Believin’ In Heathens

Elizabeth Gillies as ‘Gigi’ in “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll” (S1)When I sat down to watch FX’s new sitcom Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, all I knew about it was that it starred series-creator Denis Leary as ‘Johnny Rock’, the washed-up lead-singer of a semi-famous 90s rock band trying to make a comeback… which was all I really needed to know, personally. I have fond memories of singing along to Leary’s comedy tracks on road-trips with my friends back in the day… and still laugh my head off every time I hear his “Traditional Irish Folk Song”… so I went into this show with an open mind and eager ears.

As expected, there were plenty of Leary’s trademark drug jokes and pop-culture references… but just when things had started settling into a comfortable “loveable loser keeps losing” groove, Elizabeth Gillies rocked up as Johnny’s previously-unknown offspring, ‘Gigi’, to whip him (and the show) into shape. It was perfectly natural for Leary to give himself the lead role, but the most refreshing thing about SDRR is that he’s actually given Gillies’ character all the power: She’s young, smart, beautiful, ambitious, talented, commanding, and has enough money in the bank to hire her own father as a songwriter, along with his former bandmates to back her up, as she shamelessly strides her way to fame and fortune. While Johnny gets the lion’s share of the screentime in the first episode, Gigi dominates all their scenes together, working her shell-shocked father like a puppet, asserting her sexual agency all over his former-best-friend and co-writer (played by John Corbett), and strutting circles around everyone in the rehearsal room! The terror on the men’s faces says it all…

Admittedly, some of the jokes are a bit creaky, but the cast are sparky (including Elaine Hendrix as Johnny’s long-time girlfriend, ‘Ava’), the music’s good, and the premise is admirable… so roll on the next episode!

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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2 Responses to Believin’ In Heathens

  1. Jay says:

    I’d be willing to check it out for Leary alone!

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