Toronto Mike

The Problem with HBO's Vinyl

"A New York music executive in the 1970s hustles to make a career out of the city's diverse music scene."

That's the description of Vinyl. With Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger on board as co-creators, they had my curiosity, but with the HBO seal of approval, they had my attention. I had to see this.


I watched all 10 episodes, quickly deeming it a low-rent Madmen wannabe, but the music and artist "cameos" kept me interested. After all, it's all about the music, and it's pretty cool seeing Alice Cooper, Joey Ramone, the New York Dolls, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, the Velvet Underground, Buddy Holly, DJ Kool Herc and others.

My biggest issue with Vinyl was the acting of Bobby Cannavale. His over-the-top performance of Richie Finestra was just too much, and often cringe-worthy. If he was supposed to be the Don Draper of Vinyl, Vinyl didn't stand much of a chance.

Rumour has it Cannavale has been good in other projects, such as Boardwalk Empire, but since I've not yet seen Boardwalk Empire, I just know him as the guy in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine. As I recall, I didn't like him in that, either.

Vinyl has been cancelled, and it deserved to be cancelled. It's a shame, though. With better writing and acting, this could have been a great deal of fun.

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