Ok, this is NOT a picture of Bobby Cannavale as Richie Finestra, in Vinyl, a show about a record company executive struggling to stay solvent ande relevant in a rapidly evolving punk rock scene in 1970’s NYC. \
(This photo is from Boardwalk Empire when he played “Gyp Rosetti,’ a violent Sicilian newcomer to the Atlantic City Bootlegging game run by Nucky Thompson…played by Steve Buscemi-I just like this Bobby Cannavale photo better, plus I have a soft spot for gangsters).
Both shows had Terence Winter at the helm, who also was behind HBO’s breakthrough “The Sopranos.” I knew from the silence there was a problem with ratings for their new show, “Vinyl.’ I just didn’t think it had come to personnel changes. But it has.
Veteran show runner Terence Winter has either been fired or stepped down on his own. Someone new has been hired. I don’t care who.
The show is great. It’s just not ‘formulaed up’ as per what makes a ratings winner. It’s not all tight and ‘pat,’ like “The Good Wife,” “Scandal” or “Madam Secretary.” And you probably can’t change that. First of all, Cannavale’s character is hard to root for as he more than sows the seeds of his own destruction (before you get into the collateral damage of his wife, kids, co-workers he’s taking down with him and musicians on his roster.
And the deal with the cocaine and booze….watching him relapse…I relate and I remember. I had a huge problem with cocaine and by the time I started ‘quitting’ and relapsing…a process that took ten years and involved many separate ‘years’ of clean time….it just wasn’t fun anymore. I was paranoid all the time and still couldn’t stop for good. Despite the legal problems, constant paranoia and eventual loss of a driver’s license. Time to leave LA.
Cannavale’s character in Vinyl, is still having a blast every time he has one.
We like him, but we don’t totally root for him. Cannavale is doing a great job, but when you’re aiming for gritty realism and a sense of verite, which I think the producers are/were, you can’t always make a show ratings happy.
So, it’s not good enough to have a realistic, credible, disturbing good time. You gotta put pressure on ’em to come up with a ratings winner too? This ruins everything. Apparently, at the network, a good time is NOT being had by all, Mick Jagger and Martin Scorcese included.