Friday, July 15, 2016

Pilot Review: Roadies

Roadies (SHO)
Premiered June 26 at 10pm

I have nothing but fond memories of “Almost Famous,” the Oscar-winning film about journalists, groupies, and a band on the road. This show comes from Cameron Crowe, the writer and director of the fantastic 2000 movie, and it’s not hard to see a number of parallels between the two. The unfortunate difference is that this show is set in the present day, which takes away some of the allure and mystique that the film had being set in the 1970s. This feels a lot more like an uncensored version of “Nashville,” a story that doesn’t seem nearly as evolved or as current as the era in which it takes place. There are recognizable faces aplenty in the cast, starting with Luke Wilson, in a return to pay cable following his stint on “Enlightened” a few years back, in a role that is very fitting for him. It’s too bad that Carla Gugino’s part here is most comparable to the part she played on “Entourage” rather than a powerhouse role like in one of my favorite cancelled shows, “Threshold.” I couldn’t figure out who she was until I looked it up, but the undeniable star of this show is Imogen Poots, who really wowed me in “The Look of Love” at Sundance in 2013 as Paul Raymond’s daughter and has the meatiest and most enticing part here. Keisha Castle-Hughes, Oscar-nominated child star of “Whale Rider,” is also in the ensemble, in a role about as big and significant as the one she’s been playing on “Game of Thrones.” There’s much drama to be found here, and some comedy too, but I couldn’t make it past ten minutes of episode two of this mediocre and unexciting show.

How will it work as a series? There should no be shortage of plotlines and incestuous adventures to be covered, and there might even be some profound commentary about the business laced in with all of that. It could be fun and interesting, but this is hardly the smash hit that “Almost Famous” was.
How long will it last? Poor reviews and an unspectacular debut don’t suggest a strong and lasting future for this show. I don’t see Showtime fighting to save this series, but a second season might be possible if it’s deemed a worthwhile creative direction.

Pilot grade: C+

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