Paradise City (2021)


Not too long ago, as I was scrolling through Facebook (as we do these days) I stumbled upon a “sponsored link” for a new television series called Paradise City.  Something about that link caught my eye, so I headed off to IMDB to find out more… 

A controversial rock band with ties to the occult and the maestros who work with them try to keep their west coast family dynamic together amidst the chaos of the industry as a haunting secret of the singer and a young groupie arrives on his doorstep. Their path intertwines with an east coast rookie kid who idolizes them and tries to make his way in the music business as the ultimate underdog.

Ok, sounds interesting.  But who’s in it…?  Andy Biersack of Black Veil Brides, along with Ryan Hurst, Drea de Matteo and Mark Boone Junior, all of whom played pivotal roles in Sons of Anarchy, Bella Thorne, Booboo Stewart, Fairuza Balk plus minor roles and cameos filled by legit rock and metal artists such as Randy Blythe, Nita Strauss, James Cassells, Sid Wilson and more.  

There’s even a very sweary role from long time WWE wrestling announcer, Jim Ross.  

Ok, sign me up.  

In my household, there are 4 streaming services, and unfortunately Paradise City was not available on any of them.  While looking at Apple TV to explore options on where to view it, my dumb arse accidentally bought the entire season.  How very tech savvy of me…  

Let’s call it a happy accident though, because I thoroughly enjoyed the series, as did my wife.  

Throughout the 8 episode arc we are given sex, drugs, and rock n roll turmoil with the fictional band, The Relentless.  The inner workings of the band, and the dramas that surround them are front and centre in the series.  Some of the more interesting moments come thanks to the younger up and coming promoter, Simon, and his fledging career.  

Simon (played by the late Cameron Boyce) deals with a mother who has plenty of baggage, a father who doesn’t want him, and a band of his own, all while becoming a significant local promoter.  His story provides the heart and soul of the show. 

Paradise City is well written and directed by Ash Avildsen (real life founder of Sumerian Records) and serves as a sequel of sorts to his 2017 film American Satan (haven’t seen it yet, but will watch to get some Relentless backstory).  

Overall, Paradise City may not be the most realistic portrayal of the rock n roll lifestyle – but it is extremely watchable.  

7/10

Shayne McGowan

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