Starring: Zoë Kravitz, David H. Holmes, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Jake Lacy, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Rainbow Sun Francks, Nadine Malouf
Showrunners: Veronica West & Sarah Kucserka
Showrunners: Veronica West & Sarah Kucserka
Directed by: Jeffrey Reiner, Jesse Peretz, Andrew DeYoung, Natasha Lyonne, Chioke Nassor
Written by: Veronica West, Sarah Kucserka, Josh Koenigsberg, Eli Wilson Pelton, E.T. Feigenbaun, Zoë Kravitz, Celeste Hughey, Franklin Hardy, Solomon Georgio, Leigh Ann Biety
Based on the novel High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
“Why am I doomed to be left? Why am I doomed to be rejected?”
During quarantine, I haven’t been watching a lot of TV unless it’s shitty reality TV like Real Housewives or Vanderpump Rules. I’ve even been keeping a list of true crime movies and/or limited series to watch. It takes a lot for me to be committed to a TV series, and I mean a lot. I have the attention span of a pea when it comes to new television shows. I have to be able to engage with it to the point where I’m craving more of the characters, the setting, and the stories. The last time this happened, I watched the entirety of Haunting of Hill House twice. High Fidelity comes at the perfect time for me, and I was instantly hooked. It’s mixed with imperfectly perfect characters, a believable setting (Brooklyn ftw), distorted situations, and a killer soundtrack to tie it all together. It’s not only an entertaining show but something original from its book and movie versions. High Fidelity is the cooler version of them, keeping itself grounded to the original version but still standing apart in a realistic and dope way.
Based on Nick Hornby’s best seller with the same name, High Fidelity tells the story of Robyn “Rob” Brooks (Zoë Kravitz), a record store owner fresh out of a relationship that was perfect for her in all the right ways. If it was so perfect, what went wrong? Rob is determined to find out why she’s doomed to be left and doomed to be alone. With her co-workers Simon (David H. Holmes) and Cherise (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) by her side, she wanders into unknown territory to find the truth about why her relationships go from sugar to shit … and potentially find love in the process.
If you’re familiar with either the movie or the book, throw them out of your mind (I mean, don’t. They’re still good, but trust me, this is better). High Fidelity on Hulu (coming soon to Freeform) is a curated experience that will have you laughing, crying, and wanting to be emotionally available in your next relationship. You’re never bored within this world; in fact, you’re entertained all the way through. You’re immediately drawn to the show because of how relatable and realistic it is. I know a lot of people throw those two words around, but hear me out.
Yes, this is indeed a show for Millennials and their relationships. I know that immediately turns people off because we’re oversaturated with them. However, for High Fidelity, it’s the thing that grounds it in reality. The show makes these Millennials into cultured, curated gods that seek to be different than the same. They embrace the old with the new, making curated mixtapes with vinyl but also making Spotify playlists. They embrace and love almost everything instead of pretending to be a part of a crowd, but even when you have to be a part of the crowd, you still know yourself. It’s a weird message that I took out of it, but there are a lot of situations in the show that have the characters compromising themselves, only to just go back to a “fuck it” state of mind and continue with their way of life and what they know best.
There are also multiple characters in this show, and you can find yourself in it. You’ve probably been through these situations before or something like it. You’ve probably asked yourself after, during, or before a new relationship if you’ll be alone forever. And, the coup de grâce, you’ll always ask yourself why. I think that’s where the relatability comes in for some of the characters, primarily because we’re guided by the best unreliable narrator Rob. She’s brilliant, beautiful, a mess, but a glorious one at best. You almost immediately align with her the moment you see her. She’s a force throughout the show, and no one could play Rob as Zoë Kravitz can.
“Making A Playlist Is A Delicate Art”
When you think of Zoë Kravitz, I think the first thing you think about is her gorgeous family, but she’s a brilliant actress and musician in her own right (her band LOLAWOLF is one of my favorite bands of all time). She has that sort of swagger that you’d expect Rob to have if you’re going to make this reboot. With High Fidelity, everything is told in Rob’s point of view, and Kravitz has this … sincere yet magnetically cold demeanor (which is not an insult, I swear) about her that pulls you completely in. You don’t know what she’s going to do next, but when she makes a move, you’re surprised. I think that’s what’s needed with Rob and why Kravitz plays her so well.
The other characters include Simon (David H. Holmes) (who I relate to the most) as Rob’s best friend, employee, and also on her list of top five heartbreaks. He’s the most adorable music nerd who makes a mixtape for someone he likes. Simon is the only character to have an episode to himself in his point of view instead of Rob’s. It shifts the perspective a bit, which was interesting, and the episode itself is criminally relatable. I would have loved to see more of Simon and his point of view of things; getting a glimpse of him in that one episode made me want more.
There’s also Cherise (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), who should have had her own episode in this series. She’s also Rob’s best friend and employee who is trying to start a band. Randolph is explosive on-screen. Every time you see her, you know you’ll be in for a good time. The first time you see her, she’s dancing to “Come On Eileen” — how do you not love her? Jake Lacy rounds out the main cast as Clyde, who is the nicest boy and a potential love interest for Rob. Lacy plays Clyde with a boyish charm that could scream nice-guy syndrome, but he’s just an all-around good dude. With Kravitz, they have that opposites attract chemistry that’s so believable, especially the way that Rob jerks around Clyde throughout the season.
The rest of the cast, including Kingsley Ben-Adir as Mac, Rainbow Sun Francks as Cameron, Nadine Malouf as Nikki Brooks, and Edmund Donovan as Blake are just as hilarious, brilliant, and bring their own unique energy to round out a perfect ensemble. Even guest stars just bring a vibe that is so great that you just want to live in this world because of how musically driven and epic it is.
I’ve read a couple of reviews about the show saying how this show wasn’t needed and how it’s a bit superficial, but the thing that’s amazing about the show is that it takes that vibe and makes it real. It’s not content with the mediocre notes of the choir. It wants to go out and do its own thing. I think it’s perfect in that way. Also, one more thing before we wrap up, I love and adore the constant “Top 5’s,” which is something I often think about, and I kind of want to do it now.
TOP FIVE TRACKS FROM ‘HIGH FIDELITY
- “I Can’t Stand the Rain” – Ann Peebles
- “Is It Any Wonder?” – Durand Jones & The Indication
- “Once I Had A Love (AKA The Disco Song)” – Blonde
- “The Man Who Sold the World” – David Bowie
- “Tiebreaker” – Thomas Doherty
There’s something special about High Fidelity that can’t be ignored. I’m hoping for a season two to start production after the pandemic stops, but who knows. If you’re into finding love, surviving heartbreak, and wrapping it all up with damn good music, you’ll want to check out High Fidelity.
Also, if you want to check out the playlist for High Fidelity, check out the Spotify playlist below: