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The first season of HBO Vinyl came to a merciful end, and the steaming pile of story arcs was, at least, kind of cleaned up.

The Good:

The murder was, at long last, put in the rear view mirror. The most annoying and misplaced story in a show about the music business, the worst part about the whole murder was that Richie never really did it, yet he took the rap for the murder publicly and in his brain. Seeing Richie balance the responsibility of making his label viable again with the presence of his mob investors and former friend might at least make for some coherent story arcs. In short, the show did a nice job of establishing some conflicts for next season that make sense and that actually have to do with the music business.

The Bad:

The Nasty Bits, and all of the conflicts within the band to come, are something to look forward to in season 2. However, James Jagger, unless he is singing or rehearsing, struggles to deliver lines with any believability. Plus, having Jamie move from singer to guitarist while simultaneously trying to manage the band as their A&R (she was fired) diminishes the whole tradition (her mom wants her to join the family business) vs. a woman’s passion to create something for herself conflict that was really starting to take shape in the prior episdoe. In true Vinyl form, story arcs last only to the point where they start to get interesting. Once the arc looks like it might be able to carry an entire season, it is ended after a few episodes and left as a loose end that just disappears.

The Ugly:

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That scene in the end where Richie encourages the cast to trash the office is stupid. The final scene, where the camera takes an overhead shot of Richie standing amid chaos, is, basically, a flashback to the first episode when Richie emerges from the collapsed building in a scene that only foreshadowed how schizophrenic the story telling would be in the first season. The Zak v. Richie conflict, pitting the nice guy that can’t get ahead of the train wreck, looks promising for next season.

Song of the Week:

Throughout the season, various characters mention in passing “new” bands that eventually get huge. This week, Corso feels pressure to play Hall and Oates, and this guy Freddie Mercury has an amazing voice. If only American Century would sign some of them…

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