“High Fidelity” keeps marching across the media landscape.
It was a 1995 Nick Hornby novel … a 2000 John Cusack movie … and a 2006 Broadway musical. Now it’s a streaming series – a good one – arriving Friday(Feb.14) on Hulu.
In each version, we meet Rob, a young record-store owner who composes top-5 lists while facing romance setbacks.
Details change along the way. Rob was originally white and male; now the role is beautifully played by Zoe Kravitz (shown here), who is neither.
But rippling through this version is something more – a nostalgic fondness for record stores.
“Just being in the record store,” said Da’Vine Joy Randolph. “You’re just looking through …. When you’re submerged in music, it’s natural to pick up new styles and stuff.”
She discovered Paul McCartney’s “Arrow Through Me”; David Holmes, who plays another store worker, found Stevie Wonder’s “I Believe (When I Fall in Love).”t
And Kravitz, who also produces the series, shares their passion.
“I’ve always loved record stores …. I used to go to Virgin Records, Tower Records,” she said. “When a new album came out, you’d wait in line and you’d go stand and you’d go talk to people, you’d go listen to things. It was a way to connect with people and you had to physically go get something.”
That notion began to fade. Today, there are fewer book stores … much fewer record stores … and almost no video stores. “You talk to someone younger than me,” said Kravitz, 31, “and they don’t even know what a Blockbuster is. And that’s crazy.”
Now such places are making a modest TV comeback. In “Katy Keene” (8 p.m. Thursdays, CW), Josie – of Pussycats fame – works at a record store; in “High Fidelity,”the store contrasts with some of its newer neighbors. “There’s the coffee shop … that sort of represents what our characters hate about gentrification,” said producer Veronica West.
Kravitz is a surprising choice to star – partly because she’s accustomed to big-budget, special-effects movies and partly because … well, she’s female. Until now, the lovelorn shop owner has been male.
In other ways, she’s perfect for this merger of music and emotion. Her dad (Lenny Kravitz) is a rock star; her mom (Lisa Bonet, of “Cosby Show” fame) is an actress … who was in the original “High Fidelity” movie. “I didn’t go to the (set),” Kravitz said. “It was in Chicago; I think I was in school here in LA and I probably stayed with my grandmother or something.”
Now she’s on the set everyday, absorbing humor, heartbreak and the days-gone-by feeling of a store that sells real records.