Bumpy Start for SoHo’s Roadies

The new Cameron (Almost Famous) Crowe vehicle, Roadies, is being panned in early US reviews.

“This is Crowe’s The Newsroom, the moment when his trademark sincerity crosses over into preachy didacticism,” Entertainment Weekly said of the musical comedy/drama, which premieres on Showtime on Sunday and on SoHo on July 4.

It awarded Roadies a D grade, arguing “cheap cuteness is just as toxic as cheap cynicism”.

Variety was similarly caustic, dubbing it a “Spotify playlist in search of a reason to exist”.

“The first episode of Roadies is more tolerable than the even longer pilot for the similarly themed ’70s rock drama Vinyl, but saying the Showtime programme is ‘better’ than the HBO entry is like comparing a head cold with a broken leg.

“Thanks to undistinguished protagonists and superficial storytelling, both dramas not only drain rock music of much of the vitality they aim to celebrate, they also are sadly indicative of the serious growing pains cable and streaming networks are having in developing dramas.”

The Hollywood Reporter called the first three episodes “massively disappointing” and “another music series that frustratingly gets most of the notes wrong”.

“No matter how many hip band shirts you toss on these characters or how many references there are to The Replacements or Pearl Jam, it feels inauthentic — like actual roadies would never live this life.

“‘How is this a Cameron Crowe series?’ is a question that kept popping up with alarming frequency.”

The answer may not be so challenging for those of us who have endured Crowe’s decline from his heyday — Say, Anything, Singles, Jerry Maguire (which you can view in 4K on Netflix) — to the overrated Almost Famous, his fatuous romanticism of rock music journalism, and all the mis-steps that followed.

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