Reimagining the central character of the 2000 movie of the same name (itself based on the 1995 Nick Hornby novel) gives a well-known story some crucial juice in this low-key series. Zoe Kravitz has a cool, laid-back energy, a solid contrast to John Cusack's portrayal of Rob as frenetic, unsettled, and obsessive. The difference makes this series play slightly unevenly at first: Kravitz's Rob doesn't seem like the kind of woman who controls her emotions with relentless list-making and music nerding. Maybe that's why after a few episodes, the top-five lists die down a bit, and Rob begins to come into better focus, a cool girl having city adventures instead of a flying-off-the-handle man-boy, though no less worse the wear from her romantic travails.
There are other things you'll have to forgive this series for. Rob's record store, despite being so unpopular that it has only one Yelp review, seems to make enough money to pay her rent (she lives alone in an implausibly huge NYC apartment) and for two full-time employees. Speaking of said employees, their musical taste is suspect. If Rob is the same age as Kravitz, she's in her early '30s. Would a woman born in 1988 know (and care!) so much about Bowie and Fleetwood Mac? Might some hip-hop be played occasionally in her store? Rob and her employees seem to have the taste of middle-aged folks, which makes sense because the fantastic soundtrack is overseen by Questlove (age 49), but it doesn't make sense in the context of the show. Nonetheless, these minor flaws are easy to overlook, because it's so much fun to watch these authentic-feeling characters spar, and hang out, and alternately offer support and mockery. High Fidelity is a delight that viewers will want to play on repeat.