Most viewers have been very disappointed in Cameron Crowe’s show Roadies. The number of viewers has dropped by 16% from the first episode. People were hoping for better from the director of Almost Famous. Some viewers have said that Roadies should be renamed Almost Good. We at East Coast Stories believe that Roadies does have a huge amount of unfulfilled potential. Here are 5 recommended changes to keep Roadies from being cancelled.
- Get rid of the Reg Whitehead (Rafe Spall) character completely. He is is not a roadie. He has no interest in music, and his plot line is dull. Yet, he takes up a large percentage of the show. We are supposed to be intrigued by whether or not Reg and Kelly Ann (Imogen Poots) will ever hook up. The problem is that these two characters have no chemistry and no passion whatsoever. Reg is a cold British stick in the mud. For real passion, turn the channel and take a look at some of the soap operas on the Spanish stations. There is a reason why you never see the words, “British” and “steamy hot lover” in the same sentence.
- Admit that the 1970’s over. – Roadies pretends that a 2016 music tour still consists of “sex, drugs and Rock & roll”. Those days ended long ago. The world now has AIDS, Lawsuits and Terrorism. Bands and roadies having indiscriminate sex with underage groupies went out when AIDS, Herpes and drug-resistant Gonorrhea came in. There is also the ever-present threat of paternity lawsuits and statutory rape charges being filed.
- Show the real threats facing a rock tour in 2016 that were never even imagined by the 1970s’ bands. Roadies is wasting the potential of the terrific actor Branscombe Richmond, who plays the security man Puna. So far he has just walked around saying mysterious things and trying to thwart a gorgeous “stalker”/groupie named Natalie (played by Jacqueline Byers). In 2016 there are a lot more dangerous threats than a girl trying to sleep with a band member. On Friday November 13th, 2016 at the Eagles Of Death Metal concert in Paris, ISIS militants killed 89 people while coordinated terror attacks were taking place in other parts of Paris killing another 41. That is what the real life Punas are up against in 2016. It would make a great episode to show Puna save the concert from a deadly attack, all while the band members and concert goers remain blissfully unaware of how close they came to death.
- Have an episode where everything does NOT turn out OK in the end. Roadies is getting somewhat repetitive in that whatever goes wrong before the show, it ends up getting fixed and the concert goes great. In real life this doesn’t always happen. Stages collapse. Fans get into fights during shows. Audiences hate the songs and boo the acts off stage. Who gets blamed for those incidents? In real life, shit rolls downhill and the roadies take the heat even if it was in no way their fault.
- Have Bill go berserk. Luke Wilson as Bill is just way too laid back to be a credible road manager. Real road managers have to deal with union rules, unrealistic deadlines, damaged equipment, corrupt local officials, and arrogant performers. Sometimes the laid back approach just doesn’t work and they totally “lose their shit” with obscenity laced screams and threats. Sometimes that is the only way to get the Teamster’s respect. We were on a flight once with the road manager of AC/DC. He showed us the huge wad of cash he carries at all times in case he has to “grease the wheels” by bribing a local fire official, building inspector or union boss just before a show. There needs to be an episode where Luke Wilson brings out the “dark side” of Bill and scares the hell out of the other characters. The fact that it is so unexpected would make it great. At the end of the show, he could go back to being the same old super relaxed Bill. But people would never look at him quite the same way again.
We hope the writers don’t waste the opportunity on what could be a great and long running show. Roadies has an excellent ensemble of experienced actors and an interesting concept. Now it just needs some better plot lines to reach its full potential.