Vinyl, Ep. 1.07: “The King And I” Might Mark Richie’s Turning Point

Vinyl, Season 1, Episode 7: “The King and I”
Written by David Matthews
Directed by Allen Coulter
Airs Sundays at 9pm on HBO

If Vinyl has managed to convey one thing about Richie’s personality, it’s that he never does anything halfway. He has to run his business with a constant pipeline of cocaine direct to his nose. When he has marital problems, he has to dive into a deep depression and go on a multi-day bender. And when he decides to try to pull his life back together, he throws out all the booze and gives up the drugs. And maybe there’s something to quitting cold turkey. Richie actually seemed confident and put together in “The King and I.” But Richie also exemplifies Freud’s death drive, and one way or another his current exploits will end in self-created destruction.

The recent round of layoffs at American Century weren’t enough to cut expenses, and the label won’t even be able to make payroll for the month. Richie’s solutions is to sell the label’s private plane. A label head in Los Angeles (played by The Sopranos’ John Ventimiglia) is willing to buy the jet, so Richie will fly it out there to sell. Zach also decides to accompany Richie, who isn’t well known for making responsible decisions. It’s a smart move by the writers, as Ray Romano has been consistently underused by this show. He’s an underrated actor whose bits of comedy add a necessary lightness to the show, but he’s also great at conveying the uncertainty and vulnerability of a man who just wants to support his wife and children.

After selling the plane, Richie and Zach schmooze at a party with Graham Nash and Stephen Stills, until they hear some gossip that Elvis is unhappy with his current label. . .

Read the rest at PopOptiq.com.

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