TV Review: Vinyl - Season 1, Episode 2

EPISODE: Season 1, Episode 2: Yesterday, Once More

PLOT: Fresh-off his drug-fueled epiphany, Richie (Bobby Cannavale) blows-up his Polygram deal to try and salvage his label.

REVIEW: It amazes me how quickly a backlash has formed against HBO's Vinyl. I can't believe so many people were cool on the wild, two-hour Martin Scorsese-helmed pilot. Part of me thinks the fact that this show is too balls-to-the-wall for our P.C times, with audiences seemingly expecting some kind of sombre period drama rather than the coked-up romp we got instead. Thankfully, for those of us who did love it, HBO has already greenlit season two.

Those who condemned it last week probably won't come-around too much with the similarly wild episode two, even if the premise of the show is becoming clearer. While the first episode might have made it seem like it was going to be all about Richie's coked-up misadventures, the follow-up reveals that it's more about Richie's love of music and his struggle to put his company back in line. Oh, well, it's also about his coked-up misadventures – who am I kidding? It's the seventies, man!

The episode starts off with a great scene, featuring Richie, still on the Bolivian Marching Powder, enjoying a screening of ENTER THE DRAGON a little too much, leading to him breaking poor Ray Romano's nose during a bad board-meeting at work after letting out some Bruce Lee cat-calls. With the Polgram deal in the toilet, Richie sets about reorganizing the business, reacting in precisely the correct way by yanking a Jethro Tull album off the turntable and threatening to fire his staff. Juno Temple's clever Jamie gets a deserved shot at the big-time, even if it takes some grovelling with the sexist Richie (again – it's the seventies music biz). Temple is like the Peggy Olsen of Vinyl, and her arc is likely going to be one of the better ones here, with the genius idea of teaming her up with Scorsese-favorite Max Casella as they try and get The Nasty Bits (led by exec producer Mick Jagger's son – James) into shape.

Notably, Olivia Wilde gets way more to do this episode after being marginalized for most of the pilot. A lot of the episode centres on their Warhol-Factory courtship, and Wilde's chemistry with Cannavale is excellent. She's especially good at the way her performance in the sixties/seventies sections varies so much, proving Wilde's got some real chops and should do really well here.

While Vinyl's still not going to win over those repelled by the first episode, no one can deny Scorsese/Terrence Winter/HBO are making a big swing with this one – and it's going to take more than one or two episodes for people to see the big picture. While it sucks HBO has scheduled this opposite The Walking Dead juggernaut, Vinyl is a crazy amount of fun and a wild ride. Yeah baby, I'm really digging this show. Rock n' roll man. Rock n' roll!

Extra Tidbit: One nitpick - when Richie's watching Enter the Dragon one of the scenes they show (Lee talking to his sifu) is from the 25th anniversary edition. In 1973, that scene wasn't in-there.
Source: JoBlo.com



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