Vinyl Season 1 Episode 7 Review: The King and I

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They got me again!

Despite the fact I should now be looking for a gotcha moment and all the signs were there, I was secure with the gals being crooks right up until we saw Zak in bed with them on Vinyl Season 1 Episode 7. Was anybody else taken for a ride like me? (Ummm...pun not intended!)

Not only that, but the conversation between Richie and Elvis was lovely and reminded me of what could have been and what we probably missed out on in part because of mismanagement by Colonel Tom Parker.

It's worthwhile to recall these things without delving too deep. A quick flash here and there. I'd like to think it's Mick Jagger's influence giving the older rock n roll stars some credit when it's due.

Stop in Vegas - Vinyl

American Century Records is still in cost cutting mode, going so far as to slash their entertainment budget in addition to selling off the company jet..

Act British, spend Yiddish.


They aren't messing around. So it was no surprise when Zak wanted to accompany Richie on his trip to Los Angeles to sell the jet. Richie would be getting his hands onto a lot of money, and Richie and cash just don't go well together, even when he's back on the wagon.

Zak: I'd trust my wife naked in bed with Burt Reynolds before I'd trust you alone with 200 grand in cash!
Richie: I vaguely see your point!

The entire trip, though, showed a Richie Finestra exercising great restraint. It was surprising. It may be why I was missing all of the signs. When he first looked at the bottle on the plane, I didn't see 18. I saw booze. Of course it's sticking out to Richie. He had to be dying for a drink.

Zak has been in such a rut with his own life that the moment he set foot onto the jet all of his tendencies to be the chaperone disappeared. He started boozing and when drugs appeared, snorting those up his nose, too. Women? Hell yeah! It was a Zak we hadn't yet seen.

But really, who can blame him? Richie can't have all the fun all of the time. Except that was the sole reason Zak said he went on the trip, because he didn't trust Richie on his own. 

I loved the party they went to in LA, and meeting up with Stephen Stills, and sightings of David Crosby and Neil Young, as well as Mama Cass Elliott, of the Mamas and the Papas. Because I know you care, I'm listening to CSN right now. Vinyl is making me dig out old albums (digital, I'm not that crazy!), and that's pretty cool.

I also spent time on Wikipedia and other sites refreshing my mind about Colonel Tom Parker. The Elvis show Richie and Zak saw would have probably been a bummer if they were expecting old hits, but what I wouldn't give now to go back in time even to see him doing that show.

It's kind of hard to believe Elvis died at the age of 42. No, not kind of hard to believe, very hard to believe. When you look at icons, especially one who died in Elvis' condition, you expect him to have been much older than that. It's deplorable that he was allowed to fall to pieces as he did.

It would be amazing to think someone like Richie could have come in and lit the fire under Elvis, turning him onto the craft he loved so much, in essence saving him from himself. But the reality was that did happen. 

The Aloha from Hawaii special Elvis did was an incredible boost to his career and is what got him the Vegas gig. Colonel Tom Parker was taking 50% of everything Elvis made. He was mismanaging The King in ways we never knew. For Aloha, Elvis put his foot down and used a smaller band singing older songs. Just like Richie suggested.

Later Elvis could have starred in A Star is Born with Barbara Streisand, but Parker turned it down without consulting Elvis. He also turned down $5 and then $10 million for Elvis to play in Saudi Arabia because he didn't think he could have gotten a US passport. Richie didn't stand a chance, and neither did Elvis.

Zak was having the time of his life, living out his own rockstar dreams while Richie was trying to land the big fish. He was so into his own head he missed Richie coming back to the room. 

It's so sad to think Richie has his own head so far up his ass that he'd allow Zak to think he lost all that money to a couple of tarts he was entertaining in a three-way. I mean, what kind of friend would let a man's only three-way be tarnished like that?! It's despicable. 

Zak will never do that again, that's for sure. And he sure wasn't kidding when he said he couldn't trust Richie with a pile of money. There's a reason I always set limits on myself when I went to Vegas. It would be so easy to get the fever and be oh-so-certain you were going to hit it big next time. It hurts to think of that wheel spinning.

If only I cared as much about what was going down with Jamie and Clark back at the office. Those minor stories never have the kick they need to fit in with the main plots, almost diminishing in contrast. Elvis/mailroom...Drunken three-way/nasty mom and aunt... Nope. No contest.

One thing I know is that, much like one of you said in the comments last week, I may not be really excited to watch this when I begin, but as it plays out, I find myself more and more invested as the hour progresses.

By the end I'm digging out old music and jumping onto the internet to research. Isn't that desire to continue on with the feeling you have while watching and to learn more about what you saw the indicator of good entertainment? That's always been my barometer, and Vinyl delivers more with every passing hour.

I'm not anywhere near ready for these characters' stories to be over, so I'm glad we have a second season to look to, as well. What about you? Did you enjoy seeing a different side to Elvis? Were you on board with the girls as thieves or did you know what was up with 18? 

What's ahead with Richie off the wagon again? I'd love to see him half crazy. Off the wagon by also off the coke. He doesn't work well on that. Drop me a line guys!

Rock on!

The King and I Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (6 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Vinyl Season 1 Episode 7 Quotes

Act British, spend Yiddish.


Zak: I'm comin' with ya.
Richie: You hate LA.
Zak: I hate everywhere.