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6 hours ago, Dcat said:

opinions on Vinyl?

Bobby Cannavale absolutely sucks as Richie Finestra, IMO.  He has always been a train wreck of an actor, having graduated magna cum laude from the William Shatner school of overacting.  It really sucks when the lead character has zero charisma and there is nothing else to compensate for it.  This show is doomed.  It won't last beyond the first season, unless another character steps up to win the viewing audience over..    Well there is always Olivia Wilde to stare at.  But besides the horrible casting of the lead, what do people think? 

its already been renewed for a second season

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14 hours ago, Dcat said:

Yep. That's right. Scorsese gets two or more automatically.  Hard to imagine two seasons of this.  

was curious what the reviews say.  I went to IMDB and clicked on Reviews for Vinyl.  Here were the first 5 on the page:

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Strange days

4/10
Author: bruce350 from United States
16 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.

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Clichéd, tired, rocksploitation

4/10
Author: ostbloc from New York, NY
17 February 2016

*** This review may contain 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.

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Inauthentic and disappointing

5/10
Author: egeddes from Canada
16 February 2016

*** This review may contain 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.

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Convoluted Crap

4/10
Author: nrwilliams-01435 from Seattle, USA
15 February 2016

*** This review may contain 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.

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"Let's list every 70's rock cliché you can think of and then weave a script around it."

Author: Peter Hayes from United Kingdom
16 February 2016

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?

 

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Thumbs up for Better Call Saul so far.  Living up to all expectations.  Great job as expected by Odenkirk

Want to strangle his brother, even though he was right in the last few things he said to him last week!

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Vinyl:

Gets worse each week.  Acting is horrendous.  Really! Cannevalle is William Shatner II. 

Had it on week 3 with 6 people in the room.  I was the only one left watching 40 minutes into it. One by one everyone walked out to do something better.  What a waste of airtime this garbage is.  

Scorsese must be gettin too old to be able to tell when something sucks.

 

Thank goodness we have Billions, Better Call Saul, Shameless and a couple other gems each week at this time of year.

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On February 25, 2016 at 4:31 PM, Dcat said:

opinions on Billions so far?

I really like the look and feel of this preposterous show.  Acting is top notch by the main stars, particularly Siff and Giamatti. BUT...

the entire premise is so stupid.. as if he could ever be the lead on this case while his wife works for Axelrod in a managerial capacity.  He would have been forced to recuse from day 1.  But if you can get past that major faux pas, it as been fun to watch.  The scene with Axe and Siff in the pool was beyond stupid. But again, fun to watch.

I nominate Billions as the dumbest premise ever, but still tons of fun to watch.

I do agree that I really enjoy the show & love the main actors ... Although the blond chick (Marlin Ackerman I think ... But she's always remembered as the one from the Ben Stiller flick slapping his face and calling him a little p*$$y/b*tch! ... Or words to that effect) is hot ... But a step down from the other stars acting-wise.

the whole show is very well done ... You do have to just accept a couple of the main primesces  & suspend disbelief

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Season finale of Billions was outstanding.  

Show got better and better as the season progressed.  Great job by all.  Complex and intellectual script, great acting by Lewis, Siff and Giamatti.  Siff shined in that last episode. Expect her to win best Actress for it.  Lewis could easily win best actor as could Giamatti.  Nicely done.

Love this series.  Can't wait for next season.  

If you haven't watched it, you're in for a treat.

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10 minutes ago, Dcat said:

Season finale of Billions was outstanding.  

Show got better and better as the season progressed.  Great job by all.  Complex and intellectual script, great acting by Lewis, Siff and Giamatti.  Siff shined in that last episode. Expect her to win best Actress for it.  Lewis could easily win best actor as could Giamatti.  Nicely done.

Love this series.  Can't wait for next season.  

If you haven't watched it, you're in for a treat.

Great, now I gotta get showtime on top of all the other crap I'm paying for...

btw, this thread has been slacking. Couple of updates since I started it last year:

Of the shows I originally posted, I've finished/caught up with Breaking Bad, True Detective, GOT, The Wire, Newroom, HOC, The West Wing, Dexter, Hung, and Entourage. All awesome....some for just being fun, some for actual artistic integrity, and some for serious drama. 

The ones I have left are Sopranos, Deadwood, Rome, Boardwalk Empire, How to make it in America, and based on this thread, Fargo.

Currently I'm caught up with Better Call Saul, and I'm 9 episodes into Boardwalk. Loving both. Monday night's Saul was great...hopefully leading up to the real turning point in the series this coming Monday. And Boardwalk....man. Incredible. Right up my alley. Everything about it has been topnotch so far. 

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On 3/14/2016 at 4:52 PM, Dcat said:

Vinyl:

Gets worse each week.  Acting is horrendous.  Really! Cannevalle is William Shatner II. 

Had it on week 3 with 6 people in the room.  I was the only one left watching 40 minutes into it. One by one everyone walked out to do something better.  What a waste of airtime this garbage is.  

Scorsese must be gettin too old to be able to tell when something sucks.

 

Thank goodness we have Billions, Better Call Saul, Shameless and a couple other gems each week at this time of year.

You have no taste . The music was great . Who cares about the acting .

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20 minutes ago, no psls said:

You have no taste . The music was great . Who cares about the acting .

Music is fine.  Mick Jagger does a good job selecting and arranging all the music.  It's one of the few precious good things about this awful show.   His son is also very good in his role in the Nasty Bits.  But the rest of them, all of them... suck.  Especially Cannevalle. He is ridiculous to watch. Too bad they killed Dice early on.  He was the best thing on this putrid show.

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Oh and Penny Dreadful....smh....what a disappointing finish. It is somewhat understandable since that level of talent in one TV cast cannot be expected to last, but even the Dracula ending was not satisfying.

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On 5/5/2016 at 10:26 AM, Dcat said:

Music is fine.  Mick Jagger does a good job selecting and arranging all the music.  It's one of the few precious good things about this awful show.   His son is also very good in his role in the Nasty Bits.  But the rest of them, all of them... suck.  Especially Cannevalle. He is ridiculous to watch. Too bad they killed Dice early on.  He was the best thing on this putrid show.

Vinyl was such a bad show, a bloody illogical mess with terrible writing, two main characters that had absolutely no appeal or charisma, that HBO canceled it even though Scorcese was contracted and paid for two full seasons.  It is rare that a prior commitment to an icon like Scorsese gets rescinded.  Now *that* shouts putrid.

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17 hours ago, SenorGato said:

Oh and Penny Dreadful....smh....what a disappointing finish. It is somewhat understandable since that level of talent in one TV cast cannot be expected to last, but even the Dracula ending was not satisfying.

too bad PD was canceled.  I thought I was the only one around who actually liked it.  It's done.

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A couple non-superstar comedians I like, Christian Finnegan (of the Mad Real World) and Sherrod Small, premiered a show on A&E tonight called Black and White. Did not know what to expect, wasn't planning to watch but Chapman is going to debut so staying up, I'm laughing - a couple of solid bits early. 

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On 7/28/2016 at 8:30 PM, RutgersJetFan said:

Vice Principals is everything you think it would be given the cast and yet it's still gold.

Works. The boss's house scene-HOLY SH_T!

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Started watching Peaky Blinders this week. It's a little reminiscent of the "one-mess-after-another that only the main character can fix" approach to Sons of Anarchy, but I enjoy it quite a bit more than that show. Need to watch it with volume turned up to about 70 (when 15-20 is normal) just to understand it.

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