It’s too bad that Z Rock—an inside-showbiz sitcom about a Brooklyn band—arrives on the heels of HBO’s incomparably eccentric pop-music comedy, Flight of the Conchords; while stylistically tamer, Z Rock has potential. The show stars real Brooklyn trio Z02, consisting of brothers Paulie and David Z and their childhood pal Joey Cassata. They’re midlevel rockers who once toured with Kiss, yet they pay the rent by entertaining children under the name Z Brothers. Their dual identity yields some mildly amusing, dirty-funny plots (including one about groupies who service the brothers after a nighttime gig, then appear as guests at a kiddie birthday party where they’re revealed to be married moms).
Alas, the episodes sent out for review suggest that Z Rock is content to skim the surface of its premise rather than tap the mother lode of anxiety roiling beneath. In essence, this is a tale of young studs resisting adult disillusionment. Going forward, the writers should draw inspiration from episode six—in which Dave Navarro preens like a sleazeball Fellini while directing a video that he hopes will “cross the streams” of the band’s identities—and from the band’s ballbusting manager, Dina (Lynne Koplitz). She’s an over-thirty rock chick who still does coke (and lamely pretends she’s quit), yet generously covers the band’s delinquent bills while demanding that they respect themselves and her. Half supergroupie, half surrogate mother, Dina’s a grown-up who never grew up—a recognizable type that Z Rock rarely musters the nerve to critique.