My Take On…ROADIES on Showtime
In my years as a member of the reviewing press, I’ve come across many a situation where I’m convinced that people are receiving different screeners than I am. They’ll love a series when I absolutely don’t get it. They’ll hate a series that I fall for immediately. Such is the case with Showtime’s ROADIES, premiering tonight at 10/9c (though the pilot is available for early viewing), a show that I’ve been hearing “falls flat” but for which I fell into a hard and immediate love affair with immediately. From Cameron Crowe (ALMOST FAMOUS*), Winnie Holzman, and JJ Abrams, among others, the show is a love letter to the folks behind the scenes of the fictional Staton-House Band, with Luke Wilson as the tour manager, Carla Gugino as the production manager, and Imogen Poots as jaded millennial Kelly Ann who is ready to give it all up for film school.
Wilson’s Bill is as charming as he’s ever been as he starts confronting his lonely middle-aged existence, and I like his relationship with Gugino’s Shelli, whose husband is on tour with Taylor Swift, as they play “parents” to the misfit members of the roadie crew – Keisha Castle-Hughes, Peter Cambor, Temple, and (surprise favorite) Colson Baker better known as rapper Machine Gun Kelly, whose Wesley arrives and lucks into a job thanks to some damn fine fancy coffee. Rafe Spall is the standout for me as the outcast money guy who comes on board the tour to help the band from blowing through their entire budget. He is a bumbling idiot who has no real idea how to be on the road, and he provided most of the laughs for me throughout the first three episodes screened.
With some amazing music and fun guest stars like MToT favorite band The Head and the Heart, the show does what it sets out to do – give us a behind the scenes look of a major arena tour as we root for the folks who make it all work. The cast has a strong chemistry, especially in scenes where they’re all together, and the writing was hopeful – you want to believe that this rag tag group will continue to keep the tour afloat, horrible bloggers, firecrackers, and promiscuous stalkers be damned.
Bottom line: Give it a shot and tell me which version of the show you saw!
* Full disclosure: ALMOST FAMOUS is a movie that I respect but don’t worship, which might help me form my positive opinion of this show….