Coming to Bluray from HBO Home Entertainment is the mega-hit created by Golden Globe winner and Emmy Nominee Mick Jagger, Academy Award and Emmy winner Martin Scorsese along with Academy Award Nominee and multiple Emmy winner Terence Winter and author Rich Cohen with “Vinyl: The Complete First Season.”
In New York City, 1973, Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannivale) is the President of American Century Records. Staying afloat hasn’t been easy and German Polygram wants to buy but Led Zeppelin has to be part of the deal. Richie isn’t about to let things go and when the deal falls through he wants to give ACR a shot.
Calling in head of promotions Zak Yankovich (Ray Romano) and head of sales Skip Fontaine (J.C. MacKenzie), Richie demands that the company get its hands on new and fresh acts. Jamie (Juno Temple) has just the band and is thrilled when Richie sees their potential. The downside is working with Julius Silver (Max Casella).
At home Richie has bigger problems when wife Devon (Olivia Wilde) decides she is can only remain sane by reminiscing about the time she was a Warhol girl! Even marriage counseling only manages to send Richie further into crazy land. Back to business he wants Alice Cooper to sign with ACR, talks to superstar Hannibal and even agrees to a Robert Goulet Christmas song.
Devon is deciding what to do about their marriage and heads to the Chelsea Hotel with a friend to remember the good ole days. Richie is on the warpath trying to find money and talent to boost up ACR which includes a stop in Las Vegas to try and get Colonel Tom Parker to bring Elvis their way. It is Andrea Zito (Annie Parisse) who swoops in to give her thoughts on reviving the label.
In the middle of all of this is the heat about the murder of Frank “Buck” Rogers and Richie is sweating. Just when deals are being made – there are other deals, police, executions, overdoses, love affairs and grand speeches.
That’s only season one!
Cannavale as Richie has got this role nailed! He has all the right moves and crazed expressions that keep me either laughing, jaw dropped or saying ‘oh no he didn’t!’ That’s what I like about this character, I never know what I’m going to get and I like it that way. Wilde as Devon is a character I would like to see more of for sure. She’s got the right amount of crazy that could go along way.
Romano as Zak is a character I like and mainly because I wouldn’t have expected it. Once again, you can draw me in if you give me the unexpected. That’s what “Vinyl” is for me, a bit of the unexpected. Do I know where it was going? No. Would I miss being led by my invisible nose ring? Yes! I want to dig deeper into the story and get answers (not that I would in the second season either so feel free to tease me along HBO). It will be tense wondering if that will happen with the departure “Vinyl’s” co-creator Terence Winter. Taking on the show’s season finale, the door is left wide open by Winter.
Am I being a hopeless 70s music fiend romantic? Absolutely. I miss the 70s and 80s so anytime a series comes along to remind me of the ‘good ole days’ I’m going to dig out my flashy disco shoes and flair jeans with the white lion on the side (that was often mistaken for spilt milk) and enjoy myself.
I’m not going to rip “Vinyl” to shreds simply because I always give the first season loads of leeway. Stepping back a bit and letting the characters plant themselves doesn’t hurt anyone except those looking for instant television/cable satisfaction. Sorry kiddies, I like my series to unfold and leave me scratching my head a little. It’s called e-n-t-e-r-t-a-i-n-m-e-n-t and I am entertained.
What makes this series creative and riveting is the amazing cast that just comes together to keep my head spinning. Paul Ben-Victor as Maury, P.J. Byrne as Scott, Ato Esandoh as Lester just to name a few.
Let’s not forget James Jagger and Jack Quaid bringing out the family talent as well. I’m also thrilled to see Birgitte Sorensen again since missing her amazing character of Katrine Fonsmark in the Denmark series “Borgen.”
HBO Home Entertainment brings ground breaking programs in Bluray, DVD and Digital HD for the entire world to enjoy. “Game of Thrones” now joins those of us with media libraries that also include “The Sopranos,” “Girls,” “The Wire,” “Entourage,” “Band of Brothers” and “True Blood.” HBO Home Entertainment can be found in more than 70 territories around the world and continue to expand!
The Bluray contains the special features of Making VINYL: Recreating the 70s (Extended Version), Audio Commentaries with Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde, Terence Winter and more along with Inside the Episodes. All together this four disc set contains over 660 minutes of story, character and music.
Touted as the series that “explores the drug-and-sex-fueled music business of 1970s New York at the dawn of punk, disco and hip-hop,” they should hold that sentence up high. If anyone should know more than me about those “oh you crazy kids” days it would be music icon Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese (you have seen his other movies right? RIGHT!?) I am ready for another season of twists, madness and music – and you should be too!
In the end — he didn’t see the future, he heard it!