The latest hit from HBO isn’t an ensemble power play. Yes, it’s an ensemble show, but the power of this show is Bobby Cannavale’s American Century record executive Richie Finestra. Finestra is a force of nature who cares about his company – and music – in a way that he is begging his team of executives and those around him to care.
In ten episodes of season one, we’re treated to the way that Finestra struggles for recognition and respect, pursuing deals and artists in a way that speaks to his desperation. With wife Devon (Olivia Wilde) in tow, Finestra blows his way through an arc that encounters the ups, downs, and problems of being in the music business.
Music fans will dig the vibes here, and historical collisions and crossed paths with luminaries like Andy Warhol and Robert Plant. There are mobbed up moments, and cop elements, which show the influence of Terence Winter and Martin Scorsese, to balance the musical influence of Mick Jagger, who also co-produces. But audiences will see a mashup of music and style that is unrivaled this side of MTV… twenty years ago.
In the end, we hope Cannavale’s Finestra is left standing, but there’s no guarantee that will happen. The music scene is just too unpredictable.