Each was terrible in its own way.
“Roadies,” “Vinyl” and “Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll” all have now been cancelled after huge amounts of hype and millions of dollars wasted. So far, cable TV has not been able to make a hit of rock and roll.
The worst was Denis Leary’s “Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll,” which made no sense from the beginning and just kept getting worse. Leary was too old to play an ex punk rocker, but his character really wasn’t a punk but just a never-was bar band rocker. He was a loser, and no one wants to celebrate a loser week after week.
“Vinyl” was like a story told by someone who read a lot of magazine stories about the 70s, and heard about cocaine. It was all fourth hand, quite unbelievable, very artificial. Bobby Cannavale’s eyes kept bugging out from drug use. No one was subtle about the drugs, which overtook the music. No one was likeable. The only good thing I saw was Olivia Wilde, naked.
“Roadies” had so much potential. But instead of being “Almost Famous” as a TV show, it was about two people– Luke Wilson and Carla Gugino– who looked like they’d be the parents of roadies.
None of the shows expressed fun or a sense of humor. There was nothing witty in them. And unlike the shows that have worked since time immemorial, there were no core families, no deep allegiances, and no plot. Everything felt like, Look what I found when I Googled Max’s Kansas City!
Cameron Crowe’s great movie “Almost Famous” still holds up because it’s organic. You know Crowe was writing from the heart. The TV shows, including Crowe’s “Roadies,” just felt like treatments that had been filmed.
Maybe one day…