Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)
And so the telepic comes to an end by bringing us to what led up to the first in the first part and then diving into the guys’ personal issues such as drug abuse and divorce.
Characters & Storyline
With New Edition breaking apart, so is born BBC, Ralph’s solo career, but these good times are short lived as their sophomore albums flop. Leading to the disastrous Home Again tour where Bobby Brown and Ronnie DeVoe fought and their former manager and choreographer Brooke Payne had a heart attack. From then on, the boys are individuals but the focus is on Ricky’s drug problems, Mike being like Maurice and Gary and ripping people off with the contracts he has them sign, and then it all comes together when Ronnie gets married. With that, the boys come back together and as Bobby apologizes to Ronnie, Mike and Ralph exchange apologies. Leading to Brooke, alongside a BET rep, setting up, while the guys are still talking to each other, a reunion performance at BET’s 25-anniversary special. What, according to Bell Biv DeVoe’s Breakfast Club interview, led to plans for this telepic.
Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Did they recycle the crowd for the stage scenes?
- What happened to everyone’s mother? Was the screen time they usually had swapped for everyone’s wife or girlfriend?
- How come we get a glance of everyone’s significant other but Whitney Houston they make sure to avoid having seen?
It Quickly Made Ricky Someone Noteworthy
Granted, only by focusing on his drug addiction. But considering the most noteworthy thing about Ricky before that was who was playing him, it is better than nothing right?
It Had One Of The Few Emotional Moments Of The Mini-Series
The first part was cute due to it featuring childhood aspirations coming to reality and part 2 dealt with fame starting to eat away at their friendship. Part 3 has it officially break and honestly, it wasn’t even the boys fighting and a gun being shot that led to an emotional moment. It was Brooke having a heart attack. For, while his name and life is probably one of the least featured, seeing him possibly die reminded you that something he dedicated his life to, that he helped build, was dying before him in the worse way possible. I mean, just imagine, he built these young kids into professionals and now their personal drama is spilling onto the stage, their entourages are bringing the hood backstage with guns and everything, and his heart couldn’t take it no more.
Strangely, despite the reconciliation at the end of the movie, that was the one time this series had an honest and non-ego driven moment.
The Swapping of Mothers For Wives & Girlfriends
Despite a nod to their mothers for most of part 1 & parts of part 2, as a whole, this movie doesn’t seem to push the idea of the full effect women had on these men’s lives. Which was strange since they were raised, so it seems, in single mother households and their music seemingly was focused on wooing the ladies. So while I understand this series of movies is about the boys as individuals, to a point, and about the various highs and lows of their careers, I think they do the women who raised them and loved them a disservice. Even with us seeing a handful of their girlfriends and wives.
It Generally Lacked The Impression A Third Part Was Needed
Fully recognizing and respecting the legacy of the various members of New Edition, I must say, like with CrazySexyCool, it shows why it is very weird, and perhaps egotistical, for a group to pay homage to itself. So with the guys so involved in their movie, and likely the writing, since I doubt they didn’t have veto power, it’s like as much as the guys let Bobby be exposed, show Ricky’s drug addiction, and Mike perhaps exploiting some musicians, you never got this vibe that these people as individuals are interesting enough to focus on as individuals. Perhaps Bobby Brown since, let’s face it, with or without Whitney he is perhaps one of the sole members whose infamy you’d want explored. However, with that said, this movie wasn’t about him. Was he heavily featured and perhaps the most memorable? Absolutely. Yet, for what should have been a movie which showed how important each member was and why their story mattered, honestly it never conveys that. To the point that, altogether, I felt left wondering with how weakly they crafted everyone but Bobby, if this movie was feeding off his antics in order to substitute another member and give them a chance to shine.
Overall: Mixed (Home Viewing)
I don’t want to give the impression I don’t appreciate how this series of movies showed brotherhood and reminded us that there was a time when clean, soulful, and loving music existed. Much less that a handful of guys made it out the hood, with the odds, and many contracts, working against them. However, I feel the pursuit of appeasing everyone’s ego and making things equal led to a bloated production. One in which it struggled to make certain characters ultimately matter. For whether it was the various women or those who weren’t notable through solo careers or being lead singers, it seems the almost 6-hour program proved why feats like this are rarely done. If only because, no group, or even a few featured people’s lives, can be that interesting.