Plot: The owner of a record store revisits past relationships through music and pop culture while trying to overcome her true love.
Revision: HIGH FIDELITY is a film that has many followers in the twenty years since its launch. Starring John Cusack, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Jack Black, the adaptation of Nick Hornsby's novel often contains lists that rank the best movies set in Chicago, the best romantic comedies and the best movies about music. Then, restarting it as a television series was going to find some resistance, especially when it comes to a gender reinvention that tends to put the public on the defensive immediately. Hulu & # 39; s High Fidelity, starring Zoe Kravitz at the head, is a worthy successor to the 2000 film, as well as a good ode to music and the resurgence of vinyl record collection. Nor does it hurt that I have a lot of good music, new and old, to complement that theme of the series.
Like the original, this Hi-Fi focuses on the owner of a record store called Rob (short for Robin), played by Kravitz. The series begins with a breakup and Rob reflects on his Top 5 Hearbreaks, setting the tone for the series to do exactly what the movie and the original novel did. Using frequent breaks on the fourth wall, Rob uses music as a coping strategy while trying to determine what happens with it, which constantly leads to romantic failure and depressive consequences. Where John Cusack's Rob had a Top 5 populated by girls of his life, Rob de Kravitz has a list that includes both sexes, as well as his most recent boyfriend, Mac (Kingsley Ben-Adir). The scenario is also changed from Chicago to New York and the entire series feels transported to 2020 despite the fact that the soundtrack still covers the entire range, from the old days to contemporary bands.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw8TyNrN2kQ (/ embed)
In his quest to reconnect with each of his top 5, Rob is accompanied by his friends, coworkers at Championship Vinyl. Where the film had the shy Dick (Todd Louiso) and the very open Barry (Jack Black), this new version takes some liberties with Rob's friends. Instead of Dick, we now have Simon (David Holmes), Rob's ex-boyfriend, as well as Cherise (Da & # 39; Vine Joy Randolph) instead of Barry. Randolph, who comes from a great twist in DOLEMITE IS MY NAME, has the task of replacing Jack Black by making Cherise an aspiring musician bigger than life with very strong opinions about music and life. Both Simon and Cherise are much more important roles in this version of the story than in the movie and it gives Rob some unique voices to bounce, be it music or his desire to reconnect with each of his former partners.
The biggest difference in changing Rob from a male to a female character is the way they process their emotions. John Cusack presented a much more angry character who saw music as sacred and something vital to inform his relationships with his romantic partners. Zoe Kravitz's take is still intrinsically connected to the music she loves, but her emotional response to her breakups is very different. The paths that both characters lead in the same direction, but this new Rob does it with much more time in his hands. Since this series extends for ten episodes instead of the two hours that the film version had, we can deepen Rob's previous relationships and how they affected her (as much as she affected them). This also includes new relationships that you find as the series progresses.
One of the elements that made HIGH FIDELITY so different was the use of John Cusack speaking directly to the audience. Bringing the viewer to his story added an intimacy that is certainly present in the series of small screens. Zoe Kravitz certainly has charisma and when she talks to the camera, she never feels fake, but neither does she feel as unique as twenty years ago. With the brilliant Fleabag of Phoebe Waller-Bridge taking the fourth wall to another level, High Fidelity ends up feeling a little picturesque. Still, there are some tricks up the sleeve of the creators of the series Veronica West and Sarah Kucserka that I will not spoil here, but that will make music fans smile.
Presented in half-hour chapters, High Fidelity has moments of greatness where the music store configuration is used to show the different personalities that enter through the door and how they clash with the strong perspectives of those who work there. This series has the potential to be a musical version of Clerks combined with the romantic elements that made the film so good. But, despite the great potential, this High Fidelity does not dive so deeply into the meaning of the music that plays as much as it should. Originally scheduled to be at Disney +, the series changed to Hulu when the focus became a bit more adult in nature. I hope that the public connects enough with the character of Zoe Kravitz to allow this show to continue and that the writers can go a little beyond the surface they barely scratch in this first season.
High fidelity premieres February 14 in Hulu.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxXn2PA65XE (/ embed)