Monday, July 20, 2015

Pilot Review: Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll

Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll (FX)
Premiered July 16 at 10pm

I've been seeing ads all over for this show for months now, and it's finally here. I wasn't particularly excited about it, but I was a big fan of Denis Leary's last show in which he starred, “Rescue Me,” which also aired on FX. I'm pleased to report that this is predictably depraved and should end up being a lot of fun. I'm not too interested in the music scene, but I think this show will ultimately be about the people involved and what the culture creates. Johnny being asked “Are you anybody?” is a perfect encapsulation of that, and this episode was full of that. I enjoyed the introduction to the Heathens and to Johnny Rock, who was accused of sleeping with his bandmate's fiance and another's wife and tried to defend himself by claiming ignorance and that they didn't actually sleep together. Finding out that he has a daughter by trying to make out with her in a bar and getting slapped was a terrific introduction to a character who seems to be just as fiery as her father, and quite talented to boot. I love that she overheard the whole conversation about what to call all of her body parents between her father and his reunited bandmates and that she even contributed to it. Johnny yelling at the paparazzi for taking pictures of random people is exactly the same kind of defiant grandstanding and speechmaking that made “Rescue Me” so great, and I hope that this show, in a half-hour format, will be similarly entertaining.

How will it work as a series? The band's back together but there are definitely plenty of issues, and $200,000 won't take them nearly as far as they think it will. Watching them interact with each other should be well worth it and I think that the cast is more than up for the task of creating a hilarious dynamic that should prove immensely watchable.
How long will it last? The ratings were far from spectacular, but I think that Leary's reputation might be enough for FX to give him a shot and let the show run for a bit. At this point I would expect a renewal even if FX's newest comedies aren't performing nearly as well as they might like.

Pilot grade: B

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