Review: High Fidelity: New Rob, Same Feel?

“Rob, I agreed that what really matters is what you like, not what you are like… Books, records, films – these things matter…”  (High Fidelity 2000, 2020)

High Fidelity (2000) has been revamped for a new audience twenty years on. Before watching the TV series, I decided to watch the original film (*gasp* I know, I don’t know how I haven’t watched High Fidelity already!). The film gave me a lot to think about.

The main character Rob is moody, shallow, and a little horrible but for some reason I didn’t hate him – whether it was because of the patriarchy, the breaking the fourth wall technique or perhaps solely for John Cusack, I’m not sure. The indie style is exciting and breaks up the monotony of many of the sleek films we often see today. That being said, I was excited to see what new dimensions the Hulu’s TV show brought. In High Fidelity (2020) Rob Gordon is now Rob Brooks (Zoë Kravitz), and yes, her mother, Lisa Bonet, played Marie De Salle in the film. TV and film, though they share many similarities, have their differences and this means that there is freedom to do something exciting and new as you shift from one to the other. 

At first glance, apart from gender and race (and the better representation here should not be understated), there doesn’t seem to be many differences between the film and tv show. I shouldn’t compare the two, but I can’t help it! TV show Rob is still grumpy, loves a statement tee, DJs, owns a record shop, and is unlucky in love. Many of the famous lines from the film are repeated in new ways; for example, Simon, Rob’s ex, states that “Books, records, films – these things matter” in a relationship, rather than Rob herself. There are subtle differences in music, casting and relationships, but for the most part many scenarios and storylines are the same with a modern twist. For lovers of the film there are still many similarities one would find comforting.

Regarding the characters, Cherise and Simon are no Barry and Dick, but I guess that’s the point, they have their own vibe, and it is a funny one to watch. Rob and Mac‘s relationship, in just one montage, feels sweeter, more intense and developed than Rob and Laura’s ever was or could be. Clyde, he’s a sweet guy (and he grows on you!). 

Rob as a character is still a little annoying in my opinion, but much like Cusack in the film, Kravitz brings a charm and endearing sullenness to the TV show that will keep you watching. 

Final take away: if you’re looking for an elongated, updated, and funny twist of a classic then High Fidelity (2020) is for you. The TV show is now available to watch on Disney+.

Chloe Jarrett-Bell

Featured Image Source: Still via Youtube // HIGH FIDELITY Official Trailer (HD) Zoë Kravitz / JoBlo Streaming and TV Trailers.

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