Monday, August 2, 2021

Review: ‘For the Record’ Hits All the Right Notes [SXSW Online 2021]

The pilot episode of the comedy-drama For the Record — created and written by Julian De Zotti — had its international premiere at SXSW Online 2021 this week. This six-episode anthology series features a cast of interconnected characters, and their stories are told alongside soundtrack of iconic songs that represent pivotal moments in their lives.

Nerds and Beyond had a chance to dive into this charming, funny, and heartwarming show in its entirety, and I’m here to ensure you that it’s a must-see. For the Record‘s chain of events is set off by a painful breakup between Angela (Anna Hopkins) and Ray (De Zotti). Setting the stage for the central role that music will play across the series as a whole, the first episode focuses on the couple’s difficult mission to divvy up their prized record collection with minimal bloodshed. It’s an amusing and relatable peek into the fallout of a relationship, and also an important representation of the emotional attachment that we form with songs and records.

There’s an inherent risk with anthologies, in which the flow of the story may falter if the writing doesn’t cohesively pull the various characters together. That’s not the case here though. For the Record features a wonderful and diverse cast, and they each portray sets of characters with their own unique stories. Although the lives and experiences of the characters may all be incredibly different, the script, the actors, the filming style, and their collective love of music are a central beating heart that ties the entire series together beautifully. The subtle connections between the characters wove their way into what ended up being a satisfyingly full circle story. And despite the short nature of the episodes, the series is written in such a way that I found myself very quickly engrossed in the lives of each set of characters.

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Each cast member brought something special to the table with this one, and two particular standouts were Lyriq Bent and Alannah Ong. Bent truly embodied the charisma of his character Stefan, fully embracing the vibe of the episode’s soundtrack, The Weeknd’s “I Feel It Coming.” Meanwhile, Ong put on a wonderful performance in the portrayal of Joy, a 70-year-old widow who strikes up a lovely, eye-opening connection with a woman named Fiona.

Overall, For the Record proves itself to be an entertaining anthology series that hits all the right beats.

Check out the rest of our SXSW Online 2021 coverage here!

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Lindsey
Lindsey joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2018. She has spent a large portion of her life dedicated to her first love, photography. When she's not behind the camera, she's likely reading books and comics or dabbling in creative writing. Otherwise, she's probably yelling about something Star Wars or Marvel related on Twitter @lindyysolo. Contact: lindsey@nerdsandbeyond.com

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