The Playlist review: A strong premise accompanied by exceptional writing

The Playlist follows the story of the people responsible for Spotify, the platform that changed the music industry but, at the same time, possibly exploited the artists who joined it. The series is now streaming on Netflix.

Story

Daniel Ek, a tech entrepreneur, took note of the difficult times the music industry was going through with sites like The Pirate Bay sharing music online for free.

Chancing upon the situation, Daniel came up with an idea to introduce a streaming platform called ‘Spotify’ that would allow listeners to stream music for free.

Apart from that, the platform would also benefit artists and record labels, who will come on board to release their music here.

As Ek embarked on this mission, a number of people joined him, who saw this platform as the future of the music industry.

Eventually, he also had to compromise when it came to getting the rights to the music he wanted to stream on his platform.

While some were happy with the decisions Ek was making, as they saw a bigger picture, some weren’t.

After realizing that Ek’s platform is indeed exploiting artists, some of the big names in the music industry decided to stand up against Ek, including one of his own friends.

Performances

Edvin Endre perfectly encompasses the spirit of a tech entrepreneur as he plays Daniel Ek. He brilliantly projects feelings of frustration, anger, dissatisfaction, and sometimes even a rookie who is trying to get into business.

Gizem Erdogan as Petra Hansson is the next to take note of, due to the calming presence she brought onto the screen. Furthermore, her character was the one to introduce a pivotal idea that got the company running on the path of success.

Joel Lützow plays a regular nerd in the form of Andreas Ehn, and similarly, Ulf Stenberg as Per Sundin captures the emotions of a businessman who is at risk of losing his empire.

They both give decent performances, adding nothing new to the characters they have been assigned.

Lastly, Christian Hillborg brings up an energetic presence for the character of Martin Lorentzon, who is more or less like the life of the party for the company Daniel Ek is running.

Positives

The show encapsulates the success of Spotify through different perspectives rather than focusing on just one that could be of the founder.

These perspectives, apart from the founder’s, are from people who come from different fields of expertise. Thus, making the show a bit more relatable for almost every other person who comes from the field of tech, business, law, or art.

These perspectives also give the viewer a clear idea of the climate in which the platform was built and the problems it faced before embarking on the road to success.

The third episode especially features a number of beautiful transitions while telling the story from Petra Hansson’s side. These transitions are quite exciting, and every other moment feels like a big one when the scene is switched.

The show also makes a number of pop-culture references that only those who grew up during that era will notice. Even people who follow the music industry closely will like how Spotify gets compared to MTV.

Negatives

The show often makes use of shaky camera effects in certain scenes, and it is not consistent. Also, this effect doesn’t really suit the story we are being told.

Though the different perspectives are clearly a thumbs up, there is also a downside that comes with it. These perspectives cause the show to make slow progress, and there are several parts that don’t link with each other.

Lastly, we have lead characters for each episode, and they don’t make it to the finale, which is disappointing as we hardly get an idea of what went down with them in the near future.

Verdict

The Playlist is definitely a strong addition to Netflix’s library that perfectly captures the events surrounding Spotify’s formation and the problems music industries and artists go through to earn a living.

The episodes are well-written and have that knack to keep the viewers enthralled, in order to have them root for the platform’s as well as the artist’s success.

The Playlist
The Playlist review: A strong premise accompanied by exceptional writing 1

Director: Per-Olav Sørensen, Hallgrim Haug

Date Created: 2022-10-13 12:30

Editor's Rating:
4

Also Read: The Playlist ending explained: Does Daniel Ek save Spotify?