Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by geoffr, Jan 6, 2016.
That's your opinion and it isn't shared by many.
Other than the dismal ratings and poor reviews, yeah.
The current rating at IMDB is 8.0, so a fair amount of people who watched it liked it.
I did notice that even on rottentomatoes.com it had a 77% critic raiting and a 72% viewer rating. But not that many people watched it. So 80% of 700K who did watch it might have liked it but there was plenty of people who didn't even bother tuning in.
Yeah. And I think a lot of who gave the pilot a chance might not have gone beyond that. It was a chore to get through. It's too bad because I think it got a lot better after that and has some real nice sequences.
I agree it did get better. I noticed the first ep viewing figures were still pretty bad. Perhaps the reviews turned people off?
Even if the show had received the bad reviews, if viewing figures were better, I think HBO would've given it another chance. But $100M for the first season 01, how the heck did they spend that much money?!
I've been thinking about the show a little recently, in ways I didn't think of it before. I have to wonder what audience were they trying to attract? If older, they missed the mark, if younger, they missed the mark. Maybe that's the problem; they didn't target any audience specifically enough and tried to appeal to a broader one?
To your note about what audience they were trying to reach...males over 40.
My wife had absolutely NO CLUE about most of the 70's rock references.
What did they spend the money on? Coke?
lol. Maybe health club memberships & smoothies considering the people involved
I'd love to see a P&L statement.
Maybe not enough males over 40 cared then? Or perhaps most didn't care to watch classic rock being dumped for punk?
I'm 42 and it worked for me. Why do you think they missed the mark if going for an older audience? I suppose some of the crowd here likely took offense to Nick breaking a Tull record and referring to the sound of The Kinks (or The Nasty Boys playing a Kinks tune) as oatmeal.
That might be it. Not enough Beatles and The Who fawning, though I don't remember the show taking any particular shots at those bands.
I'll be 46 in a few weeks and I stuck with it, so beats me!
They didn't take pot shots at the cooler bands but, I don't know, maybe the generally story line of classic rock being trumped by something new i.e. punk didn't go over well? Maybe those that might be interested in that story line didn't care to watch a tv show about it either?
Maybe, not matter how good it was, no one really cared to watch a show about the music business in the 70's?
Lot's of maybe's, not many answers from me unfortunately
Personally, I think the problem was that it was ultimately just (watchable) bad TV. I'm not trying to upset fans of the show--heck I watched every episode and even enjoyed a few--but given the current climate of television this show basically did nothing right. Almost every aspect of Vinyl was either contrived or off the mark. It somehow managed to suck nearly all the magic out of what was supposed to represent a high point in music. Mad Men practically made advertising seem more virtuous by comparison--that show being just one example of something that Vinyl was trying to imitate. But why stop there? Vinyl was just as much a tonally confused version of Forrest Gump, a scrapped page from the Scorsese gangster playbook, a primarily white prequel to Empire, or perhaps even an unnecessary companion piece to Halt an Catch Fire. From the get go there was an aura about the show that it was a vanity project for Mick Jagger. Regardless of whether or not that's true, that's what Vinyl felt like--a team of talented writers and actors and producers trying to create a good TV show out of thin air by basically infusing it with all the hallmarks of reputable modern day television. But without that initial spark of true ingenuity a show will end up like this one--a mess of compelling plot devices that worked against each other more than they did with each other. The murder in the pilot episode was in and of itself enough to doom to this show to the annals of failed television.
You are absolutely on point. If it "upsets" people, tough. The show was cancelled. Which means you are correct.
I don't agree it was bad TV, but I am with you on the murder plot. Seems like even those who liked it would agree that the murder/mob ties storyline was the least interesting part of the show. I guess they wanted to give Richie the added stress of what he did and who he's now in bed with so that his ultimate triumph is better, but I think with his financially foundering label, deteriorating relationships with his friends/partners, marital problems and drug problems he had plenty enough. Dropping the murder/mob would have given the show more time to have fun with some positive aspects of music. Ah well...
Yes to this
The Audience: I've written about this earlier in the thread so I'll be brief here: The audience for fictional rock n' roll drama is very limited. Pop culture has moved on from this music we love, sad but true. Nearly every rock themed movie or TV project has failed as a money maker, even if lauded by critics. I'm doubly sad for that as a fan and a participant in more than a few of those projects.
Add to that fact that the show was far from perfectly made, beginning with it's over the top Pilot, and it's easy to see that this show wasn't likely to make it beyond one season.
The Expense: Vinyl was a period show filmed on location New York City and it's environs, and in one of the nicer stage facilities in town, Steiner Studios in Brooklyn, that's an expensive proposition.
I don't think the show was quite as bad as you make it out to be, but I can't disagree with any of your points. It did fail in a lot of those areas. I've noted many times that a standard element of nearly all Martin Scorsese dramas is that pretty much every character is reprehensible, terribly flawed, and people you would never want to meet. Vinyl goes in the same direction, and that's hard to do for a weekly TV series. I had similar problems with Boardwalk Empire; I think that show was better before Nucky Thompson went off the deep end and started to be a really, really bad guy, killing off relatively-likeable characters. As bad as Tony Soprano was, we could at least like him better ("the GOOD bad guys") than his enemies ("the BAD bad guys"). In Vinyl, pretty much every character was just different shades of black.
I think this is sadly true. The failure of movies like Walk Hard show that movies about 1960s or 1970s rock/R&B characters are very dicey in terms of commercial success. For every hit like Ray or Walk the Line, there's a dozen movies like Get On Up that fail spectacularly -- and that was a $30 million film. TV shows have to find a big audience to survive, and I'm not sure the subject matter can drive a successful TV series.
The problem is you can't do a surface shlock job with a classic rock or pop bio, or a film about classic rock in general.
Fans are fanatical and to try toe the line too draw in a general audience is a total indication that the producers and/or directors are morons.
Ray worked because it was a classic redemption story and they nailed the complexities.
As a single sample point and someone who's over forty, I fall into this grouping, which meant I had no interest in this series at all (even though I still love much of the music produced at the time).
I am being a little hard on it. Part of that comes from my own frustration when watching it (and yet I watched every episode--not sure if that makes me a masochist). There were just so many things I wanted them to do differently.
My dream is to do a biopic on the life of Roy Orbison, which has been optioned several times but never made since he died more than 25 years ago. But only if we could do it for under $20 million. There's no way it would make any profit if it were more expensive. And a historical rock movie that takes place in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s is not cheap to do, particularly since it would involve live concerts, tons of costumes, and licensing about two dozen hit songs. I think if it was pre-sold to HBO, then had a festival run and a small arthouse run, it could do OK. But I also get that a general audience is not going to go nuts seeing a movie about a 1960s artist. (I think the Brian Wilson Love & Mercy film had similar problems going in.)
I'm sad about Vinyl but I had a feeling early on it would not be a very successful show. I think they could've pulled it out of a nose dive if they could have gone in a new direction with the second season. But I also believe a huge issue for the producers lay with where the conflict would come from. I think a decision had been made early on that this would boil down to "the record label vs. the Mob," and that's a core problem that can't be easily solved. Even if you could get rid of that element -- they all get arrested and/or killed -- the next issue is, where is the conflict going to come from? Richie vs. other labels? Richie vs. his other executives? Richie vs. his artists? But if Richie isn't that likable, then the audience won't give a crap.
The music scene is a tough nut to crack. Haven't seen it yet, but based on the tepid reaction it's gotten, 'Roadies' is a loser. At least 'Sex, Drugs, & Rock and Roll's coming back soon!
I want to do a show about a struggling band that lives at the beach and gets into all kinds of zany situations. Oh wait.......
Yea, you're not topping the tales told of The Zach Attack through Saved by the Bell's multi-season run. Just not going to happen.
Sometimes, good shows are cancelled for the simple reason that they couldn't find an audience. In this case, the show wasn't good enough.
They over promised, and under delivered...by a whopping margin.
When you have names like Jagger and Marty S involved, and Bobby Cannavale and Olivia Wilde..you had better deliver a pay load
like no other. The characters were reprehensible, the scripts sucked, and Marty worst instincts, namely his uncontrollable urge
to put on screen his teen age fantasies, were not reigned in. It was like a horrible car crash, you looked, but then tried to forget
you ever saw it.
I hear what you are saying, but the suckiest shows on HBO and Showtime were the ones that never made it. Doesn't "not finding an audience" mean
But then again, Mick murdered the James Brown pic, so the writing was on the wall. I mean for Chrisake, one of the most dynamic and explosive characters in
rock n roll and you do a glossy Made For TV POS style movie? If I want to see James Brown tear it up onstage I will cue up the hundred or so
live DVDs that are available. Why would I want to watch a fake James Brown dance and sing for two hours? He blew an opportunity to get DOWN with it.