I started watching the Showtime series Roadies and enjoyed that a lot. Somehow I forgot the name of the opening band in the second episode. While looking for that name (turned out it is Reignwolf,) I ran across some very unflattering reviews of the show. The most scathing one is by Maureen Ryan, Variety’s chief TV critic. Her main beef was with the sexual assault on the character played by Rainn Wilson (Bryce Newman.) So, though I agree in principle with some of the things she is saying, I think she has totally missed the point. To start with, the entire series is a fantasy that is elevating the real life roady-ing experience up to mostly imaginary heights. Which does not make it un-enjoyable only un-realistic, though sometimes reality turns out to be even more un-believable. Be that as it may, she does not seem to take in consideration that most heterosexual males would have enjoyed being treated the way Bryce has been even if, for most, it would only remain a hidden fantasy. But there one main difference between the sexes when it comes to sexual assault: it is difficult to assault a male without his co-operation. The equipment needs to be prepared before the actual intercourse and thus some co-operation is necessary. I guess Maureen could come up with technical explanations that would negate my point, but the reality is one in which groupies took plaster casts of rock star penises and some rock stars traveled with suitcases filled with whips, chains and other S&M and bondage paraphernalia. You might as well try to defend the drug-addled members of Vanilla Fudge for stimulating a groupie’s vagina with a fish. When the drugs wore off, they would go: “Oh my God, we’ve been raped!” I mean the band, because the groupie is not known to have complained.
Bottom line: remember, this is a fantasy. In this particular one the Bryce Neman character, had enjoyed the sex. Trying to look for morality in fantasy would turn the world into one big turnip. Don’t get me wrong, turnips are tasty if properly prepared, but there are times when the only proper edible thing is pussy. Add to this the fact that the music is really good and a lot of the songs are performed by real bands and musicians and you’ve got my undivided attention. So even though the stories are sometimes rambling along a bit, this is a great show and I can hardly wait for next Sunday to come along. Comparing Roadies with Vinyl, the other show I was once looking forward to, I’d say that where Vinyl is quite meticulous in its many venue recreations and potential situations, it falls flat when it comes to real music. In a show about happenings in the music world, the music needs to be featured a lot more prominently, as is the case in Roadies. Where Vinyl plods along like a 1930’s truck, Roadies takes you on a ride in Ferrari convertible with its top down.