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Roadies - (S01E03)

Music . Drama . Comedy

A notorious music blogger sets his sights on the band, penning a post that eviscerates them as dull and irrelevant. When Reg invites him to the band's next show to smooth things over, the crew takes matters into their own hands.

Episode Title: The Bryce Newman Letter
Airs: 2016-07-10 at 22:00
  • Glenn Garvin

    Whether you grew up with the Beach Boys, Bruce Springsteen or the Foo Fighters, Roadies and its lovably immature collection of flakes will summon the pure giddy fun of rock and roll. As they used to say on another great rockin' TV show, I'd give it an 85—it's got a good beat and you can dance to it. Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    The good news is that it’s very watchable, consistently enjoyable and even shows sparks of that Crowe wit and emotional honesty that drove films like “Say Anything” and “Almost Famous.” The bad news is that it feels a little thin in places, almost like a Crowe’s Greatest Hits. Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    It starts to get better in Episode 2, courtesy of a killer raw rehearsal by the real-life band Reignwolf, which has been hastily signed to be the opening act in Memphis. The power of their music has some of the roadies believably transfixed. And for this short burst at least, the occasional magic of their profession is self-evident without any clunky pronouncements from Wilson’s Hanson.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    There are occasional moments where Roadies conjures memories of Crowe at his most vibrant, and others where it's genial and pleasant enough (and far more coherent than Aloha) that I'm willing to watch in the hopes that Crowe and Holzman can recapture his '90s magic, or hers, or some amazing combination of both.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Chuck Barney

    More occasional eye-rolling ensues over the oh-so-earnest portrayal of Kelly Ann (Imogen Poots), a roadie who has become disillusioned with the state of the music biz. "I have to be a fan of something, or I'm nothing," she moans. On the plus side, Crowe's series does contain a beating heart, and it clearly is brimming with his undying passion for music.

    San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    At its best, Roadies is an entertaining ride through a world we're not meant to see, and its characters' belief in the importance of what they're doing can be contagious. ... Like Sorkin, Crowe may sometimes love his characters too much for their own good.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • Erik Adams

    There are things to enjoy about Roadies, like Wilson and Gugino’s bantering and a burgeoning running gag about Staton-House’s inability to hold on to an opening act. But the show can’t bring these elements into harmony with grating performances by Baker and Byers or the baffling Magical Native American characterization of the security chief played by Branscombe Richmond.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Terry Terrones

    While Roadies has a number of good set pieces, they don't quite mesh together to make a cohesive program. Much of that is due to its meandering first two episodes. ... [In episode three] Personalities started to finally develop, a hilarious guest stint by Rainn Wilson provided plenty of laughs and this series finally started to show its potential.

    Colorado Springs Gazette Full Review
  • Todd VanDerWerff

    Roadies isn’t all there yet, but it’s trying something different. Full Review
  • Bruce Miller

    An uneven peek at the men and women who make headliners look good night after night after night.

    Sioux City Journal Full Review
  • Isaac Feldberg

    Roadies could level out as it continues through its first season, learning to balance its more mawkish, sentimental aspects with its clear dedication to music as art and the people who work to preserve its purity. But in its current state, the show is a lumpy, bumpy ride, one that will wholly appeal to those who ever Crowe’s most cloying works but only intermittently cast a spell over everyone else.

    We Got This Covered Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    With Roadies, Showtime debuts a series focused on a fresh subculture (the behind-the-scenes crew responsible for staging a rock band’s tour) with a lighter, if overly earnest, tone. Only one member of the band is shown in the pilot in a brief scene. This tactic might be an overly calculated conceit if the roadies were a less interesting bunch.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    It’s better than Vinyl--Crowe has a better, fresher idea in following the earnest people behind the scenes rather than the exploited stars and venal executives. But it still doesn’t feel like a satisfying hit.

    Yahoo TV Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    The preachiness can be areal buzz kill when pretentiously overamped acolytes spout on and on about changing the world. ... Still, you may well dig the ride, thanks to endearing company of Luke Wilson's Peter Pan of a road manager. [27 Jun - 10 Jul 2016, p.15]

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    Roadies, with its cutesy characters, doesn’t bring him back to his early glory so much as remind us how far he has drifted from it. Crowe’s bona fides do show in Roadies, in the elaborate backstage settings and in the way they’re filmed as a kind of amusement park ride.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Josh Bell

    Instead of sounding passionate and honest, the characters on Roadies sound like they’re reading promotional copy for the artists who appear as guest stars.

    Las Vegas Weekly Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    Unlikeable characters fill the foreground, while an unfocused music track fills the background.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Tim Grierson

    Maybe over time Roadies will settle into a groove, but as of now it’s yet to find its rhythm.

    The Wrap Full Review
  • Mary McNamara

    If Roadies spent half as much time showing us what roadies actually do as it wastes on framing gazes of tortured longing, it would be a very different, which is to say much better, show. Instead viewers get tossed a few slivers of meat--Phil tearing up whenever he mentions Ronnie Van Zant, Keisha Castle-Hughes’ engineer setting up for the “song of the day”--and a whole lot of corn.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Kristi Turnquist

    The characters are corny--Bill's a rock-and-roll lifer who's flawed but lovable, Shelli's a no-nonsense independent woman and dispenser of wisdom--but Wilson and Gugino are total pros, and they have a genuine chemistry. Which is more than can be said for the rest of the cast, despite the actors' best efforts.

    The Oregonian Full Review
  • James Poniewozik

    At least that’s a point of view; ultimately, Roadies, in the three episodes screened, suffers from a lack of story. It relies on hoary life-on-the-road plots, including an excruciating one about an unhinged groupie (Jacqueline Byers).

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Allison Keene

    Overlooking logic in favor of sentiment, the series never gives its viewers the freedom to suss out its characters naturally, or gives much of a reason to stick around for the rest of the tour.

    Collider Full Review
  • Nancy DeWolf Smith

    The task of holding things together under this assault and others will fall to the amiable tour manager, Bill (Luke Wilson, awkwardly cast as a Lothario) and the production manager, Shelli (Carla Gugino)--who are supposed to have some chemistry between them but don’t seem to spark. ... Almost crushed beneath the farce are small moments that seem genuine.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Jen Chaney

    While the first three episodes of the series--the only ones made available to critics--overflow with Crowe’s trademark optimism and contain glimmers of promise, the characters feel underdeveloped and the stakes a bit too low to keep viewers coming back.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Scott D. Pierce

    Roadies is so convinced it's clever that it feels like it's talking down to us. It feels forced.

    The Salt Lake Tribune Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    The writing is clunky and often irritating. The acting is all over the place. The expository harangues are limitless.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    The pilot is a messy clunker that will test the patience of Crowe's core fans; the second, written by Winnie Holzman, one of the executive producers along with J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk and Len Goldstein, is a more assured and coherent effort that still falls short of digging out of the hole created by the pilot; and the third episode is sadly terrible, the kind of hour filled with bad decisions and triteness that offers little hope for a creative recovery going forward.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    Given the absence of an intoxicating atmosphere and the lack of dramatic momentum, episodes ramble on and on punishingly, like a jam band that refuses to leave the stage.

    Variety Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    It is a sporadically engaging mess that eventually slouches away from your attention span like a puppy caught piddling on the rug.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Darren Franich

    This is Crowe's The Newsroom, the moment when his trademark sincerity crosses over into preachy didacticism. [24 Jun 2016, p.54]

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review

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