TV Room: ‘Vinyl’ Misses a Step With Punk

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The newest Martin Scorsese/Terence Winter series Vinyl is in many ways like their last one, Boardwalk Empire: A pulpy concoction of jagged historical anecdotes thrown into the HBO antihero blender. This time, instead of bootleggers and crooked politicians conniving during Prohibition in a glitzed-up Atlantic City, it’s an origin story for punk (and potentially hip-hop) set in a rotting 1973 New York.

vinyl-posterVinyl is running Sunday nights on HBO. My review of the two-hour Scorsese-directed premiere is at PopMatters:

It’s easy to see what’s grabbing the attention of cocaine-dusted record exec Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale) at the concert that bookends the two-hour premiere episode of Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger’s HBO series Vinyl. First, he’s watching the New York Dolls, slashing and burning their way through “Personality Crisis” at the downtown firetrap Mercer Arts Center before a crowd of rangy and be-glittered kids with the look of fervent religious converts. Second, although his company, American Century, seems to have once had a few hits, it’s now a creatively irrelevant laughingstock (nickname: “American Cemetery”) that he’s trying to unload to a cabal of clueless Germans before they realize just how cooked the books really are. His life is unraveling, and his juices are dry (more on that in a minute). The guy needs a fix. Rock and roll is there to save him, for the first time in far too long..

Here’s the trailer:

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