Music nerds’ High Fidelity gets series makeover

Agence France-Presse . New York | Published: 23:53, Feb 16,2020


‘High Fidelity,’ the series, is out -- a quarter of a century after the book and 20 years after the film, transporting author Nick Hornby’s vinyl enthusiasts into the modern realm of Spotify.

Between the book and the series -- released Friday in the US on the online platform Hulu -- the music world central to ‘High Fidelity’ has undergone a revolution. 

Still, the London record shop at the heart of Hornby’s book seems to fit comfortably in 2020 Brooklyn, even if the CDs so popular at the time have gone the way of the dodo.

Screenwriters Sarah Kucserka and Veronica West, and Hornby himself dragged the story of a white man in his 30s into contemporary society, replacing him with a bisexual woman.

Zoe Kravitz takes on the role of record shop owner Rob, a gender-swapped version of the character who first appeared in Hornby’s novel and was later played by John Cusack in the 2000 movie.

While in 1995 the phenomenon of the culture ‘nerd’ was emerging, but remained at the margins, in 2020, it is a dominant force and present from ‘Star Wars’ to ‘Game of Thrones’.

And that explains perhaps why it is not surprising to see people in their 30s today, obsessed by music, albums and playlists -- like Rob -- who owns the shop, Championship Vinyl.

The supporting roles fill out the ten-episode series well, even if the off-the-wall brashness of Jack Black’s film performance occasionally lacks.

With music key to the film, the original soundtrack got a makeover too, bringing contemporary music -- notably rap -- into the production, under the guidance of drummer and cofounder of hip-hop group The Roots.

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