Every once in a while, two Pajiba writers might disagree on a topic, movie, show, candidate. It’s usually one Pajiba writer who feels truly and deeply on a specific topic, and me. What can I say, I’m kind of a contrarian bitch. But I was a little surprised to find that Dustin and I mostly agreed on his assessment of the first episode of Roadies. It is about following your heart and not your head, and accomplishes that ideal in a pretty entertaining way. Unfortunately I then watched the second episode.
And it’s terrible. I mean, not terrible, but it’s bad. It’s not bad because they focus on following your heart instead of your head. Although that is actually pretty annoying after a while. There’s a time and a place for everything including recognizing that sometimes your head should win out. You decide to follow your heart and stay with the band instead of going to film school? Great. But day-to-day interactions need to be decided by the thing designed to think. Meaning the entire “kissing his fingertips” plot line should have been concluded during one daily production meeting.
No, what makes it terrible is that they’re fucking up the music on a show about music. There are essentially two fundamental rules when making a show about the process of making art.
1) Never, ever attempt to make good art within the show.
This is the age-old 30 Rock vs. Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip debate. If you absolutely must feature the art that is supposed to be produced on the show within the show, make it bad. TGS was supposed to be a low-rated, perpetually-almost-cancelled, bad comedy show. So when the jokes on TGS bombed, it was fine. Unlike Studio 60 where the jokes are supposed to be good, but often weren’t. Then you as the viewer are disappointed at the bad joke on your show, and that people within this fake world think this show is good. It’s bad all around.
Similarly, when you are told that The Staton-House Band has elicited the love and devotion of not only its fans but its crew, you want to believe that they’re an amazing band. And contrary to what Kelly Ann tells us, this:
“Why are you here?”/ “Why are you here,” she cried/ And in that moment I died,/ To see her giving a death worth living.
is not amazing. It’s garbage. It’s really bad, junior high poetry garbage. Don’t try to make an amazing band on the show. You already have to worry about making an amazing show.
2) Make the soundtrack immaculate.
This they have done a better job about. The Head and the Heart, and Reignwolf aren’t my jam, but I understand that they are well-respected, just-under-the-radar acts. It’s not only acceptable, but a good idea to have them appear on the show. But the opening credits of this week’s episode rolled under this, and I cannot forgive them.
What the shit? I don’t know what that is, I don’t care what that is, and I’m refusing to acknowledge that any version of this song exists save one. You goofed, and you goofed big, Roadies. I’ll give you another episode to get your act together, but then I’m out regardless of how much I like your cast. In the meantime, I’ll need to wash the bullshit taste out of my mouth with a few dozen playings of the real thing.