TV Review: Roadies (Episodes 1 and 2)

There comes a time in every music lover’s life where an artist or band they once idolised, or at least reaped significant enjoyment from, starts to sag artistically to a degree you can no longer support. A lot of the time it’s not even due to a calamitous change of artistic direction or some scandal outside of the work impacting your appreciation. The beats and notes are still there, they’re just stale, because the grip on their skills and understanding of them has deteriorated with time. What was once idiosyncratic and inspiring becomes someone going-through-the-motions with increasingly inferior results. Some artists just seem destined only to be meaningful for a particular time, and when they hang around too long, their hesitance or refusal to update their formula in a meaningful way ends up losing many to whom they were once so important.

It happens with film, too. Quentin Tarantino is very vocal about not wanting to be one of those directors who hang around too long. But it seems relevant to bring up music first regarding the creative force behind television series Roadies: Cameron Crowe, the man behind Almost Famous and curator of some of the most beloved film soundtracks of the last couple of decades.

Largely in part to his own background in music journalism (as detailed in the semi-autobiographical Almost Famous), Crowe is a filmmaker who makes a love of music and its power a key part of a significant chunk of his filmography as a writer-director. And another defining aspect of his works is a palpable sincerity and generosity of spirit. In recent years, with the likes of We Bought a Zoo and Aloha, that sincerity has lapsed into what many would label as corniness or shameless, shallow emotional manipulation. Despite being a theoretical return to the mode of Almost Famous, the register of Roadies, which Crowe writes and directs, is unfortunately consistent with the latter efforts…

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