Or Nah? is a feature where we watch and review the first episode of a new TV show. We’ll let you know if it’s worth checking out. As always, these reviews are the opinion of the reviewer, but we’ll try to adequately explain why you should or shouldn’t give the show a chance and provide shows for comparison.
Roadies, is the newest addition to Showtime’s spectrum of original programing, created by Cameron Crowe with executive producer JJ Abrams. Over the decades, Crowe’s movies have followed a similar formula: a focus on a beautiful young ingénue pursued by multiple suitors although her eyes are rarely set on one; a man-child in search of himself and a noteworthy music soundtrack to help guide the way. Roadies is no different. It follows the lives of the road crew for a fictional group, Staton House Band, on its U.S. tour shortly after its road manager Phil (Ron White) is fired for charges of embezzlement.
Our lead, Bill (Luke Wilson), is introduced while bedding a woman young enough to be his daughter. She is so young, there is a question as to whether she is at least 18, and this borders on creepy but it’s pointed out by Shelli (Carla Cugino) to be “his thing.” Ingénue, Kelly Ann (Imogen Poots) is a skateboarding electrician who has her sights set on leaving the world of being a roadie to attend film school. Shelli is the conscious of the group, keeping Bill in line and the talent happy.
The remaining cast is rounded out by Donna (Keisha Castle-Hughes), Reg “Double D” Whitehead (Rafe Spall), and Wes (Machine Gun Kelly). The pilot follows the last day for Kelly Ann as she is headed off to film school on a half scholarship. This plan is disrupted with the arrival of her twin brother Wes and financial manager Reg, who arrived to trim the fat on the tour budget. Wes is conveniently hired on as a Manny/Road Crew replacement for Kelly Ann. The will-they/won’t-they between Bill and Shelli hits the ground running and is reinforced by strangers as well as their fellow roadies. It would be a fine pairing if Shelli didn’t have this minor inconvenience called a husband. Some hijinks ensue as a groupie with a restraining order breaks into the dressing room of the lead singer and fellates a microphone, someone gives Mister Potato-head a Dirty Sanchez, and Kelly Ann gets a farewell pie to the face. Of course Kelly Ann doesn’t leave the crew and she returns to her home with her roadie family.
I’d love to say this was a fresh take on a dramedy. I’d love to say that these characters feel like people I know. I’d love to say that you should stop re-watching the best season finale in the history of season finales and watch this show, but alas I cannot. Roadies, while well cast with faces familiar and new, limps along and does not do a strong job of holding the viewers attention with its loosy-goosy story-telling and a flimsy plot. After two episodes (episodes one and two are available for streaming) I will not be tuning in to find out if Kelly Ann ever goes to film school or if Bill and Shelli finally hook-up.
I have to give this show a solid Nah.
Roadies S1E1/S1E2 = 6.3/10