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"My Guide to Becoming a Rock Star" Review

By Shawn McKenzie 03/17/2002

I should start out this review by making a confession:  I love portrayals of musicians!  Whether it be A Hard Day's Night, "The Monkees," The Blues Brothers, or Almost Famous, I am a sucker for a hard-luck rock band story.

Actually, it doesn't even have to be a rock band.  It could be rappers (CB4, Fear Of A Black Hat), country musicians (Coal Miner's Daughter, Dill Scallion), or even boy bands (MTV's "2gether.")  Heck, one of my favorite shows on TV currently is Showtime's "The Chris Isaak Show."

That is why I am going against the grain and saying that I really liked the WB's new show "My Guide To Becoming A Rock Star."

I am fully aware that I am in the minority here (as a burgeoning entertainment web site, I don't have the opportunity yet to review advanced tapes of TV shows, so I have to watch them at the same time as everyone else.)  Most reviews I have read have been negative.  They say it is another clichéd "struggling rock band" show (kind of like the WB's dearly-departed Sixth Sense-meets-rock 'n' roll show "Dead Last," which I also liked.)  Well...

There are a couple of clichés.  The show does have the stock characters of the handsome lead singer, the scruffy bearded guitarist, and the tough-as-nails punk chick bassist.  Plus the drummer dies in the second episode (This Is Spinal Tap anyone?)

That is where the clichés end, at least in my mind.  This is the first so-called "struggling rock band" to employ a DJ in the band, something (at least lately) that is becoming a staple in rock bands.  Also the drummer is gay (which is actually less of an original character and more of a plot device to further the romance between the lead singer and the DJ.)  But I am getting ahead of myself...

The show is an adaptation of a British hit TV series ("A Young Person's Guide To Becoming A Rock Star" about a guy giving the audience a mock-tutorial about how to become a rock star.  (If anyone really thinks they are going to actually learn something about being a rock star from watching this show, then they will be destined to singing "Margaritaville" with me at karaoke night.)  Oliver Hudson (Kate's brother) plays Jace Darnell, the lead singer and narrator.  He is backed by his guitarist Doc (Kevin Rankin), bass player Joe (Lauren Hodges), drummer Auggie (Kris Pope), and DJ/love interest Sarah.  Together they are a band called Slip Dog.

The show follows each step they take on their way to their hoped-for superstardom.  In the first three episodes, they got a manager, auditioned a new drummer, added a DJ, and dealt with fans.  The show is a comedy, but it has been following the latest trend of single-camera, no laugh-track "dramedy."  This isn't a show that is going to win many Emmys, but it does serve its purpose of entertaining me.  I'll be adding it to my watching schedule.

Finally, I think I have another theory as to why other critics don't like this show.  As a whole, critics are all geeks (myself included.)  If you watch the Comedy Central game show "Beat the Geeks," you will notice that most geeks are very specialized in their area of interest and knowledge.  As a geek, my interests and knowledge lie mainly in movies, TV, and music.  I think that is why I tend to like a music-themed show more than most critics.  Sure, they have an appreciation of music, but they probably are not as engrossed in it as me.  Just a thought.

Check it out before you automatically chalk it up to being bad based on other reviews.  You might have a rockin' good time!  (Okay, I may have gone too far with that one...)




Ratings System:


Try to catch this show every week...

If a better show is on, tape this one...

If nothing else is on, maybe this will be good...

If this show is on, change the channel immediately!


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