Vinyl: If You’re Not Watching It’s Not Too Late

Never did I imagine I’d be interested in a show about rock and roll and vinyl records, but give me Bobby Cannavale in bell bottoms and I am down like a clown.

Now that we’ve seen two episodes (HBO has already renewed it for a second season) I can say overall that I’m really digging this world right now. There’s obviously a dream team of players behind the production of Vinyl. You have Martin Scorcese, Mick Jagger, Terence Winter who did Boardwalk Empire, you’ve got a slew of top notch directors, and of course a star studded cast. So fine, there’s a lot of money that’s gone into this show but that’s never a guarantee.

The Story

vinyl-bobbyIt’s some time in the 70s and Bobby Cannavale aka Richie Finestra is in his car on the side of some road trying to buy coke. He looks like a bum at first but then you realize the car he’s sitting in, it has a phone, his clothes are pretty spiffy, okay he looks like someone who’s made some moolah. So you’re wondering why’s he in this car trying to score some coke? Well, you’ll find out in the next two hours that Richie is the owner of a record label called American Century. The season premiere episode was a an hour and fourty minutes long! That’s crazy, and also some moments really did feel that long. But I will say they did pull through in the end, meaning it all came full circle and left me wanting more of the world.

Olivia Wilde plays Richie’s wife, Ray Romano plays Richie’s business partner and Mick Jagger’s son plays a young Mick Jagger.

The Music

Like I said, I’m not a huge rock and roll fan so I couldn’t tell you if a song is a song, or a song being played by someone else. A few people have commented that the show didn’t buy all the rights to the songs they play, which is understandable but surprising because this is an HBO show. So if the music is your only draw to the show you might be a little disappointed when you hear someone else doing a cover of your favorite song. But really, don’t think too much about it. Just sit back, and enjoy the ride!

So, if you’re looking for a new show to watch, I’m saying get on HBO’s Vinyl even if you’re not a rock and roll fan. And even if you don’t want to watch it, don’t worry Game of Thrones is just around the corner.

Magic City Miami

I’ve been struggling to find a new TV show to get hooked on, especially now that most of my favourite  shows are on hiatus. I came across the ad for Magic City in a Vanity Fair issue, and thought it would be my kind of show- who wouldn’t be attracted to a little Mad Men meets Boardwalk Empire?

Magic City is a show that centers around Ike Evans  (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who plays a hotel owner turned half mobster. That’s always the story isn’t it? The good guy trying to make a good man out of  himself but the only way to do that is to become what he’s always hated- a slimy,cheating, murdering mobster. Okay so I might’ve jumped the gun on the murder part, Ike is a good Jewish boy through and through. He started from the bottom as a cabana boy, and now he owns his hotel. He’s done pretty well for hismelf and tries to avoid getting  involved with the Miami mobsters.

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Ben Diamond is his evil maniacal counterpart. After Ike asks Ben to help him keep the hotel, Ben agrees to help him out by buying most of the shares, but reminds Ike that he owns him now. You know how these things work. Ben Diamond is the head mobster in the city, and he’s got his claws right in Ike’s Miramar Playa Hotel. After Ike  realizes asking Ben for a favour usually ends up with someone being murdered, Ike starts to find otherways of buying Ben out of his hotel.

The show is charming, it is visually accurate of the times. Magic City takes place in 1950s Miami, with its swanky hotels, beautiful palm trees and boat loads of money floating around. The show starts off right before Castro takes over Cuba, most of the money that was in Miami during that time was affected by the revolution. That’s obviously going to be a huge element of the show as it moves forward.

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For me, Jeffrey Dean Morgan will always be the dead guy who was in love with Katherine Heigl’s character in Grey’s Anatomy. It’s hard to see him in this role as hotel owner Ike Evans. He definitely looks the part…but when he opens his mouth it reminds me that Jon Hamm and Don Draper are probably the same person…and that Morgan  is just playing the character of Ike Evans. Do you get me? I’m not saying Morgan’s acting is terrible, because it isn’t (most of the time)…I think it’s the way the show is shot that adds this element of pure ‘I’m just putting this cigarette in my mouth because it looks cool not because I actually smoke a pack a day’.  The little things that make the show are the elements that prove to the audience these characters are from the 50s…this is something Mad Men blends in seamlessly…but is so obvious in Magic City.

Some scenes are just dragged on with weird close ups…there are scenes that point deliberately to another plot line, and it makes you feel dumb as the audience. It’s like let me figure it out on my own, in Boardwalk Empire they leave everything for the audience to figure out, sometimes you’re left wondering what just happened?  But it’s better then being spoon fed the story. Am I right?

Overall, I think it’s a good show, it’s sort of like last year’s flop The Playboy Club with Eddie Cibrian. At least Magic City is on Starz which gives the show a higher budget, and they do well on visual style. If you’re stuck on finding something new to watch, give it a try, like I said if you’re a fan of Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire you’ll probably enjoy the show, just don’t expect more.

 The second season of Magic City premieres June 14th on Starz.

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Game of Thrones: Season Finale

I haven’t written much about Game of Thrones and all of its glory, because really no amount of words can sum up how amazing this show is, and how it has been a game changer for all cable network television shows. We all know HBO is a network with some big hitter’s, (Boardwalk Empire, Sex and the City, Entourage)…but Game of Thrones has definitely set the bar for all upcoming shows and shows that are on air, seriously I don’t think anything could top Whitewalkers and Dragons, I mean really.

For me, my Game of Thrones obsession started with everyone in my circle of friends and family telling me how amazing this show was, and that I needed to see it (especially being a film student). Granted, I hate that whole era of medieval times, and anything with shields and swords, but I fell in love with GOT from the first episode. I watched the first season in probably under a month, and recently caught up with Season 2 in under two weeks! Yes, clearly I’m obsessed.

Anyways, the show is so impressive, their sets are so magnificent and extraordinary, you sort of lose your sense of reality through the episode, feeling like you’re actually there, experiencing Jeffrey breaking up with Sansa, or you’re totally s******* your pants sitting with the fat guy watching the white walkers walk right by you!

I don’t want to write any of the spoilers, and really this show is so intricate, if you haven’t watched it from Episode 1 of Season 1, you’re likely to never grasp the true meaning of anything. Trust me, everyone needs to see this, or everyone that has an obsession with film and television, it’s just groundbreaking, and it definitely will go down in our history books as one of the best shows ever made. (Right alongside Vampire Diaries, of course)

It really sucks Season 2 is over, it was just getting interesting, the beginning of this season started off a little slow, but towards the end it picked up, it’s a shame there are only 10 episodes- we’ll have to wait another year for Season 3!

xo

 

The Playboy Club: Shut Down.

I’m really sad to report that NBC’s new prime-time series is being cancelled with only 3 episodes into the season. It actually comes as a shock, I actually liked the show, with its 1960s charm and underlying mafia theme. The fact that ABC’s Charlie’s Angels is still on air…and Playboy Club gets cancelled after 3 episodes is really disappointing.

Hugh Heffner had some thoughts about the shows cancellation- and quite frankly I agree with him! Speaking out on Twitter after the anticipated cancellation, Heffner tweeted, “It should have been on cable, aimed at a more adult audience.” In my opinion, the Playboy Club should have been picked up on a cable network like HBO or Showtime. Obviously, network tv can’t show what really happened in those clubs. If HBO were to pick up this show…they would be able to show the real down and dirty.Also, there would have been a better chance to get some hotshot director working the pilot (like Boardwalk Empire)

Oh well. In other news, don’t forge to watch Vampire Diaries tonight!!

Boardwalk Empire: New Season!!

The much anticipated television series is back for a second season. HBO brought us this fantastic series last year, set in Atlantic City,New Jersey during the Prohibition era.

Words cannot explain how genius this show is, I love everything about it…especially the time warp that sends us back into an era of desperation,politics,and murder. The original series premiere had a ton of buzz around it, especially because it broke records for being the most expensive pilot episode produced in television history. It was directed by Martin Scorsese and cost $18 million dollars! Wow!! It’s no wonder that Boardwalk Empire was picked up for the second season…the day after the pilot aired!!

Tune in to HBO on September 25th 2011 for the Season Premiere.

Here’s a sneak peek…just one of the many trailers.