On paper, VINYL seemed surefire. 1970s rock and the record business examined through an East Coast lens. Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger as co-producers. A cast including Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano, Juno Temple, Olivia Wilde and Max Casella (channeling Joe Pesci).
And the Scorsese-directed pilot was generally good--though, at two hours, a bit less effective than the 90-minute opening episode of BOARDWALK EMPIRE.
Then, the second episode.
All the flaws (awkward time-shifting, overflowing cast, off-kilter/unintentionally amusing imitations of Famous People, anachronistically backdating punk rock to 1973, an unfortunate re-use of the BOARDWALK pilot's kill-a-character-and-hide-the-body motif and general difficulty empathizing with most of the fuck-snort-and-betray male characters) of the pilot were magnified x100.
I'll probably struggle through the third installment, but VINYL has already become a white elephant on the scale of LUCK, which had the David Milch/Michael Mann pedigree--but similar problems with sprawling story plus not-interesting-enough characters.
And, as with LUCK, HBO has given VINYL two seasons as a declaration of faith in its A-list Talent.
Since VINYL, unlike LUCK, doesn't use horses in the show (with animal deaths causing premature cancellation), it's safe to expect the network to honor its commitment to a 21-22 episode run even if just a few hundred thousand people tune in or watch online.