February 20, 2020

CABLE | Top 5 Breakups – Zoë Kravitz Covers 'High Fidelity'

"What really matters is what you like, not what you are like."
Zoë Kravitz Jake Lacy Veronica West Sarah Kucserka | Nick Hornby High Fidelity on Hulu

Peak TV has finally gotten around to readapting the pop culture laden literary works of British author Nick Hornby in the form of the new High Fidelity series streaming on Hulu that puts its own spin on both the faithful 2000 film adaptation starring John Cusack (set in Chicago) and the original 1995 novel (set in London)—there was also a 2006 Broadway musical (set in New York) that ran for only ten days.

Set in contemporary Crown Heights, Brooklyn this time and starring Zoë Kravitz (also a producer), whose mother Lisa Bonet played sultry singer Marie De Salle in the film, the show proves to be like a great cover song with all the hallmarks of the previous works it's based on with enough of its own artistic grooves about relationships and pop songs.

Kravitz as the gender-flipped Rob (short for Robin), owner of Championship Vinyl, in the ten-episode half-hour series gets a lot more breathing room so our protagonist can actually learn, grow, and become a better person in a way that movie Rob could only regress before realizing what he had.

It's amusing how this television adaptation both veers off on its own tangents about romance and culture while hueing closely to the story beats of the film. Hornby wrote a very specific kind of self-destructive yet familiar middle-aged white male protagonist that managed to be remixed deftly to Kravitz's winning personality despite her flawless appearance and confident vibe thanks to her rock star lineage.

Zoë Kravitz Jake Lacy Veronica West Sarah Kucserka | Nick Hornby High Fidelity on Hulu

It's also easy to find the new record shop coworkers played Da'Vine Joy Randolph and David H. Holmes amusing facsimiles for their film counterparts. Everyman heartthrob Jake Lacy, as one of Rob's many new love interests (this one without a book or movie analogue), continues to be the perfect nice guy companion.

How showrunners Veronica West and Sarah Kucserka reorient musical tastes and vinyl culture for today feels particularly fresh and poignant. Ironically, vinyl is more in vogue now than it was twenty years ago. It just shows just how timely Horby's material still feels aged decades later. The Roots frontman Questlove provides the show's soundtrack while sharing an eclectic taste for music, both classic and contemporary, as it really fleshes out the emotions of the laidback characters.

This new High Fidelity is another lovely version of Hornby's self-loathing remembrance of music and romance in the vein of Fleabag. Kravitz is a perfectly suited vessel for Rob's dirtbag everyman with a tortured relationship past. I wonder if there will eventually be a top five list of High Fidelity interpretations to ranked.

High Fidelity airs weekly on Sunday nights on Starz in Canada starting February 23rd.


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