Netflix’s Westside sets expectations with release of first two music videos


On Thursday, Warner Bros. Records and Netflix released the music videos for “We Are the Ones” and “Vibe,” ahead of the Nov. 9 premiere for Westside.

Their release, combined with the series trailer, starts to bring into focus what Netflix meant when they billed Westside as a cross between The Hills and Glee.

The music videos come as a stark contrast to the trailer. They’re the Glee to the trailer’s The Hills. Gone are the tears, emotional confrontations, and music rehearsals. This is the finished product.

“We Are the Ones” opens with home videos of the artists projected on a wall. It’s easy to see how this song could act as an anthem for the show. The idea that these 20-somethings were born with dreams of being musicians. They’ve all had their struggles and got back up. Now, watch them try to make it.

(Potentially sappy, sure. But, also potentially inspiring in the long run.)

More from Netflix

This video also serves as a nice introduction to the nine talented musicians that will be the focal point of the upcoming series. Notably headlined by American Idol alum Pia Toscano, Taz Zavala, Arika Gluck, James Byous, Caitlyn Ary, Leo Gallo, Alexandra Kay, Austin Kolbe, and Sean Patrick Murray round out the cast.

Westside will follow these nine Los Angeles-based musicians over eight episodes as they work toward a Hollywood showcase to try to springboard their careers. (It makes you wonder, which is actually a better springboard: a Hollywood showcase or being featured in a Netflix series?)

According to series producer Melinda Kelly in an interview with Billboard, the show will feature 19 music videos that will be “seamlessly interwoven into the cast storylines.” Which sounds a lot like “they’ll break out into song,” if you ask me.

But watching the footage from the trailer—raw, honest and heartfelt, if potentially overdramatic—it’s hard to see how something as polished and vibrant as the tropical jam “Vibe” will mesh well. A juxtaposition like that is what led Vulture’s Josef Adalian to say that on paper, Westside sounds like it could go “horribly wrong—the Cop Rock of reality shows.”

(For those unfamiliar, Cop Rock was a 1990 police drama where, well, characters would break out into song. Some memorable moments include a judge and jury singing that someone is guilty and cops being urged to be careful on duty…in song. But hey, Sheryl Crow played an undercover cop in one episode.)

What Westside has going for it so far is they do both sides of this The Hills/Glee dichotomy well. The songs are pretty good (“Vibe” is a lot of fun and makes it feel like it’s not October right now) and there’s legitimate drama to be had.

dark. Next. Netflix and Matt Reeves in talks to make Idol with Hailee Steinfeld

It’s easy to forget that this isn’t a group who is trying to mesh to perform together long-term. They’re working together to find solo careers. Jealousy is bound to pop up. (And I am here for it.)

Westside is the next step in Netflix’s journey into unscripted television, after the success of the reboot of Queer Eye. Whether or not Westside takes off like its makeover predecessor or falls on deaf ears like its 90’s era cop drama counterpart, the show promises to be full of drama and flashy musical numbers. I, for one, am ready to find out what happens.

What do you think? Check out the trailer and the first two music videos from the series above.