High Fidelity (2020)

On Valentine’s Day 2020, a wonderful show by the name of High Fidelity starring Zoe Kravitz was released on Hulu. A television remake of the movie by the same name starring John Cusack, it completely reframed the story by centering it around a black queer woman in Brooklyn. Legit, perfect television show for today’s world. As Esquire put it, “For far too long, music has been one of the many subjects over which men feel ownership and see fit to “explain” to women. How gratifying it is to see a millennial woman of color inhabit that same space of ownership, expertise, and deep passion for music. After decades of seeing women excluded from work as DJs, festival bookers, record label executives, and countless other roles in the business of music, it’s a revelation to see Kravitz’s Rob not just owning and exploring her passion, but making a living at it.”

High Fidelity follows Rob, a record store owner, as she navigates a bad breakup by taking a trip down memory lane to revisit her five worst breakups. The show also stars David H. Holmes and Da’Vine Joy Randolph as friends/record store co-workers Simon Miller and Cherise. Kingsley Ben-Adir plays recent ex Mac, and Jake Lacy plays potential new boyfriend Clyde. The casts’ chemistry individually and opposite other characters were incredible, even including the guest stars that were featured as Rob’s exes.

Zoe was absolutely perfect in this role, accentuated by her character’s amazing outfits and bomb music taste. Speaking of the music, this show had the best soundtrack ever. I liked it so much I bought the vinyl record they made with some selections of the show’s soundtrack, and listen to its Spotify playlist on repeat. It’s a mixes of oldies, new music, and obscure music, and will surely expand your discography. 

I personally hadn’t seen the original movie nor read the book that it was based off of. Nevertheless, being fresh faced, and seeing how it was representational of modern society and dating, I enjoyed it a lot. Honestly, even if I had been familiar with its predecessors, I would have still liked it. It’s a fresh take and has a stellar cast, what’s not to like? I absolutely loved the friendship of Rob, Cherise, and Simon. I also appreciated that Cherise and Simon had their own storylines and development that was separate from Rob. Normally the friends’ stories revolve around the main character, but that was the opposite here. 

Sixth months after the show dropped, Hulu canceled it, to many people’s dismay. Star Zoe Kravitz posted about the cancellation, not failing to take a sarcastic hit at Hulu for not having shows with women of color as the lead. Her show was the only one.

I will always believe that Hulu canceling this show was an enormous mistake. Not only was it widely loved by audiences, but also critically acclaimed. It was a step forward with Hulu, who didn’t have a worthy repertoire of shows with black female leads (or black leads in general). They still lack in the representation department in comparison to other streaming services. 

I truly think that High Fidelity will be one of Hulu’s best original shows of all time. At least it will live in infamy there.

Isabel Maina

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