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Roadies - Friends and Family & Longest Days Review: "Homecoming"

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Roadies Season 1 Episode Guide
1.01. "Life is a Carnival" - Review!
1.02. "What Would Phil Do?" - Review!
1.03. "The Bryce Newman Letter" - Review!
1.04. "The City Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken" - Review!
1.05. "Friends and Family" - Review!
1.06. "Longest Days" - Review!
1.07. "Carpet Season" - (Aired August 7)
1.08. "The All Night Bus Ride" - (Aired August 14)
1.09. "The Corporate Gig" - (Airs August 21)
1.10. "The Load Out" - (Airs August 28)

Apologies for the delay in getting these reviews up, I was away when the episodes aired so was unable to get them up until now! A double review of 1.07 & 1.08 will follow after later this week!

Roadies 1.05. Friends and Family - Review:
Directed by Allison Liddi-Brown & Written by David J. Rosen

The fifth episode of Roadies reaches the halfway point in the series, featuring an inevitable hookup and more backstory behind Janine, the titular character of the song that was played for the first time by the Staton-House band in ages, and was instrumental in convincing Kelly-Ann to stay. It turns out that Sean has rejoined the crew and now Shelli wants to see him, leaving voicemails on his phone.

Meanwhile, Bill enters Christopher's dressing room, and ever the suspicious one, Puna has warned the crew about something dark that might damage the band especially when there's a supermoon in the air. The suspicion that darkness could be coming is caused by the fact that Christopher wants to play Janine tonight and Bill asks him if that's something whether he really wants to do.

This leads to Christopher recalling the last time that he spent with Janine and it was apparent that she was not okay with his desire for both drugs and drinking even if she was on board with his career goals. She broke his heart so much that he refuses to let go of the cup she drank from when she told him this, and the two eventually decide to give Janine, now a Nurse in Boulder, tickets to the show as long as she doesn't have backstage access. Because that always ends up well.

The group also need a lead-in band for Staton-House, which is something that Bill's seemingly going to be looking for until the end of the series. After shutting down Milo's request for his band Black Atlas to play, he turns to Lucius instead. Milo's response is to take it out on Kelly-Ann, who is falling victim to a lie that Donna spread about that she and Reg hooked up.It's therefore fairly safe to say that these two aren't on the best of terms right now.

Shelli is meanwhile disappointed that it doesn't look like Sean is going to arrive at the gig tonight, and also has to deal with her sister being among the audience. She ends up bumping into a new arrival at the crew, and she's not the only one who's having trouble with romance, or lack thereof. Bill heads to Lorraine's house, who is wondering what's wrong with him. She doesn't need anything from Bill as she's now happy with her life, but despite this allows him to reclaim Christopher's jacket in her garage. Bill ends up deciding to apologize to Lorraine anyway, following a brief moment of realization.

Reg meanwhile is facing a problem when it comes to looking for Janine and he doesn't actually know who he's supposed to be looking for, as she hasn't been around in years. Reg gives her a warning that the band need to leave early, so there's no inviting her backstage. The two end up getting along unexpectedly well and it turns out that Janine has a bunch of journals and recordings of the Staton-House band, and this helps go along with Reg's need for a box set for the group.

Things are spiraling even more out of control when they discover that Lucius is apparently nowhere to be seen, forcing Black Atlas into play. The group are pretty nervous about this but are saved at the last minute thanks to the arrival of Lucius who were delayed watching Dead Sex, the same show that Shelli was watching earlier. Lucius' arrival leads to a surprisingly successful gig, which was a miracle when you consider everything that went incredibly wrong before it.

Bill and Shelli end up hooking up at the end of the episode, after finding each other backstage. Shelli's constant attempts to find someone to hook-up with ended up in failure, first with Wes and then with the latest arrival. These two have been heading towards a hookup since fairly on and although the show's attempt to force a relationship hasn't always been natural, it was still a fairly effective payoff and a decent end to the episode that worked pretty well particularly given the focus on both characters' struggles beforehand.

Overall Episode Verdict: B-
+Reg and Janine
+Exploring Shelli/Bill's characters more.
-Weak Kelly-Ann/Donna drama.

Roadies 1.06. Longest Days - Review:
Directed by Jonathan Kasdan, Written by Cameron Crowe & Tom Kapinos

Longest Days almost acts as the epilogue, the morning after if you will, of Friends and Family, with the second day of Staton-House's band spent in Denver dealing with what happened the night before. For some there are bigger problems than others, namely Bill and Shelli, who hooked up. This episode also features Marc Maron in a guest role.

Kelly Ann is in trouble though because she has lost her pass, and this means that she has to wear the chicken hat of shame in response, which she ends up having for most of the episode. And whilst all of these problems are going on John Mellencamp arrives to help up with Winston, who is doing his best to try and annoy Wes who unlike the previous people who look after him, will not quit. It turns out that Winston wants to learn how to play the guitar after Wes mentioned it. But Winston's still not willing to co-operate even with John, who is furious when he spilled a smoothie on a guitar that used to be Woodie Guthrie's. Wes ends up realizing just how stupid he is in front of a legend, realizing that he should be helping Wintson a bit more than he has done.

Rick meanwhile is having problems staying sober and calls in Marc Maron who is a big Staton-House Band fan to help out. And then the inevitable happens with Janine, who is able to get backstage causing conflict between her and Christopher after he hasn't talked to her in years. They both fight and it is revealed that she has both a book deal and a lawyer, and wants to be paid what she deserves for being the inspiration for his fair share of songs. To make matters worse, she also tells him that she and Bill slept together, creating even more of a friction between the two.

Bill meanwhile ends up talking to Shelli where he tells her that he'll respect her decision about whether or not he wants the affair to go on. This was a pretty great moment in the show, and was probably one of the highlights of the hour. The scenes between these two haven't always worked but this was probably one of their strongest together, and hopefully is a sign of greater things to come, because in an inconsistent episode where some scenes, namely the Christopher/Janine showdown - don't work, it's a welcome breather.

So whilst Longest Highway may not quite have reached the level of Friends and Family, there was still good stuff to be had in this episode as the show continues to show potential but six episodes into the series and with only four to go, we need to have an improvement if the show is to get renewed. I hope it does, because there have been moments throughout this series that have showed just how good the show can get at times, and it just needs to cut away the problems that it has to turn itself from a decent show into a great one.

Overall Episode Verdict: C

About the Author - Milo MJ
Milo is an Arsenal FC supporter and loves TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, Justified, The 100, The Americans and Person of Interest. He reviews Black Sails, Hell on Wheels, Murder in the First, Narcos, Preacher, Roadies, Star Trek Discovery, The Shannara Chronicles and Veep for Spoiler TV as well as books, films and games for his own blog The Fictional Hangout and contributes to comic reviews on a weekly basis for All-Comic.
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