High Fidelity makes me revel and reminisce

In Hulu’s High Fidelity Zoë Kravitz plays record store owner Rob. It’s and adaption of Nick Hornby’s iconic 1995 book now bravely placed in 2020. It feels contemporary yet makes me reminisce as I intensely relate to Rob.

In High Fidelity Zoë Kravitz plays 30-year old record store owner Rob who in the first episode lists her top five worse relationship breakups. Yes, the Hulu show is an adaptation of the book of the same name, Nick Hornby’s third, but first novel. The book has already been turned into a movie and later a musical, but not a tv show until now. It’s brave letting it take place in 2020 being such an iconic 1990’s tale, but as it turns out it works perfectly. It feels contemporary, yet it makes me reminisce this special time in my life, my twenties. 

TV women are extroverted, seldom have much humor, worries too much about their appearance and never ever have any hobbies.

Watching the ten episodes fills me with such emotions as I’m trying to figure out just why I love this show so much. The 1990’s was the decade when I was young and out and about. I watched tons of movies, read many books and disappeared into music – thinking now of the that time seeing Lenny Kravitz at a 1990 music festival. High Fidelity was one of those books and one definitely representing the decade.

HIgh fidelity 1x01 Rob
Rob in the show is a million times cooler than I ever was, yet I relate to her so much. The way she takes comfort in music, discusses movies with her friends and have this inner voice talking all the times – yes, she breaks the fourth wall – as she ponders over her love-life (where as I was mostly wishing for a love-life in the first place). Tv shows have long been filled with young, single 20- and 30-somethings in really good shows, but very seldom have I been able to identify much with any of them. With Rob I do and one reason is that while she certainly is into love as most young women, she is not into other ”girlish” things I find difficult to relate to – because in the book the character is a guy of course.

The dialogue itself never tries to be cool and snappy. Instead it is allowed to be a bit awkward and real as Rob is trying to come to terms with her heartbreaks

I am used to relate to male characters, and never had a problem with that. The men of Generation X in the 1990’s American Independent movies – I was lost together with them – or my favorite older guy, The Fabulous Baker Boy’s Jack Baker (Jeff Bridges) who struggled with his life choices. With time movies, but especially tv shows had more women as front characters and now also middle-aged women. And although there are exceptions for sure, I often find it hard to relate. TV women are extroverted, spend too much time thinking about weddings and motherhood. They seldom have much humor, worries too much about their appearance and never ever have any hobbies.

High Fidelity 1x05 Rob
Rob on the other hand is a thinker, not a talker. She makes endless lists in her head reminding me of just how many things are going on in mine. She has great taste in music – she likes the same Bowie songs that I do (Modern Love) and she introduces me to Wings songs I never knew I needed to hear (Arrow Through Me). And yes, she has humor, she is super-interested in movies and music, and in this case she has managed to turn her hobby into her job.

Rob is not a perfectly cool person, she has flaws and Kravitz touchingly balances the annoying with the vulnerable.

But it’s not only who she is that makes me love the show, it is how it is done. The dialogue itself never tries to be cool and snappy. Instead it is allowed to be a bit awkward and real as Rob is trying to come to terms with her heartbreaks, have inappropriate flings and maybe daring to find love again. Rob is not a perfectly cool person, she has flaws and Kravitz touchingly balances the annoying with the vulnerable. Then again there is the music accompanying it all. I read one reviewer saying it having four music supervisors (but Nathan Larson is the main responsible) was not making the soundtrack consistent, but just listening to the score, I’m in love with this romantic comedy of sorts.

High Fidelity is a lovely show – created by Sarah Kucserka and Veronica West – and Zoë Kravitz embodies that love seeking, music loving, record store owner just perfectly.  

High Fidelity is a Hulu original.

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