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Shangri-La (miniseries)

Shangri-La is a four-part television documentary miniseries, directed by Morgan Neville and Jeff Malmberg, that aired on Showtime from July 12 to August 2, 2019. The series concerns the Shangri-La recording studio in Malibu, California and its owner, record producer and Def Jam Records co-founder Rick Rubin.[1][2][3] A "work-in-progress" cut of the docuseries was screened at the 2019 SXSW Festival.[4][5][6][7]

Shangri-La (miniseries).png
Television promotional poster
Directed by
StarringRick Rubin
Narrated byRick Rubin
Opening theme"Shangri-La" by The Lettermen
Composer(s)Daniel Wohl
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes4 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Morgan Neville
  • Rick Rubin
  • Danny Breen
  • Jeff Malmberg
  • Michael Goldberg
  • Isaac Heymann
  • Eric Lynn
  • Diana Schmedeman
  • Jason Schrift
  • Vinnie Malhotra
CinematographyNicola Marsh
  • Jake Hostetter
  • Tyler Hubby
  • Jeff Malmberg
  • Will Znidaric
Running time48–58 minutes
Production company(s)Tremolo Productions
DistributorShowtime Networks
Original networkShowtime
Original releaseJuly 12 (2019-07-12) –
August 2, 2019 (2019-08-02)
External links
Production website

The miniseries was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Music Film.




  • David Pluebell as Young Rick
  • Rowan Smyth as Kid Rick
  • Joseph Yokozuna Fatu as Wrestler Rick
  • David Nesler as Young Rick Magician (Hands)


  • Joel Bennett as Beachcomber

Critical receptionEdit

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes surveyed 10 critical responses and judged 100% of them to be positive, with an average rating of 7.3 out of 10. The website's critical consensus reads, "A refreshingly chill music documentary, Shangri-La provides an insightful -- if not exactly revelatory -- peak into the private world of producer Rick Rubin."[8]

Time called the series "flawed but sublime."[9]

Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter called the miniseries "inspiring and oddly riveting" and said, "There is more creativity, weirdness, thoughtfulness and ambition — both achieved and failed — in the new Showtime docuseries Shangri-La than in a good portion of recent TV dramas." Goodman also felt, however, that series should have got "a little dirtier and messier in the examination" of Rubin's mid-career years.[10]

On November 20, 2019, the miniseries was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Music Film.[11]


No.TitleDirected byOriginal air date
1"Magic"Morgan NevilleJuly 12, 2019 (2019-07-12)
Featuring: Tyler, the Creator, Ezra Koenig, Makonnen, Lil Yachty, DRAM, Flea, James Gadson, David Lynch, Daniel Caesar, Rob Fraboni, Robbie Robertson, Kent Nerburn, Mark Ronson, Yebba, The Avett Brothers, David Blaine
2"Myth"Morgan NevilleJuly 19, 2019 (2019-07-19)
Featuring: Wes Lang, Seth Godin, Kate Tempest, Dan Carey, Tyler, the Creator, Mike D, Adam Dubin, Chuck D, Money Mark, Lil Yachty, LL Cool J, Francis and the Lights, Julian Casablancas, Ezra Koenig
3"Wrestling"Jeff MalmbergJuly 26, 2019 (2019-07-26)
Featuring: Benjamin Clementine, Jim Cornette, Ezra Koenig, Makonnen, Jerrod Carmichael, Ed Stasium, LL Cool J, SZA, Flea, Seth Godin, Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Mac Miller, Francis and the Lights
4"Belief"Jeff MalmbergAugust 2, 2019 (2019-08-02)
Featuring: Mary Lattimore, Hatis Noit, Sadhguru, Carlos Santana, Buika, Makonnen, Kent Nerburn, Madison Ryann Ward, Cory Henry, David Lynch, Laird Hamilton, Rivers Cuomo, Ted Denney, Nils Frahm, Money Mark, Rival Consoles, David Blaine, Krishna Das


  1. ^ Moayeri, Lily (July 19, 2019). "Seven Things We Learned About 'Shangri-La' and Rick Rubin from Showtime's Series". Variety. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  2. ^ "Won't You Be My Neighbor? director sets his sights on Rick Rubin in new Showtime series". Entertainment Weekly. July 12, 2019. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  3. ^ Schager, Nick (July 12, 2019). "The Magic of 'Shangri-La': How Producer Rick Rubin Transforms Artists Into Musical Giants". The Daily Beast. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  4. ^ Reed, Ryan (January 16, 2019). "Rick Rubin: Showtime Preps 'Shangri-La' Documentary Series on Producer". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  5. ^ "Shangri-La Season 1: Watch Episodes Online". Showtime. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  6. ^ Bloom, Madison (July 26, 2019). "Watch Mac Miller Discuss Swimming With Rick Rubin in New "Shangri-La" Clip". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  7. ^ Richards, Will (July 27, 2019). "Watch Mac Miller discuss 'Swimming' with Rick Rubin in new 'Shangri-La' clip". NME. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  8. ^ "Shangri-La: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  9. ^ Berman, Judy (July 9, 2019). "Showtime's Extremely Authorized Rick Rubin Docuseries Shangri-La Is Flawed But Sublime". Time. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  10. ^ Goodman, Tim (July 12, 2019). "'Shangri-La': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  11. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)

External linksEdit