    6. Private plane. Check.

    7. Lavish party. Check.

    8. Woodstock reference despite no connection to story. Check.

    9. Mafia-style beating of an artist. Check.

    10. A drug-induced, Wolf of Wall Street type slapstick fight. (Kitchen scene: "Get off the phone") 11. Mad Men's Peggy Olson trying to make her way up the corporate ladder from sandwich girl to A&R. Check.

    12. Marital problems with the protagonist over his substance abuse. Check.

    13. Stage diving/band fights the audience. Check.

    14. Record company screwing over an artist. Check.

    15. Record company employee (sandwich girl) not only sleeping with new band frontman, but literally inventing the very ethos of punk during pillow talk.

    16. People talking about music and nothing else. - "When I was a kid, I used to pretend my mum's broom was a guitar." No one talks about anything else but music, barely any politics, art scene, fashion, sports, club scene, etc. Don't people like anything else? I could keep going. These things are barely connected to each other. It's just a list of targets the screenplay needed to meet rather than a genuine story.

    The problem is that these things I just mentioned are treated as themes rather than events with significance. So it's filled with themes and nostalgia, but little story. It's incredibly boring.

    It misses the point of rock music entirely.

    It shows rock as an insider club, one of VIP sections, private planes, money and lavish lifestyles. Yet rock is the music of outsiders, outcasts, people who have no where else to turn. Even successful rock artists, despite making it, still feel like successful outsiders.

    They are outsiders and outcasts to their parents, authorities, church groups and so on. There were regular protests against rock concerts and albums, but this show treats rock as mainstream.

    It conflates the counter-cultural art movement with the subverted, appropriated, mainstream idea of rock.

    So many missed opportunities.

    For a show filled with talented and artistic people, there is so little comedy.

    The music performances on the show are too long and boring. I don't mind music segments in shows, but these moments are an opportunity to show a montage, to tell a story. One can use the lyrics to tell events that are happening (Breaking Bad: Negra y Azul: The Ballad of Heisenberg) or allude to themes and emotions indirectly (artist sings about his own lover, but it sounds as if film protagonist addressing his wife) But playing music and showing the artist playing the song is just boring. It does not move the story in any direction nor set the mood. This is done several times. It's just a waste of time.

    The 4 stars I gave it are for its technical merits.

    Data shows that after watching 3 episodes, one is supposed to be hooked on the show. I've watched the equivalent of 3 episodes (2 hours = 2.7 episodes of 44 minutes) and I sincerely don't care. I won't watch the rest.

    It is a parody of the times, a parody of HBO and Scorsese's works, checklist and target driven rather than story, event and character driven.

    It is the worst kind of rocksploitation. A must watch for anyone wanting to make something similar to avoid all the pitfalls.
  • nrwilliams-0143515 February 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    There were many teasing hints all through the show of fantastic music artists but I was left unsatisfied with obscure references and small bits of songs that I wished would play longer. The only thing that stood out for me was Led Zeppelin, Donny Osmond and Lester Grimes. I was never sure what, if any, artists were actually signed on with this guys label.

    I had a hard time following the flashbacks and what was going on with sale of American Century to PolyGram. I felt the drug scenes were misrepresented and the whole atmosphere of the 70's music boom should have had more perspective from the audience of that era.

    I was disgusted and irritated with the characters of Joe Corso and Frank "Buck" Rogers who weren't even fun to hate. Bobby Cannavale was good as Richie Finestra but he looked like he was staggering around getting ready for a big blow up that seemed to fall flat when it finally happened.

    Loved the blues song performed by Ato Essandoh, but it was the only thing that gave me chills. Having grown up in the 70's, music was a huge part of my life and I was looking forward to more kick-ass hit songs that would have given me that awesome nostalgia that only music can offer. But it never came and I stopped watching in the middle of the scene when Buck Rogers gets his face bashed in. I find this type of graphic and gratuitous violence unnecessary and sadistic and does not lend itself to the entertainment value of film making. Too bad I was left with the image of it in my head this morning. Otherwise I might not have written this bad review and would have given "Vinyl" another chance.
  • Just watched this fast paced and well acted series.The charcters were interesting and the music absolutley fabulous, Set in the 70s music industry it gives an insight into the pressure and complex people in the industry from drugs ,money worries and trying to find that special band that every music company strived for.i found myself liking certain characters more than others and the plot was good and growing as the series went on,just as things are coming good for the company and the bands,with the added pressures bomb they end the show unbelevable,This was winner writen all over it.Bring it back HBO.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    After 1 episode, 30% of viewers gave it 10/10? And 30% gave it 9/10? Really? 60% of people think this is a 9/10 or 10/10 show? 1 episode in? I've been checking the ratings every week and it's incredibly suspicious. Reviewers are giving it bad reviews on blogs and newspapers, users are giving it low scores, but somehow this is an 8.2/10 show? Shows that get 8 stars and above don't have the distribution of stars that this show has. Any show or film that has a high rating would not have such a high distribution of 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 star ratings. For example, Breaking Bad, rated 9.5 on this site, has in its 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 star ratings: 0.2%, 0.2%, 0.3%, 0.5% and 0.9%. Vinyl has 1.3%, 1.5%, 2%, 2.7%, 3.7%. Check any show on this site with high ratings and 100k+ votes. The 2 - 5 star buckets do not go above 1%. The 1 star bucket is always high because haters gotta hate and rate as low as they can go, but when a show is getting sincerely poor ratings of sensible people giving it 2 - 5 stars, that tells you something.

    This show glorifies payola and chart and sales rigging. It would not be a surprise to me that they would employ similar methods on IMDb. Art becomes life.

    Onto my review: The show is simply not good. There are many great reviews on the user review section explaining the pitfalls and failures of this show, but many of those were reviewing the first double-episode. It's sad to say that 4 episodes in, things only got worse. The first double-episode has a whole list of clichés, of a story not following events by a checklist of random scenes held together by almost nothing at all. The next few episodes did not improve the situation. While the first episode was explosive and rock 'n roll, clichéd as it may be, the next 3 episodes did not keep that level of intensity, but did not use the slow-down to tell a story, but became style without substance.

    Episode 4 had these events - Richie schmoozing his clients for half the episode, his wife talking to a divorce lawyer, clients waiting in the waiting room then getting an agent, the newly-hired agent discussing terms with Richie and one of the guys running the sales scam. There's also a 5 minute Christmas song and another 5 minutes for a live funk song. Most of the episode has Richie lounging in his office, drinking and doing coke with different people.

    We're 4 episodes in and we're already in filler territory.

    This show is incredibly poor and there's no end in sight.
  • Record boss Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale) senses his company is on the brink of bankruptcy due to poor sales and failing acts, but salivation may be at hand via a buy out from a German record company. However that might be the least of his problems...

    This is a mishmash of fact, fiction, fable and myth and not a documentary. For a start The New York Dolls seem to be very popular (as if!) and punk rock seems to have happened years before it did. Fine, but Peter Grant supported Led Zep and didn't take second best for them. He got loud when he needed to, but he wasn't the bull-in-a-china-shop shown here.

    (Don't get me started on the guy playing Robert Plant's accent!)

    How many times do we want to hear the same stories/clichés about rock and roll? While I love it, you have to say it is a bit pathetic in print. Alexander The Great conquered the most of the known world by the time he was thirty, Keith Richards - meanwhile - had written Satisfaction and stuck lots of needles in his arms.

    To return to the plot. Between the clichés Cannavale chews a lot of curtains about what is going to happen to others. The man has a heart - or is it more of a heart than the other sharks and pimps?

    The central problem with flashback is that when the actor is already middle-aged you have to think he would be a pensioner by the time the seventies rolled around. Is Cannavale the best casting they could do? Corruption and creative accounting are popular in the entertainment industry, but few people in it are actually morons. The Germans would look at the books and know what they are buying. They might not be as good with hookers, coke and making rock, but they can read an account book.

    In all pilots various cans of worms are opened hoping that the money (HBO) will be intrigued and see millage. Few of them are anything to do with music or entertainment, because the behind-the-scenes industry isn't really that sexy or that interesting. The product is - but the people behind it are just people with computers sitting behind desks. They may like a bit of blow - but who really cares?
  • The long anticipated return of the Scorsese/Winter collaboration that gave us the genius of "Boardwalk Empire" and culminated with a new motion picture classic "The Wolf of Wall Street". They both return to tell the story of the dawn of the Punk scene in NYC, and the one record producer who saw it all. This Pilot episode recounts his fall from grace, and the moment in which his journey to redemption begins. From the early days of managing a blues singer, to the worst Led Zepplin deal of the century. Everything goes to hell by the end, only until he discovers the New York Dolls in a dingy rocker club. Just think, do you remember the time when you discovered a song that you really loved? The euphoria you felt? How you danced to it? Times that by a thousand, and you'll know how Richie Finestra felt.

    This is a masterpiece of a film.. but it's not a film, it's the pilot to a new HBO series. To say that I'm hooked would be a total understatement. It just doesn't get any better than this. Scorsese and Winter are the duo of the decade. Just as we last saw them on "The Wolf of Wall Street", the editing, dialogue and storytelling is fast and loose. It's total chaos. Instead of sex and drugs, this time, it's music and drugs. It's vulgar, and proud of it. Bobby Cannavale is a damn hero. He is acting his heart out, with every last drag of his cigarette. Olivia Wilde shines as Richie's very beautiful, and very battered wife of his. Ray Romano is hysterical as Zak Yankovich, Richie's obnoxious head of promotions at American Century. The shining star of this episode, however, is Andrew Dice Clay as "Buck Rodgers", renowned radio owner and coke-binging psychopath. A climactic scene at Buck's house, which appears near the 90 minute mark of the pilot, is perhaps the funniest, craziest, musically genius scene i've seen since Dirk Diggler's drug deal in "Boogie Nights".

    My praise doesn't get much higher than that. I'm ready for whatever this show is about to throw at me. Bring it on. Vinyl Rocks.
  • I just had a look at the reviews and was surprised to see so many negatives. I think it's a great show and put it up there with GOT and Breaking Bad. I can't wait for the next episode each time and it never fails to disappoint. As for the main character's acting skills - I think they're great. Can't fault him. Someone suggested he was overacting but he's meant to be when he's high on cocaine. He's meant to be hyper and he plays it brilliantly. Each to his own though I guess - just glad that overall the ratings are high as it seriously deserves it. I like the nostalgia as well - you really feel as though you've stepped back into the 70's. The soundtrack throughout is great as well - there's a real diversity. The only thing I would say as a negative comment is the musical intro each time is horrendous. We scramble to the skip button - it's just a din. Bit of an opportunity missed there maybe. They could have had a good hit on their hands if they'd made a good intro track. Just saying! I heard that it might have a second series - hope so.
  • bruce35016 February 2016
    I am a big Scorsese fan, so I was quite disappointed by the first go at Vinyl. If the first hour of this show was a train, I'd still be sitting at the station. It went nowhere. Things got slightly better about half way through the second hour. This story is so confusing and cliché ridden, I found it stupefying when it should have been exciting. The one-dimensional characters go about their business, but who cares? Scorsese found a way to make the early 70s drug-fueled music scene, dull. There is just one implausible scene after another. Even Richie Finestra's wife, played by the gorgeous Olivia Wilde, has nothing going on and speaks in clichéd sentences. There are so many slow moving scenes, I went to the bathroom and came back and they were still in the same set-up! The entire show has been flat, uninteresting and predictable.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This comes across as an attempt by Mick Jagger to relive the 70s and return to the era of Sex, Drugs, and Rock'n'Roll.

    I ended up having to watch the first episode over 3 different sessions. It just didn't hold my attention. The story was all over the place. The connections between scenes were tenuous. I still have no understanding what the whole point of the build up to the murder was for. It made no sense as anything more than a drawn out process to give an excuse to add more drugs and alcohol to the story after it.

    Bobby Cannavale does really well with what he's given. Very well. He makes me believe he's that character in that moment. Olivia Wilde does well too, although she comes across as a super shallow character so far. Ato Essandoh really shines for such a tiny role so far. Hopefully we get more of that story. Juno Temple ended up being the one HBO made get naked on screen. Kind of a waste when the character had such potential to be otherwise so interesting.

    Based on the first episode, this is one of those shows you watch when you're bored and have nothing else to watch. It's not a show I'd recommend someone goes out of their way to see.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    As of episode 5, these are the plots in the story:

    1. A murder investigation

    2. Marital problems

    3. Infidelity 4.

    A female secretary making her way up in the corporate world

    5. Drug use

    The music scene is just the scene where these stories take place. So for example, in Mad Men we had a secretary going up the corporate ladder in an ad agency, here we have one doing the exact same thing in a record company.

    It's filled with things about "music" but aren't about music at all.

    The show appears insincere and poseur-y. The way they talk about music is not the way artists, musicians or fans talk about it. They talk about it the way an outsider thinks the "insiders" talk. I'm not excluding people or building walls with "outsider" and "insider" - but there are people that make music, work in it or love it, and there are people that don't. When you talk about things you don't understand (which is fine), the least you could do is be sincere about it.

    This show doesn't get music. These are some lines:

    "The idea is new and not fed through a machine so hard that you can't feel the f*скing intestines of the artists and the music."

    No one talks like that. Oh and that secretary I talked about, she invented punk:

    Jamie: That's it. Your persona.

    Kip: What? Not giving a f*ск?

    Jamie: Yeah! Not giving a f*ск. Not giving a f*ск about anything.

    It's just so BS. She's telling this to a heroin addict. "Not giving a f*ск" was not invented by an office secretary trying to get a promotion.

  • csvp18 February 2016
    Defiantly has it's moments, but somebody has mob movies on the brain. Cannavale is overbearing and does not invite much sympathy, despite epic self pity. The cast in general is professional but plastic, with the notable exception of Jamie Vine, and some spectacular support from Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, and a host of excellent bit players who put the main cast to shame.

    Great sets and strong camera work abound. The clichéd music is interrupted by some very nice renditions here and there, like the twist flashback.

    The whole thing sticks of epic egos and rolled eyes, but it's quite a train wreck and certainly well worth a look. :)
  • Pavel-R19 May 2016
    Now here's a show that comes at you like a bullet being fired into your face by a Magnum 45. Scorsese, Jagger, and Winter are all tied up with this hard hitting drama about sex, violence, and rock n roll in that classically Scorsese way.

    Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale) is a coked-out-of-his-mind Scorsese archetype, but this isn't your typical Scorsese outing. This is a story about the underbelly of the music industry, and the blood and guts it takes to get ahead. Jagger and Scorsese both lived in this world of 1970s fight-the-establishment-rock-n-roll-lifestyle, and "Vinyl" captures that vibe and beat from the moment the needle drops on the first episode, to the final song on the last playlist in the season finale.

    "Vinyl" follows a cocky records man named Richie Finestra, who chooses to not sell his company to a willing European conglomerate over plain prejudice, and blind rebellion. What ensues is a chaotic whirlwind of cause and effect, attributed to the faults of Finestra's deepest weakness: ego. But this isn't the story of the misunderstood monster, so much as its a story of bold entrepreneurship, and the dangers that come with artistic integrity and going at it on your own.

    Bobby Cannavale has a raw acting quality that is perfect for a Scorsese lead, and reminds me of a young Marlon Brando; I mean the Brando of films like "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "On the Waterfront." There's some sort of star making quality there, and Cannavale sells the shows dramatic chops so effortlessly. By the end of the season, he really makes Richie Finestra into a great TV legend, like Walter White, or Sherlock Holmes (the Cumberbatch version), or Don Draper, or Frank Underwood.

    This is definitely not a soap opera with lame characters. Often, "Vinyl" is insanely addictive to watch, and every episode pushes the story to unsuspecting arch's or twists. I am not shitting you when I say that I was enormously intrigued by how the characters talked and acted, and was still shocked to have the rug pulled out from underneath me when I least expected it.

    "Vinyl" has a lot to offer in its first season, but it also leaves a lot to be desired, which is a good thing, as I feel many shows often try to say what they have to within their first season out of fear of not getting another chance. But Scorsese, Jagger, and Winter are all veteran talents, and consistently prove that with their good handle on great writing, directing and overall showmanship. "Vinyl," so far is one of my brand spanking new favorites from the 2016 run of HBO shows.
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