Hulu presented its new series High Fidelity to reporters at the TCA winter press tour and brought out executive producers Sarah Kucserka, Veronica West, and Scott Rosenberg, co-writer of the 2000 feature adaptation, along with show headliner and EP Zoë Kravitz as well as co-stars David Holmes, Jake Lacy and Da’Vine Joy Randolph. The streaming service also unveiled a new trailer (see above).
Inspired by Nick Hornby’s 1995 novel, the gender-flipping reimagining sees Kravitz as Rob, the ultimate music fan and record store owner who’s obsessed with pop culture and Top Five lists. Set in Crowne Heights, Brooklyn, the series will follow the relationship challenged Rob and chronicle her past relationships through music and pop culture as she seeks to answer big questions about modern friendships, love, relationships, dating, sex, basically all the stuff that matters in life.
“I didn’t want to redo High Fidelity without making this change,” said West. “When you watch a lot of romantic comedies with female leads the problem always seems to be you can’t find the right man or you’re desperate to get married or you’re self-destructive in some way. When a man gets to be the lead, the problems are internal. It was interesting for us to put that in a woman’s point of view and let her issues with romance really just be about learning how to figure out herself and not finding mister right.”
Though the character might differ outwardly from the original and the book, West insists that the series adaption maintains the “core conflict of the central character.”
“The main things we wanted to keep were the core conflict of the central character who is this hopeless romantic which is fueled by the obsession with pop music, at the same time a total cynic with will things ever work out. That core issue for that character seems something really universal even it’s classically male characteristics.”
She continued, “so that core character and the DNA of the source material, with the Top Five lists and obsession over music, those are the things that define the length between the show and the other properties but the story of the show is something beautiful and different. It’s not a love story between just two people but really a love story about Rob learning how to love herself.”
For Kravitz the show hits close to home, not only by the fact her mom, Lisa Bonet, starred in the 2000 iteration but also the setting and how it tackles the issue of gentrification. “I lived in New York for a long time and I’ve seen a lot of neighborhoods change. In terms of creating Rob in her environment, I drew upon my own experience, she said.
The show really steps up in terms of representation, putting two Black females at the center.
“Not only did you flip it with females but you flipped it with two females of color. “Two black women get to tell this story,” said Randolph who plays the counterpart to Jack Black’s character in the film. “There are many different variants within the black culture.. I feel like what’s so beautiful is that we got to represent the other side of that girl that you haven’t seen.”
High Fidelity debuts Feb. 14 on Hulu.