Roadies: The Corporate Gig – Irony and Phil (Review)

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Roadies “The Corporate Gig” ladled out huge helpings of irony. The band falls apart and Phil seemingly dies and it all happens at a gig for Fun Co.  Last week saw Phil relive his early days with Lynyrd Skynyrd something that he flashes back to before falling into Reg’s arms and then the pool.

If Phil really  has died, fans will not be best pleased.  He was a favorite character and when he departed to be in space with Taylor Swift,  there  were a lot of unhappy viewers. (It is most likely Phil’s time in space that set him up for whatever “kills” him in this episode.

This penultimate episode of Roadies seems to prove that the curse is real (that unbroken egg has destroyed the band) and that Kelly Ann should have said something.

From the start of “The Corporate Gig” there were signs that things were not going to go well.  Puna sets the stage with his dream of a “melting animal” and he pronounces “it” will happen here.

“It” turns out to be the disintegration of  Staten House Band.  It also turns out to be the death of Phil. (He may not be dead, but with his “last words” to Kelly Ann – which were probably “you should have broken that last egg – and that still body certainly made Phil look dead.)

Other signs included Phil himself.  Perhaps the funniest line of the episode was his “I don’t know. I don’t always listen to  myself very close.” But was this a sign that things were not quite right?

Leaving the “death” of Phil alone for  a moment, Reg is also about to make an exit. He learns that his boss, Edgar (played by prolific Scottish character actor Enn Reitel) knew all along that Reg was there to break up the band. Edgar has already reassigned Double D to re-label a soup’s brand back in England.

He also learns that there will be no european tour and that the rest of the venues have been cancelled.

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Reg learning the bitter truth.

Reg’s response to this news is to get pissed as a newt (intoxicated).  He acts very uncharacteristically and even touches Milo.  Later he and Kelly Ann finally connect, as they were meant to all along.  Both are drunk and more open than usual.

They finally kiss and even though Reg is leaving, there is a sense of satisfaction in that tender moment.

Romance almost blossoms for Milo who makes a connection with Logan the eraser girl. The two get off on the wrong foot initially, but finally get together for some “picking” and some singing.

Christopher goes AWOL when he goes to see Janine instead of attending the corporate gig. Later, he sends a note to Tom telling him that he is leaving the band. Love definitely has moved Christoper House in mysterious ways.

Love is not moving smoothly for Rick.  Despite the fact that Natalie Shin is the best thing that has ever happened to him he wants Milo  to give her “the talk.” She tells Milo that Rick is afraid of commitment and that she will bring him around. Clearly Rick does not want what is good for him.

Shelli and Bill almost lose their special relationship due to a misunderstanding. So although it is not “right” their relationship is steady no thanks to Phil. (It was Phil who convinced Bill that the “spell” was broken.)

The cooperation, Fun Co, are losing acts due to the company’s links with Saudi Arabia and their “weapons’ rubber.  Gwen Stefani pulls out, via the excuse of a sickly child and very few of the acts are left.

Phantogram perform “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” another sign that the party is over for Staten House Band in this episode.

“The Corporate Gig” also spends some time discussing the changing face of rock fans and the music itself.. As Phil says at the beginning,  he can remember bands that wrote music that changed the world and did not sell out.  The good looking chap Kelly Ann attempts to connect with blames it on the fans:

“People don’t even clap anymore ’cause they’ve got a phone in one hand.”

David Spade appears as himself. His “Dead Sex” show-within-a-show premise allows for one of the better comedic moments of the series thus far. Bill and he talk about the program and Bill asks how it will end with Spade’s character and Jan.

Spade tells Bill that he kills Jan.

Bill responds:

“Why the f*ck would you do that?”

Later a frantic Spade is calling to set up a  reshoot of the ending of Dead Sex.  “I don’t care how much it costs, he shouts into the phone.

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Phil and Reg share a moment.

Phil and Reg talk and it appears that all really is forgiven.  As they converse Phil asks Reg, “Can you hear that.” In his mind Phil is experiencing his time with Lynyrd Skynyrd, the group that got him started.

He slumps forward into Reg’s arms and then falls in the pool. Milo calls 911 and Kelly Ann wakes when Phil collapses. She rushes out to the pool and Phil whispers something to her and then “dies.”

There should not have been a dry eye in the house.

The curse from episode 4, the one started by Reg – although Kelly Ann  facilitated it by not mentioning that broken egg – has wreaked havoc on Staten House Band.

Even the crew have been affected somewhat. Wes learns that  Winston would not have been allowed to attend the european leg of the tour anyway.

Kudos to Ron White as Phil.  His dying should have sent tissue sales skyrocketing.  Jacqueline Byers also knocked it out of the park.

Major props to both Imogen Poots and Rafe Spall.  These two absolutely killed it in this episode.

The finale of Roadies airs next Sunday on Showtime. Do not miss this one, mark your calendar or diary, or mark it on the wall.  This will be a good one.

CAST:

Guest starring: Jacqueline Byers  –  Natalie Shin, Branscombe Richmond as Puna, Jen Tullock  –  Logan the Eraser Girl,  Steve Zissis  –  Jack Peltz and David Spade.

Musical Guest : Phantogram

Roadies: The All Night Bus Ride -Lynyrd Skynyrd and Phil (Review)

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Roadies “The All Night Bus Ride” fosters a bit of rock and roll history via Phil’s long tale of getting started in the business.  This episode seems to put the “curse” in the back seat until the end.  Phil’s origin story is the center piece here and it is a fun, but sad, look at the meteoric rise of his band; Lynyrd Skynyrd. The one that got Phil into the business.

This could well be the best episode of Roadies so far. There is a parallel here between two bands. Staten House Band is being sabotaged by Preston (Brian Benben) via Double D, aka Reg. Phil tells about how he was introduced to the business via Cuban cigars and Lynyrd Skynyrd.  It is, essentially, the tale of two bands (Get it?) where one is being destroyed by a power play and the other wiped out by fate at the height of their popularity.

(It should be pointed out that there is still a Lynyrd Skynyrd band, but only one of the original band members is attached. Ronnie Van Zant and two other band members died. The group disbanded for a time but reformed later on with Ronnie’s younger brother filling in.)

Of the two stories, it is Phil’s that entertains the most.  Apparently, according to Zap2it, a good portion of the tale is true. The band had a reputation for being rowdy and “ready for a fight.” They also did get big very quickly.  It was their epic rise that ultimately got Van Zant and the rest killed.

Using a Convair CV-300 that was passed over, according to “rock legend,” by Aerosmith the group were flying to venues.  The plane crashed after running out of fuel and the rest, as they say, is history.

Back to that long bus ride: The crew are worried about how many will be going on the European leg of the tour. Reg is looking at the financials yet again. Phil is still telling his story and Shelli gets a call from Sean; his father has died.

Shelli has to leave the tour.

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Shelli leaving the tour, temporarily.

Dead Sex is still a a passion for all the crew. David Spade is featured yet again as the protagonist in this “show within a show.” Reg, who has become addicted to the program like everyone else, He  realizes,  while watching the latest episode, that  he is a pawn. 

This is something that Spade’s character learns in Dead Sex. Reg works out that all the cuts he made,  and people he fired,  was really a waste of time. The budget was an impossibility. No matter how many corners were cut Reg would never be able to meet his target.

Double D realizes that he was sent in to break up the band and allow Tom to move over to a solo career. Preston has been using him to destroy Staten House Band.

Meanwhile, Milo and Kelly Ann clear the air and Donna reveals that Halsey is trying to steal the entire crew away.  Bill and Shelli are still a “thing” but this family death may result in a cooling down period.

Ron White kills it in this episode. There could well be an Emmy with his name on it for this show alone.  Other notables in this episode were Nathan Sutton; who played Ronnie Van Zant and Connor Weil as the Young Phil both knocked it out of the park.

Roadies has now taken a bit of a dark turn.  Preston wanting to break the band up and using poor old Double D to do it is pretty despicable.  It seems that no one in the band, not even Tom, is aware of Preston’s plan. At this rate the European tour that everyone was so worried about may never happen at all.

This was a brilliant meld of fact and fiction. Allowing the fictional character of Phil to do a “You Were There” recreation of Van Zant and his band’s meteoric rise to fame. It was a loving homage to a group of artists who loved a scrap and who produced classics that still move to this day.

Were Lynyrd Skynyrd really so “rough and ready?”  They must have been. It can be no coincidence that Rob Zombie chose Freebird to end The Devil’s Rejects. The three violent characters who die shooting at the close of the film do so to that epic anthem.  Of course the main reason is clearly the matching of three deaths but in essence what other band fit so well.  Echoing the mythos of the main characters in the film.

Roadies airs Sundays on Showtime.

MAIN CAST:

Roadies: Carpet Season – Phil’s Return (Review)

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After last week’s attack by Janine with its residual blowout the tour continues.  This episode sees Phil’s return,  Christopher’s iPad goes missing as does Janine’s yearbook.  Kelly Ann confesses to Bill that maybe not all the eggs were broken. Roadies “Carpet Season” also has the band being photographed by Kelly Ann’s idol, Abby Van Ness.

Bill is undergoing a bit of a shaky patch. The Janine debacle (with her confession of having sex with Bill while she was dating Christopher)   causes Chris to fall off the wagon and he is drinking again. Bill goes to an AA meeting at Seattle, the next city on the tour.

Somewhat annoyingly Phil returns during Bill’s vastly improved circle meeting.  Preston (Brian Benben) tasks Bill with finding the missing items and to make up with Phil. It is Shelli’s birthday and Reg is less than pleased to see the man who pulled a gun on him return. 

Things are a bit tense between Double D and Phil initially and Bill has to intervene.  Halsey is the musical open for the band this week.  Wes, who is a huge fan, gets to spend some time with the artist.

Photographic diva Abby Van Ness, and her obsequious (and annoying) assistant turn up for the photo shoot.  Shelli and the diva immediately butt heads. Abby, as the “up her own arse” photographer to the “stars,” makes ridiculous demands on the crew and the band. Shelli spells out how it will really happen and neither woman is impressed with the other.

Kelly Ann is beside herself with excitement over the chance to meet her idol. Later, as Abby and her assistant Bethany set up for the shoot she meets the photographer.

It does not go well.

The young grip is overawed and Abby acts like a b*tch. She insults the younger woman and  makes references to her parents. The photographer then attempts to continue her bullying but Kelly Ann strikes back.

Shelli is furious and she confronts Abby. She tells the diva that if she speaks to any one else on her crew that way Abby will have her head shoved up her arse, by Shelli.  Abby is intrigued.

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Carla Gugino as Shelli in Roadies

Meanwhile, Bill, Phil and Reg learn that the band archivist, Mike Fingers, took the iPad and the yearbook. After getting the address from Puna (Branscombe Richmond) the three men go to collect the items. 

Wes clicks with Halsey and she asks him to join her tour. Winston (Ethan Michael Mora), the devil child, overhears the offer and is upset at the thought of losing his “manny.” Later, the guest artist learns that her tour budget will not cover Wes joining up. He and Halsey then “stage” a moment for Winston who is pleased to have his manny back.

Phil, Reg and Bill confront Mike Fingers and end up getting the stolen items back and enough things to complete the band’s boxset.

The photoshoot is a disaster. Abby tries bullying the band into submission and it does not work. The breaking point comes when she rubs Janine in Christopher’s face,  Rick snaps and the band follows suit.

The band members begin destroying the props set up by Abby and Bethany. As the photographer and her assistant stand by in shock, Kelly Ann calmly walks up and takes  “the shot.”  It is, of course, brilliant. Abby and Kelly Ann share a look.

By the end of the show Reg and Phil have sort of made up but Double D is still upset about Janine.  Shelli  celebrates her birthday…with Bill.  Kelly Ann is left alone at the bar and she sees the couple leave together. She smiles.

In this episode of Roadies “Dead Sex” is mentioned, at least twice, and not seen – no David Spade this week.  The men discuss it briefly on the way to Finger’s house, “It’s a metaphor,” and Wes brings it up as well.

Halsey’s musical numbers are brilliant as is her performance.  Anyone not a fan of this beautiful and talented artist before will become one after this episode.

Rosanna Arquette ruled as the b*tch photographer and Lyndon Smith was spot on as the sycophantic assistant.

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Rosanna Arquette as Abby Van Ness

The curse, even though both Bill and Kelly Ann state that they do not believe in such things, paused slightly in this episode. However, the preview of next week’s Roadies seems to show that the unbroken egg is still causing problems.

Roadies airs Sundays on Showtime. Stop by for the soap opera of the show and stay for the music and the guest stars.

MAIN CAST:

Guest starring Rosanna Arquette as Abby Van Ness and Lyndon Smith as Bethany Ian-Crouch. 

Musical Guest:  Halsey