Friday, May 13, 2016
"Vinyl" - A Black Hole of Nothingness
As much as I love "Sense 8," (see previous post), I pretty much loath this one...
I watched the pilot episode of "Vinyl," HBO's new series, created by a pretty impressive group of people: Martin Scorcese, Mick Jagger, Terrance Winter. I am a big fan of these guys. Love much of their work. And you would think a series about the early 70's music scene in New York would be just the ticket.
You would be wrong.
Can't really put a finger on why exactly this first episode went so wrong. How many negatives can I jam into a sentence? Insulting, ignorant, stereotypical, cliched, wrong-headed, belittling, degrading, corrosive, mind-numbing, ugly, profane, cynical, jaded. Not so much characters as hideous, garish gargoyles, spewing over-the-top profanities and nonsense.
BTW - I am not an overly-sensitive viewer. I am a big fan of much of Scorsese's work, including his two fantastic collaborations with Terrance Winter - "The Wolf of Wall Street," and "Boardwalk Empire." Violence, drug use, gratuitous sex scenes and prodigious streams of profanity are fine with me, as long as there is a point, a purpose, an idea, a vision. And of course, Mick Jagger is a r&r hero. I still listen to much of his output with the Stones from 1965 - 1978. The essence of r&r!
Still everyone looks bad in this show. Everyone is hustling, needing, wanting grasping with no social or moral center, no redeeming aspects. Which might make for a great story, I suppose, but not in this case. There also seemed to be a bit of odd "score-settling" in some of the scenes, for instance a gatuitious whack at Iggy Pop and Led Zeppelin. Jagger might be drawing upon real-world events and characters, but they really come off shallow, badly-drawn, overly-harsh, cartoonish, and silly. Not in a good or amusing way either.
Even the musical choices seem overwrought, extreme. Sort of annoying. No, I mean, totally annoying and grating. Really, really bad. Not sure I can stomach watching any more episodes. It's probably not fair to judge a series based on one episode, I mean - Do I owe it to these creators to give the show a chance to develop?
The pilot episode: no beauty, no humor, no insight, no spirit... yes pretty much a black hole of a thing... yikes, what a deadly train-wreck!
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